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Kings vs. Raptors Preview: An Extinction Level Event

The Kings are in their second game of a homestand and are taking on one of the most disappointing teams in the NBA.

Happy Friday and congratulations on surviving another week of the downfall of civilization! I would ask you how you're doing but, well, I want my comment section to look like it belongs to a website that follows basketball and not the stuff under granny's latest Facebook post. I want to speak about a different group of unexpected losers coming to a capital city: The 1-6 Raptors are in town! You know the ones currently playing out of Tampa due to a pandemic locking them out of Canada? The ones with Pascal Siakam, Kyle Lowry and coached by Nick Nurse? Yes, yes just won a championship two years ago and then were like the second best team in the Eastern Conference last year? They're currently sporting the second worst record in the East and I'm venturing a guess here in thinking that they're looking at the Kings as their best chance at a turnaround game. Let's talk Kings basketball!

When: Friday, January 8th, 7:00 PM PST

Where: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, CA

TV: NBCSCA -  Mark Jones on the call.

RadioKHTK Sports 1140 AM

For Your Consideration

Tampa Your Expectations: So before I get into discussing the actual game at hand, I wanted to take a second and give an extra moment to Marvin Bagley III. The kid has struggled in his first eight games back after what was basically an entire year off from basketball, has had his name thrown around over TV and online because of his father's quick trigger fingers (and Marv's subsequent refusal to discuss it), and there's still a broad swath of people who are pretty dour about his chances to regain his status as an elite player from the '18 Draft class. That's a lot to take for anyone, but especially for a young guy. We all know this. I haven't said anything new. But what I will do is praise the guy for having a damn good game against Bulls on Wednesday night. That version of Marvin, the locked-in version with good touch from outside and engaged on defense - that's all Kings fans could ever want. 21-12 with 2 steals and 2 blocks is nothing to stick your nose up at and I'm glad to see him respond to criticism (including mine) on the court. Now, he needs to replicate 85% of that for a season for me to start seeing the worm as having turned, but I'm glad that he a good game against a decent team during all this stuff.

So now, how bad are the Raptors? Is this an early slump as they look to find a cohesive unit amongst all their new acquisitions in a new town? Well, for one, they're the worst shooting team in the league right now: last in total field goal percentage, eighth worst from inside the arc and though the try to make up for it by shooting more threes than anyone else in the NBA they've got the seventh worst percentage from deep. Maybe they're used to being stored in a cool dry place, but that sun and sand isn't doing anything but adding extra wear and tear to the rim and backboards at the arena there in Florida. Another thing to toss of the pile here is that the Raptors don't have the defense or rebounding like they've had in recent years. I'm not necessarily saying they're a bad defensive team, just worse than last season and that can absolutely cost you wins early in the season.

Gone are the likes of front court stalwarts Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka and the Raptors have truly suffered for it. This season, they're a bottom seven rebounding team compared to eleventh last season, dropped from the second best team in regards to steals per game to ninth, and while they're eighth in blocks this year they're also foul the third most in the NBA, a rise from thirteenth in block but a slide from twenty-first in fouls. A team known for being greater than the sum of their parts has suddenly become a team that is exactly the sum of their parts and have struggled stringing that tentative thread of  narrative back around the team. It hasn't quite happened yet but if they don't start righting the ship, suddenly, expensive questions start getting asked. The Raptors have a 34 year old point guard making $30 million a year and his back-up making $21 million. They've got Pascal Siakam sinking back to Earth a bit after unbelievable growth year after year, but is he enough to anchor a championship contender. Can he and OG Anunoby really be the core that attracts others to this team? Don't get me wrong, I love Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet and this entire Raptors franchise as they're currently being run. They're just running out of losses before changes will need to be made.

In terms of Sacramento's chances tonight: this is absolutely one of those games that Kings of years past would lose and everyone would complain about how they really let this one slip through their fingers. It's the stinker at the end of a three game win streak that sends the Kings back down into a spiral. The Raptors earned their 1-6 record but I also am very wary about a team this good suddenly being this bad without a major injury. They're moments away from turning it back on, and with Siakam scoring a season high 32 the other night to break out of his slump to start the season, I wouldn't be surprised if this team starts ripping off some long win streaks.

Last thing, while all of Toronto's bigs this year have really, really struggled to start the season I want to give a shout out to Alex Len, who rumor has it wanted to leave the Kings for a winning basketball team and immediately cursed the Raptors into this abysmal start. You truly are a former Kings player, Alex.

Prediction

Raptors get pummeled into the ground like a goofy ass Velafrons on the Yucatán Peninsula 66 million years ago. Marvin Bagley continues his aerial assault from deep hitting another couple of three pointers and getting his first highlight dunk since I was still in my 20's. Tyrese Haliburton locks up Kyle Lowry like he was Mike Fratello on the '06-07 Grizzlies. Buddy Hield shoots better than 26%!

