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Kings 133, Pacers 122: Kings win the trade!

Snub ammunition fuels the Kings to victory.
By | 62 Comments | Feb 2, 2024

Feb 2, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Sacramento Kings guard De'Aaron Fox (5) shoots the ball while Indiana Pacers guard Buddy Hield (7) defends in the second half at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Kings took advantage of a Pacers team that was on their second night of a back-to-back, had their star player Tyreese Haliburton on a minutes restriction, and were without centers Myles Turner and Jalen Smith. The game, however, started shakier than you’d expect with TJ McConnell continuing his trend against the King of stealing souls and dominating in the rim.

Initially, the Pacers exploited the Kings’ weak rim defense, scoring 14 of their first 16 points in the paint. Domantas Sabonis gave the Kings a strong start by scoring 6 of the first 8 points against a undermanned Pacers team. However, he quickly picked up his second foul in the first quarter, which posed an early challenge. In response, Coach Mike Brown decided to play small, with Trey Lyles stepping in as the backup five. His strategy paid off as Lyles, motivated by his pop’s presence in the crowd, made significant contributions. He scored 13 points on 4-5 shooting and played impactful defense, including an early charge. Another significant contribution came from Malik Monk, who came off the bench and immediately shook off his recent slump. He scored eight points in his first three minutes, helping the Kings narrow the gap to just one point by the end of the first quarter. 

Entering the second quarter, the Kings intensified their defense, leading to 15 steals in the game, six courtesy of De’Aaron Fox, who tied his career high in that department. This game also marked the second matchup between these teams this season, following one of the more polarizing trades in the last few years, Domas for Haliburton. This is also hot on the heels of Fox and Sabonis both being overlooked for All-Star selection while Haliburton secured a starting spot — the Kings held their ground admirably.  Adding another layer to the drama was Pascal Sakiam’s move to the Pacers after being linked with the Kings in trade discussions. He managed to rack up an impressive 22 points, keeping Domas in foul trouble throughout the game.

Fox was cooking from all over the court wrapping up the game with 25 points from an efficient 11-21 field goal attempts. However, his free throw woes persisted as he could only convert 2 out of 6 attempts. The Kings, as a team, also struggled from the free-throw line, making 18 of 28 attempts in contrast to the Pacers’ 20-24. I must admit, I was shaking in my proverbial boots down the stretch, fearing that free throws might cost the Kings the game. 

The beginning of the second half set the pace for the remainder of the game as the Kings maintained their defensive momentum, kicking off with a promising 7-0 run. Malik continued to be a major factor with his relentless energy, primarily dominating in the paint and setting up his teammates, culminating in 23 points and 6 assists.

Despite early foul issues, Domas was omnipresent in the latter half, setting monster picks and creating open opportunities for Huerter from downtown. He secured his 30th consecutive double-double, leaving him just one short of tying Oscar Robertson’s single-season franchise record of 31. With a 9-14 efficiency and a notable 8-9 from the free-throw line, Domas finished with 26 points.

The second half also marked a change for the Pacers as Tyrese Haliburton got the start, but Fox’s robust defense seemed to affect him, as the league’s top assist provider managed only one assist and five turnovers. Former King Buddy Hield ended the game with 17 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists. Ben Mathurin was the standout Pacer, scoring an impressive 31 points on 14 shots.

In the end, the Kings essentially dominated the game, maintaining a double-digit lead and always having a response for any Pacers’ comeback attempt. The Kings’ depth, particularly the contributions from Lyles and Monk off the bench, coupled with consistent support from Barnes and Huerter, proved to be too much for the short-handed Pacers. The Kings will face the Chicago Bulls in their next back-to-back game tomorrow night. Will they secure their sixth win in the last seven games?

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Ellis5
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February 2, 2024 8:40 pm

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Swipa! One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Block…… One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Block!

Last edited 1 month ago by Ellis5
Jman1949
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February 2, 2024 8:51 pm
Reply to  Ellis5

Fox with another theft!

