Kings Blog and Q&A

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

April 19, 2012
The Morning After: Spurs figure out Evans

With 10:10 left in the first quarter, TyrekeEvans had four points and rebound against the San Antonio Spurs.

That would be the extent of Evans' highlights.

The Spurs were able to take Evans out of the game by making him go against their set defense.

After Evans dominated the Spurs in the Kings' upset in San Antonio with 23 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists (back when Evans was still starting at point guard) the Spurs have shut down Evans.

Evans has 11 points (5-of-13 shooting) with six rebounds, six assists, no steals and seven turnovers in two games in two games against the Spurs in Sacramento.

Evans has five points Wednesday.

Kings coach Keith Smart had this take on Evans:

"I think sometimes you have to look at the personnel he is being guarded by. Teams do game plans for guys like him because he's a driver. He's going to be in with his shot, they're going to load up when he has the ball. You can hear the teams that we're playing saying to go load to the ball when he has it. Sometimes he's not going to be that effective guy because no matter what he does, they're going to load up on him. That's something he's going to grow out of. I think he's going to grow out of it and his shot is going to get better. He's going to be able to get to that point where he can make those shots when teams are playing off of him. Sometimes when a player blocks you off so far, you get into that confidence of do I shoot it or do I drive it. His instinct right now is still to drive it, but we're going to keep working with him to get better at it."

It's easy to take Evans out of the game in halfcourt sets, especially if he's not aggressive in cutting to the basket or getting out in transition.

Evans' jump shot isn't where it needs to be to make teams play him honestly in halfcourt sets.

"When i get going like that (to start the Spurs game), especially in the open court I think I'm at my best," Evans said. "They slowed it down, put us in the halfcourt set and we don't want to play that type of game with them. We want to run."

There are still some around the team that believe Evans can be a point guard if he develops a jump shot. Another school of thought is Evans will eventually settle in as a shooting guard, where he won't run into the size mismatches he sees at times at small forward.

"It's tough for Tyreke - we took him off the ball, he's playing a three, so it's going to be an adjustment for him," said center DeMarcus Cousins. "Since I've known Tyreke he's always been the primary ball handler so it's an adjustment. It's part of being a pro, part of his growth. He's going to be fine. I think he's playing some good ball. It's just not the Tyreke we're used to. But I think he's playing a good role, he's still just trying to get used to it so he will continue to improve."

Regardless of where he plays, Evans has to improve his jump shot and stay aggressive.

Technically speaking

Cousins is still one more technical foul away from a one-game suspension. He has 12 and looked awfully close to No. 13 a few times against the Spurs.

Cousins was fined $25,000 for public criticizing officials after the Kings lost to the Los Angeles Clippers April 5, so he was careful with his words after fouling out Wednesday night.

"It's tough," Cousins said of figuring out the physical play. "I really don't want to speak on that because they're after me. People are after me. It's frustrating but you've got to deal with it."

Cousins' frustration was obvious during the game, even in the middle of possessions. Smart said there was still progress.

"Number one thing was he stayed in the game, he didn't getting ejected for technicals so that's a step for him right now," Smart said. "He still has to go through a lot of things as our team continues to grow. But I think the fact that he's trying to manage not getting the calls ... you've just got to focus on the finish and not worry so much about the calls. Just focus on the finish and perhaps you'll get a call after you finish the play."

No Tim, no problem?

Cousins had 18 points (9-of-21 shooting) and nine rebounds with the Spurs resting Tim Duncan.

When asked what problems the Spurs presented inside, he offered this assessment:

"Tonight without Tim Duncan? None. None."

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