Fan furor over Keith Smart sitting Tyreke Evans most of the fourth quarter Friday night might subside by tip-off tonight in the second of back-to-back games against the Utah Jazz.
There's statistical evidence for the anger. Evans had the highest plus/minus rating of any Kings last night (plus-6) which might have been higher is he played more than 30:37, second fewest among the starting five.
A lot will be forgotten if the Kings rebound and win tonight. Here are five things to ponder as the Kings look to avoid another losing streak:
1. Evans' minutes: After a stretch of supbar play on offense, Evans appears to have found his way on offense. Or as he told me last night, he feels like himself again. Evans has played more than 40 minutes once this season - in a double overtime loss at Indiana. If the game is close, Evans should be on the court more.
2. Brooks' shooting: Is it a coincidence Evans is playing better with Aaron Brooks in the starting lineup? Brooks is shooting 70.3 percent (19 of 27) from the field and 61.5 percent (8 of 13) on three pointers.
3. Making the smart play: It was easy to rave about the great decision making in beating the Lakers when there was a double-digit lead most of the fourth quarter. When the game was tight in Utah, the Kings couldn't get out of their own way at crucial moments, leading to bad shots, bad fouls and looks of disgust on the court.
4. Keeping track of Hayward: The Kings couldn't slow him down enough last night as he had 23 points off the bench in Utah's comeback win. That might mean playing a bigger defender, like James Johnson, on Hayward.
5. Tinsley factor: The player with the best plus/minus Friday night was backup point guard Jamaal Tinsley. He was a plus-18 with 12 assists and a late steal in the win for Utah. Mo Williams (sprained right ankle) is doubtful for tonight's game so there will be a lot of Tinlsey again.