Articles | Game Recap

Cavaliers 109, Kings 108: Kings fight back but fall short

Neemias Queta gives Kings fans something to feel good about.

Despite my own personal feelings, life goes on. The Sacramento Kings played another basketball game tonight, this time at home against the Cleveland Cavaliers. We can break down the advanced numbers, we can speculate on trades, and we can try to pinpoint the one needle in the haystack of problems that explains why this team blows until the cows come home. At the end of the day, the only thing that matters in this league is winning basketball games. And although it could be argued that they don't deserve it, the Kings had another chance to do that tonight. Against every fiber of my being, let's see how they did:

Quick Stats

Outcome: Kings lose, 109-108

Sacramento Kings: 108 pts, 42.9% fg, 46.7% 3 pt, 72.7% ft, 20 ast, 43 reb, 12 to

Cleveland Cavaliers: 109 pts, 49.4% fg, 29.4% 3 pt, 86.7% ft, 29 ast, 48 reb, 17 to

It is the true Sacramento Kings fan experience to see them lose their fifth game in a row and feel less dead inside than when they lost their fourth one. It was a tough loss with the game ending on a missed De'Aaron Fox pull up jumper that would have won the game, but there were moments throughout the night that stirred up some positive feelings. If you've been here all season, you understand why the bar is so low, so let's take the good vibes where we can and run like hell with em'.

The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
The Good
  1. Queta Unleashed: With Tristan Thompson sidelined tonight, Neemias Queta, along with the entire country of Portugal, prepared to make the most of this opportunity. He was ready. Queta spent all of his 24 minutes working his butt off on the boards, moving his feet on defense, and getting his hands on the ball. I was completely sold on this guy when I saw him locate a body in a Cavs' jersey, box out, and grab a rebound with two hands. That's all it took. I'm all in. Even when he made mistakes, it was noticeable that his mind was in the right place and his body was still trying to catch up. He made himself big when defending the PnR action, while still keeping tabs on the rolling big man, which allowed his guard to recover and avoid a switch. That alone made me want to give him all the minutes. Queta finished with 11 points and five rebounds, as well as a strong two-hand grab to secure the final possession to give the Kings a chance to steal the game.
  2. The Comeback: The Kings entered halftime trailing by 13 points. In the first quarter, they got abused in the paint. In the second quarter, they got shot out of the gym from distance. It felt like a familiar night where the eternal 12-point gap would haunt them until the final buzzer. But tonight, the Kings kept fighting. They started with a solid 6-0 run to start the third quarter, something we aren't used to seeing. They hung around all through the rest of the third until Tyrese Haliburton had his takeover moment early in the fourth quarter. Haliburton finally got aggressive in looking for his own shot and scored nine of his 21 points in the fourth quarter. Buddy Hield went on a heater to dig the Kings out of their double-digit deficit by shooting 5-8 from deep. The Cavaliers responded with a run of their own and put the Kings back down 10 with 2:30 left to go. Things felt pretty abysmal at this point, but again, the Kings put another run together to take the decision down to the final possession. While they didn't come out with the win, it was refreshing to see some fight from this group.
The Bad
  1. Fourth Quarter Execution: When the Cavaliers went on their response run in the middle of the fourth quarter, they did so by getting high quality shots from their best players. Darius Garland got good looks on drives to the rim and Evan Mobley was set up for open shots in the paint. On the other end, the Kings spent a handful of possessions looking disconnected and unsure about the intent of their execution, and many of these possessions ended in Chimezie Metu long-range shots. When it matters most, the Kings need to understand who and where they want their shots to come from and execute an offense which gets them those shots.
The Ugly
  1. Cooked by Love: The Cavaliers got big production from their big men tonight. Jarrett Allen finished with 18 points and 17 rebounds, while Evan Mobley had 17 points and Lauri Markkanen contributed 15 more. But that's not what killed the Kings in the end. What killed the Kings was the 18 points from Kevin Love. If they're going to let the main guys eat, they can't also let the bench guy cook.
The King of Kings

PORTUGAL STAND UP! Tonight's King of Kings goes to Neemias Queta for staying ready, playing big, and representing his country admirably. If he keeps boxing out, I just might resurrect from the dead and feel something good about this team again.

Up Next

Wednesday, January 12th vs. Los Angeles Lakers - 7:00 P.M. (PT)

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deepshot22
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January 10, 2022 10:17 pm

Trade everyone. Build around Queta.

JoeMama
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January 11, 2022 6:43 am
Reply to  deepshot22

screw India we need to play in Portugal!!!

