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Kings 127, Jazz 106: The Beam is Risen

Kings hit all the right notes against the Utah Jazz.
By | 71 Comments | Mar 31, 2024

Mar 31, 2024; Sacramento, California, USA; Sacramento Kings forward Domantas Sabonis (10) dunks against Utah Jazz center Omer Yurtseven (left) during the second quarter at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Spirits were low this weekend in Sacramento as the Kings were pushed down into play-in territory after their two losses to the Dallas Mavericks. Adding more salt to the wound, it was announced that Malik Monk will be out at least four weeks with an MCL sprain. Now sitting in the 8th seed, two games behind Dallas for the 6th seed, and with just nine games left to go in the regular season, the Kings need to be nearly perfect these next few weeks to make up the ground that they lost. First up in this final stretch to the postseason was the Utah Jazz. With no more room for error, the Kings needed to take care of business against the 12th seeded Jazz. Let’s see how they did:

Quick Stats

Outcome: Kings win, 127-106

Sacramento Kings: 127 pts, 53.6% fg, 50.0% 3pt, 73.9% ft, 34 ast, 44 reb, 15 to

Utah Jazz: 106 pts, 41.0% fg, 39.0% 3 pt, 78.6% ft, 22 ast, 34 reb, 12 vto

After what feels like a fortnight of darkness, the beam has at last been resurrected. The first half was a close matchup, as the Kings led by just 4 points. But the third quarter was all Kings. Sacramento went on a 15-0 run out of an early timeout from Coach Mike Brown and never looked back. The Kings handed the Jazz their 9th loss in a row with a demonstrative win on their home floor. After taking some punches in recent weeks, this was a welcome and comforting win.

The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

The Good:
  1. Shooting: Life feels so much sweeter when the Kings are making their 3s. Colors seem brighter, the air feels fresher, and I feel damn near invincible. The Kings had one of their best shooting nights, making 20-40 from deep. The best of this came in the third quarter when they eventually gained control of this game where they made 8-12 on 13 assists.The Kings first gained their momentum after making three 3s in a row out of a timeout early on in the third quarter. Keegan Murray started the shotmaking early and finished with a team-high 25 points on 5 made 3-pointers.
  2. Efficient HB: Not far behind Keegan Murray was Harrison Barnes. Heating up in that third quarter run, Barnes finished with 24 points and did it with impressive efficiency. He made 5-7 from the 3-point line and 9-12 from the field. When Barnes is not only aggressive, but also efficient in his scoring, he adds a threatening dimension to this Kings offense.
  3. Resurrection Sunday: Although the Kings are still sorely missing Malik Monk and Kevin Huerter, they were gifted the returns of Trey Lyles and Sasha Vezenkov tonight. Lyles was impactful in his 19 minutes with 11 points, 5 rebounds, and 3-5 from the 3-point line. And while Vezenkov only played 10 minutes, he was able to join in on the party and hit a classic quick release 3-pointer from the corner. Vezenkov also showed his defensive awareness and grabbed 2 steals. Getting Lyles and Vezenkov back in the rotation will be huge for the Kings moving forward as it adds to their depth off the bench.
The Bad:
  1. Corner 3s: It felt like every made 3-pointer from Utah came from the corner. The Kings struggled to cover ground in the corners and allowed the Jazz to shoot 16-39 from the 3-point line. Brice Sensabaugh (5-10 3-pt), Taylor Hendricks (4-6 3-pt), and Keyonte George (3-10 3-pt) all enjoyed the open looks and made the Kings pay for their slow recoveries.
The Ugly:
  1. Who is Brice Sensabaugh?: Before tonight, I had never heard the name Brice Sensabaugh before in my life. But on trend for visiting players in Golden 1 Center, he introduced himself with a career night of 22 points with 5 made 3s.

The King of Kings

De’Aaron Fox was the best player on the floor tonight on both sides of the ball. Fox played with a visible level of confidence and control with the ball in his hands. One might even say he is Him. Not only did he dazzle with his usual quick moves and fancy finishes, but he also got his teammates involved. Fox finished with 24 points, 12 assists, and 3 steals. The most impressive part of this packed stat line was his assists – with his Kentucky partner, Malik Monk, sidelined, it was imperative that Fox elevate his playmaking, and he came through in a dominant way.

