Heading into the NBA Bubble most basketball pundits predicted that the depleted Brooklyn Nets would be one of the worst teams in the restart, and for good reason - their injury list is nearly as long as their active roster. They've been without Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Spencer Dinwiddie, and DeAndre Jordan, to name less than half of their injury report. They've temporarily filled their roster with fringe NBA players and G-Leaguers, but despite everything working against them, they've managed to put together a bubble record of 2-2 including a miraculous win over the Milwaukee Bucks. They've performed considerably better than your Sacramento Kings.
Even though the Nets haven't been as bad as one would expect, this was game a you'd think a definitely-trying Sacramento Kings team should win. They have more talent. They have more to play for. Especially after Luke Walton declared that Thursday's win over the Pelicans would be meaningless if they didn't show up today with the same mentality. Yikes.
There wasn't a lot of particularly notable action in the first quarter. Harrison Barnes poured in 8 points to lead the Kings in scoring, but neither team shot the ball well considering some of the crazy scoring numbers we've seen in the bubble so far. It was mildly interesting to see DaQuan Jeffries (Kent Bazemore missed this game with a minor calf injury) as the first King off the bench instead of Buddy Hield. Jeffries replaced Nemanja Bjelica, who was struggling again defensively.
The Kings looked their best when Alex Len checked in to close out the 1st. Len contributed with 4 first quarter points, but his 5 rebounds allowed the Kings to control the boards and take back the lead. Sacramento took a 27-24 lead into the 2nd quarter.
The bench unit failed the Kings to open up the 2nd quarter. Cory Joseph was completely unable to run anything that resembled an NBA offense, and Buddy Hield continued his bubble long cold streak. To make matters worse, Sacramento's somewhat competent first quarter defense also disappeared. Nobody on the Kings had an answer for Caris LeVert, who scored 19 points through two quarter.
If not for a late scoring flurry from De'Aaron Fox and Bodgan Bodganovic, the Kings would've been in big trouble here. The Nets took a 63-53 lead into the half, and Sacramento was pretty fortunate to only be down 10.
The Kings played even worse to open up the third quarter. It looked like someone was controlling the Kings in NBA 2K20 and edited all their stats to zero. They were driving directly into the Nets, fumbling the ball, throwing it away, reacting slowly, and generally doing nothing well.
I should mention here that Alex Len started the 2nd half for Richaun Holmes. Holmes was questionable heading into the game today with a hip injury, and it was announced on the broadcast that he aggravated it again, and would not return.
In the time it took me to write those sentences about Alex Len and Richaun Holmes (I am writing this recap live blog style) the Kings went on a 12-0 run with Bogdan Bogdanovic leading the way, and miraculously found their way back into this game. That was the beginning of the end.
The Inconsistent Kings went ice cold immediately after the 3rd quarter run. The Nets regained control of the game and never looked back. Brooklyn's G-Leaguer offense looked great running against the poor Sacramento Kings defense, and carved them up until the lead was insurmountable. We actually saw some garbage time. Against this Brooklyn Nets team. Good Lord.
It's remarkable how a pickup squad that was just assembled a few weeks ago can show up and perform considerably better than a Kings team that has been together all year. It's embarrassing, really.
The Kings lose, 119-106. There's nothing left to say. Either Vivek Ranadive is going to hold someone accountable for this disaster, or we'll be back here next season for more of the same.
First to say we suck!
Hey, that’s a nice article picture.
Don’t worry, the Kings have a late lottery pick!
Liking Patrick Williams with that pick. Strengths are wing defense, 3 point shot, finding gaps to cut for lobs.
The players after hearing this from their coach-that-everyone-supposedly-loves:
Is this rock bottom?
Rock bottom will be when Fox ascends to the next level, grows frustrated over the way things are run around here, and demands out. Meanwhile Luka Doncic solidifies himself as one of the new faces of the NBA while Marvin Bagley plays out his Sacramento contract with never eclipsing playing in 21 straight games. The fans finally get tired of this shit, season ticket sales plummet, and local downtown businesses pay the price.