LLcoolRay
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January 11, 2022 9:35 am
Reply to  JoeMama

You jest but if we get to a point where it is safe for teams to have international exhibitions again (and still have Queta) – they would be smart to schedule a game or two in Portugal.
That country is absolutely wild for Neemy. Can almost guarantee the game would sellout in minutes.

HongKongKingsFan
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January 11, 2022 7:42 am
Reply to  deepshot22

I definitely think Queta should get more shots…
Also, he is good at passing….

SexyNapear
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January 10, 2022 10:22 pm

Fox has checked out. Barnes has checked out. Bagley is a lost cause. Haliburton is okay. Davion is overhyped. Richaun is always sidelined.

But Hield always seems wildly into his own shit. Pounding the ball, firing up shots, running the floor. He’s like some hyper second grader who can’t sit still and always disrupts the class.

This is your 21-22 Sacramento Kings.

GrandCanyonFunyun
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January 11, 2022 5:16 am
Reply to  SexyNapear

Richaun is a good guy – but I can confidently say we don’t seem to be missing anything when he doesn’t play. Doesn’t seem to be a difference maker in all actuality. Same could be said for a good chunk of our players, but with Holmes being out – I haven’t noticed anything change really.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
January 11, 2022 7:26 am

I think that goes for most role big men in the NBA today. Unless you are a elite passer, can shoot from outside, or are a DPOY candidate, most big men are interchangable. I think that is part of the reason the Holmes contract was so cheap.

Kings-Rebuild
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January 11, 2022 12:12 pm

True but do we miss anyone other than Haliburton when he doesn’t play.

Jack
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January 11, 2022 7:43 am
Reply to  SexyNapear

What happened to TD? The coach plays him 3 minutes. Compared to Buddy he defends better, drives to the basket better, has a higher motor, commits fewer dumb turnovers and can also shoot threes.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
January 11, 2022 7:59 am
Reply to  Jack

Just my eyeball take, I think TD sometimes plays a bit outside himself. He’s somewhat reckless at times. Reminds me a bit of Omri Casspi in that way. He kind of thrives in chaos, but might not be a great system player…assuming the Kings even have a system.

Jack
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January 11, 2022 9:48 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Buddy doen’t play outside himself?

1951
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January 11, 2022 9:28 am
Reply to  SexyNapear

Haliburton is okay.

He is the one guy that is more than okay. He is absolutely a piece to build around.

We all know about his playmaking abilities but his shooting is actually going underappreciated. For examples:

sonny
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January 10, 2022 10:25 pm

Guys, what do you think about the Kings execution?
Are you all for it?

Ralph_Furleys_Tailor
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January 10, 2022 11:43 pm
Reply to  sonny

Big ups Coach McKay.

JoeMama
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January 11, 2022 6:44 am
Reply to  sonny

Incognito tank? Or just lame roster?

rockbottom
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January 10, 2022 10:25 pm

Moral victory number 264 in the last 15 seasons ! Great job of almost getting out of the hole you dug ! Sorry, just harder to buy in for some reason ! The almost empty arena is nice though !

GrandCanyonFunyun
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January 11, 2022 5:17 am
Reply to  rockbottom

It’s a cute arena ain’t it?

HunterSThompson
January 11, 2022 9:57 am

Really cute….and full of seats last night that were unfilled…. took my daughter last night and she got to see 3 1/2 crappy quarters, another almost win, a Stockton King being the MVP of the night and (the true highlight) Slamson able to run up the top of the essentially empty end line seats from the court to the top.

Marty
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January 10, 2022 10:36 pm

The season is actually going pretty well. We finally get a proper tank, while the front office is completely humiliated.

sonny
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January 10, 2022 10:43 pm
Reply to  Marty

Absolutely the best take so far!

Klam
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Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
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Nostradumbass 18
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January 10, 2022 10:53 pm
Reply to  Marty

They still legitimately believe that they have a great shot at getting that ultra-coveted play-in spot…

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
January 11, 2022 7:29 am
Reply to  Klam

Only the Kings, at the halfway point in the season and with only 6 teams with a worse record, would think they still have a shot. The play-in tournament has been the worst thing for this franchise these past two seasons.

RikSmits
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January 10, 2022 11:01 pm
Reply to  Marty

I think this ownership is too delusional to be humiliated. Their ability at self-deception is probably too advanced.

There are so many other excuses and scapegoats to find, so there’s really no need to examine their own role in this debacle.

Also, I will not so boldly predict that we’ll continue to chase that tantalizing 10th spot, and as a consequence pick 8th in a 6-player draft or so.

