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Following Mike Brown’s lead, the Kings are displaying physical and mental toughness

The Kings are putting a lot of offensive and defensive pressure on the Warriors.
By | 31 Comments | Apr 18, 2023

April 17, 2023; Sacramento, California, USA; Sacramento Kings forward Harrison Barnes (40) celebrates after a basket against the Golden State Warriors during the first quarter in game two of the first round of the 2023 NBA playoffs at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Coming into the series against the Golden State Warriors, Mike Brown preached about how the Sacramento Kings need to be physical. This meant being physical on defense and offense, and not letting the Warriors push them out of their game.

In Monday’s 114-106 win, the Kings won the offensive rebounding battle (again) 12-9; they had 11 steals to the Warriors 6; they had 5 blocks to the Warriors 2; they had 54 points in the paint to the Warriors 40; they had 17 fast break points to the Warriors 12.

That my friends, is being physical and putting extreme pressure on the opponent.

Following the game, Steve Kerr complimented the Kings on this.

“They did a great job defensively of pressuring us, and then we didn’t handle it well enough to win a playoff game on the road,” he said. “They played better than we did down the stretch. I thought they were more physical tonight. It was an incredibly physical game. Really a lot of physicality and not much movement, not much freedom of movement out there. So, they were the aggressors and I thought they benefitted from being the aggressors.”

The Kings maintained success this season by relying on their scoring. Yet, the threes aren’t falling – they finished 23 percent from three Monday and their usual shooters – Harrison Barnes, Kevin Huerter and Keegan Murray only made 1 three combined in Game 1. But it is the aggressiveness and sense of urgency that is making up for that.

“The physicality that both teams brought tonight was unbelievable. I thought our guys did a heck of a job tonight,” Brown said. “Our ability to offensive rebound in Game 1 and tonight was big.”

On offense, Brown said the Kings were “strong with the ball” without turning it over. While the Kings had 12 turnovers in the first half, they only had 2 in the second half.

Davion Mitchell is making Curry work. Malik Monk is constantly going downhill on them. De’Aaron Fox is shifting gears like a sports car. Harrison Barnes is crashing the boards with no remorse. Domantas Sabonis is going Incredible Hulk in the paint, withstanding the Draymond stomp and that busted thumb he’s dealt with for most of the season on his way to 24 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists in 40 minutes.

“His [Sabonis] motor is unbelievable, his mental toughness in unbelievable, and his physical toughness is unbelievable, and it was all on display tonight,” Brown said.

This is a tough, tough team both physically and mentally. As we wait to see how the league is going to respond to Green’s antics in last night’s game, what stands out the most is that the team that hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2006 is the one keeping its composure while the champions are getting pushed around and resorting to dirty plays.

Kerr almost seemed glad to have a chance in this game: “It’s a tie game with 4 minutes left or whatever it was. … We kept Steph [Curry] and Klay [Thompson] out there for most of the [fourth] quarter. I think Steph played the whole quarter because we had to have those guys to give us a shot, and so they got us there. They gave us a shot and like I said, getting to that point even with everything going on I thought was really impressive, but just didn’t have quite enough.”

The Kings physicality is also yet another line item on a long list of examples of how good Brown is coaching this team. He told them to be physical with these Warriors and they are doing it. They aren’t backing down one bit and not afraid of the moment. And this is a big moment – the first playoff appearance in nearly two decades against a dynasty. This is no small spotlight.

Good teams adopt the personality of the coach.

This is Mike Brown’s team, and they are a problem.

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andy_sims
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April 18, 2023 12:37 pm

The unaccomplished Warriors are trying to impose their will on the Pacific Division champs. You want what we have? Just try to take it.

Kosta
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April 18, 2023 12:52 pm

Harrison Barnes revenge game!

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Kosta
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April 18, 2023 12:53 pm
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April 18, 2023 1:08 pm
Reply to  Kosta

The Kings attitude has been great – basically, they have risen to the occasion. They understand that playoff basketball is different. Mike Brown told us from the start – more pace, more physicality. He is holding to that.