Kings: 113, Raptors: 104

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Jman1949
January 8, 2021 12:21 pm

#1

We got Ty Haliburton back,
But now it’s Fox we may lack.
As the Raptors come in,
In dire need of a win,
We will have to stay on the attack!

Timmy_13
January 8, 2021 12:31 pm

This team sounds like they can use Hassan Whiteside.

bjax1
January 8, 2021 1:28 pm
Reply to  Timmy_13

All we want is an unprotected first in exchange.

Adamsite
Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
January 8, 2021 12:38 pm

I wonder if part of the reason for Toronto’s woes is the move to Tampa. That has got to be disruptive to their personal lives. They are basically on the road everyday. I’d have to imagine the players and staff are in temporary housing or something.

SMF-PDXConnection
January 8, 2021 12:43 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I don’t remember where, but that’s pretty much exactly what Lowry said. They’re getting booed by the “home” fans as well since they’re all Northeast transplants coming to see their Knicks/Celtics/Sixers.

Adamsite
Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
January 8, 2021 1:00 pm

Damn, that sucks. Part of me wonders if their families are even with them.

SMF-PDXConnection
January 8, 2021 1:03 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

It’s hard to say. I’m sure they would want to be together, but at the same time, arguably any family they have with them in Toronto is much safer on that side of the border than probably anywhere in the States. I know I’d give up a lot to be somewhere like Vancouver right now.

Adamsite
Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
January 8, 2021 1:11 pm

Good point.

SMF-PDXConnection
January 8, 2021 5:04 pm

Only someone who literally hasn’t seen any news this week would downvote me for saying Canada is safer than the United States.

TheFifthMookie
January 8, 2021 6:32 pm

…or someone who is on the wrong side of this weeks news…

or most likely, it’s the rogue KTH downvoter who seems to hit a lot of random comments

Dirkula
January 8, 2021 4:02 pm

They’re getting booed by the “home” fans

Damn! Canadians must be super sensitive to be that shook by piped in fan noise! 😆

Adamsite
Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
January 8, 2021 4:18 pm
Reply to  Dirkula

I think they are letting fans in the arena in Tampa Bay. It is Florida after all.

SMF-PDXConnection
January 8, 2021 5:05 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

They are, something like 3,000 fan capacity. I think beyond the Jazz, only the Florida and Texas teams are letting fans in.

Pistola916
January 8, 2021 12:47 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Yeah, I don’t know why the NBA couldn’t relocate them to Buffalo

richie88
January 8, 2021 4:02 pm
Reply to  Pistola916

My impression is that they didn’t want to move to Buffalo. While they were debating where to move to, there was also some talk that the NHL would use Buffalo as a hub (the NHL decided not to do that), which would’ve made hard for Buffalo to host them.

rc50cal
January 8, 2021 1:31 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

It’s easy to empathize with the Raptors right now.

andy_sims
January 8, 2021 1:49 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

The only people that willingly move to Florida are runaways and deadbeat dads.

SMF-PDXConnection
January 8, 2021 1:55 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

Just remember, the same way the other 49 states look at Florida is the same way the rest of the world looks at the US. We are the Florida of Earth.

andy_sims
January 8, 2021 2:33 pm

Thanks to us, no one tells Polish jokes anymore.

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richie88
January 8, 2021 3:57 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

When the move to TB was announced, I read that Lowry was happy w/being in TB.

Last edited 5 days ago by richie88
rc50cal
January 8, 2021 5:04 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

How much would that save me monthly, ballpark?

Kosta
January 8, 2021 12:39 pm

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Klam
Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
January 8, 2021 1:29 pm
Reply to  Kosta

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ZillersCat
January 8, 2021 1:50 pm
Reply to  Klam

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Kosta
January 8, 2021 4:18 pm
Reply to  ZillersCat

hahaha

Marty
January 8, 2021 12:47 pm

Thank you for contributing today Will. My attention span for sports these last few days is so short it hasn’t even been possible to read or to watch. Hoping to escape politics a little bit tonight at 7 with both SAC and gs on at the same time.

Kosta
January 8, 2021 4:19 pm
Reply to  WGriffith

Some sense of normalcy is helpful for psyches, I’m figuring.

Not that we should ignore the heavy stuff.

As long as I see a Jman limerick, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

TerzoM
January 8, 2021 12:50 pm

Who dis Tyrese person?comment image

HumboldtCPA
January 8, 2021 12:58 pm

I really hope the Kings come into this with purpose. I’m worried they will take the game off due to the Raptors record. However, with Hali on the floor he might be the one to keep the team focused and playing hard. Although I’m worried, I still think the Kings are going to continue to show growth and beat the teams they should compared to years past. GO KINGS!!!!

