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Kings vs Hawks Preview: Cooking A Bird for the Holidays

The Kings will have to beat Trae Young and Dejounte Murray on the road and on the second night of a back-to-back if they want to stretch that win streak out to eight games!

The Kings have won seven straight games and ten of their last twelve and I’m truly not sure what to think about this. I’ll state some facts here and maybe that’ll get my brain jogging a bit: they’re in Atlanta for a game against the 10-7 Hawks who, for the last eight games have pendulated perfectly from a win to a loss, to a win, to a loss.

According to the current pattern, Atlanta is due for a win tonight. According to my gives-a-shit-o-meter: “Who”.

Let’s talk Kings basketball!

When: Wednesday, November 23rd, 2022, 4:30 PM PT
Where: State Farm Arena, Atlanta, GA
TV: NBC Sports California
Radio: Sactown Sports 1140

For Your Consideration

On A Silver Trae:  The Hawks have had a buzz saw of a schedule over the past month and what might at first seem to be a mixed bag so far this season, with an equal opportunity to doubt their talents and praise them, I’ve actually come away pretty impressed with what they’ve been able to do of late. Half of the Bucks losses this season have come from the Hawks this month, they’ve split a pair of games against the Sixers recently and beat a gritty Toronto Raptors squad in OT this past weekend. They’ve lost to the upstart Utah Jazz, the Eastern Conference champion Celtics and the Cleveland Cavaliers - all teams that one should have no real shame in dropping a game to. The Celtics game was a bit rough - losing by 25 and allowing 7 players to score 14+ points is never fun, but… outside of that they’ve been in every game they’ve played in. In some ways, they’re a bit Kangzy, in that they hang in there, only to then lose come crunch time.
I guess what I’m trying to say here is, I’m fairly certain they’re better than their record suggests.

Let’s drop into some nitty gritty here. Coach Nate McMillan’s Hawks are playing right about the middle of the road through 17 games this season - they’re 16th in offensive rating, 14th in defensive rating and they score and give up the exact same amount of points 114.4 on both ends of the coin (good for 11th in scoring and 20th in opponents scoring per game). They get up and down fairly quickly, running at the 6th fastest pace in the NBA, but in doing so still take care of the basketball; they’re third in the NBA in turnovers per game and fifth in total rebounds.

There are some surprises from this Hawks squad though. For a team that employs a player of phenomenal range and prowess like Trae Young, the Hawks are second to last in three point attempts per game and shoot the fifth worst percentage from deep in the entire league, clocking in at just 32% from behind the line. Trae himself is only at 7.2 attempts per game and hitting from behind the arc at an abysmal 30.5%. The only two players that are hitting above the team mark of 32% and attempting more than a shot and a half from that range are DeAndre Hunter, who shoots 36.5% on 3.9 attempts per game and rookie AJ Griffin, who shoots 38.1% on 3.2 attempts in 16 minutes. The Hawks take and make the most two pointers to compensate for such abysmal deep shooting, but even then, they shoot in the bottom ten in two point percentage as well. Things care get UGLY for them at times.

All that being said, opponents that face the Kings have started off incredibly lucky in their abilities to get hot from deep, even while being well defended by Sacramento players. Detroit the other night went from throwing boulders into thimbles against every other team they faced to shooting peas into the ocean. In fact, teams are shooting 39.2% from long range against the Kings, making Sacramento the second worst team in the league in terms of opponent percentage. Sure, teams also shoot the second least amount of threes against the Kings as well, but this phenomenon has happened more than enough times to start the season that we as fans should just brace for a crazy shooting night from someone.

It’s the day before Thanksgiving. People are traveling, the game is in the afternoon and we all have better things to do than read the stats less than 20 games into the season. Ooooh well, what about the Kevin Huerter revenge game? When else can we talk about Bogi being injured as heck since joining the Hawks? Some other time, family, because you forgot something in your shopping that you did earlier this week and this is your reminder to go get it now before you forget again!

Prediction

Trae/Dejounte vs. Fox/Huerter is an offensive slugfest all night. Capela and Sabonis battle each other on the glass before Sabonis gets him into some foul trouble. Okongwu makes me look good for saying I’d take him over Wiseman waaaay back in the ‘19 draft. Kings go into Turkey Day gnawing on some Hawks drumsticks.

Kings: 122, Hawks:109

 

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Jman1949
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November 23, 2022 9:11 am

Back-to-back with the Hawks is a test—
Last night a tough game then no rest.
Still a slim likelihood 
We can prove we are good
With a win streak that few would have guessed!

Jack
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November 23, 2022 9:22 am
Reply to  Jman1949

I really would like Murray, Mitchell and Davis to start having some offense although Davis hasn’t played much since his really good game back when. I would also like to see Holmes play some as I think if you give him a chance more than 2 or 3 minutes he will produce. His play used to be infectious and I don’t think he has lost that if given a chance.

eddie41
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November 23, 2022 9:31 am
Reply to  Jack

yeah, I think Keegan could be more aggressive. Get to the paint once or twice early. Don’t be dissuaded by the Hawks shot blockers. Looking forward to seeing Davion match up against the Hawks backcourt.

andy_sims
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November 23, 2022 9:50 am
Reply to  eddie41

Agreed, he needs to get some shots to fall, and closer to the rim is better for him right now. Aggressive like you said, and create contact, shoot some free throws and calibrate.

