The Atlanta Hawks shredded the Kings' defense in a 112-96 win by doing what the Kings say they want to do -- share the basketball.
"We preach moving the basketball," said Hawks coach Larry Drew. "We want to be a
team that has the ability to try to exploit matchups which we feel we can. More importantly we emphasize sharing the basketball and we did a really good job of that tonight. Guys were finding each other all over the place and when we play like that we're a fun team to watch."
The Kings were a lot of fun to watch in the second quarter Friday night.
The Kings had 11 of their season-high 25 assists in the second quarter.
But when the game fell apart in the third quarter, the Kings had just three assists. The Kings had eight assists in the second half.
So when things went bad, the Kings didn't do what their second-unit did and share the ball. Again, it costs them.
"If we can move the basketball then we can get back into the game," said Kings coach Keith Smart. "When we don't move it, well, you saw what happened. Everyone was trying to do one-on-one plays, a lot of them think they're one-on-one players, but they're not. When we move the ball and share the basketball, we have a better opportunity. If we share the ball, move the basketball for the pass to make a play, then we shoot about 45 percent as a team. If we simply try to go one-on-one, we shoot around 30. That's where we need to work on, I need to find the right combination to move the basketball and get away from this individual side of the game that we are playing right now."
Boos for the home team
The Kings left the court to boos Friday. Understandable after the Kings dropped their fourth consecutive game in what could be described as a passive manner.
Smart was booed in the fourth quarter when he pulled Jimmer Fredette. The loudest cheers in the second half came when Fredette checked in for the first time with 7.2 seconds left in the third quarter.
Fredette had just two points and clearly could not get into a rhythm after sitting so long. Defense is usually the reason Fredette sits, but with the Kings allowing a season high in points (112) and shooting percentage (55.3 percent), it's hard to imagine Fredette would have been much worse.
Third quarter collapse
One reason Smart has to look at changing his starting lineup is he can only ask the bench to save the Kings so many times.
After the reserves cuts pulled the Kings within two at halftime (after trailing by 16) the starters gave the lead right back after halftime.
By time Smart got Thornton back into the game in the third, the Kings were down down seven with 4:12 left in the quarter. Aaron Brooks checked in with 3:31 left in the third and the Kings were down 10.
"It was a combination of asking, do I start that second combination back in the game or do I go back to what we did earlier," Smart said of the third-quarter problems. "Sometimes as a coach, you have to somehow find in that group what you have and pay
attention. You have to kind of read what is happening in the game. The other team is ruling the quarter, in the second quarter we cut the lead down a great, managing amount. We were only down by two at halftime. Then obviously we came out to start the second half and did okay, but then it got away from us."