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Hornets 111, Kings 104: Scary Terry Hours

The Kings beat all the odds and lose to a tired, injured, and streaking Hornets squad.
By | 76 Comments | Jan 2, 2024

Happy 2024! The Kings got to start the new year with a nice, cozy, four-game home stay. First up was the Charlotte Hornets, who entered tonight on an 11-game losing streak. Grateful to the Detroit Pistons, the Hornets have been able to hide in the shadow of Detroit’s recently broken 28-game losing streak. With the “clean slate” mentality that comes with a new year, the Hornets were due for a win. But the Kings needed to enter tonight with the mindset that time is a construct that essentially means nothing, and there are no such things as “clean slates” in the middle of an NBA season. The Kings needed to continue to build on the momentum of their last two wins and put a bad team down. Let’s see how they did:

Quick Stats

Outcome: Kings lose, 104-111

Sacramento Kings: 104 pts, 44.0% fg, 38.9% 3 pt, 58.8% ft, 23 ast, 47 reb, 21 to

Charlotte Hornets: 111 pts, 51.2% fg, 35.3% 3 pt, 78.9% ft, 22 ast, 35 reb, 15 to

The odds were in the Kings’ favor. The Hornets hadn’t won since the first week of December. They were missing their best player in their point guard LaMelo Ball. They were on the second night of a back to back. And yet, in a game that was nearly impossible to lose, the Kings found a way.

The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

The Good:
  1. Glass Gang: The Kings won the rebounding contest 48-35. For much of the game, the Hornets showed little interest in attacking the offensive glass, allowing the Kings to secure most of their defensive rebounding opportunities. But the Kings found a lot of their scoring success on second chance opportunities on their own end, securing 15 offensive rebounds that they took advantage of. In a game where their offense never found a consistent flow, the Kings relied on their physicality on the glass to keep them in this game.
The Bad:
  1. Defense: The Hornets are not a good team. On top of that, they were missing their offensive engine in LaMelo Ball. With these two things in mind, Charlotte focused on one dimensional offense of one on one actions. For a good defensive NBA team, this would be a welcomed strategy. Unfortunately, the Kings are still not a good defensive NBA team. Instead, the Kings failed to stop the ball and allowed either straight line drives into the paint or simple drive and kicks for open shots to defeat them. Terry Rozier torched the Kings for 34 points on 13 made field goals. Off the bench, PJ Washington contributed another 17 points on 3-6 from the 3-point line, enjoying open looks from Rozier’s penetration into the paint. Losing to a complex, multi-threat level offense is one thing. Losing to a simple offense fueled purely by effort is unacceptable.
  2. Free Throws: The Kings had another frustrating night from the line, shooting 10-17. UGH.
The Ugly:
  1. Turnovers: Sacramento’s offense was sloppy, disjointed, and downright funky all night long. Despite the usual fourth quarter boost we have become so accustomed to from De’Aaron Fox (30 points), there was no consistency to the Kings’ offense. Most of this was due to the frequency of turnovers the Kings committed – 20 in total. Domantas Sabonis had an unusual triple double stat line tonight, finishing with 23 points, 19 rebounds, and 11 turnovers. So many passes flew through fingers and completely stymied any chance of building an offensive rhythm. The Hornets converted the Kings’ 20 turnovers into 17 points.

The King of Kings

Chris Duarte is still getting used to his new role in the starting lineup but we saw one of his best performances tonight. Duarte finished with 12 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and a handful of hustle plays. On more than one occasion, he positioned himself to be in the right place at the right time to clean up some of the Kings’ sloppy execution by putting in the extra effort to save the play.

Up Next

Wednesday, January 3rd vs. Orlando Magic – 7:00 P.M. (PT)

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TerzoM
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January 2, 2024 10:01 pm

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deltarich
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January 2, 2024 10:05 pm

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Klam
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Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
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January 2, 2024 10:10 pm

Even with that 19-13 record, the lows/losses this season have been so lopsided compared to last season. Way too many blowouts that were decided by the end of half or taking bad teams for granted.

We could be looking at a potential 1-3 homestand, considering we haven’t shown to be competitive in back-to-backs and New Orleans has just demolished us this season.

