Well, my idea is basically to do a '09-'10 game preview for each team in the NBA starting with last season's worst team and finishing with Cleveland (I'm going by records here). Some sites may be doing previews on teams or divisions but who is doing what we care about, how they match up against the Spurs? So let's get started with the Kings....
1. FSN Season Stats Head to Head: As expected, we dominate them in almost every stat. They score more and they had more offensive rebounds. I don't even think it is worth it to look into the offensive rebounds being a factor of pace and shooting percentage. It just doesn't really matter in this head to head. I could go through and give you the fine details of the head to head but when you give up 109 pts a game, most other stats don't really matter.
2. Game Recaps (Note: Both away games were first games of back to backs and we averaged a 2.5 margin of victory and had at least two of the big 3 not play in both games. See below.)
* Sun, Nov 16 @ Sacramento We win 90-88. "Finley scores 21, Duncan 20 as Spurs win second in row"
Manu and Tony didn't play. Finley stepped up and had his first game of the season over 20 points. Duncan was himself with 20 pts, 10 rebs, 3 blks and 4 asts. Hill had an off night but the JV came in with 10 pts and 6 asts in 23 minutes. The Kings were without Kevin Martin, but the real story of this game was our draft pick not named Beno Udrih, John Salmons, going 10 of 13 for 31 points on us, 1 point shy of his career high.
The game was a real nail biter though: "Duncan, who also had 10 rebounds and three blocks, had a chance to seal the victory, but missed two free throws with 2.3 seconds left. That gave Douby a chance to win the game, but his airball on a 3-point attempt ended the game."
* Mon, Dec 22 Sacramento We win 101-85. "Parker's early turnovers not a factor as Spurs hand Kings another loss"
We have our full roster and they are down Kevin Martin and Quincy Douby. Not one player on our team scored over 20 and we shot 52.1% while they shot 39.7%. Salmons lead them again with 7 of 13 for 22 points. Other than our team effort, the real Spurs storyline of this game was that Pop let the team coach themselves.
"I did nothing to earn my money," Popovich said. "They [the players] coached. They communicated. They changed defenses, called plays. I just substituted players."
* Sun, Apr 12 @ Sacramento We win 95-92. "Finley's 3-pointer with 1.3 remaining brings controversy, Spurs win"
Duncan and Manu sat for this one but we had Gooden at this point. Kevin Martin was out and this was post trade deadline so they had Nocioni and Salmons and Miller were gone. Mason and Parker held down the offense with 47 of our 95 points. Gooden and Ime were solid off of the bench. The stats are pretty much even. Spencer Hawes lead them with 24 points. Beno was horrendous on 1 of 12 shooting for 2 points. Not one free throw attempt and only one 3 point attempt. He missed 10 shots inside the arc and didn't get fouled once. Great D, Spurs.
SPURS vs KINGS 04 12 2009 (via rolandoperon)
But as the headline for the game say, the real memory of this game is the absolutely pathetic refereeing which counted Finley's shot clock violating 3 to win the game. I remember Graydon or Tim on 48 Minutes of Hell saying they didn't care about the shot clock miscue because we would have won in overtime. That's good enough for me.
They also brought in Sergio Rodriguez from the Blazers on a trade and signed Sean May in free agency. They officially haven't lost anyone yet but have not signed Calvin Booth, Ike Diogu, Bobby Jackson, Rashad McCants, or Cedric Simmons yet.
4. The Match-Up
PG: Tony Parker versus Tyreke Evans: Advantage Spurs
SG: Roger Mason versus Kevin Martin: Advantage Kings
SF: Richard Jefferson versus Fransisco Garcia: Advantage Spurs
PF: Antonio McDyess versus Jason Thompson: Advantage Spurs
C: Tim Duncan versus Spencer Hawes: Advantage Spurs
Bench: Manu, Hill, Blair, Mahinmi, Finley, Bonner, Haislip and Hairston DESTROY Nocioni, Sergio Rodriguez, Omri Casspi, Donte Greene, and Sean May even without Hill, Blair, Mahinmi, Finley, Bonner, Haislip, and Hairston.
Coaching: Advantage Spurs.
Result: I started with an easy one. Spurs will absolutely feast on the Kings this season. They have some young players I like and Nocioni is a good player who fell into the trap of getting a big salary. Now he is worth more as a trading token than he is on the court to most teams which is pretty sad. Anyways, the Spurs are too loaded to be slowed down by Sacramento's developing talent. Salmons, who was consistent against us last season, is gone.
So that wraps up my trial head to head recap and match-up preview. We'll see if I have the follow through to do more.