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Yakshi
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Nostradumbass 21
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Nostradumbass 21
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February 2, 2024 8:47 pm

Groundhog Day Massacre

Pacers Disemboweled in Front of Friends, Family, and Former Grade School Crush Holding Pet Gerbil

Klam
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Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
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Nostradumbass 19
February 2, 2024 8:53 pm

Even with it being a SEGABABA, hoping we can take advantage of the Bulls’ injuries.

Jman1949
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February 2, 2024 8:58 pm
Reply to  Klam

The rest of the Bulls following Lonzo’s lead?

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Ellis5
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February 2, 2024 9:11 pm
Reply to  Jman1949

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Jman1949
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February 2, 2024 8:53 pm

The Kings, as a team, also struggled from the free-throw line, making 18 of 28 attempts in contrast to the Pacers’ 20-24. 

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rff
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February 2, 2024 9:06 pm

I wish Kyle and Katie would call the game action better instead of telling long winded stories and other long winded commentary.

rockbottom
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February 2, 2024 9:19 pm
Reply to  rff

That is exactly my complaint . Follow the game action instead of endless jabber while terrific basketball is being played in front of them . I mute much of the game .

Ellis5
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February 2, 2024 9:29 pm
Reply to  rockbottom

Awesome content…. more.

Last edited 1 month ago by Ellis5
Hobby916
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February 3, 2024 6:02 am
Reply to  rff

It’s basketball, not story time at the local library.

NorCalKingsFan
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February 3, 2024 3:23 pm
Reply to  rff

She is unable to leave a single moment of dead air, it’s quite irritating. Just do that one thing…talk about the game action only and leave everything else unsaid, with that change she’d be great.

aplumley
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February 2, 2024 9:34 pm

Keegan only 5? Not going up early? This team needs change.

UpgradedToQuestionable
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February 2, 2024 10:06 pm
Reply to  aplumley

This was in deference to De’Aaron and Domas as the only King representing Sac on ASG weekend.

9sac8
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February 3, 2024 7:10 am

I saw a little irritation in Fox. It was a good thing though. It was more like, he’s had enough of the antics. Sabonis, as tough as he already is, showed a little more grit too. The whole team played very well. As far as Fox and Sabonis goes, I think we will see the best out of them going forward. Not sure if this coincides with the all-star snubs or we just don’t like Indy, but I saw some toughness and no back down. The Kings never play mad. We’re too friendly. No one fears us. I think that might change. This season has been up and down. Not what anybody expected, but here we are 5th in the standings. I HOPE I’m not wrong, but I think we just became a tough team. They looked like they are not backing down any longer.

Hobby916
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February 3, 2024 7:15 am
Reply to  9sac8

The toughness ramped up after the all star break last season. I could see the determination in fox and sabonis, silencing the pundits that predicted the kings would come back to earth with that tough schedule post break.

They need that team again.

Jman1949
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February 3, 2024 7:26 am
Reply to  Hobby916

They’ll need to be that team going into the break this year. After Detroit, we have Denver, OKC, and a back-to-back with Phoenix and Denver.

9sac8
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February 3, 2024 8:13 am
Reply to  Jman1949

Well…

1000002247
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February 2, 2024 10:02 pm

Very nice win. The free throw shooting is absolutely maddening but it didn’t kill them tonight.

TerzoM
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February 2, 2024 10:24 pm

Keegs poses are the best

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Ellis5
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February 2, 2024 11:36 pm
Reply to  TerzoM

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RPO
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RPO
February 2, 2024 10:49 pm

Great road win against a quality opponent. Game was much closer in the second half than it needed to be because of missed FTs.

RikSmits
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February 2, 2024 11:52 pm

Nice win.

I try not to nitpick about the FT’s and not putting the game away sooner after a 28 point lead. I guess you can’t have it all.

Ellis5
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February 2, 2024 11:59 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

I agree… The Kings FT’s are like the Eastern Conference…. Garbage.

BuffaloDiaspora
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February 3, 2024 12:11 am
Reply to  RikSmits

It’s insanely frustrating because if they could just pull it all together for a stretch this team has incredible potential:

  • locked in HB
  • Aggressive Keegs
  • Fox hitting his FTs
  • Red Velvet just being himself and not in his own head
  • Domas being willing to shoot occasionally
  • Monk bringing his brain to the game

Like, just do those things on a regular basis and this is a team that… maybe not gonna win the west but they’ll make everyone sweat about it. They have the talent (finally), it’s about getting their heads in the right place which in infinitely more frustrating.

