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

October 17, 2013
Cousins dominates; BYU Jimmer shows up in win

Quick observations from tonight's preseason win over the Phoenix Suns:

*DeMarcus was just too good tonight. It wasn't just his 29 points (8-for-15 shooting), nine rebounds and three assists. He also had six steals.

"People are going to talk about his scoring," said Kings coach Michael Malone. "The things that stick out for me - he got on the floor for two loose balls and drew two charges. Those are winning plays. That will carry us for a long time. That has to be our mentality."

*Cousins has to take the step of dominating big men that can't match his skills to take his game to an elite level and the Suns had no one that could contend with him.

*Cousins didn't play the fourth quarter or he easily could have had 40 points. If there's something to knock Cousins for, it was missing five of his 18 free throws (72.2 percent) and five turnovers. Cousins should shoot 80 percent or better from the line. His shooting touch is too good. But that's nitpicking tonight.

*Tonight we saw "BYU Jimmer" as I like to call him. Jimmer Fredette was aggressive and had 23 points and five assists. He shot 5-for-7 on three pointers. I wrote about Fredette predominantly for the print story off the game, so there will more on him posting on the website by midnight.

*Greivis Vasquez is exactly what the Kings needed. He found Ben McLemore early in the game for an alley-oop on a fast break by looking ahead on the break. The Kings have been awful at that in recent seasons. More times than not, the person with ball put his head down and tried to get to the rim while his teammates watched. It was like a plague that spread throughout the roster.

*Until early in the fourth quarter there were times where Malone looked sick on the sidelines. That had a lot to do with the Suns shooting 58 percent in the first half. The Kings got that down to 47.6 percent for the game, but Malone still didn't like allowing 48 points in the paint.

*Hamady Ndiaye gave the Kings a boost with his energy off the bench in 13 minutes. He's still not a lock to make the team, but it'll be hard for the Kings to let a 7-footer with that kind of athleticism go. The Kings need a rim protector to develop and Ndiaye seems to fit everything the Kings want. He works hard, gives maximum effort and believes in defense. He was throwing himself all over the court tonight. His two points, two rebounds, blocked shot and three fouls were fun to watch.

*Ndiaye playing meant no Chuck Hayes tonight.

*John Salmons continues to have a solid preseason (10 points, six rebounds and some solid defense). Patrick Patterson shot 3-for-6, including a three pointer.

*Don't count out Ray McCallum stealing minutes this season. He had four assists in three steals in a little over 14 minutes. I expect several variations of three-guard lineups this season.

*I stopped by the Kings locker room during pregame media availability and was startled. I counted nine players watching film of the Suns. That was not a regular scene since I began covering the Kings in 2009.



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