MILWAUKEE - The Kings played like the Kings we're used to seeing in losing their second consecutive game Wednesday night, 98-85, to the Milwaukee Bucks at Bradley Center.
All the passing and ball movement that was the rave during last week's three-game winning streak was gone.
The Kings had just 14 assists, or three more than Bucks guard Monta Ellis. If the Bucks hadn't built a big lead in the fourth quarter, Ellis probably would have had more assists than the Kings. The Kings didn't' pass Ellis in total assists until the fourth quarter.
(You can hear Keith Smart break down how bad their scoring rate is when they don't pass the ball in the video below).
The Kings' shot selection was bad. Too many contested shots and trying to beat the man off the dribble. The point guards could have done a better job trying to set up teammates.
And the griping about officiating was back in a big way. Even though the Bucks were called for only two fewer fouls (20-18) and shot just three more free throws (24-21).
Already down two of their three leading scorers (DeMarcus Cousins, Marcus Thornton) the Kings needed to play team basketball. By not doing so, they let a very winnable game get away.
Next up is Oklahoma City. That won't be easy.
*Thomas Robinson played with great energy and hustle (eight points, eight rebounds) but he's got to shoot better to stay on the floor and not miss the easy ones. Robinson was 3 of 9 from the field.
*The Kings have 37 turnovers in their last two games. They had 17 against Milwaukee, five by Tyreke Evans in his first game back after missing the previous three with a sore left knee.
Evans said after the game that was unacceptable on his part and something he'd look to correct for Friday's game.
*The Kings had only three steals. Cousins actually leads the Kings in steals so besides rebounding, that's another area he was missed because of his NBA suspension.
Speaking of Cousins, here's his take on his suspension via Twitter.
Of course the media was going to hype that situation they need what ever " negative story " they can get on me ,but no it wasn't intentional— demarcus cousins(@boogiecousins) December 12, 2012
But I'll take this one on the chin as well ...ðŸš¶ðŸŽ¯— demarcus cousins(@boogiecousins) December 12, 2012
Cousins said from the start hitting O.J. Mayo in the groin was an accident and that he was trying to get Mayo's hand off him.
But what matters is Stu Jackson didn't believe Cousins. Does his reputation hurt him? Yes. That's why Cousins has to be above the fray at all times. At this rate, it will take a couple of years of great play and no drama to erase the first couple of months of the season from the minds of the public.
*The Kings weren't happy finding out Cousins was suspended three hours before their games. The incident happened Monday and the Kings were off Tuesday. So they went through morning shootaround assuming Cousins would play.
In both Cousins' suspensions, the team was informed the day of the game even though they had a day off in between games.
When Robinson was suspended for elbowing Jonas Jerebko, the Kings found out the next day (an off day).
The league even announced Toronto forward Amir Johnson's suspension on Tuesday for his mouthpiece toss on Monday night. Toronto was also off Tuesday.