Dorde34
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January 2, 2024 10:12 pm
Reply to  Klam

Agreed. Heading toward playing Clippers or Nuggets in 1st round of playoffs and would lose either one without an upgrade

Jack
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January 3, 2024 7:19 am
Reply to  Dorde34

If we get to the playoffs. As Matt Barnes said last night losses like this and against Portland will bite you in the end .

Dorde34
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January 3, 2024 4:37 pm
Reply to  Jack

He meant from being a 3, 4, or 5 seed. Not out the playoffs altogether

mdeedublu
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January 3, 2024 5:37 am
Reply to  Klam

Even with that 19-13 record, the lows/losses this season have been so lopsided compared to last season

This is what I was thinking about yesterday morning while listening to the radio. The losses have been much worse than the wins have been good. It’s frustrating.

Dorde34
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January 2, 2024 10:10 pm

Make a trade now Monte. Tired of watching this talentless team lose to bad teams. Unacceptable losses. Barnes, Huerter, and Mitchell are completely useless and lose trade value with each passing day. Keegan where did you go? He disappearals way too frequently for someone who is supposed to develop into our 3rd scorer. Wake the heck up Kings. Before it’s too late. As our roster stands we have no chance of being top 4 seed. 5-7 somewhere is where they are headed. Wake up.

Yakshi
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January 2, 2024 10:52 pm
Reply to  Dorde34

We could be somewhere between the five and seven seed?

Hooray!

We’re in the playoffs!

BeTheBall
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January 2, 2024 10:58 pm
Reply to  Yakshi

Yes. I think we’re quick to forget what a tremendous overachiever this team was last season. What were seeing this year seems more along the lines of reasonable expectations of improvement for a team that probably won ~8 games more than it should have last year.

Last edited 1 month ago by BeTheBall
Yakshi
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January 2, 2024 11:08 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

The Kings record at this time last year was 17-15.

This year it is 19-13.

BeTheBall
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January 2, 2024 11:20 pm
Reply to  Yakshi

Yep, and I’m perfectly content with a 48 win season again. Which we seem on pace to at least hit.

jwalker1395
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January 3, 2024 7:18 am
Reply to  BeTheBall

A lot of blame falls on the expectations of fans this season tbh. We all thought we might be contenders for the WCF after last season. I personally thought we were one big piece (read: Siakam) from title contention. That was an incorrect evaluation. Now, I think a big swing trade would actually put a hard ceiling on this team while demolishing our cap flexibility.

Right now, we have 3 players that I think are ready to shine in the playoffs – Fox, Sabonis, and Monk. I’d actually argue that Lyles is ready as a postseason rotation piece, too. Everyone else I don’t think is going to cut it (though Duarte has been trending upward). Maybe Keegan can get there one day, but he isn’t there yet. He’s only in his second year, after all. That’s MAYBE 4-6 guys. It’ll take at least 8-9 rock solid two-way players to get anywhere come playoff time. By my count, that’s not one piece away, but 3-4.

This team is still young, and moving someone like Barnes could give us a couple years back on the timeline to reach contention, while allowing Keegan more time to blossom. We should keep in mind this is year 2 of a 4-5 year plan. As such, I’d like to acquire quality, young rotation players on reasonable contracts who have the chance to play a role and maybe develop a little further. Something like Barnes for Isaac Okoro sounds good to me. Get a little worse in the short-term to free up the money and time to develop a contender in a couple years. I’m willing to reset my expectations and be patient (so long as we’re still making the playoffs each year.)

RikSmits
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January 3, 2024 8:27 am
Reply to  jwalker1395

I’m sorry I had expectations this season.

I will review the tape and try to be better.