Dude. I’m not disagreeing but let me finish a couple drinks first. Lol
Nope. Three more years of Luke and Vlade to look forward to.
Fingers crossed there’s a sliver of hope that Fluke Walton gets fired. It is my only chance of getting any joy out of this team in the near future.
Never TOO SOON Coaching Candidates:
Brian Keefe(OKC asst)
Will Hardy( Spurs Asst)
Darvin Ham(Bucks Asst)
Please chime in with your Dreamy suggestions .
Hmm. Are any of these guys friends with Vlade though?
If they have a Dad I heard Vlade doesn’t get along with him.
I’m not sure I could handle watching this team under D’Antoni.
Not sure if i like D’Antoni either but it would probably be great for Fox with his history of Point guards. Hell he even made Lin look amazing for a bit.
New GM first, then new coach.
New majority owner first, then new GM and finally new coach.
Then we get the Khakis.
Stan Van Gundy
i don’t know if SVG is the best option available from a winning perspective, but he’s definitely the one I’d appreciate the most if he ended up coaching the team. He’s just such an interesting dude.
Sign me up for Becky Hammon. It would be a historic hiring; the world, media, and other fans would be rooting for her and us to succeed. Also, men have proven to suck at the job since Adelman left and Malone was fired.
If we’re gonna go full rebuild again, I want a coach that has PROVEN experience with developing the talent on the roster. Having the coach grow with the team is obviously not the right answer.
That also assumes Lose Walton is growing….
Are we sure that the Kings are more talented than the team they played today?
It is a legitimate question, if only because the team’s talent is consistently overrated by the organization, the fans and, especially, the media.
I’ll say it; Fox is overrated. No leadership, no consistent effort, bad D. You only can blame coaching so much. Real talent floats to the top.
And yet, he’s the best player on the team by leaps and bounds.
Low bar. He’s not worth the max, IMO. You need to completely reset this franchise.
Agree on resetting the franchise. I think Fox is the only player on the team with long-term value to a possible future Kings playoff team, and probably the only real asset on the team with trade value. The next GM is going to struggle to get out from under Barnes and (maybe) Hield’s deals when trying to rebuild.
My feeling is that a full rebuild is inevitable, we’re going to burn up a good part of next season and probably all season proving that nothing will change with this group, and it’s going to be a real mess to clean up.
You’re right he’s probably the 2nd or 3rd best player on a good team, but he could surprise folks and be better but his growth and overall impact have not wowed me.
At least someone else is willing to admit it. I’ve been saying it since we drafted him but I would get killed on sactownroyalty for even thinking of such a thing lol smh
I’ve been laughing at the no imprint remarks, but after he has been fueling stuff about the disrespect stuff he either had high scoring-low efficiency games where he didn’t get his teammates going or more muted games where he didn’t assert himself when needed, you have to wonder.
His defense is subpar, he is not a true floor general and his 3p shot is regressing again.
Apart from his speed and handles, at which aspect of the game would you call him excellent or even very good?
Fox strikes me as high IQ and high character. I can’t prove on a stat sheet that translates to NBA success, but I think it helps, and I think the Spurs agree with me. I’m not going to argue that Fox is going to carry this team to the playoffs. There are only a handful of players in the NBA today that could do that with this squad. Just that I think intelligence matters in a complex game.
That’s also not to say I wouldn’t trade him. Fox is on the edge of the Kings timeline. You figure a rebuild isn’t going to start for at least another full season, and the Barnes deal is going to be extremely difficult to get out of, and if Hield has another bad year under Walton (seems somewhat likely) he won’t be far behind. Without landing a Doncic-like talent in the draft, we’re probably looking at minimum 4 years from today, after a full rebuild, to have any chance at the playoffs.
I love his IQ and character; he’s a very thoughtful, wellspoken and eloquent guy. I like rooting for him.