FarmerGuy
January 8, 2021 1:00 pm

My comment got lost on the last thread, so I’ll ask again. Does anyone have ESPN+? I’m interested to see what the national media wrote about breakout rookies and their take on Hali. The article just came out today.

RORDOG
January 8, 2021 1:12 pm
Reply to  FarmerGuy

there wasn’t much there. Mike Schmitz said he could write a whole article about all the things he’s liked about Haliburton, but just focused on Haliburton’s early season success pulling up for three. Basically, if he can consistently do that then opposing defenses are in trouble.

ForKingsandCountry
January 8, 2021 1:22 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

Yeah basically that he’s shooting 5/8 on pull up 3’s and that if Halibruton is going to do that then he’s going to be a nightmare for opposing teams on offense. This is a really good point because I have been seriously reconsidering Haliburton’s ceiling in light of what we’ve seen thus far from him. The knock on him was that his ceiling wasn’t that high but is that even remotely true? If he’s going to be this efficient and if he’s going to shoot the ball both off the catch and off the dribble at the rate that he is at the moment then he absolutely has an all-star/all-nba ceiling.

BestHyperboleEver
January 8, 2021 1:49 pm

I don’t think the idea of a lower ceiling was ever especially true. Honestly, I think that’s just a common/lazy comment where “ceiling” becomes entirely tied to athleticism.

Earlier, Schmitz did write this: https://www.espn.com/nba/insider/story/_/id/30139720/scouting-iowa-state-tyrese-haliburton-one-2020-nba-draft-most-underrated-prospects

JackassCentral916
January 8, 2021 1:13 pm

“I want to speak about a different group of unexpected losers coming to a capital city.” Just pure brilliance. I cannot stop laughing. You’re the best in the biz Will. And I still giggle like a schoolgirl every time I think back to “time is a flat circle and so is the number of games the kings have won.”

andy_sims
January 8, 2021 1:48 pm

Concur.

Marty
January 8, 2021 1:55 pm
Reply to  WGriffith

LOVES NOT LIKES

FoxForceFive
January 8, 2021 1:16 pm

The last game actually played at G1C last season was also against the Raptors, I was there, and it was a good one. Hoping for another good game with a different outcome this time!

TerzoM
January 8, 2021 1:19 pm

MBIII you can do it – another good team game. Go Kings!comment image

Last edited 5 days ago by TerzoM
itsjabby
January 8, 2021 2:13 pm
Reply to  TerzoM

I was at this game!!!

Kosta
January 8, 2021 4:22 pm
Reply to  TerzoM

Still one of the most jawdropping things I’ve seen. Incredible!

rc50cal
January 8, 2021 1:25 pm

Will, you’re killing it on the content front!

rc50cal
January 8, 2021 1:29 pm

Winning this game is going to be a tall order for the Fox-less Kings. If Halliburton can captain this vessel to a win, my excitement level will be through the roof.

HumboldtCPA
January 8, 2021 6:11 pm
Reply to  rc50cal

Looks like Fox is playing w/restricted minutes.

LandParkJimmer
January 8, 2021 1:43 pm

What’s the status on Fox’s injury?

Otis
January 8, 2021 1:45 pm
Reply to  LandParkJimmer

Think he’s a game-time decision.

LandParkJimmer
January 8, 2021 2:22 pm
Reply to  Otis

Thank you!

January 8, 2021 2:15 pm

Watched some highlight videos of Doug Christie yesterday. Btw, there aren’t that many highlight videos for Doug. What’s up with that? Anyways, from little I can find, I do see him as his comp right now. Of course Ty is his comp now. 8 games in and rookie season. So overtime he might be able to go from star role player to star player.

part that excites me the most, much like Harden, luka and others, his game really doesn’t depend on athleticism. Idk how real the shooting percentages are but even if they dip 5-6%, his game is still sustainable for years. He is the type I could see being in high demand even when he is like 35. Sort of like Paul.

go kings!

andy_sims
January 8, 2021 3:20 pm
Reply to  Sir_tajj

DC is still my all-time favorite Kings player. With his athleticism, he could have averaged twenty a game, but he played team basketball, picked his spots, and harassed the hell out of the opponent’s star. Haliburton sees the floor the same as Christie, and plays chess.

Ty Ballgame isn’t as athletic, but the fact that he’s a legit threat from three makes up for it. Their games are certainly similar enough to be optimistic. If DC was on this current squad, he probably would be shooting more, since they’d need it.

richie88
January 8, 2021 3:49 pm
Reply to  Sir_tajj

Watched some highlight videos of Doug Christie yesterday. Btw, there aren’t that many highlight videos for Doug. What’s up with that? Anyways, from little I can find, I do see him as his comp right now. Of course Ty is his comp now. 8 games in and rookie season. So overtime he might be able to go from star role player to star player.

