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5 takeaways from opening night against the Portland Trail Blazers

The Kings leave Portland with their first victory, but it was far from smooth sailing.

Every Sacramento Kings fan who paid close attention to the heart-wrenching 2020-21 squad knew that an 18 point lead could shrink fast. It's disappointing that those flashbacks were proven to be warranted on opening night, but at least the final conclusion was a victory.

Harrison Barnes career-high of 36 points, headlined by eight of 11 from beyond the arc while sharpshooter Damian Lillard converted zero of his nine attempts threes, is the obvious storyline. Barnes was phenomenal, and I don't mean to undersell his stellar performance, but I wanted to highlight a few other aspects of the game that were less apparent.

Luke Walton gave us a little peek into his initial plans for the rotations and his level of trust in certain players. Clear differences and similarities to last season were on display as well.

Here are my five, less obvious, takeaways from the Sacramento Kings victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on opening night.

5 | Alex Len is on the outside looking in

When Alex Len was brought back to Sacramento this offseason, there was hope in knowing that a seven-footer with capable rim protection would wear royal purple once again.

Then, the addition of Tristan Thompson added some complications to the conversation surrounding Len. To the surprise of many, Thompson seems to have outplayed Len and comfortably sits as the second center in Walton's rotation behind Richaun Holmes.

"Situationally" was a term often mentioned among media and reporters when predicting Len's role. He was anticipated to appear on nights where the Kings were facing an opposing seven-foot bruiser such as Joel Embiid, Nikola Jokic, Jonas Valancuinas, or... Jusuf Nurkic.

Matching height and strength isn't as simple as it's often presented, considering that Lillard and CJ McCollum probably would have relentlessly attacked the slower-footed Len. Zero total minutes is still a surprise in one of Len's more favorable center matchups in the NBA.

4 | Some new defensive schemes

The Kings didn't switch everything on opening night! They still had their moments, but sprinkled in between were double teams, blitzes, and hedging accompanied by solid rotations on the backend.

Doug Christie may deserve some credit here, but it's hard to know for certain if it was him or Mike Longabardi. At the very least, Christie had me hyped up at home with his energy from the sideline after each defensive stop and it feels safe to assume that same energy spread to the roster.

From the jump, it seemed like the focus was making Damian Lillard uncomfortable. Sacramento succeeded into doing that early by bringing doubles in late shot-clock situations, hedging on some guard-on-guard screens, and forcing other players to beat them.

There were still occasions where Lillard or McCollum took advantage of Tyrese Haliburton when he switched onto them, but I don't recall any bigs finding themselves in those borderline impossible situations. Lillard went just three of his 67 total games last season without knocking down a shot from beyond the arc and that was the case opening night in 2021-22.

Credit to the Kings' defensive gameplan and execution for showing him different coverages early on, but some typical Dame Time attempts just didn't go down in the second half. No matter, the variance is encouraging after what we witnessed in the year prior.

3 | Tyrese Haliburton struggled immensely

You could argue that this was Tyrese Haliburton's worst game in a Sacramento uniform. The second-year guard played 29 minutes and contributed just two points, four assists, two rebounds, and one steal during that time. Not to mention his lone turnover that occurred with 19 seconds remaining where a five-point cushion quickly shrunk to one.

I wrote recently about why sophomore struggles are to be expected for Haliburton and that was on display. Opposing coaching staffs now have an entire year of tape showing his tendencies and weaknesses. Portland seemed well prepared to negate the guard's impact.

Haliburton only attempted one shot from beyond the arc and was regularly hunted on defense. He was a liability to the point where Luke Walton elected to close the game with rookie Davion Mitchell over him, which was controversial but understandable.

If any player on this Sacramento roster can be trusted to view a poor performance as a learning lesson, it's Haliburton. Game one struggles are not a cause for concern, but let's hope we look back on this performance as a clear outlier in a few months' time.

2 | Davion Mitchell is already an impactful perimeter defender

Damian Lillard had an Off Night! Davion Mitchell's nickname may describe the Portland star's performance well, but it was not heavily caused by Mitchell himself.

No matter, expecting a 6'2" rookie point guard to shut down on the best scorers in the NBA was always ridiculous. Mitchell did succeed in his goal of bothering the Oakland native on multiple occasions throughout the night.

