Articles | Commentary

I’m ready to believe in the Kings again

I’m buying in. I believe. Let me explain why.

Feel free to categorize this as a preseason overreaction, it very well might be. But I’m buying in on these Kings.

This feeling has been building for me all offseason. Seeing Keegan Murray excel in Summer League. Seeing the signings and trades that Monte McNair has made. Seeing the training camp vibes. I am ready to believe. I want to believe.

I’ve been writing about this team for 13 seasons, and I’ve bought in on teams in preseason that ended up being awful. It’s happened a lot, actually. But I’m willing to buy in again. You’d think I’d be more jaded by now, but I can’t help but line up to kick the football again. Maybe this will be the time Lucy doesn’t pull it away.

And yeah, I know the pragmatic thing would be to wait and see. I try not to be reactionary, but at the end of the day this is all supposed to be fun and it’s a hell of a lot more fun to believe in the Kings than to know they’re doomed. This isn't meant to overlook that I've been pessimistic in the past. I’m not advocating blind optimism, but there’s plenty of reason to believe in these Kings.

I’d rather buy in early and enjoy the ride than to look at the standings in March and realize I didn’t let myself get hyped about the best team we’ve had in years.

I know it can go wrong, and if it does I’m calloused enough to endure it. I’m going to enjoy the ride and have fun as long as it lasts.

Go Kings.

Support Us On Patreon
To prevent spam, our system flags comments that include too many hyperlinks. If you would like to share a comment with multiple links, make sure you email [email protected] for it to be approved.
Subscribe
Notify of
133 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Kosta
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
October 17, 2022 4:15 pm

I believe in them too, Greg!

(but I also believe in ghosts. please don’t boo)

Last edited 1 month ago by Kosta
Jack
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
October 17, 2022 4:27 pm
Reply to  Kosta

I believe also but am a little worried how we are starting the year. Two starters could be out. I think Huerter will play but according to Coach Brown Keegan should have at least one practice before playing. That leaves tomorrow.

Kosta
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
October 17, 2022 5:17 pm
Reply to  Jack

Yeah, I’m hoping the home crowd can push the team to victory at the home opener even without Keegan and possibly Kevin, and then hopefully Keegan/Kevin can return soon after that.

RAP87
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
October 18, 2022 8:05 am
Reply to  Kosta

I still think Huerter plays opening night. Not sure about Keegan. If he clears protocols today he might be able to play Wednesday. But I highly doubt Brown would rush Murray.

Kosta
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
October 18, 2022 10:56 am
Reply to  RAP87

Yes, from what I’ve seen on twitter interviews, Coach Brown sounds like he won’t rush Murray until the rook has had practice time to get back in form.

Am crossing my fingers, toes, eyes…t’s….in-laws……..I’m crossing everything for Huerter to play on opening night.

Kosta
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
October 18, 2022 12:47 pm
Reply to  RAP87

No longer huerting?

Huerter should be available!

Daydreamer
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
October 17, 2022 5:52 pm
Reply to  Jack

If both Keegan and Kevin miss this game, it will test whether some of what we believed we saw in KZ, Trey, TD, and Chima was real. I too am hoping this is a deep team that will DEFEND.

ZillersCat
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
October 17, 2022 4:58 pm
Reply to  Kosta

With little fear ..
Kings are good .. undefeated till Holloween!

comment image

AnybodyButBagley
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
October 17, 2022 6:42 pm
Reply to  Kosta

Ghost defense is real.

RikSmits
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
October 18, 2022 12:08 am
Reply to  Kosta

I believe in Phil Dunphy!

comment image

TerzoM
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
October 18, 2022 11:58 am
Reply to  RikSmits

comment image

PretendGhost
Original Member
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Comments
Vote Up
October 17, 2022 4:19 pm

Same.

There are more proven guys top to bottom than this organization has had in the entirety of my fandom. It feels like a season where not everything has to break right for the team to be in the playoff hunt come April.

I believe.

Fred
October 17, 2022 4:23 pm

Imo it all depends on the effort and morale of the team, because offensively we have really good shooting and PnR action so we are probably above average offensively, defense is really where the team has to shine
In Mike Brown i trust.

RobHessing
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Author
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Author
October 17, 2022 4:29 pm

37-45, 10th place in the West. A nice step upward for what has long been a moribund organization.

Adamsite
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
October 17, 2022 6:24 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Same. 10th seed is their’s to loose. I don’t see how the crack the top 8 without help from those teams via either injuries, trades, or some other tomfoolery.

37 wins seems about right.

RPO
Original Member
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Original Member
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
RPO
October 17, 2022 6:32 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I agree, and this frustrates me like mad. Not good enough to make the playoffs but not bad enough for a high lottery pick. Stuck in mediocrity.

