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Jazz 121, Kings 99: You’re welcome, Utah – Kings gift Jazz the #1 seed

Have a great summer, Kings fans!

It often felt like this day would never come, but by the strength of the almighty basketball gods, we made it. If you stuck around to watch tonight's game, or if you didn't, and still decided to check in here to get that last dose of Kangz pain shot into your veins before the season's end, you are the poster child of loyalty, and also quite honestly a viable candidate for an episode of Intervention. You, just like the rest of us here, are loyal to a fault, maybe a little crazy for sticking around, and above all else, the best and truest form of what it means to be a Sacramento Kings fan. Tonight marked the end of another disappointing season as the Kings hosted the Jazz at the beautiful Golden 1 Center. For the final time this season, and even though it doesn't really matter, let's see how they did:

Quick Stats

Outcome: Kings lose, 121-99

Sacramento Kings: 99 PTS, 46.2% FG, 30.0% 3 PT, 60.0% FT, 24 AST, 11 TO

Utah Jazz: 121 PTS, 47.7% FG, 46.2% 3 PT, 84.0% FT, 28 AST, 15 TO

By allowing Utah to win, the Kings gifted the Jazz with the #1 seed in the West heading into the playoffs. I will let my insanity convince me that the Kings exercised the little control they had over the postseason and decided to let Utah keep their #1 standing. More logical minds might argue that the better team just did what they were supposed to do tonight - DPOY candidate Rudy Gobert had 16 rebounds and two blocks, while 6MOY candidate Jordan Clarkson dropped 33 points off the bench - but we all know there's no room for logic around here.

The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
The Good:
  1. Youth Time: The past few games have given us opportunities to see the young Kings get significant run time. We saw breakout games from Justin James and Louis King in the matchups against the Grizzlies. Tonight we got more snapshots of what the young guys on this team can do. Jahmi'us Ramsey had a season and career-high of 12 points and Damian Jones had another solid performance, finishing with 19 points and six rebounds. Ramsey got to really showcase his athleticism tonight as he had multiple slam dunks that were impressively explosive.
  2. Transition Fun: Led by the activity of Terence Davis on both ends of the floor, the Kings had the most success in the fast-paced transition setting that they have thrived in all season long. The handsy defense of Davis, paired with the young legs in Jahmi'us Ramsey and Damian Jones, were the perfect combination for some fun transition plays. We even got a windmill attempt from Kyle Guy in open transition late in the fourth quarter. Even though it ended up coming off the back rim, it showed big #WhyNot energy and I loved every part of it.
The Bad:
  1. Half Court Game: The Jazz came out a bit sloppy with low energy and careless turnovers which the Kings took advantage of in the first quarter. Eventually, as great teams do, the Jazz reassembled and ironed out the kinks. Utah cleaned up their offensive possessions and forced the Kings into half court basketball. In this setting, the Jazz operated like a well-oiled machine, while this Kings squad looked like a bunch of nuts of bolts still trying to figure out how to fit together. This was expected and there's not much to fairly criticize here - these are guys who haven't had much floor time, let alone with each other. But this half court game is what stopped the Kings' momentum and gave the Jazz the ability to pull away.
The Ugly:
  1. Letting it Slip Away Early: The Kings built up a 12-point lead with three minutes remaining in the first quarter as the Jazz were still getting their bearings being in the dry Sacramento air. To keep things exciting for longer, the Kings just needed to close out the final three minutes of the quarter. Instead, the Jazz came out of a timeout and went on a 15-0 run to flip the score in their favor and took a three-point lead. From there, the Jazz never looked back.
The King of Kings