I mean, I like Davion and I’m not saying he was a bad pick at the spot we took him but wouldn’t we love to have Scotty Barnes or Franz Wagner instead? I would.

Amonk81
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January 10, 2022 11:08 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Maybe if losing gets so bad it brings about fan apathy. They really stop going……maybe Vivek might look up from his delusions. Or back off…but I’m dubiously

Amonk81
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January 10, 2022 11:09 pm
Reply to  Amonk81

Damnit. I’m dubious.
but I did like being dubiously

RikSmits
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January 10, 2022 11:20 pm
Reply to  Amonk81

Have you seen G1C tonight? It looked 2/3rd empty (if not more).

Vivek will likely blame corona and a slew of other things/persons, before he’ll consider blaming himself,

GrandCanyonFunyun
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January 11, 2022 5:19 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Which is another delusion as we know. Other arenas don’t seem to be having this problem with a somewhat decent team. Shocker huh?

devo8080
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January 11, 2022 9:13 am
Reply to  RikSmits

We had free lower bowl tickets and we just flat out didn’t go. The $30 to Uber to and from could not be justified to watch this team. I’ve been to a few games this year, regrettably, and it’s hard to tell what’s worse, the team or the in game entertainment. The whole experience is about on par with seeing a matinee of some random movie on a Tuesday.

devo8080
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January 11, 2022 11:55 am
Reply to  devo8080

Meant to add I didn’t watch the title game. I literally chose nothing over the lower bowl. Bleh.

HunterSThompson
January 11, 2022 9:58 am
Reply to  RikSmits

I honestly believe that the fans in attendance would not equal a 1/3rd full arena…..

Marty
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January 11, 2022 10:24 am

I agree with that based on the game I was at last week.

1951
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January 11, 2022 10:46 am
Reply to  Marty

There was a photo posted on twitter from last nights game and the arena was pitifully attended.

I can’t find it now to post it here though.

Marty
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January 11, 2022 1:57 pm
Reply to  1951

This was after tip-off last week vs Atlanta. It would be hard-pressed to convince me this was 1/3 full when you look upstairs.

56F6A9DD-35AC-4A41-9D69-0A6A89B0D282.jpeg
Last edited 10 months ago by Marty Marty
1951
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January 11, 2022 2:19 pm
Reply to  Marty

There was even fewer folks than that in attendance, at least in the 1st quarter, in the photo I saw.

SneakerKing
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January 11, 2022 11:31 am
Reply to  RikSmits

At least you can safely distance from the ‘Rona carriers, right? Gotta find the positive.

SmallBallReject
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January 11, 2022 2:22 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Sure … Barnes was picked 4, Wagner 8 we had 9 …

Want2win
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January 11, 2022 6:24 am
Reply to  RikSmits

I had hoped Wagner would fall to us, and was believer that he would be a solid all around player. I can’t remember who the guy was but he would write these long condescending responses as to why we were all ignorant and he was the smartest and tell me that he would suck. (I’m paraphrasing) and I want to see him splain to me why Wagner still won’t be shit..

FWIW I never expected him to be awesome but he is a solid player..

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
January 11, 2022 7:30 am
Reply to  Want2win

Yeah, I believe “House Plant” was the demeaning nickname he had for him.

Kings-Rebuild
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January 11, 2022 12:14 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

They may not be humiliated from within but they are humiliated.

Amonk81
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January 10, 2022 11:04 pm
Reply to  Marty

Abject failure is the only way out.

1 point loses are ok but blowout humiliations are where it’s at.

Vivek and his ego and cronies will misrepresent close loses as progress.

Cmon big losing streak now!

Ralph_Furleys_Tailor
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January 10, 2022 11:45 pm
Reply to  Marty

I honestly believe if they had traded away every core player except Hali then maybe they’d have 3 or 4 fewer wins. Flawed roster

TerzoM
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January 11, 2022 8:07 am
Reply to  Marty

Cherries anyone?
comment image

satdawg
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January 11, 2022 8:15 am
Reply to  Marty

Monte looked that way when he fired Walts

Hippity_Hop_Barbershop
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January 11, 2022 8:45 am
Reply to  Marty

DID WE JUST BECOME BEST FRIENDS?!

1951
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January 11, 2022 9:30 am
Reply to  Marty

You think we are about to properly tank?

Hold my beer.

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Inthestarz
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January 10, 2022 11:07 pm

Any guess who he is referring to?

rockbottom
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January 10, 2022 11:16 pm
Reply to  Inthestarz

Narrows it down to about 10 players !