Gregoryl
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
October 18, 2022 9:46 am
Reply to  RPO

“Stuck in mediocrity! Sounds great!”comment image

Last edited 1 month ago by Gregoryl
Kosta
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
October 18, 2022 10:58 am
Reply to  Gregoryl

Clowns to the left of me
Jokers to the right
Here I am stuck in mediocrity with you

AnybodyButBagley
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
October 17, 2022 6:44 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

37 is a good stretch goal. We will see what the players decide to do.

jwalker1395
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
October 17, 2022 6:57 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

40-42, 8th place in the West. We’ll be better than the Fakers and Blazers and comfortably demonstrate so in the play in. Drought ends this year.

Adamsite
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
October 17, 2022 8:49 pm
Reply to  jwalker1395

Beating out the Blazers and Lakers has the Kings at the 9th spot in my mind. If 8th, who do you have them beating out amongst the Warriors, Suns, Clips, Grizz, Mavs, Nuggets, T-Wovles, and Pels?

jwalker1395
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
October 18, 2022 10:18 am
Reply to  Adamsite

What’s more likely: that the Kings are better than one of those teams this season, or that I simply forgot how to count to nine? Lol.

EastCoastKingsFan
October 19, 2022 11:10 am
Reply to  jwalker1395

Happy to purple this

RobHessing
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Author
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Author
October 18, 2022 9:03 am
Reply to  jwalker1395

GS, Mem, LAC, Phx, Den, Dal, Min, NO. Which of those teams do you have the Kings overtaking (along with the Lakers and Blazers and Jazz, of course)?

Kingsguru21
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
October 18, 2022 9:25 am
Reply to  RobHessing

Dallas and New Orleans would be my choices. I don’t trust the health of Williamson or Ingram. I’m not sure that the tougher West doesn’t apply to every team including Dallas.

I think the more important factor is the Kings are a tougher matchup for everyone every night than they’ve been in awhile.

But I remain more optimistic than most, obviously.

Last edited 1 month ago by Kingsguru21
Adamsite
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
October 18, 2022 9:52 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

I could definitely see Dallas slipping. They really didn’t replace what they lost in Brunson, but they did add Wood. We’ll have to wait and see if they can repeat what they did last year.

Kingsguru21
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
October 18, 2022 10:08 am
Reply to  Adamsite

The next time Christian Wood contributes to a winning team will be the 1st. There’s a reason Dallas is his 7th team.

I have more belief that Ingram or Williamson play 70 games than I am that Wood will be an impact guy for the Mavs.

That said, things change. Improvement is possible.

Kosta
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
October 18, 2022 11:00 am
Reply to  Adamsite

After seeing the Kings exciting offseason, I added wood, too.

ZillersCat
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
October 18, 2022 11:33 am
Reply to  Kosta

Groot can splay small forward?
comment image

RobHessing
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Author
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Author
October 18, 2022 10:30 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

I think that catching any of those eight is contingent on the Kings’ good health luck and the bad health luck of another team. Sure, the season of the Dubs, Clips, Nugs, Mavs and Griz ride on the health of Curry, Kawhi, Nokic, Luka, and Ja, much in the same way that the season of the Kings rides on Sabonis. Take any of those guys out of the equation and things change significantly. But that’s a helluva variable to predict.

But I’ll stipulate that the Kings could climb into 8th if they have fantastic health while the Blazers and Lakers falter and one of the better eight teams in the conference suffers a devastating injury to an elite player.

RobHessing
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Author
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Author
October 18, 2022 10:39 am
Reply to  RobHessing

And 1 – I look forward to underestimating this team’s win total and placement in the WC. Historically, my pre-season predictions have far more often than not outpaced the team’s actual performance.

Kosta
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
October 18, 2022 11:03 am
Reply to  RobHessing

Kings fans would make the playoffs every season if it were based on predicting the Kings’…uh, success.

We’re veterans!

(personally I might be making a rookie mistake this year, though)

Last edited 1 month ago by Kosta
Kingsguru21
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
October 18, 2022 11:40 am
Reply to  RobHessing

I look forward to underestimating this team’s win total and placement in the WC. Historically, my pre-season predictions have far more often than not outpaced the team’s actual performance.

I know you’ll be thrilled. And, your opinion of this team is based on how you perceive the decisions made. I get that.

I’ve said this a bunch of times but this season comes down to how you perceive De’Aaron Fox. If you’re more bullish on him, as I am, you’ll like this team more. If you’re not, well, you won’t like the chances nearly as much. Most pundits, media, etc etc aren’t that high on Fox. Whether that’s a reasonable tact remains to be seen.