In line with my identity for being dramatic, I write this with a shadow of sadness and a heart full of gratitude as I bestow the final crown of the season for tonight's King of Kings. It couldn't go to anyone else. You, along with every reader, patron, commenter, writer, and member of this TKH family are tonight's and every night's true King of Kings. To still be here, as a genuine Kings fan, after all of the turmoil, speaks volumes of you as a person, and I respect and admire you. To build this community where commiseration is common, empathy is inherently ingrained, and passionate and thoughtful discussions happen daily is something that will always inspire and impress the hell out of me. And to welcome me into this family and allow me to write about this complex relationship we all have with the Sacramento Kings is something I can never be thankful for enough. You are my people. We are bruised. We are scarred. We are heartbroken. But we are still here. And that's what makes this fanbase the best in the world. I am looking forward to this summer break that we all so desperately deserve, but also can't wait to be back here with you in the fall. Until then, stay dramatic, stay tough, and remember that because you are a Kings fan, nothing can ever hurt you.

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TheGrantNapear
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May 16, 2021 9:11 pm

Kings suck. Barring extreme lottery luck, they’ll suck next year as well and break the all time record for not making the playoffs at 16 years. Really nothing to look forward to with this franchise, especially with the douche bag still running the franchise.
Happy summer Kings’ fans.

murraytant
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May 16, 2021 9:36 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

Kings suck. Kings don’t suck. Shizophrenic season
Mid season acquisitions are good. Have some bench options now.
Two picks ( 8 or 9 or 10-coin flip decides) or coin flip plus a ping pong ball , one restricted FA ( Davis) and two URFA (Holmes + Harkless ), A few non guaranteed- Metu, Jones and JJ?
Can Kings keep Buddy, Bagley and Barnes AND Holmes????
Still a couple of players short.
Defense was bad then when players got hurt, defense improved.
I have been a season ticket holder from 1985 ( don’t jeer too loudly) and I still have some hope.
Coach Fluke?? the team still likes him but can he coach?
Sometimes these guys look good- Fox +Hali + Holmes + Barnes Metu improved and can play as can the new guys.
Buddy and Bagley- I would be nervous if I was them. Buddy got better but still prone to dumb plays. Bagley is beyond inconsistent.

Klam
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Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
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Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
May 16, 2021 9:22 pm

And now the season is officially over…
comment image

Jman1949
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May 16, 2021 9:25 pm
Reply to  Klam

Time for Luke to go riding off into the sunset!

comment image&ct=g

TheGrantNapear
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May 16, 2021 9:35 pm
Reply to  Jman1949

..

87B61808-4659-4482-A593-18F6C3CF6C18.jpeg
jlandweh
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May 16, 2021 9:30 pm

As James Ham tweeted out…the Bulls beat the Bucks so now the Kings have a 20.3% chance of jumping into the Top 4 in the draft.

Im going to go out on a limb here…this was actually a win for Sacramento tonight. Now fingers crossed for either Cunningham, Mobley, or Kuminga.

TheGrantNapear
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May 16, 2021 9:33 pm
Reply to  jlandweh

20 percent odds aren’t half bad. Hopefully lady luck comes our way.

916ickness
May 16, 2021 10:10 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

You’re correct: not 50% bad, it’s 80% bad.

RikSmits
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May 16, 2021 10:39 pm
Reply to  916ickness

Advanced stats for the win!

RikSmits
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May 17, 2021 4:26 am
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

Hopefully lady luck comes our way.

You called?comment image

Last edited 6 months ago by RikSmits
GFunkClassic
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May 16, 2021 10:27 pm
Reply to  jlandweh

I don’t understand wanting Mobley. So we can start all over and wait another couple years to have a starting big? He may be really good but he’s going to take years to reach his peak. I think he’ll struggle just like Wiseman, Bagley, and a lot of recent bigs. This is a good draft to go for versatile SF types.

jlandweh
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May 16, 2021 11:22 pm
Reply to  GFunkClassic

Honestly-Mobley is more of a future play. Unless you can trade someone and resign Holmes…you’re gonna need a big man. Plus like you mentioned, Bagley’s health struggles as well.

I think Mobley fits well with Fox and Haliburton. He would immediately help on the Defense end as a rim protector and his shooting doesn’t clog the lane for Fox.