I like this quote best, Blake:

This is Mike Brown’s team, and they are a problem

Want2win
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April 19, 2023 5:42 am
Reply to  Kosta

i wonder if he will admit to being an a windbag that was way off should we move forward, or just eat another apple fritter or 3.. I think we should all troll his twitter should the kings move on and remind him that he is the soft one because of his affinity for donuts

Mike120
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April 18, 2023 1:27 pm

I keep refreshing TKH and ESPN for news on dirty Draymond’s 1-2 game suspension. The longer it goes, the less likely it seems. They can’t let Domas’ holding the ankle be the excuse they need to let the flagrant 2 be the only punishment. Draymond has a dirty rep and his taunting after the fact are more reason to suspend him. NBA needs to clean this up before someone gets hurt. I was there last night and watched the game when I got home. I keep seeing Draymond do all sorts of dirty stuff and much of it isn’t called.

TheGrantNapear
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April 18, 2023 1:33 pm
Reply to  Mike120

Draymoron should be suspended the rest of the series. If no action is taken, this is horrible precedent for the NBA to set. You can assault a fellow player with no consequences.

macdoogs
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April 18, 2023 2:45 pm
Reply to  Mike120

With the stomp and then his actions after like he just hit a game winning shot or something, in front of the commissioner, there’s no way he doesn’t miss at least 1 game. That was the furthest thing away from a basketball play if I’ve ever seen one

Mike120
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April 18, 2023 1:28 pm

What does windbag, cheeseburger slayer, Windhorst have to say now? Any mea culpas from that guy? I get he has a right to his opinion. We have a right to mock it.

TheGrantNapear
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April 18, 2023 1:39 pm

MM must have a difficult time walking these days, what with nailing every roster decision and choice of coach, his balls must be dragging on the floor. Call Sam Cassell to figure out how to walk with monster stones.

Nailed the coach hire (I loved it)
Nailed the Domas/Hali trade (I hated it)
Nailed building around Fox (I hated it)
Nailed Monk and KH (I loved it)

I’m glad to admit I was wrong about Fox and Ox.
🔦🟣

TheGrantNapear
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April 18, 2023 1:43 pm

Shams reporting Draymoron unlikely to be suspended, only fined.
Be careful what you wish for NBA, the players now have a memo that assaulting other players and laughing at them is okay.

Daydreamer
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April 18, 2023 1:54 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

Let Alex Len settle the score.

Carl
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April 18, 2023 5:40 pm
Reply to  Daydreamer

This. If the league won’t act, and effectively says this kind of action is acceptable, then it’s time for the Kings to give what they get. What Draymond did is like intentionally throwing above the numbers in baseball, and when you do that, there’s a debt that has to get paid on the field.

andy_sims
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April 19, 2023 12:14 pm
Reply to  Carl

And that’s another reason why I hate the DH. Pitchers can headhunt and never have to stand accountable in the batter’s box.

RobHessing
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April 18, 2023 2:00 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

“I’m gonna turkey tap LeBron!”
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Daydreamer
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April 18, 2023 2:08 pm

I had never understood how much difference a really good head coach and terrific staff generally could make. Now I do.

Think of all the things the coaching staff has done with this group. Working to improve shooting (Fox, Davion?). Bringing out potential in players that other coaches had failed to develop (Domas, KH, Kessler). Utilizing skills, unleashing what players can do (Fox, Malik). Demanding that players improve in areas of weakness and when necessary showing them how to do it (Keegan, TD). Letting the cool vet lead by example (HB). Most of all, holding everyone, including the coaches, accountable.

Monte bought together a good group. MB and the rest of the staff has molded them into a TEAM.

Then they up the ante in the playoffs!