Gregoryl
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November 23, 2022 11:46 am
Reply to  eddie41

Keegan is off, I wonder if he would get his confidence back some if he played more against second teamers, with Lyles starting is his spot?

andy_sims
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November 23, 2022 11:49 am
Reply to  Gregoryl

It’s tough to say, but he’s gotten his share of open looks and has just been clanking them. That said, whatever gets him right again is fine with me.

Kosta
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November 23, 2022 12:05 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

TIN FOIL CAT

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Kris and Keegan switched places…so that Keegan could bump up Kris’s upcoming draft stock.

eddie41
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November 23, 2022 12:33 pm
Reply to  Gregoryl

it might not be a confidence issue. It might be adjusting to the nba. what he showed in college was a balanced attack, scoring on drives, outside shots, and fast break. personally, I think he should be that same player and not someone who only settles for outside shots. the ambidextrous finishing is a rare skill. he might have to get his shot blocked sometimes to figure out how to adjust. I think we’ve seen him improve his perimeter defense already after that Golden State game and then having to guard Donavan Mitchell. Put him up against the opponent’s starters.

Last edited 15 days ago by eddie41
Gregoryl
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November 23, 2022 12:55 pm
Reply to  eddie41

He is getting destroyed on his drives right now, he needs to be more aggressive.

Gallo
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November 23, 2022 4:18 pm
Reply to  Jack

Gallo del Cielo likes our chances.

RikSmits
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November 23, 2022 9:40 am

Claiming that segababa’s are scheduled losses is for pretenders, not contenders.

Come on Kings, make it eight!

I need two nine game winning streaks to erase last year’s debacles.

Kosta
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November 23, 2022 9:49 am
Reply to  RikSmits

It was a tough figababa. Let’s get that segababa!

Gregoryl
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November 23, 2022 11:47 am
Reply to  Kosta

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RPO
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RPO
November 23, 2022 2:17 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Or one 18 game win streak!

Sacto_J
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November 23, 2022 9:45 am

Looking forward to seeing how they respond tonight after a bit of a slugfest. I imagine we’ll see a bit more of the bench mob tonight, so here’s to hoping that TD, Monk, Lyles and Co. have their A games dialed in. Also want to see how this team addresses losing its composure at the end of last night’s game, that’s not a thing we need any more of.

andy_sims
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November 23, 2022 9:48 am

Who is this “Bogi” of which you speak? I’d read about a racehorse with that name that had a bad leg and needed to be put down, but that can’t be what you’re referring to.

Kosta
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November 23, 2022 10:21 am
Reply to  andy_sims

He’s that guy in that old Film Noir–The Black Falcon.

– Detective Tom Polhaus: “Heavy. What is it?”
– Samuel Spade: “The stuff that BEAMS are made of.”

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Last edited 16 days ago by Kosta
andy_sims
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November 23, 2022 11:50 am
Reply to  Kosta

Gorgeous putback on the rebound.

Hobby916
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November 23, 2022 9:50 am

Let’s get a Keegan bounce back game to support the other starters.

Hobby916
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November 23, 2022 9:52 am

Reports are that the Clipper want some front court depth. Does a Holmes for Covington swap do much for either team?

Marty
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November 23, 2022 10:57 am
Reply to  Hobby916

Makes us smaller.

Mike120
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November 23, 2022 11:24 am
Reply to  Hobby916

I’d make that trade straight up. Gives us a legit back up SF 3 and D player for someone who’s not getting any playing time.

KANGZZZZZZZZZZZZ
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November 23, 2022 3:19 pm
Reply to  Mike120

Not adjusting for how the contracts match up, that would be a steal and I don’t think the clips would do that without more attached

Yakshi
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November 23, 2022 9:56 am

If the Kings can win back-to-back games on the road against two quality teams, that would feel like the Kings were trying to reward Kings fans for being Kings fans on Thanksgiving.

andy_sims
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November 23, 2022 10:07 am

Oh, and if that little shit goes foul-hunting, Kings players need to get their money’s worth. If he stops and you’re going to bump into him, make sure to follow through.

SlamsonsRollerskates
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November 23, 2022 10:17 am

R2-D2 – 2 Road games, 2nd Day on a back-to-back.

Should be a fun R2-D2 with the team having Huerter’s back. Hopefully we can cleanse that palate from the way the Grizz game ended.

Jack
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November 23, 2022 10:22 am

We need to give Holmes a chance instead of Metu. If you look at his stats he is a rim protector and that’s what we need.

SlamsonsRollerskates
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November 23, 2022 10:42 am
Reply to  Jack

I like Holmes. Best 3 point shooter we have. But, for some reason, Coach Brown doesn’t? I can’t really figure it out.