Up Next

Tuesday, April 2nd vs. Los Angeles Clippers – 7:00 P.M. (PT)

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Ellis5
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March 31, 2024 8:56 pm

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Jman1949
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March 31, 2024 9:16 pm
Reply to  Ellis5

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TerzoM
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March 31, 2024 9:12 pm

This is a 3pt shooting team. If Fox can continue to dribble drive for kick out corner 3s it may not be over. Rinse and repeat. Let’s go

Ellis5
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March 31, 2024 9:16 pm
Reply to  TerzoM

It’s a thing. I love the game threads… They evolve in real time and then the artists paint the canvas/

Last edited 3 months ago by Ellis5
TheGrantNapear
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March 31, 2024 9:14 pm

Now in a tie with the Suns for the 7/8 seeds. Two games back of the Pels and Mavs for the 5/6 seeds.
The next 3 games are rough (Clips, Knicks, C’s).
Hard to see us landing the 5 or 6 seeds, but should be a fun last two weeks of the season.

Klam
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March 31, 2024 9:30 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

I’ve pretty much accepted we’re not getting the 6th seed, considering New Orleans has the tiebreaker on us and Dallas has a much easier schedule than we do. Gotta just focus on staying out of 9th and 10th now.

Last edited 3 months ago by Klam
Ellis5
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March 31, 2024 9:33 pm
Reply to  Klam

I don’t accept that garbage.

Klam
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March 31, 2024 11:18 pm
Reply to  Ellis5

Well, you do you then.

Ellis5
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April 1, 2024 1:10 am
Reply to  Klam

I always do thank you for asking

Jman1949
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March 31, 2024 9:34 pm
Reply to  Klam

So with the Suns playing the Pels tomorrow, you’d prefer getting a half game up on the Suns over getting a half game closer to the Pels?

Klam
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March 31, 2024 11:20 pm
Reply to  Jman1949

I mean…..you’d have to hope the Kings go on a winning streak and the Pelicans fall off the cliff, all while needing to pass the Pelicans by one game since they hold a tiebreaker. If you wanna believe that will happen, then believe it.

Last edited 3 months ago by Klam
Jman1949
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April 1, 2024 6:00 am
Reply to  Klam

Ah, I didn’t mean to sound snarky. I’m a bit torn with which outcome I’d prefer.

Jack
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April 1, 2024 6:41 am
Reply to  Jman1949

The best outcome of course.

Klam
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April 1, 2024 9:10 am
Reply to  Jman1949

Oh, you’re all good, Jman!

Yes, I realize mathematically the Kings *technically* can still get the 6th seed, but going off of the difficulty of our remaining eight games, and the fact that we would need to go on an insane winning run while the Pelicans would need to drop many of their games, it realistically just doesn’t seem possible given the inconsistency we’ve seen for the season. I’m just tempering my expectations, and if they surprise me, then I’m all for that.

Klam
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March 31, 2024 9:19 pm

Glad we got Lyles and Sasha back, couldn’t have come at a better time.

With eight games left, and the only two bad teams remaining being Brooklyn and Portland, I think if the Kings can go at least 4-4 for the remaining games, they should be able to stay at 7th or 8th. And getting a win against Phoenix will be very important for the tiebreaker. This is gonna be a long two weeks.

Jman1949
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March 31, 2024 9:27 pm
Reply to  Klam

We won’t be needing those tanks, so send them away!

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Ellis5
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March 31, 2024 9:36 pm
Reply to  Klam

The Kings have already won or lost… It’s well documented

Last edited 3 months ago by Ellis5
Amonk81
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March 31, 2024 10:26 pm
Reply to  Klam

So glad Vez is back cause I wanna see what he can do. Feel like he can help this 1/2 court O- and Brown seems to be slow at playing Vez. Like he was w Ellis. I think Brown is a tad stubborn-or at least-can’t see forest for trees.

I also want (but doubt) to see some plays run by Brown in 1/2 court…which he did 2nite out of a couple TOs.

I find it pure idiocy to have guys like Keegan and Sabonis (and Herter/Barnes) who would thrive with/need plays run and instead playing “figure it out as you go” ball.

RikSmits
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March 31, 2024 10:35 pm
Reply to  Amonk81

Oh Brown is more than a tad stubborn.