There’s only one way any of this changes and that’s if the Kings win and win with Fox at a reasonably high level. But I don’t think Sabonis is getting much credit for what he has achieved, either, and I think that’s a common strand that offers hope for this group. Mike Brown doesn’t get much credit for anything that happened in his 1st go around in Cleveland either. Okpala is a guy who can’t score worth a damn. Murray doesn’t have a high ceiling and is too old to be a great prospect. Etc etc.

At some point, it’s just words and noise. I think Portland and the Lakers are overrated due to recent past histories. Dallas, too. I think New Orleans hasn’t achieved that much but the hype around them and the value Zion brings isn’t as great as many believe. Memphis could easily step back without JJJ for a few months. He IS the key to their defense. Denver is re-integrating 2 star’ish players into their rotation. That’s going to take some adjusting on everyone in the Nuggets universe’s part. Players take games off now. Kawhi is going to miss games and it wouldn’t shock me if he misses Saturday’s game because of Round 1 of the battle of LA Sunday night. The Kings face Miami in Miami a night after they play the Warriors.

Games are winnable on this league. I felt, still feel like, this was a 500 team before Sabonis. But, the FO felt like (which I get) that they would top out as a 500 team and ‘sustainable success’ was not possible. Which is why the HC continued to play Bagley and Hield despite the negative consequences to chemistry. And on defense. It cost Walton his job, but I’m not sure he cares. He wasn’t going to get a chance to succeed in Sac.

That type of chemistry and stealth rebuild isn’t there this season. The Kings play Denver b2b times at home. They catch the Clippers several times on a b2b. They catch GSW 3 times early when they might be more vulnerable. They play Memphis at least twice without JJJ. The Kings are deeper, and the question is how much so? Does Mike Brown have the pulse of this group? Are there improvements on Holmes, Davis, Mitchell’s parts?

There’s always questions. This year is no different. Do you have to believe? Nope. Proof, as always, is in the pudding , and you best believe that starts with De’Aaron Fox. Bur for the first time in his career, I think you have a competent GM and HC on the same page that went out and built an improved roster. That’s why I’m optimistic. That, and I don’t think the West is as daunting as people think.

Last edited 1 month ago by Kingsguru21
RobHessing
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Author
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Author
October 18, 2022 12:16 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

I don’t know if it comes down to my belief in De’Aaron Fox or my belief in basic math.

The Kings finished 34 games behind Phx last year. Do I see the addition of Mike Brown, the drafting of Keegan Murray, and a full season of Sabonis, adding the current dysfunction in Phx as a 34 game swinger? No.

26 games behind Mem. Do I see anything short of an extended absence of Ja Morant closing that gap? No.

23 games behind GS. Next.

22 games behind Dallas. I don’t see Kings additions plus the absence of Brunson closing that gap. It would take an extended absence of Doncic.

18 games behind a Denver team that didn’t have Jamal Murray (who was > Fox when he was healthy) and didn’t have much of MPJ. Not catching this team unless Jokic goes down.

16 games behind a Minny team that added Gobert.

12 games behind the Kawhi-less Clips

6 games behind a NO team that did not have Zion, and only had McCollum for about as long as the Kings had Sabonis, give or take. This is the closest of the 8, in my opinion, but they would still likely need to lose one of their big 3 for the Kings to close the gap.

37-45 is a 20% improvement in won-loss, so I don’t see this as a case of not buying into that this is an improved team. I just think that it is an improvement of what was a broken team (and organization) at the end of last season, and that the improvement will be incremental. I like what the Kings did this off season, hence the 20% improvement prediction and the move from 12 to 10 (and perhaps 9) that accompanies it. But they are coming from so far back, the only way they crack the top 8 is if something bad happens to one of those teams while nothing bad happens to the Kings. That’s just not something that I can bank on.

Important to note that I am not affixing a playoff appearance to the definition of success this season. I think that finishing with 37 or more wins, moving up from 12th to 10th or better in the standings, coupled with reducing the atrocious team +/- from -5.5 (25th in the league last year) to something closer to 0.0 (18th) would be substantial. And if the team is playing at that level as we enter 2023, I would extend McNair at that time.

Kosta
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
October 18, 2022 12:24 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

If the Kings make the playoffs, I’ll be getting an extension myself

comment image

RobHessing
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Author
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Author
October 18, 2022 12:42 pm
Reply to  Kosta

Vivegra – the bigger purple pill.

Kingsguru21
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
October 18, 2022 2:02 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

I don’t know if it comes down to my belief in De’Aaron Fox or my belief in basic math.

The Kings were 5-8 with Fox and Sabonis last season. That’s a 31 win team. They won 30 games on the season, overall.