Doug was an elite defender, but I can think of 6 or 7 golden age Kings who were better or more flashy on offense, so he’s less likely to have highlight videos than those guys.

I’d say that Hali’s playmaking already makes him better on offense than Doug. However, Hali will have to improve quite a bit to defend as well as Doug (though he has the potential to do that).

Last edited 5 days ago by richie88
Brizz
January 8, 2021 2:35 pm

Oh man, I really want Hali to get the start if Fox is out. Please no CoJo

NickS
January 8, 2021 2:39 pm
Reply to  Brizz

It will be CoJo FoSho

Carl
January 8, 2021 3:26 pm
Reply to  NickS

OhNo!

TheFifthMookie
January 8, 2021 6:35 pm
Reply to  Carl

CoJo? OhNo!

RORDOG
January 8, 2021 2:41 pm

The Kings and Raptors are both top 4 in frequency of transition possessions, and bottom 4 in transition efficiency. That seems hard to do.

Gregoryl
January 8, 2021 3:06 pm

No Kyle Lowry tonight…should be a winnable games for the Kings.

richie88
January 8, 2021 3:53 pm
Reply to  Gregoryl

Fox might be out. If that happens, it’d hurt the Kings.

Gregoryl
January 8, 2021 4:13 pm
Reply to  richie88

You know who might start if Fox is out…:
comment image

richie88
January 8, 2021 4:21 pm
Reply to  Gregoryl

Unfortunately he’s unlikely to play 48 minutes & he’d be the only playmaker for the Kings.

Jman1949
January 8, 2021 4:26 pm
Reply to  richie88

There’s a Guy they could press into service:

comment image

TheFifthMookie
January 8, 2021 6:35 pm
Reply to  Gregoryl

late in the 4th is winning time if he’s out there!

Kosta
January 8, 2021 4:27 pm
Reply to  richie88

Free Guy!
comment image

MidtownMike
January 8, 2021 4:51 pm

Let’s get it done and keep the winning going!

Sidenote: Saw a trade article from this site that posts them all the time, they had Boston using their massive trade exception to take on the Barnes contract and getting us Naismith in return.

Think something like that would be possible from the Boston side? I’d imagine McNair would jump at it, gaining a young talent and about 19 mil in cap room.

Adamsite
Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
January 8, 2021 4:55 pm
Reply to  MidtownMike

I think Ainge is going to use that TPE for something big, especially if they are an elite team in the East come the deadline. From a Kings perspective, my guess would be Holmes AND Nemanja, as they need size and they are also expiring.

MidtownMike
January 8, 2021 6:49 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I wouldn’t give up holmes for anything in that discussion. I’d add belly to barnes for them though, they’d likely throw in a second or two

TheFifthMookie
January 8, 2021 6:58 pm
Reply to  MidtownMike

Holmes is looking like a key part of the team moving forward right now.

1951
January 8, 2021 5:00 pm

Can you TKH folks get in on the social media ban party and ban the Giraffe for repeatedly inciting violence on taste buds?

Jman1949
January 8, 2021 5:27 pm
Reply to  1951

comment image

RobHessing
January 8, 2021 5:28 pm

Baps, Faps & Raps. Next.
comment image

NickS
January 8, 2021 5:57 pm

Fox will play on a minutes restriction tonight.

Last edited 5 days ago by NickS
satdawg
January 8, 2021 6:03 pm
Reply to  NickS

this is breaking news

Last edited 5 days ago by satdawg
TheFifthMookie
January 8, 2021 6:39 pm

What is this strange feeling?

I’m…. excited about the kings on the basketball court? Looking forward to a game?

This hasn’t happened for me since they fired Malone!

I’d like to give credit to:

  1. Haliburton (the #1 reason here)
  2. Kings management for firing Peaches and bringing in a world class broadcasting staff both during the game and in the pre/post games
  3. Richaun Holmes
  4. Haliburton actually deserves two spots on this list
  5. I might be believing in Monte McNair? it’s really early, but his first few decisions are looking really good.

This is really weird stuff. and needed after this week.

satdawg
January 8, 2021 6:42 pm

God the pre and post game is sooo boring

ajonez81
January 8, 2021 9:44 pm

Glad Kings lost (top 5 pick please Gods).
Luke still failing by playing CoJo, guy is painful to watch. MB3s season numbers say it all, just check a guy’s PER, Haliburton and Holmes are our highest. Fox’s PER is really weak for a max guy, Buddy’s is horrible so far.
Keep losing and more often please Kings. Guy, Ramsey, and Woodard should be getting way more run but Luke plays short rotation to try and squeeze out wins, what a joke, not losing enough.
Also GR3, Belly, and Whiteside should be playing more if your goal is to win Luke but we should be skewing playing time to young guys and tanking.

Last edited 5 days ago by ajonez81

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