But I think his IQ is not BBIQ. Think about how often you have seen him make a pass that wowed you, where you understand that he saw a play developing before everyone else, or gave that pass that really led a teammate to the right spot? It is once in a blue moon. I see very little anticipation and good court vision in that regard.
This is a guy who probably during his last years in High School and his year in college would rely mostly on his speed and athleticism, and has good instincts for the game. But not real court vision or BBIQ.
That is my opinion.
Yeah, I don’t disagree, but I think his off court intellect could translate to on court success. But again, does he fit the Kings timeline? It’s borderline.
love Your comments on basketball IQ. It’s my gold standard for all players. How do you grade it?… there’s no formula or stat. Your left with only your eyes. Stats are great but stats don’t always prove a players worth now or projected in to the future. Buddy shoots the three great! Awesome stat! Fans and media love guys that can shoot that well from deep. Result of a dumb GM is pay that guy nearly max money. Result of a smart GM is don’t re sign that guy. He’s dumb, Buddy is dumb on the basketball court. He’s a great shooter that’s also dumb. Sorry buddy. Facts are facts. Buddy consistently makes bone head decisions/mistakes on the court. It’s anticipated and expected. I could ramble on about my dislike for buddy’s mental game. I’ll stop here and just say that he needs to be traded. THIS SUMMER!!
He has value. Our doom and gloom surrounding this Orlando Kings performance does not make buddy suddenly un tradable or devoid of value. Thats not the way things work. He has a reputation as an elite shooter, that reputation equals value. It’s easy as a fan in a blog post to say he has no value, you’ll have to take back trash to get rid of Buddy, or take on a bad contract. That’s not true though, that’s emotion speaking, not logic.
buddy has value. Trade him. Now! For what or who? Not sure. I’m not ready to float out ideas. I’m simply saying he needs to go and as the GM you need to find a way to get something of value in return. Even if that means pairing him up with another player like Bagley or Joseph or Nemanja in a multi player deal for example.
if you don’t have a high basketball IQ, a natural feel for the game then you don’t play in Sacramento. PERIOD!
PASSING ABILITY!!!!!!!! Passing is one of, if not the biggest thing to look at when evaluating players. At least for me. It’s what I thought Vlade would know and what I thought he’d bring to Sacramento in the players he signs or trades for. Players that have a strength, skill set and understanding of how to get other players scoring opportunities (which is why it makes no sense that Vlade wouldn’t select Luca over Marvin but that’s a whole other topic I don’t want to get in to right now). Fox does this, Bogi does this, Barnes does this, Bazemore does this, Giles does this, Nemanja does this, Holmes does this, Joseph dies this (despite yesterday’s bad game). Those players know how to get other players the ball in good positions and create opportunities for others. They know where to be on the court, they are aware of their surroundings like the shot clock, the game situation, the refereeing, etcetera. They are SMART players. All of these guys are welcome to stay on MY KINGS TEAM. The others… trade them or let them walk.
in Sacramento we NEED to attract team players because this team will only win as a team. No free agent super star is coming here to save the day, team basketball like what the kings had in our twilight years with Webber, Bobby, bibby, J-Will, Doug, Peja, Vlade, john berry, hedo, Brad Miller, etcetera. That entire team had high basketball IQ. Those teams could pass and create. They had a feel for the game. A feel for the game… the TEAM GAME!!!
buddy doesn’t have it, Bagley doesn’t have it. If you can’t pass, get the fuck out. You’re not a Sacramento King. This SHOULD be our team/franchise identity.
All this ranting on my part, let me sum it up here.
I would like buddy to be traded, he plays dumb, is inconsistent, forgets where he should be on the court constantly and cant pass. Bye!
Disagree on leadership, disagree on effort and the bad D is a team issue which speaks to coaching. We are losing cause we can’t defend.
Zion went 10-12 against us and his team lost cause they don’t play D.
If Kings had a coach that can get them to play team defense better. The De’Aaron is overrated talk wouldn’t even be a thing.