He seems to be a system coach, demanding his players adapt to the system instead of adapting to his players strengths and weaknesses.

That’s not always a weakness, but you need some flexibility to account for changes or unforeseen circumstances.

Amonk81
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March 31, 2024 11:09 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

I agree. I was being a bit tongue in cheek.

I think the great coaches adapt to the strengths of the players.

That flaw in brown could be what keeps the kings from moving forward. Unless he gets all guys that fit his system.

and I think all these injuries might be a good thing in that it forces Brown to make some of these changes and allows guys like Vez more time when he deserves it even though Brown can’t see it.

RikSmits
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March 31, 2024 11:52 pm
Reply to  Amonk81

Yeah, it seems like it.

I mean, after this game, he again kept harping on the spray 3’s. Apparently, they hit 9-11 of them in the second half. But if your offensive identity is relying heavily on a middle of the pack 3 point efficiency team team (.367%, 14th in the NBA, taking the 4th most 3s) catching fire from distance, you gotta have a really good backup plan when that won’t work, and I don’t think he has any, beyond “spray more”.

I don’t think that will work well enough in the postseason to advance. We’ll see.

Jack
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April 1, 2024 6:48 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Or what does he do if we aren’t hitting the threes. A good coach always have a good backup plan.

Amonk81
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April 1, 2024 11:29 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Plus spray 3 O is not to Keegan/Sabonis Hierter or Narnes strength.

It’s all about cra gong at 3 amd if close out you dribble by and then play make or shoot/score. It’s for guys who handle and olaymake.

Stupid. Use more sets
in 1/2 court. Other options.

Jack
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April 1, 2024 6:46 am
Reply to  Amonk81

I also see some things in Edwards. Hope he plays a little more.

MichaelMack
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April 1, 2024 12:02 pm
Reply to  Jack

I definitely do.

It might be my biggest nit to pick with MB’s rotations this year. I would love to see where Edwards would be right now if he had gotten some of the minutes Duarte has received.

Adamsite
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April 1, 2024 12:52 pm
Reply to  MichaelMack

I just recently learned that Edwards is also a RFA, with early-bird rights. No one is going to give him a lucrative deal, but the Kings do have the right to match. I’ve heard Kayte say a number of times that the Kings FO sees Edwards as a project player they’ve invested in. I wonder if they bring him back next year. He is still just 23 and “looks” to have the tools of a wing defender the Kings desperately need.

Jack
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April 1, 2024 1:14 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I hope so.

Adamsite
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April 1, 2024 1:53 pm
Reply to  Jack

Kings are going to have to round out a roster somehow, this includes signing a legit backup center. Lyles isn’t gong to cut it.

Here is the current “guaranteed” depth chart heading into summer

Fox, Mitchell
Ellis, Huerter, C. Jones
Keegan, Duarte
Barnes, Lyles, Sasha
Sabonis

Edwards is a RFA while Monk, Len, and McGee are UFA.

IMO, Kings priorities will likely be a solid big and a defensive minded wing, followed by guard help. Maybe Edwards can help on the wing, but I have my doubts until proven otherwise.

Jack
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April 1, 2024 2:52 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

IMO things will change for next year and I have some ideas but will wait until this season is over.

MichaelMack
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April 1, 2024 1:44 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

That is great to know. Seems like he could be a helpful bench piece with his size and athleticism. I also like how he seems to be a good rebounder.

Jack
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April 1, 2024 1:13 pm
Reply to  MichaelMack

I agree 100%.

SuperShaka
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April 1, 2024 2:03 am
Reply to  RikSmits

I don’t think this Kings’ offense looks anything like what Brown coached in his previous stops.

RikSmits
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April 1, 2024 2:48 am
Reply to  SuperShaka

I know, but I didn’t say or imply that he is a one-system guy.

I believe that (a) his system changed (now heavily influenced by the Warriors) and (b) during his stints at Cleveland and LA he was likely not the guy calling all the shots (with LBJ and Kobe around).

And it can even be that he taylors his system to fit with his main guys talents (Domas, Fox), but I think that once he has a system in place, he sticks with it, for better or worse.

SuperShaka
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April 1, 2024 7:58 am
Reply to  RikSmits

“He seems to be a system coach, demanding his players adapt to the system instead of adapting to his players strengths and weaknesses.”

