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Tag: DeMarcus Cousins (page 1 of 2)

Joe Morgan on Pro Scout School and “Belief in the (Kings’) Future”

A commitment to the youth movement and De’Aaron Fox’s impressive summer league performance give Joe Morgan optimism for the Kings’ future (Photo: Joe Morgan).

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The NBA world has taken over Las Vegas for the last two weeks, and while the main attraction has obviously been Las Vegas Summer League, where teams test out and try to develop their new talent, with so much of the top brass in one city, there are bound to be auxiliary events as well. One such event is TPG Sport Group’s Pro Scout School, which our guest, Joe Morgan, was able to attend this week. He details the highlights of what he learned there, from experts like Fran Fraschilla, Bobby Marks, Tony Ronzone, Drew Hanlen and more. Of course, Joe is also co-host of The Kings Court and covers the Kings for SacKingsNation.com, so we’d be remiss if we didn’t also get his views on Sacramento’s eventful offseason so far. Scout out these royal excerpts below:

7:15-8:11 Joe speaks on gaining an insider’s perspective from front-office personnel and other experts: “They talk to you more openly than they would during the season when they’re busy. They give you that insider’s view of ‘Why did this move happen?’ …I could not figure out why Oladipo went to Indiana, and somebody made the point in the class that he’s a Hoosier alumnus. So do you think that helps them sell tickets for the team that was 22nd in attendance last year?… Basketball teams only convene to do two things: win games and make money. As a fan and even on the commentating side of it, generally, you only look at the game-winning side of it. We forget to add in that this is a business.”

11:26-12:20 On how modern teams are able to use both advanced analytics and traditional scouting in conjunction for player evaluation: “In the class, one of my favorite sentences that came out of the whole thing was: ‘Analytics is just evidence-based decision making.’ A guy has to pass the eye-test; you can’t watch a guy and think he’s horrible and then want him on your team. But analytics gives you something that helps you watch for specific patterns… It gives you another way to fine-tune what you’re looking for. A lot of these guys, you only get to watch once or twice… so if you have an analytics team give you some notes beforehand, it really helps you out as a scout.”

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Dame, C.J. and Nurkic Propel Portland Toward Playoffs (Power Rankings: March 29, 2017 Edition)

With brilliant play since the All-Star break and a little help from his friends, Damian Lillard has led the Trail Blazers into sole possession of the Western Conference’s eighth seed (James Schumacher/Flickr).

With fewer than 10 games remaining on each team’s regular-season schedule, valuable playoff seeding is still up for grabs all over the NBA standings. Some teams, like the Celtics, Blazers and Raptors, look like they’re hitting their stride at just the right moment, building momentum that they hope will continue through the playoffs. Others, like the Hawks and Cavaliers, are just hoping that they can stop the bleeding before it’s too late. As always, the result is much debate and movement in the penultimate regular-season edition of our power rankings.

Biggest Jumps: Portland Trail Blazers (+8), Toronto Raptors (+5), Denver Nuggets (+5), New Orleans Pelicans (+5)

Biggest Falls: Minnesota Timberwolves (-14), Detroit Pistons (-9), Atlanta Hawks (-7)

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James Ham: Kings “Rip the Band-Aid Off” by Trading Cousins

James Ham takes us through enigmatic DeMarcus Cousins’ journey with the Kings and looks ahead to the franchise’s future (Senior Airman Daniel Hughes/Creative Commons).

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Last Sunday, the Sacramento Kings finally dealt the player who served as both franchise cornerstone and a near-constant thorn in their side for his first six and a half NBA seasons. Comcast Sports Net California Kings Insider James Ham breaks down the complexities of the divorce as only he can. Royal excerpts from James’ responses can be found below:

12:35-13:07: Don’t compare Buddy Hield to Stephen Curry, but there is reason to be excited about the young shooting guard:

“Just take that and throw that out the window. He’s not Steph Curry. He can average 14 to 16 points per game in the pros. He can also struggle. But from what I saw of him in limited action on Thursday, [he had a] very nice teardrop in the lane, I thought he handled the ball well, he was able to take guys off the dribble, I thought his defensive prowess was better than what people have talked about, and [post-game] he even talked about not being critiqued the whole time.”