"Try to slow him down and throw some things at him he's never seen before." - Mitchell on his approach to guarding Damian Lillard

Being tasked with Lillard and then McCollum in his first NBA minutes was a far from gentle introduction, but the Baylor product proved he belongs already. His impact on that end was later rewarded by Luke Walton with crucial fourth-quarter minutes in place of Haliburton as the Blazers made a valiant attempt at a comeback.

Davion's offense is a work in progress, but Sacramento has enough offensive-oriented contributors in the meantime. Overall, it was a solid debut for the ninth overall selection in the 2021 NBA Draft.

1 | The previously mentioned idea of staggering Fox & Haliburton

Luke Walton mentioned to the media that he would like one of De'Aaron Fox or Tyrese Haliburton on the floor at all times and the logic of that is easy to understand. Aside from those two, the Kings are deprived of above-average initiators and playmakers with a rookie as the likely next best option.

Five minutes and 47 seconds of playing time included neither one of De'Aaron Fox or Tyrese Haliburton on the floor for Sacramento. There were two separate stretches of this with one coming at the end of the first quarter and leaking into the beginning of the second. The latter segment occurred at the opening of the final quarter.

Neither one of these occasions proved atrocious for the Kings. In fact, those minutes recorded a plus-four plus/minus! Maybe that's a sign of promise when both guard initiators need a breather, but those nearly five minutes still presented a stagnant offense. I also could very well be overreacting and reading too much into a single game sample size, particularly when that game is opening night.

At the very least, Luke Walton is willing to experiment with lineups that do not include either of De'Aaron Fox or Tyrese Haliburton.

Other notes:
  • Terence Davis has the greenest of green lights. He went 2/10 from the field in a mere 13 minutes of playing time.
  • Richaun Holmes's proved that his shaky preseason meant nothing. The stellar "role player" tallied 21 points, 11 rebounds, two assists, two blocks, and one steal while only missing one field goal attempt.
  • Buddy Hield has shown flashes of a jump in his passing ability, but it's too early to tell confidently.
  • Harrison Barnes saved the day and solely denied Portland's rally with his perfect six of six three-point shooting in the third quarter. The Kings would be lost without him.
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andy_sims
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October 21, 2021 9:28 am

A lot to like last night, absolutely! The Kings are still going to lose a lot of games this season, but if they continue to bust ass on the defensive end, and clean up a few things, the losses will be easier to take. I think that they’re going to be in a lot of games deep into fourth quarters.

And Barnes!

Oh, damn. I forgot he’s way overpaid. /s

PretendGhost
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October 21, 2021 9:38 am
Reply to  andy_sims

The Blazers are going to be one of the best offenses in the league this year. The Kings defense was imperfect and won’t win games itself, but if it stays at a similar level then they’ll be able to beat the teams they should and win at least some of the hard ones.

sonny
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October 21, 2021 10:40 am
Reply to  andy_sims

Nice to know that you didn’t respond to your post and dispute what you said,lo.

sonny
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October 21, 2021 10:40 am
Reply to  sonny

lol

AnybodyButBagley
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October 21, 2021 1:36 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

Always so profound.

CheekMagnet
October 21, 2021 9:32 am

Didn’t like the move to take take Hali out for Davion that last play. Free throw team should’ve been on. Walton got lucky on that one.

Amonk81
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October 21, 2021 12:34 pm
Reply to  CheekMagnet

Agree. This could be crap, but it seems like McNair, who I believe was at least encouraged if not forced to keep Puke, has surrounded Walton with assistants who actually coach D. You can hear guys on the floor communicating for the first time etc.

I think McNair also brought in developmental coach? Almost like McNair has minimized Walton’s damage and put him in the position of Nash in Brooklyn. Players like him, but hire all the actual coaches around him.

Maybe this works. I’d much rather Puke was gone.

OG_Aggie
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October 21, 2021 9:32 am

They will need Len before the season is over.

Harkless probably shouldn’t be starting, but you could worse. You have done worse.

Hali is probably still in the gym.

Barnes was amazing. Fox will be like that every game. Keep working on your free throws young fella.

Prediction: Donovan has an off night Friday.