Do I like Mobley as much as Cunningham (or even Suggs and Green)? Absolutely not. However; the team may need a big man and Mobley could fit.

Amonk81
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May 16, 2021 11:35 pm
Reply to  GFunkClassic

I think Mobley will be good and can play immediately due to his D. Good passer, looks like has good shooting form/capability. They’d be lucky to get him.

Instead we’ll probably get another year of Luke and Puke.

Guess who Puke is……
Hint-dissmive

kings4ever
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May 17, 2021 8:05 am
Reply to  GFunkClassic

Mobley projects as a great shotblocker, but he’s going to be bullied in the paint and and burned when he tries to guard on the perimeter.

You are right we have NO use for Mobley. We cannot wait on him 3 years, because that is how long it is going to take

The team that drafts Mobley ahead of Kai Jones may regret it. Jones is more NBA ready, more comfortable with his face-up game and can guard on the perimeter.

Mobley has some nice moves, well-coordinated and good court awarness, but he’s kind of methodical.

This is why I think we are sitting relatively pretty if we do not move up to be able to land Jones or Jalen Johnson, with a chance at Kuminga if we move up.

RikSmits
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May 16, 2021 10:03 pm

So, how did Buddy do on his bonuses?

The_Kings_Whine
May 16, 2021 10:43 pm

Here we stayed. Another season of maybe next year. Still we cheer this team on. I’m both sad for and proud of all of us. My kids are growing up without playoffs in their lives and still I tell them to be patient. Next year. Yes that will be our year. Next year.

TerzoM
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May 16, 2021 10:46 pm

Another stinKING season. Yes maybe next year. Go McNair, fuck you Vivek

BabalooMagoo
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May 17, 2021 6:25 am

Thank God this season is finally over. It amazes me every year how we can start with optimism (on paper) and end with a whimper. Just too much mental masturbation. And go Luke, Buddy & Bagley. No, really, just go.

HongKongKingsFan
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May 17, 2021 6:55 am
Reply to  BabalooMagoo

Yes. I have been waiting long for the season to come to an end.

As McNair can finally use this off-season to build this team again.
(aka to get rid of those €œDivac€ era players, i.e. Mainly Hield and Bagley)

Just see how McNair turned and improved the 2nd unit by almost giving up nothing, and found Metu and King during the season.

just can’t wait to see Kuminga wearing a Kings uniform.

and Go Kings !

AnybodyButBagley
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May 17, 2021 6:41 am

Hopefully this is the last time Buddy and Bagley are around. Consistently the best of the worst teams in the league. Preventing any chance of a lottery pick or a playoff run.

Does not matter how much it costs to dump Bagley and Buddy, it needs to be done.

Bill2455
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May 17, 2021 7:44 am

Walton, Buddy, Bagley and Barnes will all be back. Money is the only issue.

Vivek does not really care how you feel; the team goes up in value and Sacramento fans will pack Golden 1. He profits.

Face it, when you are ready to reward your “heroes” for being the 8th best in their conference; there is no reason for ownership to try that hard.

rockbottom
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May 17, 2021 8:41 am
Reply to  Bill2455

Will be surprised if Golden 1 is packed ! TV ratings are at 25 year lows and many in Kingsland have not renewed season tix ( thousands a Kings exec admitted ) ! Better turn around quickly !

Bill2455
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May 17, 2021 8:47 am
Reply to  rockbottom

We will see. But perhaps you are accurate. One would hope the fanbase would finally make demands for excellence.

KingOfTheMonsters
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May 17, 2021 9:29 am

“Utah cleaned up their offensive possessions and forced the Kings into half court basketball. In this setting, the Jazz operated like a well-oiled machine, while this Kings squad looked like a bunch of nuts of bolts still trying to figure out how to fit together.”

Really nice line. I’ve much enjoyed your writing. Best of luck in your career.

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