My question is (and remains): What is the baseline for this team? I’m not buying last season as the baseline, simple math or not. You don’t have an interim head coach, 4 new rotation players, and a new style of playbook adjust to without training camp or a summer. That isn’t the case this year. They might struggle on some things, but everyone brought in expects that Domas will be initiating the halfcourt offense. If they aren’t, that’s on them.

Further, to use your math calculations, the Kings don’t have to win 34 games to catch Phoenix in the standings, for example. That implies the Suns will be a 64 win team again A) and B) that it takes 64 wins or more to be a playoff team. I know that’s not your point as you are well aware of that, I’m just saying the issue of getting to 45 wins isnt necessarily about bringing the gap of win totals from a year ago.

Here’s the way I look at it using the schedule.

Beat the bad teams. Houston, OKC, San Antonio, Utah, PDX, Charlotte, Detroit, Orlando and Indiana out East. That’s 27 games total. Win 22 of those.

You have 16 division games. Win 6 of those.

That leaves 17 games against the conference opponents left. 3 times apiece against Denver (two at home), 3 against Dallas (2 at home), and 3 against New Orleans (2 in NO). Win 1 of those games against each team which is 3 wins. And you could argue more but I won’t.

You play Memphis and Minnesota 4 times apiece. Without JJJ among other things I think the chances of winning 3 of those 8 games is possible.

This is now up to 34 wins. With 22 games against the East left I haven’t mentioned needing 11 wins. And by all means, adjust my numbers here.

Beating top teams is always tough, but much easier at home. You’ve always got a shot at home. And consistently competitive helps you have a shot at winning more often.

The Kings were 14-22 against the non Pacific West and 6-10 against the Pacific last season. They were 10-20 against the East.

You win 6 of 8 against the bad East teams and 9 of 22 against everyone else. Go 6-10 in the Pacific, win 16 of the 19 matchups against the bad/mediocre West teams. Go 8-9 against the rest of West.

My point here is if you believe this team had a chance more often than not against more teams, you’re more likely to believe

Important to note that I am not affixing a playoff appearance to the definition of success this season. I think that finishing with 37 or more wins, moving up from 12th to 10th or better in the standings, coupled with reducing the atrocious team +/- from -5.5 (25th in the league last year) to something closer to 0.0 (18th) would be substantial. 

I agree that our definitions of success look different. But I don’t think these are the same teams and the baseline of last season isn’t the best barometer for this group. 45 wins is a bit tight, but not outlandish. That’s why I’m optimistic.

RobHessing
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Author
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Author
October 18, 2022 3:14 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

That’s why I’m optimistic.

I would posit that predicting a 37-45 record for this team is also optimistic. Your mileage may vary.

murraytant
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
October 18, 2022 4:21 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

good analysis- breaks this down into games, not opinions.

AnybodyButBagley
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
October 18, 2022 6:15 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Hopefully the qualitative data you mention will actually lead to quantitative data defined as games won.

At this point you cannot quantify the new coach…the new playbook….or the motivation of the new players.

Had stop reading shortly after that…..

RobHessing
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Author
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Author
October 18, 2022 6:19 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

How many teams last season played .800 ball or better against the worst nine teams that they played? 22 of 27, even against the league’s bottom feeders, seems like rare air, but I could be absolutely mistaken.

Put another way, what was the median record for .500 teams vs. the worst nine teams that they played?

RobHessing
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Author
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Author
October 18, 2022 6:30 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Just checked the 42-40 Clips. 21-5 against their worst, so they were in your ballpark for a .500-ish team.

RobHessing
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Author
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Author
October 18, 2022 6:33 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

19-9 for the 43-39 Hornets.

RobHessing
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Author
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Author
October 18, 2022 6:38 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

19-8 for the 43-39 Hawks.

Kingsguru21
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
October 18, 2022 7:33 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Maybe a better way to do that is above 500 vs below 500. Here’s ESPN tallies on such.

My point really was that there are more winnable games because you have more talent and a guy like Sabonis will make competitive.

And, yes, my mileage definitely varies on the 37 win mark being optimistic as I see that being a more median POV.

RobHessing
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Author
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Author
October 18, 2022 8:03 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

With that said, would 37 wins disappoint you?

Kingsguru21
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
October 19, 2022 4:37 am
Reply to  RobHessing

With that said, would 37 wins disappoint you?

Assuming reasonable health (which is implied I’m assuming), absolutely would be disappointed with 37 wins.

RobHessing
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Author
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Author
October 19, 2022 6:59 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

So it may be less about optimism and more about expectations. You have higher expectations than I do, in that 37 wins would validate my optimism but not yours.