Ellis5
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February 3, 2024 12:17 am

Calm down there’s no need to announce yourself. Why give away your advantage? for sponsorship?

Last edited 1 month ago by Ellis5
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February 3, 2024 6:45 am

Add in a consistent contribution from Trey Lyles (who had the stroke going for this game).

Also, a shout out to Kessler Edwards who put in some nice minutes on the defensive end along with 4 boards. Davion as well defensively, but still lacking on the ofher side of the ball – though he had a pretty cut for one hoop.

Duarte, Len, McGee all sit in Indy to play vs. Chicago?

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February 3, 2024 6:52 am

Oh – still a nice win- Dance!
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Hoosier Daddy!

Hobby916
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February 3, 2024 6:52 am

Len and Mcgee weren’t needed because Pacers played pretty small with Turner and Smith out. Duarte isn’t good, so he gets no time regardless.

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February 3, 2024 8:52 am
Reply to  Hobby916

Not playing against your former team is a pretty loud statement, if you ask me. (note: you didn’t ask me).

Ellis5
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February 3, 2024 12:10 am

Watching the replay because I’m not retired and this game is pretty lit!

DutchKingsFanInUK
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February 3, 2024 2:48 am

Great night for the Kessler Edwards fan club, of which I’m apparently still a board member. Zero shot attempts in 14 minutes, but two blocks (only one counted for some reason), 4 rebounds, 2 steals, and a +11.

Also want to shout-out this play the Kings ran, don’t believe I’ve seen it before:

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Love the activity on the weak side, leading to confusion among the Indiana weak side defenders, and an easy layup for Fox. Admittedly, it doesn’t take much to get the Pacers defense confused, but still was a nice play to see.

HongKongKingsFan
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February 3, 2024 7:14 am

Great night for the Kessler Edwards fan club

Kessler Edwards fan here………….

He played very well, he knows his role, good rebounder and fight for rebound… pass the ball on-time….

Good game from him, hope Mike Brown can give him meaningful playing time like this game…

NorCalKingsFan
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February 3, 2024 3:30 pm

it goes to show what a player who is dedicated to doing the defensive & dirty-work can do with players like Fox, Ox & Spockx handling the offensive load.

Hobby916
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February 3, 2024 3:11 am

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kings4ever
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February 3, 2024 7:05 am

That was a very satifying win. I’d need a post victory cigarette after the climatic experience if I was a smoker. I was more emorionally invested in that game than any since the playoffs, after the snubs and and familiar faces, Yield and the Overrated Baby.

Haliburton is hype, smoke and mirrors, albeit with nice touch and court vision. Put size on him, like we did with Kessler, and you neutralize a lot of what he can do. You take away his passing angles over the top, speed him up, force him into help, and a low percentage floater. He’s always been a tissue paper on defense.  Mr. Glass can’t defend or get into the paint consistently, but his yucking it up and showboating makes him the darling of the league and second coming of Cousy.  I’ll take Fox any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

At the 4:00 mark and down 11, desperate for their best player to mount a comeback, Hali-baby,  jumped desperately and chucked the pass to no one leading to an easy turnover and Kevin rim wrecker. Can we get the G-Leaguer and sip of gatorade and an MRI? Tyrese must be injured or dehydrated to be so charitable to the opposition.  

Does Siakam look like a max player to you? Meh.  There is something aesthically displeasing about his game, the flailing limbs, the predictable spin move, the floor shrinking passivity. He can defend but he’s got heavy feet.  I am glad we passed.

We played with the heart of champions. The Boys made us proud, diligent and relentless, and vengeful. I predict we play .750 ball for a while, a month or longer, as we did post all-star break because of the All-Star injustice, the egregious disrespect and blasphemy, the us against the world mentality cemented.

Do NOT accept an injury replacement invitation.

Do NOT accept an injury replacement invitation.

Do NOT accept an injury replacement invitation.