19:48-21:41Hands-on Kings owner Vivek Ranadivé was persuaded to move on from DeMarcus Cousins in a very specific way: 

“I know that he’s got his fingers in every pie in the organization. And in this situation, he was convinced to trade DeMarcus by management as it got closer and closer to the deadline. He was pretty adamant about not trading DeMarcus, and he has been [since he took over]… Continue reading

Dan Devine: Pelicans’ “Bully Ball” Could Take Toll on Warriors in Postseason (Trade Deadline Special)

Alongside new addition DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis and the Pelicans hope to rise up the Western Conference standings and cause problems for the Warriors in the playoffs (Keith Allison/Creative Commons).

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Less than 24 hours before the NBA’s annual trade deadline, Yahoo! Sports NBA editor Dan Devine (Ball Don’t Lie) fits us into his busy schedule. Dan breaks down the league’s biggest trades to date (chief among them, this past weekend’s DeMarcus Cousins deal), hints at what may be on the horizon and touches upon the Clippers’ postseason prospects and two dark-horse contenders in the Rockets and Wizards. He even provides a glimpse into New Orleans cuisine. What a guy! What a show!

7:57-9:15: Dan explores how the DeMarcus Cousins acquisition will likely affect the Pelicans’ position in the race for the Western Conference’s No. 8 seed:

“Adding Boogie to the lineup, giving them that core three with Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday, gives them, from a talent perspective, maybe the best core that you can offer in that group. It’s also worth remembering that New Orleans is three games back of Denver in the loss column right now, and they’ve got to leapfrog both Portland and Sacramento…They’ve got some work to do…and they’re going to have to integrate a gigantic piece with 25 games left in the season. Continue reading

Defense Propels 76ers Nine Spots (Power Rankings: Jan. 20, 2017 Edition)

Coach Brett Brown and his Sixers are finally starting to see results, with wins in seven of their last nine games (TastyPoutine/Creative Commons).

With every team at or beyond the midpoint of its regular-season schedule, it could not be a better time to assess how each squad measures up. Some teams will be celebrating All-Star starter selections just named, while many others are confronting serious injuries. Amid this crazy time, the 76ers jumped nine slots, leaving the league’s cellar thanks to a mighty strong start to 2017. Meanwhile, the Charlotte Hornets, Sacramento Kings and Orlando Magic have experienced the league’s steepest declines in recent weeks.

Biggest Jumps: Philadelphia 76ers (+9), Washington Wizards (+4), Detroit Pistons (+4), Denver Nuggets (+4)

Biggest Falls: Sacramento Kings (-8), Charlotte Hornets (-8), Orlando Magic (-7)
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Wizards Cast Spell, Climb 10 Spots (Power Rankings: Dec. 23, 2016 Edition)

23-year-old shooting guard Bradley Beal has nearly equaled his age in points per game, as the Wizards continue their stellar play (Keith Allison/Creative Commons).

While nine teams held the same ranking from our previous edition, six squads rose or dropped at least six spots. Leading the way among most improved from last edition, the Washington Wizards jumped from 22nd to 12th. Thanks to lethal 3-point shooting, the Rockets continued their ascent to fourth even as starting center Clint Capela will be sidelined for the next month at the very least. The Nuggets also impressed the panel, playing extremely well in their first stretch as a completely healthy unit. The returns of Danilo Gallinari and Gary Harris have Denver fans feeling as high as their city’s altitude. The Lakers, however, continue their slide and can no longer use injury as the lone excuse for dropping 11 of their last 12 games. Since our second edition, which was published four weeks ago, the Lakers have dropped from 13th to 27th or seven spots every two weeks.