Kingsguru21
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
October 19, 2022 8:24 am
Reply to  RobHessing

So it may be less about optimism and more about expectations. You have higher expectations than I do, in that 37 wins would validate my optimism but not yours.

A fair way to look at it I suppose.

MichaelMack
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
October 19, 2022 10:35 am
Reply to  RobHessing

I enjoyed this thread between the two of you. I do think that the West is going to be less top heavy this year, and more wins available for the Kings to get.

PHX is not going to win 64 games this year. CP3 is older and ran out of gas last season, he isn’t moving well on defense, and who backs him up if he misses time? Landry Shamet? Cam Payne? yikes. The Suns bench in general is not strong, and there are multiple tensions with it being sold, the Ayton weirdness, and a seasoned pro like Crowder sitting out.

The Dubs probably keep the throttle down to overcome Green’s speed bump, to they might get near 60. Denver & the Wolves seem like the should get into the low fifties.

I think with JJJ being out, the bench losing Melton and Slo Mo, that Memphis will start off a lot slower. They should be a force when the playoffs start but their rooks and Zaire would need to over perform to get anywhere close to last years record.

NO probably adds ten wins to last years record, and they have the juice asset wise to take a swing mid season if a very good player becomes available.

Dallas? I don’t know. Doncic can do what he does, but who is their third best player? Weird roster filled with low ceiling guys. Maybe they get 48, or maybe the get 38. I am dubious that Kidd gets the buy in he got last year based on his personality wearing out out multiple organizations.

The Lakers are already a dumpster fire. Westbrook injured his hammy by coming of the bench, and James is noting their lack of shooting on the roster after game one. That roster is messy. I still can’t fathom what made them trade versatile assets for Westbrook.

PDX still seems thin to me, and more likely to underperform than over. The rest are tanking, so I can see a path where Brown’s leadership and game plan clicks 15-20 games into the season, Sabonis and Fox have their career years, and all of the shooting makes it a potent offense, and the Kings make a run much like Boston and NO flipped the script on their seasons last year and they end up with 42-45 wins.

If they ended up at 37, would I be satisfied? I think it ends up how. Is it 37 games with three 6 game losing streaks and two seven game losing streaks? No, I would not. Is it 37 wins with games being hard fought, the core looking like they fit, and an indentity established so the path forward and moves needed obvious? Sure, I would be satisfied.

Last edited 1 month ago by MichaelMack
Nodaclu
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
October 18, 2022 6:23 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

That’s what makes this so fun. If we could simply extrapolate everything through statistical probability, there would be no point in playing the games.

The 98-99 club improved by 17 games over the 97-98 club (when adjusting the 98-99 season to a full 82 games). From 27-55 to 44-38.

Here are the details that created that 17-win improvement, compared with our current situation:

1) Then – Fired head coach Eddie Jordan. Hired head coach Rick Adelman.

Now – Fired Luke Walton. Hired Mike Brown.

Parallels – Team removes head coach not qualified to be an NBA head coach, and replaces him with one who very clearly was (is).

2) Then – Team trades SG Mitch Richmond for PF/C Chris Webber.

Now – Team trades SG Tyrese Haliburton for C Domas Sabonis.

Parallels – Team trades a hugely popular shooting guard for an All-Star caliber big man.

3) Then – Team drafts a 6’9″ 3pt making machine in Peja Stojaković to add to the frontcourt.

Now – Team drafts a 6’8″ 3pt making machine in Keegan Murray to add to the frontcourt.

Parallels – A Kings squad severely lacking talent in the front court (Corliss Williamson and Lawrence Funderburke anyone?) changed the entire dynamic with a trade and a draft pick.

4) Question then – Was Jason Williams the type of PG to take a team to the next level? (Answer turned out to be: kinda. Team improved further in 99-00, but after JWill regressed in 00-01, he was traded as the Kings brought in Mike Bibby, a PG with a much higher floor, but a lower ceiling. This turned out to be the right call, as JWill never quite reached that ceiling.)

Side note– interestingly, as the questions were raging about Murray and Ivey pre-draft, and discussions of high floors and high ceilings came up, this is where my mind immediately went – JWill vs. Bibby. JWill had the much higher ceiling, but Bibby – with the higher floor and lower ceiling – ultimately had the better career, and was the better fit for the Kings overall.

Question now – Is DeAaron Fox the type of PG who can take a team to the next level?

Parallels – While Fox isn’t a rookie, the same question about him lingers.

Anyway, I could keep going, but the point is, should these changes (among several others, admittedly, like the addition of Divac, Pollard) have been enough for the Kings to improve by 17 wins from 97-98 to 98-99?

Not from where I’m sitting.

But they did, largely because the collective sum of all the changes was far greater than their individual parts.

