The Kings actually played 4-on-5 for a possession
But was it intentional?
Okay, watch this, then let’s talk about what happened:
The Kings get whistled for a carry and turn the ball over to the Nets. Reggie Evans, who was not involved in that turnover, turns around and heads straight to the bench. The announcers suggest DeMarcus Cousins is checking in for Evans (and he is up getting ready around halfcourt), but he does not. So the Kings are now defending 4-on-5. Right as possession changes back, Evans springs off the bench and gets open under the rim, only to shank a dunk.
There are two possibilities here:
1. There was a miscommunication: Cousins wasn’t actually ready to check in because he hadn’t alerted the scorer’s table, and Evans didn’t realize that for a few seconds.
2. It’s the Kings, so there’s a chance this was an egregious attempt at owner Vivek Ranadive’s suggested cherry-picking strategy. Having Evans actually go sit on the bench would be waaaay crazier than just letting him loiter under the other basket. I think that might also be illegal. This seems unlikely and would be dismissed for any team except the Kings … but these are the Kings. They just fired a coach in part because he wasn’t into this kind of chicanery. You never know.
So which was it?