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Making Adjustments

By | 0 Comments | Feb 15, 2019

Al Jefferson, first half: 21 minutes, 17 FGAs, 22 points. 0.81 FGA/min

Al Jefferson, second half: 12 minutes, 3 FGAs, 0 points. 0.25 FGA/min

That's a hell of an adjustment. The team trapped him hard in the third — bringing Francisco Garcia or John Salmons down to take away Jefferson's step-back and spin moves. Spencer Hawes and Brad Miller provided good strength-based resistance, preventing Jefferson's bull moves.

On the other end, Kevin McHale didn't do a single thing differently as Kenny Natt's Kings took control. He did nothing to help Jefferson adjust to the new defense by offering strong side shooting help (Jefferson ended up with one assist), he didn't turn to the pick-and-roll, he didn't defend Garcia or Salmons in any sentient way. Of course, McHale's roster sucks. That's not his fault …

Oh. Nevermind.

When the Kings are clicking, it's hard to defend them. In the late Adelman era, Miller had become so integral that San Antonio had success shutting down the assault by molesting Brad in the high post. But Miller is far less a focal point these days. It's real egalitarian offense right now (which began under Reggie Theus and continued Monday). Six Kings had at least 9 FGAs, and none more than 14. Eight players in double figures, with none scoring more than Garcia's 21. Mad balance.

And despite the bad looking box score, Beno Udrih played really well. He didn't rack up many assists, but he set up the offense beautifully in the first three quarters. Other than the bad outlet in the third, he didn't make bad decisions. That's what the Kings need from the point guard position, whether it be manned by Udrih, Bobby Brown or Bobby Jackson: hit a few shots, penetrate when the team needs a score, don't screw up. Udrih accomplished the task Monday.

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