PretendGhost
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October 21, 2021 9:35 am
Reply to  OG_Aggie

Kings starting lineup got the Kings a strong lead early on — I vote Harkless remains in that position as long as that continues to hold true

PretendGhost
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October 21, 2021 9:33 am

I’m not sure that Hailburton played as bad as people are making it out to be. He defends in space better than the other Kings wing players, and aside from that one turnover (which was a definite sore spot) didn’t really make any other major mistakes. The team was better with him on the floor, and I’m a little disappointed that Walton didn’t have him in for Buddy or Mitchell at any point down the stretch.

I do think the team is still working out his role next to Fox. I’d like to see more actions specifically for Fox and Halliburton together, especially with how creative both are in their passing and scoring.

Henry
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October 21, 2021 2:39 pm
Reply to  PretendGhost

Plus Barnes and Buddy were both on fire. Haliburton is the type of player that will pick his spots. Was a lot more concerned with Fox’s play. He did score 27 but forced it a lot. I think he needs to get better at staying aggressive but not forcing up really bad shots, if that makes sense. Perhaps I’ll think otherwise if he started getting benefit of calls.

Greg
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October 21, 2021 3:56 pm
Reply to  PretendGhost

Haliburton wasn’t actively hurting the team outside of that turnover at the end, but he wasn’t being particularly impactful either. 2 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal just isn’t enough when a guy plays 29 minutes, especially since he was being targeting on defense by Dame and CJ in one on one situations.

GFunkClassic
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October 21, 2021 10:49 pm
Reply to  PretendGhost

Nah, he didn’t have a good game. It’s Ok to say that. While he is good at playing passing lanes and getting deflections in space, he’s not as good as an on ball defender, and the Blazers were exploiting that. Davion was playing tough defense, that’s why they went with him. Buddy also had a good all around game and was playing inspired defense. We’re deep enough that if someone is having an off night some else can step up.

Kangz_Landing
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October 21, 2021 10:11 am

Alot to like about the rotation and matchup possibilities on the team.

1) On Thompson over Len, I think this game had a specific plan to have a big that could hedge CJ and Dame while also having a chance when switching against them to cover pull-up 3s if the switches occurred. Len would not have been able to do that BECAUSE the guards were CJ and Dame. On most nights with bruisers (Adams, Jonas, Embiid, Poeltl, Jokic without Murray) you can play Len because their lead guard won’t pull up from 30 ft. But we’ll see if that’s the case when those teams pop up.

2) Having Hield and Davis allows Luke to play the hot hand as the game goes on. It was Buddy first, might be TD next.

3) Having Mitchell play between 24-30 min off the bench is perfect Smart/Beverley role for him in his rookie year.

4) Wouldn’t be surprised to see Lou King get 7-10 min against teams with bigger wings as the 3 and 4 spots seem predicated on size and matchup of the opponent, especially if Harkless can’t hit the corner 3 consistently.

5) Can’t wait to play the Cavs, so we can play Bagley, Holmes, Len and Thompson all in the same game lol

Last edited 11 months ago by Kangz_Landing
deepshot22
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October 21, 2021 11:23 am
Reply to  Kangz_Landing

You lost me on your first point when you inferred that the team had a plan. Otherwise, I like your points.

Kangz_Landing
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October 21, 2021 12:21 pm
Reply to  deepshot22

Just think about if you’d rather have Len switched out onto Dame and CJ or Thompson? At least Thompson has some shot to chase them for a bit on the perimeter as they step back for three or pull up from 30 or drive to the hoop.

In a matchup against less offensively gifted PGs but bruising centers, Len will play, but playing Len just because Nurkic is big isn’t ideal. Nurkic will still get 15-10 on anybody, so sacrificing size against Nurkic to at least have a chance when switching against Dame and CJ was the better plan.

deepshot22
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October 21, 2021 1:30 pm
Reply to  Kangz_Landing

Lol I just had a good laugh thinking that the Kings had an actual plan.

SuperShaka
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October 21, 2021 11:44 am
Reply to  Kangz_Landing

I was thinking the same for why Len didn’t play.
As far as Haliburton, his worst game imo was opening night last year. Maybe he is a subpar first game guy. I’m still willing to look at games like these as an exception from him.
The team looked good for the majority of the game and I was impressed that they kept a steady lead for most of the game. The last quarter ruined my chances of getting decent sleep but luckily the next game is on Friday.