Or better you accept the invitation so you can get your bonus or salary boost, then you cite your own injury, a headache or joint soreness of any type, and drop out.  Optimally, an undeserving scrub, aka Curry, leading a lottery team to nowhere, twists an ankle. Then Fox replaces him. He “stubs his toe”, drops out. Then Domas gets named. Then he “gets a hangnail” and they all have a restful break and laugh on the way to the bank.

The Avenger Tour rolls on. We are going to win tonight. Book it! We are going to beat the Suns. Book it! 6-1 road trip. Book it!  

With the the Trade Deadline fast approaching our extraordinary GM is going to out for blood and ingenious value play. A deal will get down on our terms or not at all. It is underpay or no pay. This is not entriely incompatible with the notion that “you have to give to get”, and you cannot expect to trade your trash (Davion) for treasure (Kuzma).

On D-LO and KC there was a new rumor, not sure of the source, we are pursuing Kuzma and Tyus Jones (UFA) from WAS. Hmm, that’s the deal I proposed in my last post. Funny how that works out. While I was proposing a Monk (UFA) and Davion package, plus a protected pick, the rumor suggests Kevin is their target, understandably so, and our coach is partial to this course of action, valuing HB over Kevin.  I wonder if our GM concurs?

Regardless this got me to thinking. Could we improve our defense significantly by moving Keegan to SG, inserting Kuzma as another lengthy switchable defender?  HB would retain his position as a floor spacer and 5th option on offense. With his increased willingness to “get his”, and improved team emphasis to include him and to exploit mismatches, HB could still have nights like last night, if Kuzma can be inclined to play selflessly.   

We’d have Tyus and Monk as instant offense off the bench. Tyus as a quarterback (and off ball) to the second unit would be spectacular, especially for our shooters, Tres and Sasha. Trading out Kuzma for Kevin and a pick is NOT enough of a needle mover in my opinion. Kuzma AND Tyus is the kind of substantial LEAP we need to get a Top 2 seed in the West, to outexecute any offense in the NBA, presuming we get buy-in from Kuzma. 

I suspect something like this has a decent chance of happening if there can be a meeting of the minds on draft compensation, namely, one future pick, not two. The concessions we could or should make is all the secound rounders they can handle and to lift most protection on the future1st, say only Top 3 protected. Maybe we have to concede to include Sasha too?

It is a great time to be a Kings fan, despite the snubs. The revival and rebirth, the rising of the dead for two guys who looked dead, HB and Huerter, makes the rest of the season more tantalizng, whether one or both stay or go in a bold transformative swoop. I am still hoping for the latter, but the former is not as ominous as it once seemed.  

Hobby916
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February 3, 2024 7:12 am
Reply to  kings4ever

Tyrese Wholiburton?

Jack
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February 3, 2024 3:08 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

I really like the Kuzma Jones trade. I would go in a small different direction and propose we try and get Deni Avdiga instead of Kuzma. Far better defense and rebounding and hussle plus IMO fits better with the rest of the Kings starters. Jones would be a fantastic backup guard giving Fox more rest to be clutch in the 4th. quarter.

NorCalKingsFan
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February 3, 2024 3:31 pm
Reply to  Jack

I agree with you, Deni is a better two-way player and fit

Kfan
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February 3, 2024 8:26 am

A Good win. Didn’t put them away early in the 4th like they should have, but game was never in doubt. FTs need to get fixed.

As much as I love 30 point a game Fox, 20+ point engaged on defense Fox is what this team needs. Our O is at it’s best when you don’t know which 2 or 3 of the top six will score 20+ points.

That Fox steal on Pascal in the corner was sweet!

I wish Edwards could hit a 3 consistently. Same for Davion. And Duarte.

Adamsite
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February 3, 2024 8:36 am
Reply to  Kfan

I think the Duarte experiment is over. Maybe Edwards is getting one last kick of the tires before the deadline. Either way, I expect neither to be back next season.

HongKongKingsFan
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February 3, 2024 8:44 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Bring back Edwards for minimum……

At least he plays good defense…not forcing things, and move well without the ball.

Adamsite
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February 3, 2024 9:08 am

Kings already brought him back on his TO last season, so I’m not sure why they’d offer him another deal. He really hasn’t improved in any area of his game. He is young, but so far his career arc hasn’t even approached Davion Mitchell levels…which isn’t saying much.

