Kings Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Sacramento Kings and the NBA.

March 18, 2012
Kings, Rubio, Smart and more

A few thoughts after the Kings' blowout victory over the depleted Minnesota Timberwolves:

* After three home clunkers, the Kings have responded with great energy in their blowout victories against the Boston Celtics and the Wolves. It's too early to make too much of this, but even with Tyreke Evans out (ankle) and DeMarcus Cousins struggling in both games, the Kings were impressive.

* Jason Thompson has been exceptional for three straight games - rebounding, making plays, scoring in transition, and showing a deft touch around the rim with both hands. He always plays hard, but he has been mistake-prone. Not lately, though.

* Marcus Thornton has contributed nine steals in the last two games.

* The Wolves miss Ricky Rubio's perimeter defense almost as much as his passing/dynamic presence. Before tearing an anterior cruciate ligament against the Lakers on March 9, he ranked third in the league in steals (2.2) and fifth in assists (8.2). As was evident against the Kings, they have trouble stopping dribble-penetration.

* Smart, who spent almost a decade as a Warriors coach/assistant, plans to attend Monday's jersey retirement ceremonies for Hall of Famer (and former Warriors GM) Chris Mullin. Tim Hardaway and Mitch Richmond - the other members of Run TMC - will be there as well. Also attending will be one-time Kings guard Sarunas Marciulionis, who is traveling from his native Lithuania, and Don Nelson, jetting in from Maui. Nice gesture from Mullie to invite his long coach given their strained relationship during their final years together at Golden State.

* Former Kings coach Rick Adelman has endured a tough run of players suffering season or career-ending injuries, foremost among them Chris Webber (knee), Tracy McGrady (knee) and Yao Ming (foot), and now Rubio, whose recovery will be aided by his young age (21).

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