Last edited 1 year ago by Daydreamer
Kosta
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April 19, 2023 9:01 am
Reply to  Daydreamer

This coach watches the tape!

outrider
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April 18, 2023 2:43 pm

If Lyles can be suspended one game for his bs run in with Brook Lopez, then Green deserves at least that much, but the NBA would have to have integrity to do that, so good luck. Lyles got hammered for escalating the situation. If what Green did isn’t escalating the situation, then I don’t understand that term.

And you’d think Domas was trying to break Green’s ankle via some vicious ju jitsu move if all you heard was the laughable description of the play by Green and his lamo psychophants/enablers/homers.

But, this is Green and we aleady knew he was punk, so his antics aren’t a shock, just like it won’t be a shock if the NBA gives him a joke of a fine and leaves it at that, if they even do that.

Last edited 1 year ago by outrider
macdoogs
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April 18, 2023 2:49 pm
Reply to  outrider

If no suspension, then we need to have someone on the bench get a little payback. Knowing the league though, doing anything in sf will have our whole team suspended.

At this point, sweeping them out of the playoffs would be better than a suspension. Let their aging core all play the games so they can cry without their excuses.

Jman1949
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April 18, 2023 3:24 pm
Reply to  macdoogs

Sweep? You mean…

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April 18, 2023 4:12 pm
Reply to  macdoogs

The Kings don’t need to cheat to win. They don’t need to play dirty to win. They shouldn’t do anything to besmirch the tough wins in a tough series against the Champs. They are outright winning and winning the right way. Let Golden State take the low road. Let the wins speak for themselves.

Who’s up 2-0? Let the Dubs answer to that.

macdoogs
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April 18, 2023 6:40 pm

Definitely. I wasn’t suggesting head hunting or anything, just a nice rough foul. Kind of like in baseball the batter gets hit by the pitch, anything can happen next at bat.

I’m loving how we have that team frazzled just playing our game. There was a shot of steph on the bench last night and I’ve never seen him looked so lost. Legitimately looked like he had tears in his eyes. Let’s make it 3-0

Ruben
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April 18, 2023 3:49 pm

It´s really unfortunate Kerr is with the Warriors. I like him.

macdoogs
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April 18, 2023 6:42 pm
Reply to  Ruben

Maybe coach brown can hire him as an assistant when the dynasty blows up and Jordi gets his own team to run. 😁

Kosta
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April 19, 2023 9:03 am
Reply to  macdoogs

Crap, I hope this doesn’t mean Jordi coaches the Dubs

murraytant
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April 18, 2023 10:05 pm
Reply to  Ruben

I think he is a snake.

Kosta
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April 19, 2023 9:03 am
Reply to  murraytant

“I punched him.”
-Michael Jordan

Sacto_J
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April 18, 2023 4:24 pm

When the Warriors (and literally every other Western Conference playoff hopeful team) started chirping about wanting to face the “inexperienced” Kings in round 1, I was a little concerned, especially the idea of facing the defending champs. Then I thought back on the season this team has had; the grinding through one hell of a schedule, winning second night (and first nights) of back to backs repeatedly, playing upper echelon teams and not folding down the stretch, the fact that we broke NBA records with our offense this year…

and I realized what all these teams were asking for was to take a bite out of a buzz-saw, because that’s what this team is. They find and exploit your weakness, cut a hole through most any defense and pour points down your throat til you choke. The Warriors choking out in round 1 to these “lowly, inexperienced” Kings will be sweet poetic justice.

macdoogs
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April 18, 2023 6:46 pm
Reply to  Sacto_J

I’m sure a huge part of it is the dubs just aren’t that team anymore but I’m starting to wonder how big of a role Coach Brown played for them. Alot of our strengths you mentioned were kind of the warriors MO the last handful of years. Our adjustments throughout the game seem like he’s winning the chess match against his former squad. He knows that team inside and out and it shows.

I’m happy the warriors wanted us

andy_sims
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April 19, 2023 12:17 pm
Reply to  Sacto_J

Few things in life are as tragic as getting exactly what you want.

Two to go.

macdoogs
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April 18, 2023 9:38 pm

Had to whip this little nugget up to piss off the group chat.

Kings in 4

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