If they need a live body and have the roster space, I guess there is no harm in offering him a partially guaranteed one year deal.

UpgradedToQuestionable
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February 3, 2024 9:29 am

Defensively, there is a lot to like.

However, he (Edwards) looks lost on offense at times and would like to see him improve his handles.

To be the 3 and D player he wants to be he needs to start hitting his 3s. Especially the corner 3. And to learn to get open there. That’s where the Dorian Finney-Smiths, Bruce Bowens and Reggie Bullocks start at and then extend to be the Nic Batums, Max Strus, Jaden McDaniels, Lou Dorts and Herb Jones of the League.

We started to see a glimpse of that last season which never quite elevated and then (IMO) dipped during Summer League and has stayed pretty much off the screen since. It’s very Davionoid. !Duartesque.

NorCalKingsFan
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February 3, 2024 3:34 pm

he doesn’t cost you anything really and he brings certain skills (jump-shooting defense) that MB can utilize when needed who plays a position that the entire NBA is always searching for quality young players to grow into (two-way wing).

Russ916
February 3, 2024 8:59 am

Honestly the game got too close in the last quarter. Personally I don’t think we win that game if the Pacers had Turner and weren’t coming off a back to back. Pacers looked a bit defeated and uninterested all game.

As far as winning the trade, I think Pacers got won.

I think Haliburton is a much better overall player than Fox and it was evident the way he was playing prior to getting injured. The way Hali runs the offense and gets everyone involved is just much better, while often times with fox it feels like the offense stops and he plays hero ball or pick n roll with Sabonis pretty much. Who knows maybe it’s a combination of Rick Carlisle being a better coach or the Pacers just having much better overall team for Hali to work with, but I recall much of the same happening when Hali was here.

Oh well can’t turn back the hands of time, but I do hope we find the right players to turn the Kings into something other than a first round exit as they’re currently constructed.

RikSmits
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February 3, 2024 9:07 am
Reply to  Russ916

And what if you compare Hali to the player he got traded for? Domas gets his teammates involved with both his passing and screen-setting. He is also an elite rebounder, an efficient scorer and a better defender (which is a very low bar with Tyrese).

I like Tyrese a lot, but so far the trade looks like a win-win for both teams. However, neither team has playoff series win to show for it yet.

rockbottom
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February 3, 2024 9:42 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Hope things change for Hali but he has yet to even play in a playoff game .

RikSmits
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February 3, 2024 10:09 am
Reply to  rockbottom

He’s young still. Buddy Hield though, is one of the players with the longest career without a playoff appearance, no?

Russ916
February 3, 2024 10:54 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Domas is great and no doubt a double double triple double machine, yes he’s a better defender but that’s not saying much given his role and size. My issue with Domas is as elite as he is in those areas he doesn’t fair so well against true centers, and seems to be to afraid to shoot the ball anywhere 5 ft outside the basket, yes sometimes he shoots a 3 but with a hesitation and long wind up. We need someone with size to cover his flaws come playoff time or the same thing will happen as it did in game 7 vs the warriors.

I’m hopeful the core of Fox, Sabonis, and Murray will work out in the long term. but just very disappointed in our lack of defensive minded players and quality bench players as well. I was very excited about Sasha and thought he was going to be great, but so far has not been the beam of light I thought he’d be.

I will say this Sabonis does give the most effort night in night out on the team, which doesn’t seem to be contagious upon the rest of the team sadly.

There’s couple more days left till the trade deadline and I’m doubtful we making any moves, but maybe it’s for the better that we don’t make any moves than make some bad ones.

I’d like for us to get Caruso, Thybulle, DFS or a similar esque player by the deadline but I don’t it happens without also taking on someone like Kuzma and giving up a few picks.

Jack
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February 3, 2024 3:27 pm
Reply to  Russ916

Boy are you down on one of the best centers in the NBA today. I’m reallty tired of the 2 on comparisons and whose the best. Let it alone and start rooting for the one we have. Listen to Mike Brown if you are confused. He will set you straight on what Sabonis has done and what he will do. His teammates will also tell you the same. As a King’s fan I say GO SABONIS!!! GO KINGS!!!