Last edited 1 month ago by RikSmits
Jack
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January 3, 2024 7:39 am
Reply to  Yakshi

Don’t count your chickens before they hatch. I still think they will be in the playoffs but something has to happen before long. Can.t wait until Feb. Last night Barnes was not even in the game. Huerter plays some really bad defense. He can’t throw a marble in a swimming pool if he was standing on the end of the diving board. Completely lost his confidence. Murray is starting to foul too much using his hands and arms. He doesn’t get enough touches for the third option on the team. Sabonis with 11 turnovers but what is worse is he missess so many layups and he’s 7 feet tall. He does this to some extent every game. At practice needs to work on layups a free throws. Duarte is doing a good job so far at starting. Best hussler on the team. Last night put back a lot of Sabonis’s missed layups. Lastly I really dislike it when Fox and especially Sabonis are always smiling instead of really bearing down .I have a hard time watching this. Enjoy the game yes but sometimes it looks like for some reason they think things are funny. We can’t keep losing these types of games. They are better than this. The proof is in the pudding.

UpgradedToQuestionable
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January 2, 2024 10:13 pm

comment image&ct=g

The players, sure.

The coaches more so (IMO).

UpgradedToQuestionable
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January 2, 2024 11:55 pm

:My Hot Take:
I think they (Coach Brown and staff) tried resting the starters to get the win tonight so that they could break the SEGABABA curse against an outperforming tall, big, athletic, young Orlando squad.

They played the rotations fast and lose – and lost.

ForKingsandCountry
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January 2, 2024 10:18 pm

That was embarrassing. First game all season I’ve picked the Kings to win. I thought it was impossible to blow this game. Serves me right. Deep down, they’re still the Kangz.

Yakshi
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January 2, 2024 10:57 pm

“First game all season I’ve picked the Kings to win.”

First, yikes!

Second, a long-suffering Kings fan finally does something optimistic, and he gets swarmed by hornets.

And of course, he turns out to be allergic to hornets.

ForKingsandCountry
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January 3, 2024 9:26 am
Reply to  Yakshi

Exactly! I’ve been picking against them every game then I finally bring it upon myself to believe they’ll win this game and they come out and look like that. I should have known!

BeTheBall
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January 2, 2024 10:28 pm

The best part of this game was that I sold my tickets to tomorrow’s game.

Yakshi
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January 2, 2024 11:05 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

Oh, that’s too bad. You’ll be a missing a playoff-caliber team play one of the biggest surprises of the year in the Magic.

BeTheBall
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January 2, 2024 11:10 pm
Reply to  Yakshi

I’ve already seen that with the Pelicans, Clippers, and Wolves. I’m good. It’s also been a long holiday weekish, and the couch is calling.

Yakshi
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January 2, 2024 11:15 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

What’s a “couch?”

BeTheBall
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January 2, 2024 11:17 pm
Reply to  Yakshi

Long padded thing, usually found in living rooms, dens, or on a roof. Occasionally serves as a bed for a husband.

Last edited 1 month ago by BeTheBall
cloudyeyes
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January 2, 2024 10:35 pm

Next up, Orlando.

416142999_210869395427476_2804659443380950106_n
BeTheBall
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January 2, 2024 10:35 pm

Can the Game Prediction judges weigh in, does this count as a triple double for Sabonis?

NinjaFetus
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January 2, 2024 10:37 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

I was just about to ask that!

rockbottom
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January 2, 2024 10:58 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

Domas was not effective tonite but without him the Kings would be a Hornets caliber team .

BeTheBall
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January 2, 2024 11:00 pm
Reply to  rockbottom

I’d say closer to Jazz/Hawks caliber.

rockbottom
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January 2, 2024 11:29 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

Yep probably closer .

mdeedublu
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January 3, 2024 5:42 am
Reply to  BeTheBall

According to that Internets, turnovers do not count for official triple double calculations.

Jack
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January 3, 2024 7:43 am
Reply to  BeTheBall

As long as the third part is assists not turnovers.

CastlePeak
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January 2, 2024 10:36 pm

After watching another train wreck loss at home tonight against an undermanned team playing on a back-to-back and with a long losing streak, enough is enough. Any player not named Fox, Sabonis or Monk are on the table and available in a trade to improve this team.

PretendGhost
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January 2, 2024 11:00 pm
Reply to  CastlePeak

Funny to choose Monk as the must-keep after this game

Jack
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January 3, 2024 7:47 am
Reply to  PretendGhost

If I’m wrong and could be it wasn’t Monk’s fault last night. He is IMO one of the most competitive players on this team. We need to keep him. Period!

RikSmits
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January 3, 2024 8:23 am
Reply to  Jack

But he smiles too much!

