Articles | Game Recap

Grizzlies 116, Kings 110: Hope is dead

The Kings are officially knocked out of the play-in race and the post-season for the 15th year in a row

Way back when, in January of this year, the Kings caught a break and got a surprise four days off when their back-to-back road matchup in Memphis got postponed. The Kings took advantage of this surprise R&R to win six of their next seven games and we all thought this could finally be the year where the Kings turn the corner. Ah, yes, those were the days... the foolishly hopeful days. Fast forward to today and everything has pretty much gone up in flames once again and the Kings are dangling a fire hose of hope above us but still haven't shown whether or not they'll turn the water on. With just three games left, the Kings have to pay their dues back for that early time off. They had their first of two matchups against the 9th seeded Memphis Grizzlies tonight. Let's see how they did:

Quick Stats

Outcome: Kings lose, 116-110

Sacramento Kings: 110 PTS, 43.8% FG, 41.5% 3 PT, 64.3% FT, 33 AST, 10 TO

Memphis Grizzlies: 116 PTS, 50.0% FG, 33.3% 3 PT, 83.3% FT, 30 AST, 18 TO

Well, it looks like they broke the spigot and there's no water coming, folks. The New York Knicks lobbed one up for the Kings tonight by completing a comeback win over the Spurs and the Kings let it slip right through their hands. At least we know our fate for certain now - no play-in, no hope, no fun. How does the saying go? "16th time is the charm", right?

The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
The Good:
  1. Good Game: After two blowouts against the tanking Thunder, tonight's matchup proved to be much more important to both teams. The Grizzlies are chasing the Warriors for the 8th seed and the Kings were fighting for their chance to join them in the play-in tournament. All of this made for a heightened sense of urgency on the court. Both teams locked in on defense down the stretch and created as much of a playoff atmosphere as these two small market teams could muster. Midway through the first quarter we saw baskets being traded and multiple lead changes. Both teams went on some significant runs through the middle stretch of the game, but things remained close for all four quarters. As familiar as this disappointment is, the quality of an important game has not been common for this Kings team. Until the Grizzlies pulled the rug out from under the Kings in the last few minutes, we at least got to enjoy 45 minutes of good basketball and wonderment.
The Bad:
  1. Matador Defense: In just the second defensive play of the game, we saw the Kings' worst defensive habit from the night form. As Jaren Jackson Jr. attacked the right side of the basket and gained a step on his defender, Moe Harkless threw one hand over in attempt to help his teammate and got called for the foul. This became a common theme throughout the night as the Kings played matador defense by only halfway showing themselves on the help side and either letting the ball go by or committing a foul from being out of position. This lack of commitment to team defense gave the Grizzlies enough space for all five of their starters to finish in double digits.
  2. Third Quarter Nap: The Kings entered the third quarter up by one point and left it down by six. They seemed to have left their sense of urgency, intensity, and energy in the locker room and they couldn't really find it again until the fourth quarter. With the exception of some strong Justin James minutes, the third quarter was the Kings' worst stretch for the night as they got outworked and outscored by the Grizzlies.
The Ugly:
  1. Final Three Minutes: The Kings had an explosive fourth quarter as Justin James, Chimezie Metu, and Terence Davis all hit big shots to get the momentum back in the Kings' favor. They found their motor again and it led them to a 6-point lead with three minutes remaining. Did you feel hopeful at this point? I don't blame you if you did. Just a few minutes before, the Spurs' loss was finalized, and things just felt like they were falling in line for the Kings. But then things just unraveled. A Justin James turnover, an ill-advised 3-point look from Buddy Hield, an airball from Chimezie Metu - it all turned so dark, so quickly. The Grizzlies went on a 10-0 run to finish the game. Goodbye hopes, goodbye dreams, goodbye 2021 season.
The King of Kings

Shining as brightly as his neon green shoes, tonight's King of Kings goes to Justin James for having the game of his life, scoring 31 points on 12 made field goals. JJ skipped the leaps and bounds and went right to the flying when it comes to a breakout performance. He showed comfort, confidence, and even some snarling swagger on the court and it was just downright fun to watch him play.

Up Next

Friday, May 14th @ Memphis Grizzlies - 6:00 P.M. (PT)

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Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
May 13, 2021 8:09 pm

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SelecaoKOJ
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May 13, 2021 8:12 pm

Buddy’s Bumbling Turnovers. One of the worst contracts in the NBA. Kings are stuck with Buddy for at least 2 more years. Not One of the other 29 GM’s would be idiotic enough to trade for this guy. Not in a million years and 20 mil a year later.