In other words, the human factor crept in, chemistry crept in. The players listened to the coach with a real NBA pedigree. Webber realized that Sac wasn’t such a bad place to be. Jason Williams had a solid rookie season. Vlade brought more than expected to the table, after a pair of down years in Charlotte. The list goes on.

That what’s makes this time of year so much fun. And that’s what I’m banking my optimism on this season – that there’s something more going on here than the players, the stats, and the X’s and O’s. Time will tell.

AnybodyButBagley
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
October 18, 2022 6:27 pm
Reply to  Nodaclu

Great comparison. Interesting read. Thank you for sharing.

Nodaclu
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
October 18, 2022 6:35 pm

I don’t post much, but when I do, I can’t seem to help but write novels…lol. Thanks for taking the time to read it all!

Kingsguru21
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
October 18, 2022 6:55 pm
Reply to  Nodaclu

Two things Noda. One, please post more. I generally do enjoy your comments agree or disagree.

Two, that 98-99 team was largely turned over from the 97-98 edition. Only Corliss Williamson, Lawrence Funderburke and Tariq Abdul-Wahad were holdovers and both Williamson and Abdul-Wahad were traded within 2 years. (I hadn’t realized Funderburke had joined the team in 97-98.)

But I agree there are parallels to that team. I disagree about Eddie Jordan, though. He was a solid head coach. When he had a functioning healthy Gilbert Arenas, those Wizards teams won games.

Anyhoo, great comment.

Nodaclu
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
October 18, 2022 7:21 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Thanks, KG21 – much appreciated! I often feel too old and too old school for many of these discussions (I’m an eyeball scout, which basically got me kicked off the A’s board several years ago, when I said Ryan Sweeney was – at best – a 4th outfielder on a playoff-caliber team. The sabermetrics folks lost their minds…lol.)

That’s not to say that I think statistics are irrelevant. But we live in a time of extremes – where everything has to be 100% one way, or 100% the other. And I like hanging out in the nuances in between, you know?

You’re right – there was a lot of roster turnover between the two squads. All the more reason not to necessarily have high expectations for the 98-99 club (new coach, 12 new players, it’ll all take time to gel, right?)

And Eddie Jordan absolutely did have a better run in Washington. By then, He was a decade deep into his NBA coaching career. But in Sac, he was a first-time head coach, in an era where rookie head coaches didn’t see the kind of instant success that seems to have become much more common in the past decade or so.

I know I’m stretching the analogy (more than) a bit. But it’s mostly because there have been so few teams in the Sac era like this. They’ve either been largely wretched, or easily playoff-caliber. Not much in between. The only other team in the Sac era that feels anything like this one (talented, but just how talented was a huge unknown) was that 98-99 club.

Hence, my ramblings…lol. Thanks for the encouragement!

Kingsguru21
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
October 18, 2022 7:46 pm
Reply to  Nodaclu

Excuse me while I laugh at the Ryan Sweeney thing. I didn’t watch the A’s much in those years (or this year), but I am not remotely surprised by that reaction.

In Rob’s case, I’ve had enough arguments and back and forths over the years with him alone to know this is a simple disagreement. It’s certainly not an issue of nuance, it’s just different assessments in disagreement for lack of a better way of putting it.

As it stands right now, most of the national media and fans out there agree with Rob. I’d be labeled as the homer.

Oh, and your ramblings are nothing. Get back to me when you post 3000 word comments. 😊

AnybodyButBagley
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
October 18, 2022 9:47 pm
Reply to  Nodaclu

Please ramble on. The nuances are what keeps this team interesting.

EastCoastKingsFan
October 19, 2022 11:37 am
Reply to  Nodaclu

Loving your perspective and opinion(s). Please keep posting!

keith_kar
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
October 18, 2022 3:39 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

I agree, you can’t just predict if other teams will be any better or worse than the Kings, with few exceptions.

We shall see. Hopefully the Kings will be in the mix, so to speak.

RobHessing
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Author
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Author
October 18, 2022 3:56 pm
Reply to  keith_kar

Guess it’s time to close down Vegas.

We’re not dealing with absolutes here. But we can hazard a guess at the most probable outcomes based on present data, can’t we? And we don’t have to agree on how we process or manage the data, meaning we can draw our own opinions based on that data, right?

AnybodyButBagley
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
October 18, 2022 11:28 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

How do they overtake Dallas?

80% of Dallas’s roster simply quits?

In my eyes 80% of Dallas’s roster is Luka….

Last edited 1 month ago by AnybodyButBagley
Carl
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
October 17, 2022 9:23 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Yep. I’m around 37-45 as well, though I usually end up about three wins over the actual. We’ll see this year. I don’t consider that a big step up even though the team does seem better than they’ve been since Cousins/Gay/Isaiah.

rff
rff
October 17, 2022 4:30 pm

I’m with you Greg. Go Kings!!