I disagree with that part. The current offense is not like any other he has coached and plays to the strengths of his best players. Calling him a system coach is an unfair criticism in my opinion.

Amonk81
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April 1, 2024 11:37 am
Reply to  SuperShaka

Even Katie pointed out that Sabonis and Kings O could use more plays run in the 1/2 court. Brown does not do it yet.

And he hasn’t adjusted in 1/2 court because they are bad in 1/2 court against a decent D-in playoffs etc.

Thats the adjustment. The O his running right now is not working in the 1/2 court cause it’s not suited to his players.

Jack
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April 1, 2024 6:44 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Boy are you right.

Malrock
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April 1, 2024 7:28 am
Reply to  Amonk81

This is crazy talk. Vez has been injured for 2 months and you think he’s not being eased back into the lineup after being gone for so long? Instead it is something to do with Brown being stubborn? Come on let’s realize anyone out that long is going to take some adjustments before seeing more minutes. With big starters we hear about minutes restrictions. Same idea here but he’s a bench guy so we don’t talk about minutes restrictions.

Amonk81
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April 1, 2024 11:31 am
Reply to  Malrock

I wasn’t talking about this time back. It’s not insane. Before Vez injury Brown hasn’t really given him a chance/was slow to do it. Just like Ellis

RobHessing
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April 1, 2024 11:39 am
Reply to  Amonk81

Alternate take: Brown’s deft handling of Ellis has transformed an undrafted prospect into a starting NBA guard. /Shrugs

There isn’t an NBA coach that has the lightning speed of internet wags – everyone wants a change as soon as a guy misses three straight shots, whereas NBA HCs generally rely on a larger sample size, as well as what they see in practice and when reviewing tape (unless you’re Luke Walton).

Credit to Ellis for seizing the opportunity, something that Davion Mitchell, Kessler Edwards and Chris Duarte were not able to do when given the window. He earned it. But I don’t think that the coaching staff was holding him back, or late on giving him the opportunity. He is a different player than he was when he was drafted, or even when we saw him in the pre-season.

HoustonJP
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April 1, 2024 9:00 am
Reply to  Amonk81

The Kings ran 4 straight plays to the left side of the basket because the weak side forward was not adjusting his D. 4 straight baskets and the Jazz called timeout to adjust.

Barnes is an excellent down low ISO player, among other things. Always has been. Kings run double screens for him and he also goes iso on his own when the game calls for it.

MichaelMack
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April 1, 2024 12:05 pm
Reply to  HoustonJP

That is why I would like to see Barnes come off the bench, to allow for him to be a featured scorer a bit more. You can tell he relishes when he gets a younger defender on him, and he goes to that slow-step-shoot-off-the-wrong-foot-high-arching-bank shot that seems like he can draw fouls on a Doncic-ian percentage of the time.

Last edited 3 months ago by MichaelMack
Jack
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April 1, 2024 1:19 pm
Reply to  MichaelMack

I also think Barnes coming off the bench would be a good asset. If possible I would love to have him there for at least 2 more years.

ArcoTwo
April 5, 2024 5:46 am
Reply to  HoustonJP

Hello! I understand you know Jerry Lucas? I am trying to get in touch with him about coming out to Sacramento so he can be honored as part of the 100 year anniversary! Any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated!

ArcoTwo
April 5, 2024 5:48 am
Reply to  HoustonJP

You can reach me at [email protected] thank you!

UpgradedToQuestionable
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March 31, 2024 9:46 pm

The Ox with his 57th consecutive double-double.

Kings with sweep over Jazz, first time since 2001-02 season.

Beam Team wins!

Jazzy Dance Time!
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Jman1949
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March 31, 2024 9:50 pm

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RobHessing
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March 31, 2024 10:35 pm
Reply to  Jman1949

When/how did you set up a camera in my house?

RikSmits
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March 31, 2024 10:37 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Liar. I see pants.

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March 31, 2024 11:09 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Depends

RobHessing
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April 1, 2024 9:26 am

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RobHessing
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April 1, 2024 9:25 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Well played.
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Ellis5
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March 31, 2024 10:03 pm

These after game threads are boring… I need to tone it down.