I’ve watched quite a bit of these games, and Fox loses his man a lot. Doesn’t close out on shooters well, either. He’s mediocre defensively at best.
Sure but who on this team has defended well in the bubble. It’s like they don’t understand coverages and rotations anymore. A simple pick and roll destroys us all game every game.
Len, Baze, Jeffries?
How does the leadership show? People still standing around like zombies on offense? People still giving low effort on D? His effort is bad on D and he even admitted in a recent postgame interview that the motor thing is on him. He can give effort and then disappears for stretches/games.
Sure, team D is a thing, but it starts with effort and focus, and requires some skill. He loses his man too often, and does not know how to navigate screens at all.
Is he a finished product no. Does he have flaws definitely. In my eyes I’ve seen enough flashes where he has shown good defense and leadership. Now in this bubble for sure you are spot on it’s just been offense.
I bet if De’Aaron had Popovich as a coach he would navigate screens better and not lose his man as much. So I do think the coaching slowed his progression on the defensive side.
There is clearly a coaching issue, but to credit a player with development of skills and to deflect blame of all the flaws/lack of development to the coaching staff is lazy and wrong, IMO.
Joerger was seen as a defensive oriented coach, previously of the grit and grind Grizzlies. So he didn’t teach Fox this? Igor was a well-regarded European coach (and Europeans are known for a much bigger focus on fundamentals); he didn’t teach it? Cory Joseph, with all his flaws, has deserved reputation as a defensive player, he would not give pointers on how to navigate screens to a teammate? Barnes, Shumpert, Brewer?
Fox was the right draft pick and is a keeper. Markelle Fultz was the wrong one. Lonso Ball, belongs in the NBA and can pass like no one, but isn’t living up to expectations. Ricky Rubio was the wrong one, but still has a career. Tyrek Evans also had a career, but didn’t live up to expectations.
If Steph Curry had gone to the Kings, he’d be out of the league with early injury problems. Because, well Kangz.
I’d like to see Bagley play and see what we have. I enjoy players with heart and would hold on to Harry too. I’m not sure where his health will go, but I’d risk it.
The rest, I see as just frustration and would not go to Fox being 3rd best on a good team. Not every team is the Lakers. Fox is statistically a top 10 point guard in the NBA using Pers, EWA .. what ever stat. The Kings need a Draymond Green type and more talent. I do not see any team with top 10 talent at every starting position. It would be nice having a All Star team, but coaching is going to have to fill the gap.
I mostly agree that Fox was a good choice at the #5 pick, although there were some good players picked behind him (and Vlade also had the #10 pick and a shot at Mitchell, Bam, Jarret Allen and Anunoby…
That takes nothing away from my argument that he is not as good as a big part of our fanbase thinks he is and from wondering if he is worth the max, or if you’re better off to trade him before making that decision. .
And as I explained above, some of the blame falls on his shoulders. You can’t blame it all on ccoaching, the FO or dysfunction.
These things didn’t keep IT from developing, for instance. Talent floats to the top.
You only trade Fox if it’s getting you the first pick in the draft and that player is someone like Anthony Davis or Zion. Fox has flaws but he is hands down A keeper in my eyes. His flaws come no where near his positives. And let’s not forget that Fox has that killer in him which is VERY HARD TO FIND. End of game, I’m happy to have the ball in fox’s hands. You don’t look to trade that guy in my opinion.
This is why I only want players with the gift of passing. It’s why I loved the justin James pick and Kyle Guy pick. They are both smart players that can pass and know where to be on the court instinctively. Taking that instinct and pairing it with good teachers and you’ll get yourself a good nba player. Period.
Now, Both of those guys might never find themselves as part of an nba rotation. That doesn’t change the fact that they are the type of player you want to invest in. Not players like Bagley or buddy who have only insane skill and god given talent. They can play on another team, not my team if I were GM.
To be clear, I like insane skill and god given talent. It just needs to come with basketball IQ and a willingness, a WANT to pass!!