My completely baseless conspiracy theory is Monte has a trade in place that can’t be completed until December 15th. I am 100% making this up.

Regardless, I love that Coach Brown can play/sit whomever he wants without Monte interfering. That’s a lot of money sitting on the bench and there have been zero problems. Coach and GM seem to be in lockstep.

Gregoryl
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November 23, 2022 11:49 am
Reply to  Jack

Get Queta some minutes in that back-up C spot?

Klam
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November 23, 2022 10:33 am

Let’s surprise the Hawks with a win today!
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Kosta
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November 23, 2022 11:07 am
Reply to  Klam

Speaking of hawks…

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TerzoM
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November 23, 2022 11:27 am
Reply to  Kosta

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Kosta
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November 23, 2022 11:37 am
Reply to  TerzoM

Caucasian Comet Hawk?

Teaming up with the Black Falcon?

Klam
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November 23, 2022 12:44 pm
Reply to  Kosta

I can’t help but picture your avatar picture crying when I glance at it before remembering it’s a bandaid.

Kosta
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November 23, 2022 1:43 pm
Reply to  Klam

crying tears of joy!

andy_sims
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November 23, 2022 11:52 am
Reply to  TerzoM

The ‘hawk from French Lock.

RPO
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RPO
November 23, 2022 11:00 am

Looking forward to a good game. Keep it close late into the game, and you have a chance to pull out the win. Or just outscore them like crazy, that’ll work too.

PretendGhost
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November 23, 2022 11:15 am

I have an inkling that we match up a lot better with the Hawks than the Grizz last night. It’s likely gonna be a hell of a dogfight either way, but I like our chances based purely on personnel.

I’ll bet we see Davion play down the stretch next to Fox if it’s a close one, in order to put our two best perimeter defenders on their two best perimeter players.

Also, for all the defensive question marks on Metu, it’s hard to argue with how often he’s getting dunks/lobs. Could do without his 1-2 3PA per game

Jack
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November 23, 2022 11:28 am
Reply to  PretendGhost

Monk is also a pretty good defender up yop.

PretendGhost
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November 23, 2022 1:15 pm
Reply to  Jack

Monk isn’t bad, but he’s not great either. Davion’s gonna be the strongest choice against Trae because he’s so hard to beat on and off ball. And I like Fox’s coverage against attacking guards (Dejonte) much more than I like Monk’s right now

Gregoryl
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November 23, 2022 11:51 am
Reply to  PretendGhost

Watching Davion do the little things (grabbing boards, taking charges, finding the open shooter) last night is just what this team needed.

andy_sims
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November 23, 2022 11:53 am
Reply to  PretendGhost

Capela is incredibly effective as a shot-blocker and rebounder, but he’s still small as they go, so hopefully Sabonis can move him around a bit down low to get clean looks.

PretendGhost
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November 23, 2022 1:19 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

Sabonis is much more liable to have success against Capela instead of Adams/JJJ. That their best shot blocker and best post defender are the same person gives Sabonis much more of a chance, cuz he’s just gotta beat one guy over whom he has a slight size advantage.

I’ll bet we see Sabonis go for north of 20 tonight and flirt with a triple double

Henry
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November 23, 2022 2:42 pm
Reply to  PretendGhost

Need more Davion.

PretendGhost
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November 23, 2022 1:14 pm

Whoops this is supposed to be a reply

Last edited 15 days ago by PretendGhost
Kosta
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November 23, 2022 1:45 pm
Reply to  PretendGhost

This is a reply!

Hippity_Hop_Barbershop
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November 23, 2022 1:21 pm

Let’s go Field of Beams!

Kosta
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November 23, 2022 1:46 pm

Field of Beams!

Greatest sports film ever!

SneakerKing
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November 23, 2022 1:23 pm

Hoping the Kings didn’t get into ATL too early to take part in some of their “night life” that turns out to help the Hawks with the out of towners. I think Davion coming back home (from GA) will have a good game, but SEGABABA has me thinking the streak ends tonight unless Murray can snap out of it.

Kosta
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November 23, 2022 1:47 pm
Reply to  SneakerKing

I have a feeling the team is going to try really really hard to make sure Kevin Huerter’s return to ATL results in a victory.

(totally forgot about Davion–good call!)

Hoping for huge games from Kevin and Davion.

Jack
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November 23, 2022 2:23 pm
Reply to  Kosta

What about a hypothetical trade: Holmes, Lyles and a second for Reddish and Toppin?

SneakerKing
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November 23, 2022 2:52 pm
Reply to  Jack

I think NY hangs up the phone.

BeTheBall
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November 23, 2022 3:23 pm
Reply to  Jack

Seems like a trade for the sake of just making a trade.

Jack
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November 24, 2022 11:03 am
Reply to  BeTheBall

You get rid of Holme’s contract.NY would like Holmes. You pick up Reddish for defense as a backup to Barnes and Toppin is better than Lyles at the PF backup. You throw in a second to sweeten the pot. NY would also like to get rid of Reddish.

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