Playoffs here we come!!!

Klam
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
October 17, 2022 4:32 pm

Screw it, let’s goooooo! I’m hopeful Mike Brown will be a real key to changing things for the better this year.

Last edited 1 month ago by Klam
Kingsguru21
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
October 17, 2022 4:57 pm

45 wins. I believe it’s doable with Fox and Sabonis as your top 2. There’s depth when 2 rotation/starters are potentially missing like Opening night with Huerter and Murray not being there potentially. Mike Brown had this team defending much better in preseason (huge heaping of salt of course), but I also think it’s forgotten that they defended better at the beginning of last season too.

There’s more talent on this team than has been in awhile. I think they are poised to surprise people and I’m here for it! Let the games begin!!!!

Kosta
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
October 17, 2022 5:13 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

45 wins as well.

+Coach Mike Brown and staff
+Kevin Huerter and Malik Monk
+Keegan Murray
+Bench/role-players
+blind faith/hope

Jack
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
October 17, 2022 6:53 pm
Reply to  Kosta

I guess I have some blind faith. If they can play defense every night which they can do then I will go out on a limb and predict 43 wins. I believe!!

murraytant
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
October 18, 2022 4:23 pm
Reply to  Jack

good prediction, Jack
Please just don’t trade everybody like you are wont to do.

Want2win
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
October 17, 2022 8:48 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Before preseason I was bullish on them and had them at 41 to 43 winds after seeing the improved defense and ball movement and preseason I can get behind 45 wins as a stretch Assuming we stay healthy, I do like your optimism

TerzoM
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
October 18, 2022 4:20 pm
Reply to  Want2win

Go in already for fuck’s sake
comment image

Want2win
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
October 19, 2022 5:38 am
Reply to  TerzoM

44 wins! I went in! Loved this pic you posted!

Indolentdolt
October 17, 2022 5:27 pm

I’m going to have to wait until December before I believe. I want to. They’re more talented, but good teams are consistent. That’ll take time to see. Thankfully there are enough truly terrible teams in the West the Kings will be hard pressed to not make the play-in.

JackassCentral916
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
October 18, 2022 7:08 am
Reply to  Indolentdolt

Yes, same. Our seasons are usually over by Christmas, so if we get there close to .500, I’m all in. Barring Kangz, we should get better as the year goes on and the team gets better with the system and playing with each other.

ScottyPop
Patreon Supporter
Original Member
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Original Member
Comments
Vote Up
October 17, 2022 5:35 pm

I’m not there, but I cheers those of you who are.

Go Kings

RPO
Original Member
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Original Member
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
RPO
October 17, 2022 5:52 pm

I’d say I’m hopeful. Not yet even optimistic, and I certainly haven’t bought in. After more than a decade and a half of crap basketball, it’s up to the team to earn back the fans’ trust.

Hobby916
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
October 17, 2022 5:59 pm

I always have believed in this team. It’s just that this year I believe they will be improved.

Past seasons I believed they would suck, have drama, tank, blow it up, etc. This year feels different. There appears to be some cohesion amongst the basketball ops, coaching staff, and players.

TerzoM
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
October 17, 2022 6:07 pm

comment image

AnybodyButBagley
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
October 17, 2022 6:40 pm

This year is different from most. The potential to win 82 games is just as low as the potential to lose 79 games. This is an improvement.

I want to believe in this team again but honestly everyone should have given up on this team long ago.

I think the roster is finally built with real NBA talent. Nothing super special but at least they all belong in the NBA.

The biggest reality this team must avoid is Fox not doing anything for the first thirty games, working up to average, then shutting it down the last 20 games. That will get the team right back to 28-33 wins.

Last edited 1 month ago by AnybodyButBagley
Jack
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
October 17, 2022 6:57 pm

Come on Bag you got to believe.

AnybodyButBagley
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
October 17, 2022 7:08 pm
Reply to  Jack

I honestly want to. In my mind Fox is the last remaining floater that they just cannot flush.

This is the year he decides to rise up and thrive or sink…….

ghayes4
Original Member
Original Member
October 17, 2022 7:04 pm

Absolutely Greg. Most talent we’ve had in years. With McNair and Mike Brown in charge, I have faith!

eddie41
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
October 17, 2022 7:16 pm

Someone should hold a sign at the first home game: Greg believes!

Jman1949
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
October 17, 2022 7:20 pm

comment image&ct=g

Kosta
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
October 18, 2022 11:11 am
Reply to  Jman1949

do you beLIEVE in life after the regular season?

comment image

Hippity_Hop_Barbershop
Original Member
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Original Member
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
October 18, 2022 2:41 pm
Reply to  Kosta

I really don’t think I’m strong enough, No!

