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Kings vs. Rockets Preview: Back at Ground Control

The Kings have an easy four game stretch upcoming... does it mean anything?

Standing there alone, the 'ship is waiting, all systems are go -
"Are you sure?"

Vivek's not convinced, but the computer has the evidence. No need to abort. The countdown starts.

Watching in a trance, McNair is certain. "We understand the fans". All is working. Trying to relax, up in the draft room: "Send away a pick!", jokes Joe Dumars. The count goes on...

Four, three, two, one...

The Sacramento Kings are coming off a victory against an anthropomorphic pile of dust and bones and now have a decent chance to win back to back, playing against one of three teams currently below them in the Western Conference standings, the Houston Rockets. They're young, bursting at the seams with young talent and ... pretty damn bad. Take heart though, they've beaten the Wizards and Spurs this month, so they have more than enough in their tank to beat a Kings team far too prone to playing to the level of their opponents.

Let's talk Kings basketball.

When: Friday, January 14th, 7:00 PM PT

Where: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, CA

TV: NBCSCA - Kyle Draper (play-by-play)

RadioKHTK Sports 1140 AM

For Your Consideration

Calling, Calling Home: We'll tear the band-aid off early today. For all those (myself amongst you) who were looking to see Alperen Sengun play today against the Sacramento Kings - he's day-to-day with an ankle injury. If this has thoroughly bummed you out, just go on ahead to the next big bolded section. It's space themed. You'll love it.

Okay for the two people left who are still caring about the rest of the Houston Rockets matchup tonight, I've got good news and bad news depending upon where you sit on the Kings tank.

The Rockets are bad. *gasp*

Currently in the midst of losing 11 of their last 13 games, the Rockets have shown very little fight recently, averaging losses of over 20 points per game in their last four losses. They also have this funny little tendency to let opponents run roughshod over them, sporting the worst opponents scoring per game average in the NBA at 116.6 points a contest. While they run at the second fastest pace in the NBA, their  offense is some high scoring Seven Second or Less style run and gun offense - they're current 16th in the league in scoring at 107.9 a game. They turn the ball over more than every team in the league, bottom for in fouls, when they get fouled they're the least likely squad in the league to hit anything. They also pull up from three.. alot and while they jack up the 5th most attempts from three per game, they're also only 18th in the NBA is percentage.

All this to say that if tonight ends up as an L in the game logs for the Kings, this should be considered a big time let down. Sure, they've oozing with young talent and yes a lot of those guys are known as scores but... this team is too young to know how good they could end up being. A loss tonight would be like getting mauled Rottweiler puppy.

One win against the Lakers ain't bringing me back to regular previews, so here's a list of guys you should absolutely pay attention to if you decide to watch the game and they end up in the game.

Jaylen Green

Jae'Sean Tate

Kevin Porter Jr.

Garrison Matthews

Alperen Sengun

Armoni Brooks

Josh Christopher

Daishen Nix

Usman Garuba

You hear these names come into the contest, just watch a little closer. They're all young, all talented and none know exactly how good they can be.

A Thing To Read, Watch, or Do

 Watch (or Read), "Contact" (1997) dir. Robert Zemeckis (book written by: Carl Sagan)

Synopsis: A radio astronomer receives the first extraterrestrial radio signal ever picked up on Earth. As the world powers scramble to decipher the message and decide upon a course of action, she must make some difficult decisions between her beliefs, the truth, and reality.

https://youtu.be/Q399v-pMG30

Contact is one of those attempted big brained blockbusters in the 90's that I'm certain will wind up getting a limited series soon from some streaming platform somewhere, and, that if done right by someone who loves it as it should be loved, would be a massive success in the vein of the Anya Taylor-Joy vehicle, The Queen's Gambit. If I could pitch you on it, I'd say it's the spiritual big sister to Denis Villenueve's Arrival (and the equally beautiful Ted Chiang novella that inspired it, "The Story of Your Life"), a slower moving, science fiction that deals as much about the psychology and spirituality of humanity coming to grips with their suddenly shrinking place in the universe as it does with wormholes and alien lifeforms. It's superbly acted, with Jodie Foster giving my favorite performance this side of Clarice Starling, with supporting roles from Matthew McConaughey, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt and James Woods [Editor’s note: I will not tolerate this Jake Busey erasure]. Think of any dramatic film in the 90's and the actor that stole the show in that film is probably in Contact. The direction in it is damn good - Zemeckis has always been the Pepsi to Steven Spielberg's Coke and Contact is Zemeckis at his Wild Cherry Pepsi-iest. It doesn't get near the praise of Forrest Gump, Back to the Future or Who Framed Roger Rabbit, but what it lacks in gimmicks or framing devices, it makes up for in the questions it asks and answers it gives and withholds.

If you're more the reading type, the book is written by Carl freakin' Sagan in his one real attempt at fiction. It's different enough from the film that it stands on its own and is well worth the time if you've watched but not read. The film adjusts characters and condenses elements that a mind like Sagan had time for in his novel and the ending of the book and movie in particular, diverge enough that they're spiritually the same in message but different enough to both leave unique impressions on you.

This isn't Kurosawa or Fellini, nor is the book Faulkner or Joyce. But, if you want to be entertained with some rare bit of humanity and substance thrown in, this is a good, solid grounded sci-fi film to do so.

Prediction

Someone who read this preview has Peter Shilling stuck in their head all day today. No one gets traded. Kings wax the Rockets.

Kings: 126, Rockets: 109

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Jman1949
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January 14, 2022 12:40 pm

As the Rockets come in for a pair,
Is a trade in the works from McNair?
Don’t blame just the coaches;
The deadline approaches.
It’s time for bold change, if we dare!

Sacto_J
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January 14, 2022 1:01 pm
Reply to  Jman1949

Reply not intended, sorry.
Good work as always, Jman…!

Last edited 5 days ago by Sacto_J
RikSmits
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January 14, 2022 12:47 pm

Wonderful preview.

🖖

1951
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January 14, 2022 1:00 pm

I don’t think Simmons or Harris will be available for the Kings yet tonight.

Rosevillain
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January 14, 2022 1:02 pm

Forget Kurosawa or Fellini. Find Carol Reed’s “The Third Man.”

Sacto_J
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January 14, 2022 1:03 pm

This is a game they should win (shout out to Marty,) so of course they’ll lose.
By 20.
Jodie Foster’s looking pretty good right about now. Thanks a lot, Vivek.

SelecaoKOJ
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January 14, 2022 4:15 pm
Reply to  Sacto_J

Porter might go off for 50 in one of the next 2 games. He’s done it before

RobHessing
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January 14, 2022 1:18 pm

If you were buying a suit, would you opt for the Armoni Brooks or the Usman Garuba.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
January 14, 2022 1:36 pm

I honestly couldn’t tell you who the starting 5 for the Rockets are right now. I am 100% certain that John Wall isn’t one of them.

TerzoM
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January 14, 2022 1:56 pm

comment image

Hippity_Hop_Barbershop
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January 14, 2022 3:07 pm
Reply to  TerzoM

Ah yes the Starship Play-in

andy_sims
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January 14, 2022 3:08 pm

I love that movie.

I’d rather not talk about basketball right now.

andy_sims
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