Fireplug
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October 21, 2021 10:18 am

I’m glad you highlighted video of that play near the end of the shot clock where the Kings purposely had buddy double team to take the ball out of Dame’s hands and Hali was there on the rotation. A really smart defense call that they ran well. Little moments like that throughout the game make a big difference overall.

RobHessing
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October 21, 2021 10:33 am

Things that I really enjoyed about last night’s game:
1 – Harrison Barnes was a beast. My goodness, one of the better games that we have seen any Sacramento King play over the past decade.

2 – Buddy Hield, 6th man of the year candidate. It could be argued that Hield was the 2nd-3rd best King on the floor last night. Certainly, Barnes, Hield and Richaun Holmes were on another level when it comes to efficiency.

3 – Davion Mitchell not looking like a deer in the headlights in his NBA debut. Rook looked like he belonged, and you can’t ask for more than that on opening night.

4 – Kyle & Kayte. A real nice yin and yang here. Draper can lean towards overly effusive at times, and Kayte’s calm, logic-based takes provided the perfect counter balance. The two worked well together and added insight and levity to the game.

Things that I did not enjoy about last night’s game:
Hey, it was a win! An opening night win!! An opening night on the road win!!! The nits can be picked after a loss. For now – comment image

Kosta
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October 21, 2021 10:41 am
Reply to  RobHessing

we’re all gonna get laid!

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Klam
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October 21, 2021 10:55 am
Reply to  RobHessing

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Kosta
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October 21, 2021 11:07 am
Reply to  Klam

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Amonk81
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October 21, 2021 12:44 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Kayte much better then DC because she sticks to analysis.

Draper is still annoying to me. Waaay too many attempts at one liners. He was even using other people’s. Just call the game man. And way too hyped about nothing. Calm down and quit trying so hard. He’s not funny/amusing.

He’s as good/bad as Jones

andy_sims
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October 21, 2021 12:47 pm
Reply to  Amonk81

I still prefer KD, he doesn’t beat you to death with alliteration, and using two or more words to describe the same thing.

Really, Mark? That basket was critical, and crucial? This is how you speak when you love the sound of your own voice.

Amonk81
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October 21, 2021 12:55 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

I agree. Jones is worse. They could use someone like Gerald

Henry
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October 21, 2021 2:42 pm
Reply to  Amonk81

Haha yes I thought it was ridiculous that he was resorting to using other people’s one liners.

BradMillersDipCup
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October 21, 2021 10:44 am

Alright so all we need is Harrison Barnes to have a career year and for the opposing teams best player to go 0-9 from 3 and we might just have a chance to maybe win games

BradMillersDipCup
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October 21, 2021 10:47 am

Also, not sure on everyone’s take, but I found myself really enjoying the Matt and Morgan post game show. Was really refreshing to have the postgame hosts talk critically about the game, and they were the only two on the broadcast who seemed to have a realistic view of where the Kings stand in the West, both taking the under on the 36.5 wins.

Malrock
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October 21, 2021 11:23 am

No no that is the pessimistic view. You gotta take the over on that. We are going 40+ this season.

andy_sims
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October 21, 2021 11:34 am

Both are very good at what they do, agreed.

Does anyone know why the game call was from a studio in San Francisco? Will they not be broadcasting on site from away games?

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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October 21, 2021 11:40 am
Reply to  andy_sims

I was wondering the same thing. Because they were calling the game from a studio I noticed the sound was a bit odd. Their volume was on top of the muted sounding game and made things sound artificial.

andy_sims
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October 21, 2021 12:53 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I’ll concede that it’s the responsible thing to do, saves money, and all things being equal, makes no actual difference in the call. I guess I assumed that the logistics around a broadcast had gotten back to taking the show on the road, so I was just caught off-guard. Most of the time as I was watching the game, I didn’t think about it.

But since we’re (vaguely) on the topic, why the hell do Kings broadcasters have to go all the way to San Francisco for the studio portions? I’ve been wondering that for years. I mean, just get a backdrop and let them roll from G1C.