Ellis5
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April 1, 2024 12:25 am

Thank you Mirann. Stuff gets lost in game hype but your comments should not be… Well done I love it.

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April 1, 2024 4:35 am

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bjax1
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April 1, 2024 6:54 am

Great win last night. Much needed dose of optimism after a tough week. To all the commenters harping on Brown’s coaching, come on! We had the literal best offense in history last year, and we’re again a top offense. Plus we’ve been much better defensively – which is something Kings couldn’t say for like 20 years. Guy is the best coach since Adelman. Ok, mini-rant over.

RikSmits
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April 1, 2024 7:54 am
Reply to  bjax1

Eh, being the best coach since Adelman isn’t a ringing endorsement. We had more than 15 years worth of coaches who couldn’t crack the completely average 40 win plateau. So yeah, he’s better than that lot. That doesn’t make him immune to criticism.

And we are not again a top offense. We are 9th in PPG, 12th in FG%, 14th in 3p%, 20th in FT attempts, 30th in FT%, 13th in turnover% and 18th in ORB%. We’re probably not even a top 10 offense at the moment.

RobHessing
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April 1, 2024 9:44 am
Reply to  RikSmits

I 100% agree that Brown (or anyone in the Kings org.) is not immune to criticism. Everyone involved has an opportunity to add to their “game,” be it Brown or Fox or Murray or even Sabonis or the front office or anyone else. Fabulous season for Ellis, for example, but there is room for improvement. Sabonis is amazing, but I don’ think that he is done adding to his game, and there is some opportunity there. So yes, I think that one can reasonably criticize any/all of these guys, and that criticism does not negate the positive contributions.

I try to gauge a HC by looking at the roster and asking, is the coach getting more or fewer wins than reasonably expected out of the available roster? In Brown’s case, I think that it is no worse than a push. I also look at the available alternatives, and I don’t think that there is anyone available that moves the needle (Erik Spoelstra ain’t walking through that door).

I don’t think that Brown has been perfect by any measure, but I also think that given his options at the long wings, the roster has come pretty close to delivering to its current talent.

The front office seems to be betting on a next level for Murray, and that may not be a bad long term bet. But it is a bet that makes Malik Monk your 3rd best player this year, and when you compare Monk to the 3rd best players on the top teams in the league, that gets a little dicey. And I don’t know how you defend Harden / Leonard / PG 13 with this roster, or Ingram / Zion / McCollum, or the seemingly endless supply of rangy wings that inhabit the Houston roster.

I wanted 50 wins this year, but I can sure see how it didn’t happen. The roster didn’t get better, and many of the other rosters in the West did. The 65 game rule forced a lot of players back onto the floor, much to the detriment of the Kings (see the Clippers), while the Kings did not enjoy the insane injury luck that they had last year. It really exposed the weakness of this roster, a weakness that we discussed around here at the end of last season and through the summer.

And 1 – Whatever disappointment I have in the team not getting to 50 wins is overshadowed by watching Sabonis all season. What he has done this year is on the short list of greatest seasons ever by a Sacramento King. Mitch Richmond was great for an extended period of time, but I don’t know that he was ever as dominant in a single season as Sabonis has been this year (supporting cast is probably a contributing factor). Webber had a couple of seasons like this, the years where he went toe-to-toe with the likes of Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan and Karl Malone, and often times came out on top. Peja Stojakovic the year that Webber missed most of the season injured springs to mind as perhaps the best single season performance by a Sacramento King. Domantas Sabonis is a treat, a reward for decades of watching uninspired basketball in Sacramento.

Adamsite
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April 1, 2024 10:13 am
Reply to  RobHessing

Excellent points. I too have really enjoyed Sabonis as he has been the highlight of an otherwise underwhelming season. It also helps that he’s incredibly likable on and off the court. The whole roster is, in fact. There is no one I dislike or point out as weak link that needs to be replaced. Everyone has their role and the team just is what it is, which is to say a fringe playoff team with some limited upside.

As you mentioned, Spoelstra ain’t walking through that door so what Brown did is basically all we can expect from the majority of NBA level coaches if given this roster.

All being said, I’m just eager now to see what Monte does this offseason because he’s been basically sitting on his hands for about 18 months. This summer will determine the next few years of this team.