Convoy
January 10, 2022 11:18 pm
Reply to  Inthestarz

Barnes

keith_kar
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January 11, 2022 4:59 am
Reply to  Convoy

Thank you, its absolutely Barnes. The Kings made a collassal mistake picking him up.

Ralph_Furleys_Tailor
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January 10, 2022 11:41 pm
Reply to  Inthestarz

“De’aaron Fox. Mr. 4th quarter…when he wants to be”
This Is the most honest thing a mostly dishonest announcer has ever said. Great job Mr. Jones.

Some of his whoppers.

Fox has lock down/ first team all defense team ability
I’m voting Holmes all first team defense and I have a vote
Any litany of Buddy is an all world 3 point shooter comments
Tristan Thompson helps this team win
Harrison Barnes is a leader
Marvin Bagley has grown leaps and bounds
Terence Davis is a real family man
Rico Hines is a great defensive coach

any others you guys can think of?

JoeMama
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January 11, 2022 6:39 am

Lmao I heard that too and couldn’t help but chuckle. Maybe this team is starting to give the broadcast team apathy too?

rockbottom
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January 11, 2022 8:03 am

Broadcast team is worse than the BBall ream ! Hard to do !

peyroux
January 11, 2022 9:15 am

I turn the sound off now. Its just too cringy listening to Mark Jokes and Kayte Brightside’s pointless yammering.

HunterSThompson
January 11, 2022 10:00 am
Reply to  peyroux

Still better than listening to the interminable Doug Christie….

rockbottom
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January 11, 2022 11:07 am

Agree but very close ! Koz was screwed by these frauds !

Gregoryl
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January 11, 2022 9:21 am

This team is on the cusp of the “postseason”!

Gregoryl
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January 11, 2022 10:15 am

I will say, the broadcast team is the best way to understand what ownership/FO is currently feeling and based on the above from Ralph, that is horrifying.

TerzoM
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January 11, 2022 8:10 am
Reply to  Inthestarz

Holmes right eye

Convoy
January 10, 2022 11:19 pm

The Kings lack a true leader. De’Aaron Faux is not the answer.

Last edited 10 months ago by Convoy
satdawg
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January 10, 2022 11:32 pm

Is there a way to sim the rest of the season 😕

KangzofLeon
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January 10, 2022 11:42 pm

It’s all part of the plan…

PinkyBrain.png
keith_kar
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January 11, 2022 5:04 am

I just look at the fg%. It seems like the Kings consistently shoot in the low 40’s.

Ain’t gonna win too many games like that.

Hobby916
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January 11, 2022 5:28 am

I have been actively rooting for this team to lose for a while now.

They think the rost is great, so it will be funny when they finish 12th, and maybe then their delusions will go away? Nah, who am I kidding. They will blame covid, injuries, etc and never look in the mirror and see the real problem.

kings4ever
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January 11, 2022 5:40 am

The obvious comp for Queta is Embiid. To lesser degree Ayton. No I am not saying Queta is Embiid but he has the same size and he moves the same.

As he showed in the preseason, Queta is comfortable away from the basket. And he is quite comfortable on the floor in general. He has a lot of poise and dexterity. He will venture outside the paint. One play he hedged all the way out to beyond the three point line to deny the dribbler then sprinted to the corner to challenge the three point shot. Thats a great play!

Queta does not appear to get sped up, as he showed on the one halfhook, taking his time to collect himself. He does not appear particualrly foul prone either , good spatial awareness where he is not flailing all over the place, picking up ticky tack fouls or biting on weak fakes. This is direct contrast to many of the bigs we have sufferd through over the years, too many to mention!

Interesting Queta makes his debut at the halfway point of the season. Either this was the plan or all along or the team was desperate for an infusion of life and healthy bodies. With Jones TT and Holmes out I am presuming the latter though the fact that he was on the floor to end game over Len means the decision makers may be willing to alter their thinking going forward.

In his debut Queta had a better game than 90% of Bagleys and set more effective picks in one game than Bagley has in 4 years!

In my optimal vision of the team, one of them anyway, Queta is your starting center with Sabonis or Siakum. Huge in the frontcourt affords you the chance to go smallish with the three guards: Ty, Fox and Davion, with Fox and Ty sliding down one possession defensively. You devastate with size and speed just like the Cavs.

With season going to hell, 11 games under .500, lowest mark so far, the Old Man floundering worse than the guy he replaced, whether or not we can swing a trade, Holmes and HB and a pick as bait, there is NO reason we should not see if this lineup can work. Well, there is one reason and it is the interim can’t see beyond his narrow scope.