SelecaoKOJ
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
October 17, 2022 7:25 pm

This teams fate will depend on Fox.
if he plays consistently throughout the season, they are definitely a play in team. Maybe an 8th seed. If Fox miraculously gets his 3 pt shot at a least to 37-38%. Play at least average defense.

If he can’t do either consistently. This team could still slide into a play in.

But their ceiling will be set. This team won’t be able to get any further up the Western Conference ladder with Fox as your lead guard.

AnybodyButBagley
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
October 17, 2022 7:30 pm
Reply to  SelecaoKOJ

Time to try out some new talent.

Bitgod
Original Member
Comments
Original Member
Comments
October 17, 2022 7:46 pm

Well, now we know why Murray and Huerter are out. Thanks Greg.

RPO
Original Member
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Original Member
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
RPO
October 17, 2022 9:17 pm
Reply to  Bitgod

Greg ruined their opening night.

aplumley
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
October 17, 2022 8:04 pm

Buying in is more fun than not buying in

Nodaclu
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
October 17, 2022 8:06 pm

This will be my 37th season of watching this moribund organization (mostly) flounder.

In that time, I’ve watched a lot of truly wretched teams, and a small handful of supremely talented ones.

What there hasn’t been a whole lot of in the Sacramento era are “fringe” teams – teams with a “tipping point” level of talent that could break either way, depending on several things both large and small – things that are currently obvious, and other things that are far less so to the average fan.

This club reminds me a bit of the 98-99 squad – Rick Adelman’s first season – an interesting collection of talent, with a bunch of questions around how it was (or wasn’t) going to all gel together. Adelman’s first team finished 27-23 in a work-stoppage shortened season (after the team went 27-55 the year before) and was the springboard to the only run of success the organization has known since the late 40’s and early 50’s.

Even more interesting is that Mike Brown has spent his head coaching career under similar circumstances – either having a ton of talent or very little. He’s never has a club like this one. Watching his body language it’s obvious that he’s relishing this opportunity to take what he’s learned over the past 20 years, and show that he, as a coach, can really move the needle with a club full of intriguing but unproven (as far as playing together goes) talent.

This feels a lot like that 98-99 club. A not-quite-yet fully formed group that, if the big and little questions land on the side of the positive, could see this be the springboard year – the year that launches the organization into its next extended run of success.

I try not to let myself be swayed by preseason. Last years squad went 4-0 too. But it’s the way they did it this year that has me thinking…wishing…hoping,

Nodaclu’s graying crystal ball says 44-38 – with a string of 50+ win seasons to come.

Last edited 1 month ago by Nodaclu
SelecaoKOJ
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
October 17, 2022 8:24 pm
Reply to  Nodaclu

It’s a star driven league. Very unlike the late 90s NBA basketball.

No team gets into the playoffs without an Alpha 1a Dog. It just doesn’t happen.

if this team does not have that GUy. Their ceiling is very low.

a collection of good players does not get you 50 wins in the NBA.

A great player with a good supporting cast does.

AmateurNerd
Vote Up
Original Member
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Comments
October 18, 2022 6:55 am
Reply to  SelecaoKOJ

The late 90s were just as star-driven as today. Iverson, Stackhouse, Hill, Duncan, etc etc… in fact, one could argue that era was even more star-driven than today on account of the iso-ball offense that predominated. Today’s playing style gives role players a much heavier role on offense, top to bottom, than what we saw 25 years ago. The league has always been star-driven. As for the “no Alpha 1a Dog” argument, I agree that the Kings don’t appear to have that guy right now. But the 1999 Kings didn’t clearly have one, either, until Chris Webber took a step up from his Washington days and became that guy in Sac thanks to new teammates (J-Will, Vlade) and a new team culture that maximized his strengths. Can Domas be that guy in 2022? Can Fox? Keegan? Only time will tell.

aplumley
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
October 18, 2022 2:42 pm
Reply to  AmateurNerd

The 90s were a much more star driven league. I agree. And yet the Pistons found a way. They had great players but I’d argue that the neither the bad boys (maybe Isaiah) or the Rip/Chauncey/Wallace group had that alpha and were competing against alphas.

richie88
Comments
Original Member
Vote Up
Comments
Original Member
Vote Up
October 18, 2022 9:23 pm
Reply to  aplumley

I was too young to see the Bad Boys, but the Rip-Chauncey-Wallace Pistons were unique in terms of a champ that had a collection of stars, but no superstars.

Milkman
Comments
Comments
October 18, 2022 8:08 pm