Kangz_Landing
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May 13, 2021 8:26 pm
Reply to  SelecaoKOJ

Also, don’t look at Bogi’s stats over the last two months.

Please stop choosing the players with no IQ over these seasoned Europeans Vivek and FO.

Putthegundown
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May 13, 2021 8:12 pm

Just think of all the extra time we’ll have on our hands now not having to be tortured 3 times a week.

Gregoryl
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May 14, 2021 8:10 am
Reply to  Putthegundown

I prefer spending my free time complaining about the Kings.

1951
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May 14, 2021 9:18 am
Reply to  Putthegundown

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Marty
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May 13, 2021 8:15 pm

Mirann we’ll be expecting one of your Identity Makeover updates. 😜

HarveySpecter
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May 13, 2021 8:21 pm

Going to (sadly) toot my horn that I knew Buddy’s contract was terrible the moment it was signed. Massive amounts of money for a streaky, garbage-IQ basketball player. Going to hinder the Kings unless we get rid of him.

Shit. Kings haven’t made the playoffs since I was fucking high school. MADE THE PLAYOFFS. Not won a championship. JUST PARTICIPATING IN A PLAYOFF GAME.

What the hell. Godspeed, fellow Kings fans. You’re all champs.

Kangz_Landing
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May 13, 2021 8:31 pm

See what happens when you play and develop young role players that are fighting for their NBA jobs rather than playing overpaid vets who know they just come to SAC to collect big checks.

*Resigns Whiteside for the vet minimum*

SEE Y’ALL AROUND DRAFT TIME AWESOME THK COMMUNITY! ENJOY YOUR KANGZ-FREE SUMMER AND BE SAFE! 🥂🥂🥂🍻🍻🍻

Brown.says.Good.or.Bad
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May 13, 2021 8:47 pm
Reply to  Kangz_Landing

SEE Y’ALL AROUND DRAFT TIME AWESOME THK COMMUNITY! ENJOY YOUR KANGZ-FREE SUMMER AND BE SAFE!

Yes, this is good

Kosta
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May 13, 2021 8:45 pm

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Last edited 1 year ago by Kosta
WizsSox
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May 13, 2021 8:46 pm

I was entertained for almost 2 hours…which is more than I can usually say in the third to last game of the season. Is that good?
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Last edited 1 year ago by WizsSox
Otis
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May 13, 2021 9:37 pm
Reply to  WizsSox

Wedding Crashers Movie GIF by filmeditor - Find & Share on GIPHY

Jman1949
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May 13, 2021 9:44 pm
Reply to  WizsSox

Progress? I think it’s a step by step process.

comment image&ct=g

Kosta
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May 13, 2021 10:44 pm
Reply to  Jman1949

That could’ve been a CATastrophe.

MillersCornrows
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May 14, 2021 1:36 am
Reply to  Jman1949

That cat reminds me of the Kings. Slamson’s little cousin isn’t taking this well.

Last edited 1 year ago by MillersCornrows
KingOfTheMonsters
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May 14, 2021 9:04 am

Going DOWN the steps. Yep, that’s the Kings.

Otis
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May 13, 2021 8:55 pm

Pick one. The Kings playoff streak will end:

a) When the Kings finish a regular season in the top 8 in the Western Conference.

b) When the league expands the playoffs to include 12 teams in each conference.

WizsSox
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May 13, 2021 9:07 pm
Reply to  Otis

C) When the NBA introduces relegation and after missing the playoffs in the G League for another 5 seasons to make an even 20 (Walton gets a 3 year extension to ease transition during relegation), the Kings are up and comers as the #3 seed in the G-League playoffs under coach Mark Jackson.

Last edited 1 year ago by WizsSox
BeTheBall
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May 13, 2021 9:25 pm
Reply to  WizsSox

Unfortunately, I think Vivek would tout finishing as a top 5 team in a relegation league as a massive success.

WizsSox
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May 13, 2021 10:08 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

Of course! They would be moving back up to the big league. It’s all about perspective 😉

Klam
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May 13, 2021 9:53 pm
Reply to  Otis

The Kangz will miss the playoffs even if the league expands to include 15 teams in each conference for the playoffs.

ForKingsandCountry
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May 14, 2021 1:46 pm
Reply to  Otis

I honestly have no idea when they’ll finish in the top-8 at the end of the regular season. Five years ago I predicted on the old site that they’d make the playoffs in the 2021-2022 season because Vlade would have to have been fired at that point. So maybe next year they finally figure something out.