Overall, the Kings have no business losing to this version of the Nets. That said, Levert and Allen are as good as anyone on the Kings roster and Harris is basically the streamlined, know-your-role-and-stick-to-it version of Hield.
Remember how when Demarcus fipped off Warriors fans, Vivek was suddenly okay with trading him?
I wonder if Buddy slipping to 8th in the rotation will spur Vivek to finally move on Vlade/Walton.
Other than having a crap and odd primary owner, a toxic executive, a bad GM, being in a small market, having owners with shallow pockets compared to most other NBA owners, a crappy coach, an ownership group that doesn’t like each other, and a franchise permeated stank of being the Kangz for over a decade … it should be pretty easy to turn this around.
Nothing that 4-5 Margarita’s can’t cure.
They fired Peaches, so this was a successful year in my book.
Vlade was right, Luka wouldn’t be a good fit here.
I’m just here to comment on a Kings’ loss.
I can’t believe we signed Buddy to that deal…
…and fired the coach that had him playing at a borderline all-star level.
And I can’t believe our “GM” fired the coach that knew how to use him properly and replaced him with a guy who has absolutely misused him in every possible way.
Steph Curry is my least favorite NBA player right now.
But, only because I blame him for helping create the myth that Luke Walton is NBA-caliber head coaching material!
I mean, the Barnes deal was worse though.
And Barnes was only traded here because of the success that Dave Joerger had with a young scrappy Kings team that had Shump starting.
How fast things can change.
Pretty hilarious considering this Nets team was literally put together weeks ago.
This is one of the lamest, most milquetoast excuses I have ever heard. Every team is fighting this. Every single one. You’re not the same team because the coach of that team, who knew what he was doing, was fired so the GM could hire his incompetent stooge crony friend.
No wonder Vlade loves him.
Vivek & Grant in happier times!
What times were those exactly?
Back when fans were appreciative of having ANY team and racism went unchallenged.
Thank you, not Luka.
It sounds like an excuse because it is one.
Sounds Like Bogi doesn’t want the Kings to match his offer after all!!
I think we should at least consider the possibility that having 4 players that all contracted a virus that effects your cardiovascular system may have negatively affected there performance. I don’t think the they would’ve been 3-1 instead of 1-3, but it’s not crazy to think that players may have cardio issues even after technically recovering.
That certainly could be, but my understanding is that Barnes was fairly asymptomatic and it seems like he hasn’t necessarily been significantly better or worse than usual. Len and Parker haven’t really played and Parker was a non-factor anyway.
Buddy seems to be the only player who is consistently underachieving. Buddy’s minutes have dropped the last few games, but that wasn’t the case at the beginning. You’d think if he was gassed, it would be more apparent when they started. It also seems like a lot of Buddy’s issues are from over dribbling, bad shot selection and poor decision making.
COVID-19 certainly could be a factor. I’m not trying to minimize it. I’m just not sure we’ve seen evidence that’s the case with this group.
I could certainly understand it being a hindrance for Buddy. Having said that, I think that’s an issue with the Kings’ medical crew specifically and the Kings org generally if they have Buddy out there when he’s not fully recovered.
Additionally, they shouldn’t be getting their asses handed to them by a team missing most of its best players.
I think there’s a difference between putting a player out there in a situation that could risk there health, and allowing a guy to play even if their conditioning less than optimal.
I don’t disagree with you generally, but this is really specific to just Buddy IMO. And if you’re serious about winning, you could have left them home and replaced them on the roster.
As we just saw, the Nets have overcome their roster limitations nicely.
I do expect this will be Vlade & Co’s primary talking point during the off-season, though.
How does that explain yesterday’s win against the Pelicans? It was a night and day difference today. This team sucks, is uninspired, has terrible coaching and ownership.
Nice that we get to see them all together practicing for a few games though, according to Lose Walton ð
I thought I was pretty clear that conditioning wasn’t the only factor associated with their poor performance. I guess I’m just willing to admit the amount of time various Kings players spent in quarantine may be a factor that’s contributing to their poor performance.