TheKingsGuard
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October 21, 2021 1:03 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

I heard on 1140 yesterday that they are doing remote broadcasting until January 2022 and then will resume traveling with the team to road games.

andy_sims
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October 21, 2021 4:40 pm
Reply to  TheKingsGuard

Ahh, the dead of winter. That’s when pandemics always chill out and disappear.

I mean, do a thing, or don’t do it.

Thanks for the info!

BradMillersDipCup
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October 21, 2021 2:38 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Yeah i did notice the sound from the broadcast was weird as well. Can’t wait until they are allowed to travel to away games again. Also can’t wait to hear Kayte next to Mark on the call too.

Hippity_Hop_Barbershop
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October 21, 2021 11:14 am

LET’S GOOOOOOOOOOO!

murraytant
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October 21, 2021 11:18 am

it’s a win. Accept all wins. Portland at their home. Except for Simmonds, Portland does not have much bench depth.
TT was in for switches on their guards. Len will get his time.
Barnes- monster. Fox very good except for a few times in the 4th. Holmes very good at what he does. Buddy was fine.
Sub-par: Hali (what happened?) , Mitchel on offense and TD shooting. So 3 sub-par performances by key rotation pieces and Kings still win. Hali and Mitchell were hesitant and TD was not.
There is hope here. Fluke saved his job for a day. Defense clearly better .
There are stages for improvement: 1. be competitive, 2. get close at end of game and 3. close out. Kings made it to 3 for this game. Just enough.
Utah- will the Kings go Len early or will they do the LAC strategy of making Gobert guard on the perimeter? LOL but play Fox, Hali, Buddy, Mitchell and TD. Mitchell can guard Gobert’s shins.
Against duds on Sunday- Mitchell on Poole.

andy_sims
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October 21, 2021 11:35 am
Reply to  murraytant

Simons always looks like a near-all-star when he plays us, so it was good that they didn’t let him get loose last night.

Adamsite
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October 21, 2021 11:34 am

3 quarters of very good basketball by the Kings then a classic Kangz near collapse in the 4th. Crunch time is where it often counts and the Kings were outscored by 12 in the 4th. That isn’t going to get them wins most nights. Don’t get me wrong, there was a lot to like, but I’m not ready to say this is a 40 win team. I am interested to see where this team is after a dozen games or so.

RAP87
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October 21, 2021 11:46 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Agreed with regards to the 4th quarter. Definitely something to keep an eye on moving forward. I remember a couple of seasons ago in which the teams achilles heel was the start of the 3rd quarter where opposing teams outscore the Kings big time.

Adamsite
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October 21, 2021 12:00 pm
Reply to  RAP87

Also the fact that PDX scored 72 points in the 2nd half tells me they adjusted at halftime while the Kings did not.

Amonk81
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October 21, 2021 12:26 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I do think lack of adjustments and inability to score in crunch is Puke Walton’s inability to actually coach or install an actual O. That dribble drive-dish-ball not moving doesn’t work well in crunch time. There was one possession late -after a TO, where the Kings moved the ball side to side for an easy Barnes corner three.

Why I think Haliburton is aooo important for this O. He moves the ball. I think/hope his game yesterday is simply the same thing as last year. He started year not being aggressive. He defers. He also tries swinging/moving the ball but it stops.

Klam
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October 21, 2021 12:12 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Yep. I’m happy with the win, but I need to see consistency over a long stretch of games first. We’ve seen many times where the Kings win five games in a row and then people think they are turning the corner, only to have them crash and burn and lose 12 of the next 13.

SexyNapear
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October 21, 2021 11:36 am

Haliburton looked a little like Ben Simmons on offense, almost afraid to take a shot. It’s odd. He passed a couple of times when he had good, clean looks. He’s gonna need to really become more aggressive. On defense, he was beaten pretty badly.

Kangz_Landing
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October 21, 2021 12:24 pm
Reply to  SexyNapear

Ahhh why don’t you just sue him then!?

SexyNapear
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October 21, 2021 1:22 pm
Reply to  Kangz_Landing

I will make millions off your cruel little insult. My attorney will be in touch

Carl
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October 21, 2021 12:51 pm
Reply to  SexyNapear

Maybe a little harsh, but I look at it like it’s easier to coach a smart player to dial it up, than a dumb player to dial it down.