2018DraftTimeMachine
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LaBradfordsCreditCard
May 13, 2021 9:21 pm

Not that it matters now, but this €œplay-in counts as making the playoffs€ is bullshit.

So we’ll get the 10th seed next year, get our ass kicked in the first play-in game, and that will count as making the playoffs?

Anyway, nice losing season … again.

RikSmits
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May 13, 2021 10:23 pm

I think the previous discussion about this had the following conclusions:

  • reaching the play-ins is only reaching the post-season (you play after the regular season ends);
  • you have to win the play-in games to get in (hence the name) to the play-offs;
  • it is irrelevant for the Kings anyway.
BeTheBall
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May 13, 2021 9:22 pm

Midway through the 2nd i decided to go listen to the A’s game while I mowed the lawn. I don’t regret that one bit.

I figured we had lost when I came in and heard Kayte praising James in the postgame.

Marty
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May 13, 2021 9:28 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

Yea we watched Jeopardy and then track and field.

MillersCornrows
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May 14, 2021 1:41 am
Reply to  BeTheBall

Kayte also griped about the negative stuff going down on her Twitter feed after the game. Boohoo. Be a little more critical. First world problems!

RobHessing
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May 13, 2021 9:29 pm

X15 & counting.

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Klam
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May 13, 2021 9:54 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

I was a freshman in high school the last time the Kings made the playoffs.

Kosta
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May 13, 2021 10:48 pm
Reply to  Klam

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WeDeserveThis
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May 13, 2021 10:52 pm
Reply to  Kosta

What’s actually hilarious is that in 69 years this will be true.

Nice.

RikSmits
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May 13, 2021 9:35 pm

So, we’ll now have to decide what to do with JJ on a very small sample size, don’t we?

I’m sure we’ll take the right decision.

BeTheBall
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May 13, 2021 10:42 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Chatter I’m seeing is reworking the current contract to tear up the ’21 option in favor of a new 4/$90M deal

RobHessing
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May 14, 2021 7:15 am
Reply to  RikSmits
Last edited 1 year ago by RobHessing
Adamsite
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May 14, 2021 7:31 am
Reply to  RobHessing

I joked about the Ike Diogu part of the season the other day in which we fantasize about end of the bench players looking really good right now. In all seriousness, I’m not sure any of the Kings we saw play last night will be on the next Kings playoff team.

KingOfTheMonsters
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May 14, 2021 8:28 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Yes, I remember. I thought that was brilliant and a perfect description of what we are seeing right now.

Otis
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May 14, 2021 9:47 am

“This year it’s different!”

BestHyperboleEver
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May 14, 2021 10:38 am
Reply to  Adamsite

As ever:

TheGrantNapear
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May 13, 2021 9:43 pm

Officially 15 straight seasons without making the playoffs. Tied for the NBA record. Only fitting that we break the record next year. Under Vivek’s continued stewardship, this goal shall be easily attained.
8 years since that douche took over the team and we are no closer to the playoffs or anything meaningful.

ForKingsandCountry
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May 14, 2021 1:52 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

I’m wondering, can Vivek manage to break the record by himself? Like can he go his first 15 years owning the team without a playoff appearance? At this point I don’t think it can be ruled out. We’re already in unprecedented territory and his meddling has shown no signs of abating.

Klam
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Nostradumbass 18
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May 13, 2021 9:52 pm

Does hope really die though if you never had it to begin with? 😉

TerzoM
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May 13, 2021 9:53 pm

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Kosta
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May 13, 2021 10:49 pm
Reply to  TerzoM

^ Digital billboard! ^

Amonk81
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May 13, 2021 11:01 pm
Reply to  TerzoM

Failure 2.0. The cutting edge. 2 minutes behind.

The idiocy and ego have been world class. Thanks Vivek

MillersCornrows
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May 14, 2021 1:44 am
Reply to  TerzoM

Telephone call 3.0 style!

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Last edited 1 year ago by MillersCornrows
Storm
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May 13, 2021 10:00 pm

I haven’t had hope for this year’s team at all and I’m still let down

Hooray, watch us get pick 15 in the lottery too

RandyBreuersNeckHair
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May 13, 2021 10:24 pm

You know who really impressed me tonight? Louis Guy. I think he could be a keeper. I know it’s a small sample size, but he showed a lot of promise.