You might be right, but I think they just sort of stink anyway. This is a team full of veteran journeymen who have reached their ceiling.
If the bubble has shown anything, it is that the Kings shouldn’t sign Bogi to a long term extension. A streaky, inconsistent player offensively, who can’t defend. Hield looks worse, but he had COVID-19 and is being horribly misused, and it is hard to see him being tradable without taking back something bad in return. Bogi will probably flourish elsewhere if properly utilized, but we can’t help that. Tying up a lot of money in Fox, Barnes, Hield and Bogi is a ticket to a 35 win team at best in perpetuity. Best to start cutting losses now by letting Bogi go.
When you get a chance to lock up 30-40% of your cap into two non-All Star shooting guards, you gotta do it.
Team has really put themselves in a quandary. Locked up Hield/Barnes to 40 mil cap space.
Add in a Max Deal for Fox at 40mil per. You have a majority of your cap locked up 80(mil) on 3 players. This roster is not a playoff team. Even, if Fox makes another leap next year.
What team are the Kings going to supplant in the West? Kings high bar expectation with this roster is battling for an 8 spot. If the Suns, Pels, and Grizz continue to improve the Kings could be sitting in the cellar of the West. Anywhere between 12-15.
The next 2 drafts after this year are monsters. So, that’s something to think about.
coaching doesn’t matter. Who cares
team needs to rebuild, play youth and get picks.
why would coaching matter? That’s deck chairs, and for a small pocketed ownership losing corona revenue, it’s enough to ask them to hire another badly needed front office
Right you are.
I honestly lost count of how many times I saw a Kings offensive set where the ball handler would move up the court, stop at the top of the arc, and everyone would just freeze. Just stand, motionless, like they heard a gunshot. It was incredible. No screening, no wing motion, no lateral movement, no decoy runs. Nothing.
Normally, we’ve seen that with a dribble dominant set, like with Rondo or Tyreke, but people were still in motion. It was honestly one of the most absurd things I have ever seen in an NBA game.
Also, my family thinks I have anger issues after yellow “MOVE!!!” at the TV at the top of my lungs at least 5 times.
I’ve been complaining about the same thing and folks respond by saying “well the defense is bad as well.” I agree but the offense is totally horrendous and embarrassing. I wonder if they’re so demoralized by the offense that they’re tuned out and don’t care to put out the effort to play defense.
well, it’s a kind of chicken or the egg thing, isn’t it?
Mik Smith from the Nets Daily was right.
And I’m thinking the guys didn’t relax enough. But it is a great learning experience!
How can the Kings turn this around and make the playoffs next year?
Whats the point in committing to Bogdonovich when it won’t make a difference? The team will be committed to Barnes, Hield and Bogdonovich and then they will have to try to resign Fox. If they accomplish that then the team is going all in on a non playoff team.
The only way this team could work is if Bagley becomes a superstar but that seems less likely than the Kings bringing energy and focus to each game.
Does anyone see how this team could even play .500 basketball in the next 3 years?
It’s safe to bet the under on whether this team will see the postseason as long as Vlade Divac is in charge of this team.
This team can’t defend, and shows no sign of ever being able to do so, even if Bagley amazingly becomes an 18 and 9 guy. Locking in a bunch of guys who can’t play defense long term doesn’t strike me as a smart strategy for future success.
Rebuilding doesn’t mean treadmill role players like Bogi, winning useless games in the coming rebuilding years while he’ll be older when the team is relevant again
It means playing youngsters who have shown flashes like James or what have you and clearing the decks
So maybe in five more years this “rebuild” possibly gets the eight seed?
Calling this a shitshow is offensive to shitshows.
I’m going to continue to be my normal positive self and point out the producer of the radio broadcast wore Brad’s Kings Herald shirt to work today.
I ordered the same one. It apparently shipped today.