So, a few more late-night musings after Kings-Pistons game:
After watching repeated replays of the elbow that rookie Thomas Robinson delivered to the throat of the Pistons' Jonas Jerebko with about 10 minutes remaining was absolutely inexcusable. The incident happened a few feet from where several of us media members were sitting, so we had a pretty good view. The two players jostled for position under the basket, and after Robinson tagged Jerebko, you could hear the thud as the Pistons forward hit the floor, grabbing his throat. His face turned red and he appeared to be struggling to breathe. Later, one member of the Pistons training staff said the reserve forward was fine. "Just stunned," he said.
Robinson was charged with a Flagrant 2 foul and ejected. He faces a one-game suspension - at the very least - which means he would miss Friday's game against the San Antonio Spurs. It will be interesting to see whether he makes himself available after practice today to explain and/or apologize for his actions.
This was a very entertaining matchup between two of the league's emerging young centers. The Pistons' Greg Monroe - who was drafted two spots behind DeMarcus Cousins in 2010 - finished with his first career triple-double. The durable Cousins, who took a hard hit on his left shoulder in the third quarter, finished with 21 points and 11 boards, and again was a factor in the closing minutes with his rebounding, defense and a pair of scores underneath - one on a nifty feed from Isaiah Thomas. These two will be going at it for the next decade.
Where has this been? Jimmer Fredette scored 12 points, added two assists, and directed and organized the offense in the fourth quarter. He was the floor leader the Kings have been lacking since, oh, maybe, Doug Christie. It's one game, but if the former BYU standout continues to play like this, he will earn huge minutes. His deep shooting also opened up the interior - for a change - for Cousins.
After the game, Francisco Garcia, John Salmons and Chuck Hayes engaged in a spirited conversation about Monroe. "We have our own PTI," wisecracked Hayes. "We talk about players all the time." The veterans were particularly impressed with Monroe's "basketball IQ." And, it was duly noted, the Pistons also run their offense through the third-year center.
My least-favorite stat of the night: The Kings' 15 assists.
My favorite stats of the night: Monroe's 11 assists and the Kings' 8 steals.