RikSmits
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May 13, 2021 10:32 pm

Don’t you mean Kyle King?

RandyBreuersNeckHair
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May 14, 2021 5:37 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Not sure if you watched the game but I was clowning on Kyle Draper butchering his name like 6 times last night.

Kosta
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May 13, 2021 10:50 pm

Can we change the logo on our jerseys to say “Losing Guys”?

Jman1949
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May 14, 2021 7:27 am
Reply to  Kosta

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HongKongKingsFan
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May 13, 2021 11:25 pm

Yes, I gonna agree with what you said. Louis King played decent in limited time, but not enough info about his defense, his offense seems good.

I agree he is a keeper.

Sacto_J
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May 14, 2021 9:35 am

King Louis once sang –

“Now I’m the king of the swingers
King’s play-in MVP
Never reached the top, Vivek just stopped
And that’s what botherin’ me
I wanna make the playoffs, mancub
And stroll right into town
And be just like those other teams
I’m tired of monkeyin’ around!
Oh, oobee doo
I wanna be like you…”
comment image/revision/latest?cb=20150917044516

BeTheBall
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May 13, 2021 10:43 pm

We loved it when Vivek said he only surrounds his himself with people smarter than him. Unfortunately we didn’t realize he was not quite as smart as clumping cat litter.

RikSmits
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May 13, 2021 10:46 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

Yeah, and that he doesn’t make the same mistake twice.

Three times is his absolute minimum.

Kosta
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May 13, 2021 10:47 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Two seconds ahead.

15 years and counting!

Kosta
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May 13, 2021 10:46 pm

Damn.

This is the only Sac Kings championship I’ll see in my lifetime. I know this to be true.

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Klam
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May 13, 2021 11:17 pm
Reply to  Kosta

I thought I had read somewhere that some of the higher ups (Vivek) were actually pushing Malone and the coaching staff to win the summer league championship, and this was around when Malone’s relationship with ownership and the front office was souring because they were trying to hire an assistant coach too.

Last edited 1 year ago by Klam
HongKongKingsFan
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May 13, 2021 11:26 pm

Only two games left until McNair announces he fire Luke Walton.

02kingsfan
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May 13, 2021 11:54 pm

Or he can fire him on the 2nd to the last game to humiliate him for such terrible job he’s done and give fans some emotional compensation for the last 15 years of agony

TerzoM
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May 14, 2021 9:12 am
Reply to  02kingsfan

Firing Walton is the MINIMUM he can do. And tell Vivek to fuck off with his meddling.

Gregoryl
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May 14, 2021 9:15 am
Reply to  TerzoM

Listen to Amick’s interview yesterday on KHTK to find out that will never happen.

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May 14, 2021 9:22 am
Reply to  Gregoryl

Was that word he used “malleable” or “pliable?” Something like that.

Gregoryl
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May 14, 2021 9:24 am
Reply to  Carl

“Malleable”…brutal.

RikSmits
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May 14, 2021 9:40 am
Reply to  Carl

Shaped in His (Vivek’s) image.

andy_sims
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May 14, 2021 8:41 am

From your lips to no one’s ears.

Marty
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May 13, 2021 11:34 pm

W O W

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02kingsfan
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May 13, 2021 11:51 pm
Reply to  Marty

Are praising Vivek’s idiotic moves and elevate mediocrity written in the job description when people sign on for a job in this kangz organization?

RikSmits
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May 14, 2021 1:06 am
Reply to  Marty

The propaganda machine for having Walton back next season is running at full steam, I see.

Of course, these guys playing hard for a next contract or bonuses or even pride had nothing to do with it. It mainly speaks volumes about Walton, right?

Also, the absurd hapiness of people with the Kings are over the lowest of tresholds by playing hard for a stretch during which many other teams are already set for their play-offs spot or high draft pick.

Shouldn’t playing hard be a given? Or does that only apply when you are coached by guys like Spoelstra, Pop and Thibodeau?

eddie41
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May 14, 2021 8:21 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Happy fans is not an absurdity.

1951
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May 14, 2021 9:25 am
Reply to  RikSmits

It started about a week ago or so.

He is coming back, so buckle up.

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May 14, 2021 1:10 am
Reply to  Marty

Oh god, here we go. I could care less if players like or trust or care about Walton. That obviously has nothing to do with actual winning.

What a fucked up organization. Trying to convince us/themselves Walton doesn’t have the record he has. Ignoring his inability to coach D or at all,

The Kings are bad. Couldn’t even get to the 10. Bottom feeders. Worst D in league-historically bad. How the Fuck could you possibly believe this is the path forward.