Biggest Jumps: Washington Wizards (+10), Denver Nuggets (+7), Dallas Mavericks (+6)

Biggest Falls: Los Angeles Lakers (-7), Portland Trail Blazers (-7), Detroit Pistons (-7) Continue reading

Morgan Ragan: Defenders’ Best Strategy Against Cousins? “Get in His Head”

Guest Morgan Ragan does not envision DeMarcus Cousins’ current role as being conducive to future Kings success.

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With a new defensive-minded head coach, the Sacramento Kings are hoping to halt their 10-year playoff drought, but they continue to struggle, especially on the defensive end. However, our guest, Morgan Ragan, host of The Deuce and Mo Podcast, Kings digital contributor and local Sacramento reporter, explains why coach Dave Joerger should be afforded job security unlike many of his Kings predecessors. Other topics covered in the episode include how to guard DeMarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay’s future in Sacramento, the front office’s perpetual draft blunders and what the team needs from the point guard position. Enjoy some selected excerpts from the interview below:

6:55 – 7:23: Ragan starts by asserting that the Kings’ center is better suited for a situation in which he’s no longer the franchise cornerstone: “He gets away with a lot of stuff…because he’s DeMarcus Cousins. He’s the best player on the team. He’s the one producing the most points, the most rebounds. So if he wasn’t that guy and didn’t have that power, he would be even better somewhere else.”

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The Buzz About Charlotte and Deadline Deals and Duds

Tobias Harris (right) and Kris Humphries (left) are two players who found themselves on new teams after last week's trade deadline. (Keith Allison/Flickr)

Tobias Harris (right) and Kris Humphries (left) are two players who found themselves on new teams after last week’s trade deadline (Keith Allison/Flickr).

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Following the interview with Doug Branson earlier in the week, Aaron and Loren continue the discussion about the surging Charlotte Hornets who have outperformed expectations and won nine of their last 12 games. They further discuss how the team has shown such a drastic increase in both 3-point attempts and percentage, but also look into the factors that have led to them having the largest disparity between home and road winning percentages among projected playoff teams.

In the second segment, the co-hosts look into some of the biggest deals that went down before last week’s trade deadline. All of the big names stayed put, but smaller moves like Channing Frye to Cleveland and Jeff Green to the Clippers could have an impact on how the rest of the season and the playoffs play out for those teams. (Editor’s note: we discuss a trade sending Donatas Motiejunas to the Detroit Pistons. Since recording, that trade has been voided because of the Motiejunas’ back issues mentioned in the episode.)

Music: “Who Likes to Party” by Kevin MacLeod

Down Goes Durant, the Combustible Kings and Kawhi Wait for Superstardom

This season, Kawhi Leonard has shouldered much of the Spurs' scoring load in addition to playing tenacious defense (Mark Runyon/BasketballSchedule.net)

This season, Kawhi Leonard has shouldered much of the Spurs’ scoring load in addition to playing tenacious defense (Mark Runyon/BasketballSchedule.net)

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In this action-packed episode, the guys reflect on the state of the Oklahoma City Thunder, particularly given Kevin Durant’s hamstring strain. Later, the trio celebrates the emergence of 24-year-old Kawhi Leonard as a bona fide offensive star and explores what in the hell is going on in Sacramento these days. Should George Karl lose his job this early in the season? Can the damage be undone? The OTNB boys are on the case.   

Music: “Who Likes To Party” by Kevin MacLeod

Everybody Hates the Clippers and Small-Sample-Size Overreaction

Sasha Vujacic is playing decent minutes for Phil Jackson again? (Keith Allison/Creative Commons)

Sasha Vujacic is playing decent minutes for Phil Jackson again? (Keith Allison/Creative Commons)


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On today’s episode of the podcast, LLC Incorporated continues the week’s discussion of the Los Angeles Clippers. The co-hosts touch on the Clippers’ bad-boy reputation, Lance Stephenson’s comfort level and whether this is the best team in franchise history.

Finally, on the J-Spot, the boys play around with small sample size overreaction, exploring what has surprised them most so far in the newborn NBA season. Shocking upsets, impressive player performances and more!

Music: “Who Likes to Party” by Kevin MacLeod

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