RobHessing
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April 1, 2024 10:42 am
Reply to  Adamsite

From the completely arbitrary files:

Fox scored 20+ pts. 52 times so far this year. Sabonis 36. Monk 25. Murray 17. I think that the leap for Murray next year has to be to get him at least in the low 30s for games of 20+ pts., and Sabonis in the 40s. I think that is how this team grows offensively, as Sabonis and Murray would both project as being among your more efficient scorers on the roster.

That sort of increase for Sabonis and Murray probably keeps you on pace with the off season improvements / attritions that you will see across the West. So the question then becomes, how do you close on the teams that are above you (not to mention the rebounding Griz and the up and coming Rockets and Spurs)? I have no answer to that. My fear is that the roster is a bit landlocked right now, but we’ll see.

Again, the 20+ thing is very arbitrary, but I think it does shine a light on where the Kings can climb back into being a premiere offensive team. And if that move translates into 5 or more wins, that’s a step in the right direction.

Adamsite
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April 1, 2024 11:37 am
Reply to  RobHessing

I’d wager that if Monk walks this season you’ll see a increase in Murray’s 20+ pts games, as well as Barnes. There just are so many scoring opportunities in a game.

Both Monk and Keegan increased their shots per game at around 2 from last season. Oddly enough Keegan shot better from 2 and 3 than Monk, but averages slightly less pts per game. This is likely due to Monk averaging more FT, but on pts per shot they are close to identical.

My theory is if Kegan can continue to ascend, which he as done in every aspect of his game (sans 3pt shooting) and can return shooting from deep at a rate closer to his rookie year, he will clearly be the 3rd best option of offense going forward.

Now, couple that possible increase in shooting for Keegan (again, if Monk walks) and if the Kings can land another effective wing defender that impacts the roster as Ellis has done, and I feel the Kings won’t need as many of those 20+ scoring nights from multiple individuals.

I am very much of the mindset that defense creates offense, and those transition points tend to be shared amongst the roster. This means less 20+ pts games from stars who play hero iso ball and a more even distribution of points, not to mention less reliance on the 3 ball.

Jack
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April 1, 2024 1:38 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I agree. Take for instance last nights game. Fox didn’t score 30 or more but had 12 assists. There will be times he might have to score 30 or 35 but last night he didn’t chuck threes as much attached the paint and either scored or found open guys. How about the time he found Edwards in the corner for 3. Talk about having confidence in the player. And what about Barnes and Murray. No Monk so they both stepped up to the plate.I know we were playing the Jazz last night but instead of playing shitty the whole team stepped up. Just think if we were to do that against those under 500 teams we lost to this season we definitely wouldn’t be where we are now. I also was pleased to see Lyles back and doing great. Brown now needs to play 2 guys I think would really improve their game. Vezenkov and Edwards. GO KINGS!

RikSmits
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April 1, 2024 10:40 am
Reply to  RobHessing

All good points.

For starters: I am not here to argue that Brown should be fired. But he should do better (as should Monte). But if we are not better by the end of next season, things will get tough.

Why should Brown do better? For a few reasons, IMO.

He himself set a high bar with the postseason goals he publicly set at the start of the season, knowing his roster and the state of the West. He could have been more reserved, he could have shut up. He chose not to. He has to own up to these goals.

In that respect, I truly believe that he has developed a style of basketball here that works quite well in the regular season, but will be dificult to sustain in the postseason. The speed, the spray threes, the mediocre defense; they don’t seem recipes to sucess to me.

I look at a coach and asking if he is maximizing the team’s potential. And I would argue that he didn’t, but I can understand if people would argue otherwise. What bothers me most is that – for good or for worse – we kept the team together and everybody was talking about the benefits of continuity (me included). Knowing your personnel, finetuning the offense and adding new wrinkles/layers/plays. And isntalling a defensive identity. Notwithstanding the issues with this roster, I have seen very lkittle of that, especially the expansion of our offensive repertoire. There, I can only blame Brown, and that to me is a big deal.

So it looks more and more to me that last year’s team maximized its potential, and this year’s team didn’t. And if you want to credit it to the unusual health of last year’s roster, I won’t disagree. But I can’t credit Brown for that.

What makesd this an issue for me is the fact that the road towards further inprovement is a small and steep. It really requires Keegan to continmue to make huge strides, for Fox and Domas to keep improving and for Monte to work some serious magic.