RikSmits
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May 14, 2021 1:19 am
Reply to  Amonk81

We’re nearly there! All we need is continuity! We were ravaged by injuries.” Etc.

KingOfTheMonsters
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May 14, 2021 8:29 am
Reply to  RikSmits

It wasn’t just the injuries. It was COVID and the Russians and I’m sure Tulsi Gabbard had some role in the collapse of the Kings.

BigDrewbot
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May 14, 2021 9:56 am

Wasn’t there a trip to India too?

Otis
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May 14, 2021 5:00 am
Reply to  Marty

Is there a single person working for Kings media that’s worth taking seriously? Kozimor maybe?

Last edited 1 year ago by Otis
Marty
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May 14, 2021 7:54 am
Reply to  Otis

I like Kyle and Koz, I’ve never gotten the sense they’re water carriers.

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May 14, 2021 9:24 am
Reply to  Marty

And Koz hated Peaches at least as much as we do, so he’s got that going for him…

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Nostradumbass 14
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May 14, 2021 7:39 am
Reply to  Marty

I didn’t realize Mark “In his bag” Jones was that desperate for a job with the Kings next year.

andy_sims
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May 14, 2021 8:47 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Yeah, the poor guy was halfway down and out.

TerzoM
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May 14, 2021 9:14 am
Reply to  andy_sims

He loves our farm-to-knife Butter-Jam-Jelly

Gregoryl
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May 14, 2021 8:37 am
Reply to  Marty

Shillers be shillin’

Marty
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May 14, 2021 9:24 am
Reply to  Gregoryl

Real World: €œSacramento kings have the longest playoff futility streak and the worst defense in league history.€

Mark Jones: €œPUT ON YOUR BUBBLE SUIT DOUG BECAUSE THESE KINGS ARE RUNNING THROUGH WALLS FOR COACH WALTON!€

Last edited 1 year ago by Marty Marty
Sacto_J
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May 14, 2021 9:42 am
Reply to  Marty

I’d honestly be more inclined to bring Walton back had the team legitimately tanked this season. I don’t like tanking at all but at a certain point this season it was obviously our best move. But nope. Not even after De’Aaron caught the ‘Rona and all signs pointed to bowing out gracefully, nah. That was exactly the right time for this team to start trying.
There’s zero feel goods to this season. Especially if Walton comes back next year.

1951
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May 14, 2021 9:48 am
Reply to  Sacto_J

Yep. This is the result when Walton actually tries (as he has for 5 years as a crappy HC!) You get historically bad defense when Walton is trying as hard as he can to win!

3.4 worse DRtg than the OKC Thunder, who have won 2 of their last 27 games! He couldn’t conjure a better defense than a team that deliberately played G leaguers in order to lose games!

Last edited 1 year ago by 1951
BestHyperboleEver
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May 14, 2021 10:41 am
Reply to  Marty

Pugnacious?
comment image

MillersCornrows
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May 14, 2021 1:31 am

Pack your bags Luke!

20210511_192912.jpg
MillersCornrows
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May 14, 2021 1:34 am

I had so much hope going onto this game that I watch all of the last five minutes. I wouldn’t be surprised if the NBA kept the play-in around so a few additional crappy teams, like the Kings, can have their TV network team hawk the crappy product right up until the end of the season (Source: 2020-2021 Sacramento Kings).

Last edited 1 year ago by MillersCornrows
Bill2455
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May 14, 2021 5:43 am

Grizzlies have everything to play for in the next game. Kings not so much.

eddie41
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May 14, 2021 8:19 am
Reply to  Bill2455

I think it has no seeding implications for Memphis. They play the dubs last game of the season. Winner of that game gets an 8 seed.

Bill2455
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May 14, 2021 9:11 am
Reply to  eddie41

8th seed would only need win 1 game. 9th has to win two.

Otis
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May 14, 2021 9:50 am
Reply to  Bill2455

I think either has to win one out of two, right? Maybe I’m misunderstanding how it works – I didn’t pay a ton of attention, since it was pretty obvious the Kings weren’t getting there.

BestHyperboleEver
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May 14, 2021 10:46 am
Reply to  Otis

7 v 8 – winner is in with the 7th seed. Loser plays against the winner of 9 v 10 for the 8th seed.

So 7 and 8 only need to win 1 game. 9 or 10 would have to win 2.