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Kings vs. Bucks Preview: Consistent Inconsistency

Which Sacramento Kings team will show up tonight?

How disappointing was Friday nights 115-94 loss to the depleted Los Angeles Lakers at home? Just when you thought the Kings had possibly, maybe, finally turned the corner, they deliver that performance in a big game? Maddening.

The Kings have another game tonight, but first: some paragraphs on the playoff picture.

When: Thursday, April 3rd, 7:00 PM PST
Where: Golden One Center, Sacramento, CA
TV: NBCSCA - Mark Jones on the call
Radio: KHTK Sports 1140

The Kings didn't show up last night, but the loss didn't break Sacramento's play-in chances. Not by a long shot. The current-10-seed Warriors are just 3-7 in their last 10 games, and suffered their own disappointing 53-point loss (FIFTY THREE!!!) to the Raptors as Steph Curry continues to miss games with a tailbone injury.

The Memphis Grizzlies look like they figured some things out. They're 6-4 over their last 10 games, but 3 of those losses came against the 37-11 Utah Jazz. They've done a nice enough job beating the teams they're supposed to beat.

I think we're in for a four team race down the stretch for both the 9th and 10th seed between the Spurs, Warriors, Kings, and Pelicans, and I still like Sacramento's chances despite what we saw against the Lakers, largely because those competing 10-seed teams have bigger problems than a disappointing home loss.

Of the four teams listed above, New Orleans has the most difficult remaining schedule and the most ground to make up. The Warriors have the most serious injury concerns. The Spurs clearly have the best coach, but may have the lowest talent ceiling. The Kings are somewhere in the middle. They've got upside and urgency, which is a pretty good combination when trying to reach a goal that might not mean as much to some of your competitors, but their inconsistency could certainly hold them back.

That brings us to tonight.

For Your Consideration

The real problem with losing to a team like the Lakers last night is that you've got a near-impossible game to win against the Milwaukee Bucks just 24 hours later. The Bucks are 7-3 over their last 10 games, significantly more talented, and matchup nightmare.

The Kings already lost to the Bucks once this season with Giannis dropping 38 points in 33 minutes. The Greek Freak shot more free throws (24) than the entire Kings roster (20) combined. A (likely) loss tonight would put the Kings on a 3-game losing streak (after a 5-game winning streak) and we've been watching this movie all season long. The Kings are hot, the Kings are cold, the Kings are hot again, the Kings are cold again, and so on.

Luke Walton needs his starting unit to be better than it was on Friday. I've praised the new Kings Death Lineup plenty this season, but they won't beat anyone when Buddy Hield, De'Aaron Fox, Richaun Holmes, and Tyrese Haliburton combine for just 39 points. Sacramento needs that unit to carry them every single night, and they didn't vs. the Lakers. They must get back on track tonight vs. the Bucks.

Prediction

A win vs. Milwaukee would be huge, and I'm going to predict it because that is what we do here, but I wouldn't bet on it.

Kings 122, Bucks 117.

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Jman1949
April 3, 2021 9:54 am

Got blown out, now we’re facing the Bucks.
With both teams back-to-back, really sucks.
Our whole team looking bleak
As we face the Greek Freak.
In this up and down nightmare we’re stuck!

HongKongKingsFan
April 3, 2021 9:59 am

As we waived Jeffries to free up a roster…I expect McNair would sign back Greek Peak to face against Greek Freak in this game.

RandyBreuersNeckHair
April 3, 2021 10:16 am

Kings are going nowhere with Fox as their best player. Great kid, loads of talent. Way too soft.
Monte needs to seriously explore striking while the iron is hot and seeing what he can get for him.
Figure out a way to turn Fox into Cade or Suggs and sign me up for that.
As Kings fans, we need to stop telling ourselves we’ve got our star or that our core of Fox and Hali is set.
Need to set our sights higher. I hope Monte agrees.

eddie41
April 3, 2021 10:44 am

Can’t play chess without getting your valuable pieces on the board. Fox, Haliburton and Barnes need touches and early involvement in the game, or just turn off the TV.

Klam
Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
April 3, 2021 12:23 pm

comment image?quality=100

eddie41
April 3, 2021 12:44 pm

I still can’t get over the fact that Haliburton touched the ball only one time in the first 7 minutes. We’re talking about a natural ball mover. A guy who looks to pass. And the Kings froze him out of the offense? The longer that sets in, the more alarming it gets.

SelecaoKOJ
April 3, 2021 1:25 pm
Reply to  eddie41

The one thing about Hali that is pretty convincing. Especially, if you really follow College Basketball. Not only myself. But, I have read on many other boards and people that really follow the NCAA. Hali is a talented player, great teammate, and such. The one real knock against him in college. He can be pushed around and bullied easy. He’s nice to a fault. He’s another good player that cannot be a 1A because he doesn’t have that killer instinct in his game. The thing I saw and a lot of of college experts have commented. If you are physical with Hali and get in his grill, he wilts. Bad Ass players with Attitude is really what this team is missing in copious amounts. The last one that I remember was Ron Artest. That nastiness is missing from this team.

eddie41
April 3, 2021 4:56 pm
Reply to  SelecaoKOJ

Interesting take, but I think the way you phrased it is misleading. He does seem to be contact averse, but he’s very good at exploiting an aggressive defender. He’ll make you pay for over committing. I also think Hali is naturally competitive. If you pop him in the mouth, look out. Dude’s going off.

TheBaker
April 3, 2021 5:23 pm
Reply to  SelecaoKOJ

This made me think how nice it would be to have Zion with Fox and Hali.

SelecaoKOJ
April 3, 2021 1:15 pm

You lost me at the contradictory statement. Kings have a sense of urgency, yet their inconsistent. I don’t see where they reside on the same island.

Losing against the Lakers is a joke.

In addition, the play in is stupid. Why should teams well under .500 be vying for a playoff berth? To punish the 7-8 seeds for playing good consistent basketball all year? Isn’t an 8 team playoff enough?

rockbottom
April 3, 2021 6:11 pm
Reply to  SelecaoKOJ

Agree, seems to cheapen playoffs when 67% of all teams get in ! NBA cheapening thei product ! Making the playoffs should have some value !

Kosta
April 3, 2021 1:18 pm

Bucks, eh?

MAKE IT RAIN, BUDDY!
comment image

TerzoM
April 3, 2021 2:47 pm
Reply to  Kosta

Why can’t we all get along?comment image

ZillersCat
April 3, 2021 6:54 pm
Reply to  TerzoM

A deer ..
comment image

eddie41
April 3, 2021 5:04 pm

Any news when Woodard is healthy? I wonder if he might be a guy who could start in place of Buddy. Sort of get a 20-game look at him in a 3&D forward role.

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