Russ916
February 3, 2024 5:12 pm
Reply to  Jack

Not so much down on Sabonis, just pointing out that we do need other players to cover for matchups that he can’t handle as well. I’m more or less down on the teams collective effort to match the effort and energy Domas brings with consistency. We just need some solid 3 & D players with size, and not necessarily a 3rd star or fringe star since I believe Murray will fill that role.

I just don’t want the Kings to stay stagnant or regress because everyone in the West are only going to get better next year.

The Grizzlies for example should be fully healthy and we’ve seen what can do with Morant. I also believe the Warriors are going to try and take a final swing for contention with Curry, Klay, Green and try to trade for someone like Grant before the deadline or this summer, then you have the Rockets who seem to be getting ready to get very competitive next year too.

So with all that said, you now see how that will make it so much harder for the Kings to be a playoff team next year, and maybe even more of a team that’s competing for a play-in spot which is certainly something I don’t think any of us as Kings fans want, right?

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February 3, 2024 11:40 am
Reply to  RikSmits

You say it’s a win-win but let’s face it – Ty Haliburton is the starting guard for the Eastern Conf All-Stars and Sabonis- well, Sabonis can’t even make the All-Star team as a reserve.

The other times he (Sabonis) was an All-Star (only 3 times) were down years for the League and he lucked in. That All-NBA call last season was a fluke.

The Indiana Pacers, despite missing the Play-In last season is a very strong 27-23 this season and is obviously the better team.

Even Haliburton’s jersey number (0) is better, Sabonis has to try and puff up his number and compensate by placing another number in front of the #0 to make it 10. Pfft. Empty calories.

You talk about playoff numbers? Sabonis has only been there 4 times in 8 season and his 16.4 ppg/11.0 rpg last season is nothing short of an embarrassment.

Hali on the other hand, when he is in the post-season, which is any day now, will hit the playoffs hard – watch out!

Ty Haliburton is a real team leader and a truly wonderfully nice guy and easy to root for. Sabonis on the other hand- well, let me just use the words of a multiple All-Star – he wouldn’t even shake his hand! (thanks Draymond for setting the record straight).

I could go on, and you’d like that, but I won’t give you the satisfaction, instead I think I’ve made it pretty darn clear that the Haliburton – Sabonis trade is a WIN for the Pacers and as JJ Reddick stated “malpractice” by Sacramento.

And I am out!

Jman1949
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February 3, 2024 11:53 am

…we talking about malpractice, man!

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RikSmits
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February 3, 2024 12:15 pm

Hali on the other hand, when he is in the post-season, which is any day now, will hit the playoffs hard – watch out!

Seeing it is believing it.

And as for being voted an All Star, statrer or whatever, that means very litle to me.

Don’t get me wrong; I like Hali. He’s still young and improving and I hope he can lead a team deep into the playoffs. But again; he hasn’t proven anything yet.

UpgradedToQuestionable
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February 3, 2024 12:55 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

I suppose you think that having exact numbers of 20.0 ppg, 13.0 rpg, 8.0 apg is not some way to show off, and that really demeans the stats, if you ask me. I think they make Sabonis sort of robotic.

oh, look at me, I am a double-double
machine.
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Don’t get me wrong

The chasm, don’t fall in (you got me wrong).

rockbottom
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February 3, 2024 3:13 pm

Sabonis is demeaning the stats . How is that possible ? Do know a demeaning fan when I read one .

rockbottom
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February 3, 2024 3:09 pm

Nothing questionable about your views . Domas is the best center in the entire history of the franchise and you cheap shot him . Very intelligent and you should be out .

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February 3, 2024 8:02 pm
Reply to  rockbottom

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Jack
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February 3, 2024 3:29 pm

You sure out. Period.

Jack
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February 3, 2024 3:18 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Sorry guys but IMO which isn’;t much but as an old coach I would take Fox over Hali any day except maybe Feb. t 29th. Maybe.

rockbottom
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February 3, 2024 9:40 am
Reply to  Russ916

Hali is a terrific player but the trade gave the Kings two stars . Fox ( much improved ) and Domas an establishes elite big . No regrets here !

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