When Holmes comes back, why not roll with a lineup of:

PG: Davion
SG: Fox
SF: Ty
PF: Holmes
C: Queta

Your rebounding and interior defense is solved with this lineup. Both Holmes and Queta has shown prowess in defending away from the basket. This lineup addresses the fact that we get killed too with point of the attack penetration. Fox is better checking SGs and moving Ty down one possession defensively allows him to play passing lanes with guys behind him if he whiffs.

With a rookie upstart like Evan Mobley it helps him to have Jarrett Allen on the floor to deal with the physicality. Similarly this is why you would want Holmes on the floor with Queta as opposed to HB or heaven forbin Marvin, pending the big name acquistion. This proposed lineup is defensive oriented for a team with the worst defense in the league. What’s not to (like) love?!

And the most important positions defensively are center and PG and this lineup features new defensive players at both spots.

So before emotionally unhinged fans say “blow it up” “tear it down” and “trade everybody” or “trade everybody less Player X” it is worth discovering if you have something viable with a lineup similar to this. Or exactly this!

Oh yeah, one more thing, with regards to us getting uber taltented Queta with a 2nd round pick….

McGenius strikes again!

HongKongKingsFan
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January 11, 2022 6:45 am
Reply to  kings4ever

Your proposed lineup might not be working,
as
1) Tyrese is gonna be bullied by other SF, like Tatum, Doncic, James
2) Holmes can play PF, but the spacing is not great…(as Holmes cannot shoot any 3 at all)

rockbottom
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January 11, 2022 8:17 am
Reply to  kings4ever

Queta moves the same as Ayton just a lot slower ! Wish him the best but if he is the answer the Kings are still 2 years away from being 2 years away !

eddie41
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January 11, 2022 9:40 am
Reply to  kings4ever

Free Neemie!

Kingsguru21
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January 11, 2022 10:22 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

Nice fucking model McGenius!

JoeMama
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January 11, 2022 6:42 am

The kangZ had a “Mental Health Awareness Night” at the arena during the game….how fitting…

billoddity
January 11, 2022 6:50 am

I’ve stopped watching games for the first time since 1986, but good to hear Queta is getting in the games.

JoeMama
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January 11, 2022 9:46 pm
Reply to  billoddity

You missed the only good years during that time

JoeMama
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January 12, 2022 1:08 pm
Reply to  JoeMama

Sorry I thought you said u haven’t watched since ‘86 lol

Kings-Rebuild
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January 11, 2022 10:43 am

The lack of action and silence from the front office is puzzling to say the least. The fans at least deserve some communication from McNair on his perception of things. I would do this immediately.

Move Barnes, Buddy, Thompson, Harkless immediately for whatever draft capital and cap space we can get. There’s really no point keeping these guys and the longer we keep them the longer it’s taking management to realize a substantial rebuild needs to get started. I would also move Holmes when qualified to do so. I would be patient about it but I would quietly begin shopping Fox and move him for the right deal which would have to include two top 15 and above draft picks. I would immediately begin playing this roster and these guys only. We need to go into the off-season with a better idea of what these guys can contribute down the road.

Starting Lineup
Fox
Mitchell
Haliburton
Metu
Bagley

first off the bench Jones, TD, Queta, Woodard, Raimsey

I’m playing Bagley hoping for a miracle breakthrough. I think the risk reward still makes sense to play him given I doubt he brings back anything in a trade. He’s probably a lost cause but nothing to lose playing him the rest of the season.

I’d like to go into the off-season with Haliburton, Mitchell, Metu, Jones, TD and a pile of draft picks and a bunch of cap space. I would use that cap space to sign a couple of bad contracts in exchange for a young player and/or draft capital.

Get on with it. NOW!

rockbottom
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January 11, 2022 11:11 am
Reply to  Kings-Rebuild

More 30 win seasons is now a plan ! Wow! Playoffs in 2035 !

Kings-Rebuild
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January 11, 2022 12:11 pm
Reply to  rockbottom

We probably need a couple of 20 win seasons before we have our first 41 plus win season in over a decade and a half.

JoeMama
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January 11, 2022 9:48 pm
Reply to  rockbottom

What were YOU shooting for? Play in?

BeTheBall
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January 11, 2022 11:20 am

Start Queta for the rest of the season. Because, why not??

Last edited 10 months ago by BeTheBall
Kings-Rebuild
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January 11, 2022 12:41 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

I would certainly give him minutes before Thompson and to a lesser extent Len.

JoeMama
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January 11, 2022 9:48 pm

Cuz they suck ass

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