The Sacramento Kings had their new stretch power forward, Rudy Gay, in a luxury suite tonight watching the game as he awaits the finalizaton of his trade from Toronto. The Kings looked fantastic, too. With Isaiah Thomas getting almost 40 minutes as the singular point guard, and DeMarcus Cousins playing like his boss, partial Kings owner Shaquille O’Neal, the Kings beat the visiting Mavs, 112-97.
One play in particular featured some razzle dazzle from Zeke,* who has to feel vindicated after again winning the starting point guard job in Sacramento. After Derrick Williams stripped a spinning Vince Carter, Williams tossed it ahead to Thomas who throws it off-the-backboard back to Williams for the reverse flush.
Since coming into the league as the last pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, Thomas has beaten out Jimmer Fredette, Tyreke Evans, Toney Douglas, Aaron Brooks, and now Greivis Vasquez for the point guard position in Sacramento. Let’s hope Isaiah’s blistering start to the 2013-14 season continues â€” he’s shooting a career high 45.8 percent from the field and 40.3 percent from three while sporting a ridiculous 23.6 PER â€” and the Kings finally pay him more than the $884,293 he’s making this year. That’s less than everyone else on the roster, except second round pick Ray McCallum. Crazy.
On Monday night, Thomas was finally freed from the shackles of limited time with the specter of Vasquez looming from the bench â€” we won’t tell him about Rudy Gay’s shooting preferences just yet (we’ll let Boogie glower at him first) â€” and didn’t disappoint. Thomas was 7-of-16 from the field, including 4-of-7 from three, for 24 points to go with 12 dimes and just two turnovers. Thomas’ double-double as the starting point guard also augmented the play of Boogie and Derrick Williams. Combined, the two frontcourt players were 22-of-33 from the field for 63 points, and Cousins snagged 19 boards with the Kings out-rebounding Dallas 51-39.
Zeke deserves a raise, and the Kings looked fantastic with him at the helm tonight against an improved Mavs team.
*We know there’s another Zeke, but the 5-9 point out of Washington has earned the right to appropriate the nickname for a while because of his gutsy play.
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