Jack
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January 3, 2024 9:48 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Loves to play the game.

RikSmits
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January 3, 2024 10:27 am
Reply to  Jack

So do Sabonis and Fox, who you criticized for smiling in this same comment section.

Inthestarz
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January 2, 2024 10:42 pm

Keegan Murray has the value to be the centerpiece of a major deal

He might not at the end of the year.

BeTheBall
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January 2, 2024 10:53 pm
Reply to  Inthestarz

At the moment there are no “major” deals rumored to exist around the NBA.

You’d also need to throw a few additional contracts as well as multiple firsts, in order to get anyone capable of moving the needle significantly. Which then leaves you crushing it ala Phoenix

Last edited 1 month ago by BeTheBall
Inthestarz
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January 2, 2024 10:55 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

there are several, and the kings have even been mentioned with them

BeTheBall
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January 2, 2024 11:02 pm
Reply to  Inthestarz

We have? Who?

All I’ve seen are Siakam, Markannen, Kuzma and Lavine. None of which move the needle on a team with no depth. A couple don’t even move the needle on a team with depth.

Inthestarz
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January 2, 2024 11:26 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

Compared to nightly Keegan at this stage of his career they do, and the Kings don’t need the needle moved that much with a prime Fox/Sabonis/Monk

rockbottom
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January 2, 2024 11:34 pm
Reply to  Inthestarz

Sounds like a trade of young SGA for needle mover Paul George .

BeTheBall
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January 2, 2024 11:34 pm
Reply to  Inthestarz

You’re not winning anything with a 4-deep rotation.

Jack
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January 3, 2024 7:51 am
Reply to  Inthestarz

And Murray.

rockbottom
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January 2, 2024 11:32 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

They don’t move the teams needle they are currently on as all are losers .

Dorde34
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January 3, 2024 5:22 am
Reply to  BeTheBall

All of those players other than Lavine would move the needle big time. I’m not sure what you mean? All of those players average 20+ ppg and play better defense than Huerter/Barnes. Barnes and Huerter don’t even combine for 20+ ppg over the last month and a half. So yes, any of those players would move the needle.

BeTheBall
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January 3, 2024 9:41 am
Reply to  Dorde34

In a vacuum with nobody going out, sure. However, when you have to give up a Murray + 2-3 other players (not including picks) to bring them back, you’re gutting your depth. So the needle stays put.

PretendGhost
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January 2, 2024 11:00 pm
Reply to  Inthestarz

Breaking news: 2nd year player is inconsistent

its a joke to be losing hope on a guy who just a week ago everyone was slobbering over. The kid is good and will continue to improve, this is not worth freaking out over

BeTheBall
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January 2, 2024 11:03 pm
Reply to  PretendGhost

I get the feeling some might think our championship window is on the verge of closing.

Yakshi
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January 2, 2024 11:15 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

We have a championship window?

Holy Christ, the Kings are better than I thought.

Jack
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January 3, 2024 7:53 am
Reply to  PretendGhost

I totally agree.

Yakshi
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January 2, 2024 11:02 pm
Reply to  Inthestarz

I get the feeling that McNair reads the comment section and laughs and laughs.

CastlePeak
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January 3, 2024 5:56 am
Reply to  Yakshi

Expect McNair sees what we see and knows this squad is not getting past the first round of the playoffs, that is, if they make the playoffs.

Jack
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January 3, 2024 7:50 am
Reply to  Inthestarz

Monty said it and I agree he is NOT TRADEABLE! He is only in his second year and has come a long way so far. Given the second year player a chance he will deliver.

Inthestarz
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January 3, 2024 12:39 pm
Reply to  Jack

I’m sure that was maybe said about Hali and/or most GMs could present their players as such

RikSmits
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January 2, 2024 11:06 pm

I’m just glad that the Pistons already broke their streak against another team…

RPO
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January 2, 2024 11:13 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Definitely agreed. Not feeling confident against any team right now.

RPO
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RPO
January 2, 2024 11:11 pm

After the last game and a half I was hoping the team had turned a corner and would now be consistently good. That certainly hasn’t happened yet.