About Domas, I agree wholeheartedly. The man is a phenomenon and a pleasure to watch.

KingOfTheMonsters
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April 1, 2024 12:14 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Good points.
Last year, James Ham several times reported that Brown’s offense had countermoves to countermoves to countermoves, and that it would take three seasons for this team to fully incorporate the dynamics of the offense. Hence, the desire to keep the same cast of characters.
But it hasn’t looked like there was much evolution to the offense. In fact, I’d say there was a de-evolution. Heurter’s role seemed to be de-emphasized. The fourth quarter seems too often to be the Monk or Fox iso show.
While Sasha wasn’t the second coming, he has played well at times only to be pulled for games. The second unit could/should have its own offensive identity but its really just Monk working.
Maybe the team wasn’t ready to evolve and make the offense more dynamic? I’m not saying that is on Brown.
The only real criticism I would have for Brown is waiting to insert Keon into the starting lineup. It was quite apparent the lineup needed a change. Adding defense for offense opened up the offense. It was a breath of fresh air and I think Heurter would have done well on the second unit. Had Brown made the change earlier, maybe Heurter isn’t injured? On the other had, maybe someone else is injured? Who knows? I just think he could have/should have made the change instead of letting fate force his hand.

It’s all still fun, just not what I expected.

Adamsite
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April 1, 2024 9:24 am

The Kings shot insanely well from the field and from three last night and rightfully beat the snot out of a very inferior team. Seriously, there was one point last night where I couldn’t tell you who the 5 players on the floor for Utah were. The Kings did what they had to do and hopefully keep that pep in their step going forward, because it is not going to be easy.

My butt pulled expectations going forward: Lyles and Sasha will be much welcomed additions while Barnes and Murray are going to see a significant uptick in usage. Will this go well? It’s anyone’s guess, but I’m not getting my hopes up too much.

Predictions for remaining games:

Clippers: loss
@Knicks: loss
@Celtics: loss
@ Nets: win
@OKC: loss
Pels: loss
Suns: toss up
Blazers: win

I think the Kings have two more wins in them, and possibly three if the the standings are set and Suns are resting folks by then.Kings will finish with 45-46 wins and will fall to the 9th spot in, just edging out the Dubs…who they will face in the play-in.

Worst case: They win just one more, fall to 10th, and have to travel to the Bay to play the Dubs. Yikes.

TerzoM
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April 1, 2024 10:47 am
Reply to  Adamsite

We said in the past we didn’t need Monk”s offense – we needed defense. Well we lost Monk and seemingly found Ellis.

Next is we don’t need Fox’ 3. I hope he can add more drive and kick out corner 3s. We don’t see Sabonis shooting much of the mid range, if we make playoffs teams will use GSWankers strategy.

Jack up those open 3s. You miss 10 in a row keep shooting 20 more. 20 pt lead is nothing. Jack it up and you lose by 20 or win by 20. We are a 3pt shooting team – use it

Adamsite
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April 1, 2024 11:43 am
Reply to  TerzoM

Investing stat: The Kings are 2-8 since the start of 2024 when Fox shoots 8 or more 3s per game. The team just plays better when he’s driving and kicking.

RobHessing
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April 1, 2024 11:50 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Yeah, his deep shooting should be a snack, not a meal.

KingOfTheMonsters
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April 1, 2024 12:16 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

mirrors my prediction. I’m not optimistic.
I hope the new dynamics of the team forces a change and they surprise us.

Mike120
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April 1, 2024 10:18 am

It must be so much nicer to write a recap of a win rather than a loss. I feel bad for the writer after a loss. They have to re-live it, whereas I switch to Netflix and try to forget.

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April 1, 2024 10:51 am
Reply to  Mike120

It has sort of flipped, hasn’t it? It used to be a kind of perverse bit of fun to recap losses during the decade and a half of suckitude. There was more than a hint of masochism that went into it, and for many every loss was an extra ping pong ball. What a weird time that was. It’s really nice of this team to recognize that and occasionally service our masochistic sides with terrible losses to terrible teams. It’s also really nice that last night was not one of those occasions.

Jack
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April 1, 2024 1:45 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

I will make a prediction. Kings will beat the Clips tomorrow night if Fox plays like he did last night.

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