Geoff Petrie

Geoff Petrie has the Kings all wrong

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The last thing that any sports fan wants to read or hear is that their team’s leadership — owners, coaches, GMs, etc. — doesn’t seem to know something that they obviously should. With that in mind, I’d encourage all Kings fans who planned on feeling good about their team’s direction today to move along and look for rosier content elsewhere.

In a meeting with Kings season ticket holders, Geoff Petrie, the team’s President of Basketball Operations, apparently conveyed that Sacramento’s biggest struggles lie on the offensive end. That inspired Tom Ziller of Sactown Royalty to bust out an array of statistics as a counterpoint, along with an embedded worry over the fact that Petrie’s evaluation was so misguided:

On the season, Minnesota is averaging 100 points per 100 possessions. In two games against the Kings, the Wolves have produced 113 and 102 points per 100 possessions. The Cavs produced 114 points per 100 possessions against the Kings, and just 104 against eight other teams. The Raptors: 105 against the NBA, 120 against the Kings. Memphis: 103 against the league, 108 against the Kings.

And the real coup de grace, the magnificent capper in what felt like a huge game for the immediate future of the Sacramento Kings: the team managed to hold the Detroit Pistons, they of the 104 points per 100 possessions average on the season, to a completely understandable … 116 points per 100 possessions. The Pistons shot 54% from the floor, by the way. On the season, they have shot 44%.

But defense isn’t the problem for the Kings? #RUKIDDINME?

At some point, most of the people who make decisions in the NBA will be forced to answer public questions in order to either assess or justify those decisions. That leads to a lot of cliché-obscured sound bites, but in some cases, we get this: just a blatantly wrong evaluation by someone who needs to know better. The Kings are the worst defensive team in the league, and Petrie really wants to pawn off the idea that offense is the problem?

Even if Petrie is dumbing down his message for his audience, that only makes this a bit less worrisome and a bit more sinister. When asked point-blank about the regard in which a team is struggling, we should expect every coach, executive, or owner to give a straight answer. The intent matters, but there’s no way around viewing this as a negative for Petrie and the Kings. Either Petrie is willingly attempting to deceive all of us on the outside for his own purposes and amusement, or he doesn’t fully understand why his team is bad. If forced to choose, I suppose misdirection is less depressing than incompetence, but neither suits Petrie particularly well.

Looks like Donovan to keep Andre Roberson, Steven Adams as starters

Los Angeles Clippers v Oklahoma City Thunder
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Billy Donovan was given the head coaching job in Oklahoma City to bring their offense into modern times — and it seems to be working, Russell Westbrook said he feels a lot more space in the system.

But if the Thunder are going to contend for a title, they need a top 10 defense as well — and to do that Donovan is going to keep a Scott Brooks move and continue to start  Andre Roberson and Steven Adams. Check out the starting lineup for their first preseason game Wednesday.

There also was this report via Anthony Slater in the Oklahoman yesterday about a scrimmage at practice.

Durant, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka and Andre Roberson all started for the White team. Nick Collison joined them, but that was only because Steven Adams sat out with back soreness….

Donovan said the teams weren’t split by accident. That’s how they’ve been divided in practice. So at this point, it seems Roberson is this team’s starting shooting guard and Adams is the team’s starting center.

This is the smart move. Last season the lineup of Westbrook, Roberson, Durant, Ibaka and Adams was +13.4 points per 100 possessions over their opponents. Roberson and Adams are there for defense — neither brings much offensive game to the floor, but when you have Westbrook and Durant and only one ball between them, you don’t need more offensive threats. You’re going to get plenty of points.

If they can just stay healthy, Oklahoma City is a team to be feared.

Knicks’ legend Harry Gallatin passes away at age 88

Harry Gallatin
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The Hall of Fame player behind the original iron man streak is with us no more.

Knicks’ legend Harry Gallatin passes away at age 88, the team confirmed Wednesday.

Gallatin led the Knicks of the late 1940s and into the 1950s, when he set a then record playing in 610 consecutive games. Nicknamed “The Horse,” he was a beast on the boards who averaged 15.3 rebounds a game one season and averaged 11.9 boards and 13 points per game over the course of his 10-year career. He’s still fourth all time in total rebounds in Knicks franchise history.

Gallatin was a seven-time All-Star and twice All-NBA selection. After his playing days, he spent many years as the athletic director at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Our thoughts are with his family and friends.