BasketballHella
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October 21, 2021 12:46 pm

I agree with most of the takes. Even though I’m a casual observer at best these last couple of years I do love when the kings are at least fun to watch. Watching Mitchell is addictive the tenacity is insane. Has that never give up on a play motor like Rodman and he was by far my favorite player of that era.

Things I didn’t like and was honestly surprised. Fox looks like the odd man out ball hog on several sets out there. Couple plays in a row with Barnes clearly feeling it, Fox is chucking up prayers and or driving into a wall and coming up with nothing.

First game of the season but I didn’t think I would say buddy was more into the groove offensively and flowing with his teammates better than fox.

ArcoThunder
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October 21, 2021 1:41 pm

Your fox take is baffling to me. He dictated much of the game. He’s a stud. Free throws were improved looking. We’ll see, if they are that’s big time. I’m curious if fox will ever get the calls in his favor when driving to the basket. There were at least three missed calls when he was in the lane.

BasketballHella
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October 21, 2021 4:32 pm
Reply to  ArcoThunder

He is a stud and a great player. But iso baby weatbrook imitations aren’t gonna get this team to the playoffs. It might get Fox that all star nod but that’s about it. Also am not saying that was the extent of his contributions all night. But he just didn’t feel that he was in that same flow as everyone else in the first half.

Also I totally agree about the ref’s but that ain’t nothing new and isn’t gonna change til this team gets some wins.

Bluejohn
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October 21, 2021 1:43 pm

One thing that surprised on Davion’s switches at times was how fast he was. There were 2 times he moved laterally like 10 feet and both times he covered the distance faster than a blink.

BasketballHella
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October 21, 2021 4:36 pm
Reply to  Bluejohn

Yes I couldn’t believe what I was seeing at least 5 times. Literally no hyperbole. I don’t know if you caught that on when he took Lillard on the corner as he swept out to the top then CJ cut FROM THE OPPOSITE SIDE and he covered and got him off balance for a layup underneath.

I cant remember a player that had EVER worn a kings uni that has pulled that off.

Also wether or not it was Doug or Davion or whatever but they were loud as f*** on D all night. Coverage assignments began as soon as possession changed every time.

1951
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October 21, 2021 1:51 pm

Grant’s crack legal team come up with a theory: “My act of racism is indistinguishable from my deeply held beliefs!”
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RobHessing
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October 21, 2021 2:04 pm
Reply to  1951

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1951
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October 21, 2021 2:10 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Grant can’t stop God’s plan!

RobHessing
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October 21, 2021 2:15 pm
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That’s it – I’m out!

Carl
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October 21, 2021 2:52 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

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Last edited 11 months ago by Carl
Kosta
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October 21, 2021 5:10 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

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Klam
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October 21, 2021 5:26 pm
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Hozr
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October 22, 2021 11:16 am
Reply to  RobHessing

When DMC’s top 10 plays of his career gets published on YouTube this should be #1.

Carl
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October 21, 2021 3:04 pm
Reply to  1951

Plaintiff alleges that Defendant BONNEVILLE INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION’s decision and to terminate Plaintiff’s employment was substantially motivated by illegal animus based upon Plaintiff GRANT NAPEAR’s Gender (male), Race (Caucasian) and Religion.

The company that terminated Grant is owned by the Mormon church.

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Last edited 11 months ago by Carl
andy_sims
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October 21, 2021 4:44 pm
Reply to  Carl

Won’t someone please think of the straight, white, Christian men?!?

In his defense, he was actually replaced.

Marty
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October 21, 2021 3:17 pm
Reply to  1951

He never should have sold his shares of the orchards

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Amonk81
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October 21, 2021 3:21 pm
Reply to  1951

Can’t spell dick with out Grant. Or is it-you can’t spell Grant without dick.

Gross, close minded, self absorbed, intolerant, mean mindset in Grant that swept the nation after you know who was in power.

Crawl back into your hole Grant.