BeTheBall
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January 2, 2024 11:22 pm
Reply to  RPO

It seems to be the admitted elephant in the locker room too, based on the postgame pressers.

discocricket
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January 2, 2024 11:25 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

Not sure what the guys are supposed to say. “My teammates aren’t good enough to win a ring” is both true and anathema in a locker room. Paging Monte McNair, your stated goals are conflicting with your roster construction….

BeTheBall
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January 2, 2024 11:36 pm
Reply to  discocricket

I’m just saying that they acknowledge getting lazy against bad teams. At some point they need to address the “why”.

SelecaoKOJ
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January 3, 2024 12:10 am
Reply to  RPO

Game and a half sample size? You’re a funny guy

Amonk81
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January 2, 2024 11:19 pm

I hope the Kings figure out a better 1/2 court O as the season progresses. No DHO-little PnR. Don’t see much cutting or ball movement.

SelecaoKOJ
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January 3, 2024 5:38 am

When 3 of your 5 starters are consistently nonproductive this is what happens.

Kings are not getting back quality starters for any combo of Barnes/Huerter/Davion and late first rounders.

The Kings could decide to move on from Keegan. To get a Lavine or Siakem.

But does that team really beat any of the top 5 teams
in the East or the Top 2-3 in the
West?

it probably gets the Kings stuck in the second round and in cap hell for the next 3-4 years. Suns Part 2.

Inthestarz
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January 3, 2024 12:40 pm
Reply to  SelecaoKOJ

We just got done watching 20 years of crap, but boohoo second round (if that’s true)

bjax1
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January 3, 2024 6:56 am

Voice of reason here. These things happen. Boston had to go to OT to beat the pistons at home a couple of weeks ago. Good teams lose to lesser teams when they don’t play well and the other team goes off. Credit Terry Rozier (and to a lesser extent, Mikes Bridges). Terry was unstoppable. Kings had a bad game. Happens.

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January 3, 2024 7:13 am
Reply to  bjax1

Yeah, I think this is either on or close to the spot. It’s not as though Charlotte exposed some unknown weakness of this team. It is a good team (not a great team) that cannot survive bad performances from its key players. It is a rare night that both Fox and Sabonis underperform, but that is what we saw last night. Monk and Murray come next, and they both underperformed. You have to get to Duarte and Lyles before you find any players last night that played to role (maybe Len).

The Kings turned it over 20 times. Sabonis, who was averaging fewer than 3 per game, hung 11. The Kings gave Rozier a reason to care about the last 8 minutes of the game, and that was that.

I didn’t learn much from last night’s game. The Kings are an entertaining, borderline 50 win ballclub as currently put together. They could beat any WC team in the playoffs, though they would be underdogs to many of them. It is an imperfect roster that is glaringly weak at the wing, and when the team isn’t taking care of the ball and making open threes the odds of them securing a victory become much longer.

They should not have lost on the home floor to an undermanned Hornets team. They did. On to the next.

Greg
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January 3, 2024 7:56 am
Reply to  RobHessing

Not disagreeing with you, but it’s wild that last night was Fox and Sabonis underperforming. Fox had 30 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds, a steal and a block. Sabonis had 23 points and 19 rebounds. The fact that those numbers were still a bad night for both (Fox due to shooting inefficiency and Sabonis due to turnovers), is pretty special.

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January 3, 2024 8:32 am
Reply to  Greg

Absolutely. But the 11 Sabonis turnovers and Fox shooting 42% floor and 63% line (plus three turnovers of his own) more than offsets the counting stats.

Certainly no lack of effort on the part of either one of them, and it is the extremely rare evening that both of them underperform.

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January 3, 2024 7:51 am

So far this year I’ve been willing to think Kayte has improved, but then last night happened.

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January 3, 2024 7:56 am
Reply to  Marty

As usual, I watched with the sound off.



I should have watched with the picture off, too.

Marty
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January 3, 2024 8:01 am
Reply to  RobHessing

My “affordable” stream usually has the other team’s broadcast crew. I need to send a complaint to whatever basement is responsible for these streams.

aplumley
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January 3, 2024 8:53 am

Mostly, I want to know if I get credit in the prediction contest for predicting Domas would get a triple double.

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