Minja25
October 21, 2021 7:54 pm
Reply to  1951

Good, I hope Grant wins. He was a total jerk on his radio show but what an atrocious precedent to set where saying that all lives matter is somehow racist when it is literally the opposite of racism. When did we as a society start making up our own definitions that are in complete contradiction to what the statement actually is? Then to fire someone for it and brand them a racist? Yeah this kind of garbage needs to end.

JoeMama
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October 21, 2021 8:52 pm
Reply to  Minja25

I don’t like Grant but I agree with your statement. Grant wasn’t trying to say anything racist with his tweet.

1951
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October 22, 2021 8:08 am
Reply to  JoeMama

I am not sure about the value of attempting to explain this because something tells me that y’all already know and/or don’t care anyway.  Statements that are in one context benign become charged when used in another context.

When people want to continue to use an otherwise benign statement or symbol in a charged way, they often act coy when they get the exact response they seek, only to raise the disingenuous defense of, “what, how is that bad?” It is the ultimate trollish behavior: Take a jab hoping to get a response and then feign shock when you get the response.  That is exactly what Grant did and is doing here.

And let’s cut right to the chase here, Grant intended to take a shot at Demarcus. We wanted to say something to take a jab at him and get a response. When Boogie asked, “what is your take on BLM?” the response “ALL LIVES MATTER” (all caps in original) lost all its benign (or otherwise positive, as you are attempting to suggest) meaning. Grant weaponized it to take a shot at Boogie’s interest and support in the BLM social justice movement. The words are meant to be dismissive of any focus on disparities in government caused deaths of black lives. Grant did it because he knew that issue was important to Boogie and wanted to mess with him. You know it, Grant knew it, and everyone in the Kings universe, including Grant’s employers knew exactly what Grant was doing with that response. 

I have personally seen this type of movie play out in the civil lawsuit world. I have seen attorneys make these stupid arguments before. Real world example, I had an opposing counsel attempt to argue that the statement, “I guess you can train monkeys to do anything” could have really been a statement about training monkeys. Again, in the context of watching the circus, that may be true. But in the context of a white supervisor speaking to a black employee those words lose all their benign meaning. Context matters and context charges language.   

Right now your argument is of the same vein as, “what’s wrong with flashing the ‘okay’ symbol? Is not ‘okay’ a positive and neutral symbol?” Once again, context matters, and benign words and symbols have been weaponized and adopted for racially disparaging messaging throughout history. 

Grant made a conscious decision to attack Boogie and BLM’s message (not that he has even likely ever even attempted to understand BLM’s message) and now he is upset that there were consequences to his actions. In this context, when Grant used the phrase “All Lives Matter” he charged them as a weapon to attack Boogie’s question about a racial injustice movement.  (And let us not pretend that Grant has earned the benefit of doubt due to a clean history of speaking positively about black athletes and black athletes having the temerity to use their voices!)

Last edited 11 months ago by 1951
Klam
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October 21, 2021 3:04 pm

Let’s see where this goes….

andy_sims
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October 21, 2021 4:45 pm
Reply to  Klam

More like “brickaround.” Or “passing-up-open-dunkaround.” “Man-babyaround?”

I have grown bored of this nonsense.

Kosta
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October 21, 2021 5:11 pm
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Ben there, done that?

Mike120
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October 21, 2021 5:37 pm

i never liked the proposals to trade Barnes as part of a package to get Simmons. He’s the Kings only real SF. Maybe Harkless, too, but he’s a big drop off after Barnes.

JoeMama
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October 21, 2021 8:54 pm

Is no one going to talk about why Dame was not fouled on the last shot? Even Luke said “most days he makes that shot”…smh

Mike120
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October 21, 2021 9:15 pm

Totally unrelated but are coaching staffs no longer going to be wearing suits and ties anymore? I get that the league was OK with relaxing the dress code during Covid and all that but it seems all the coaches are wearing coordinated dri-fit pull over half zipper sweaters

Mike120
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October 21, 2021 9:21 pm

After last night who wouldn’t trade Haliburton, Bagley, a first, and a second for Simmons?
Holmes/Len
Simmons/Thompson
Barnes/Harkless
Fox/Mitchell
Buddy/Davis

mdeedublu
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October 22, 2021 5:53 am
Reply to  Mike120

I know! The 76ers wouldn’t!

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