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Kings vs. Spurs Preview: Playoffs or Bust!

Thus begins the most important eight games the Kings have had in a decade....

It's been twenty weeks since the March 11th shutdown of a basketball game that would have seen the Kings take on the New Orleans Pelicans and in that time, the very reality of the world in which Sacramento and their fans have lived in has changed. Cities, regions and whole countries shutdown, thousand upon thousands of people losing their lives or livelihoods to the Coronavirus. Mass social and political movements across not only the United States, but the globe. And in the middle of what at times still feels like the upheaval of everything we've come to expect from our world, the NBA has stumbled, ass-backwards at times, into an early success with their resumption of the season. One-hundred, forty-three days after the cancellation of that game, somehow, some way the Sacramento Kings are back to playing meaningful basketball again, with only eight games standing between them and their first playoff appearance in fourteen years.

To reach the promised land, the Kings will run head to head with the Spurs, Magic, Mavericks, Pelicans (twice) the Rockets and their rivals and championship favorites, the Los Angeles Lakers. They'll need more than their fair share of lucky breaks and upset wins along the way, but crazier things have - wait, no, I'm not going to lie to you here. Nothing in recorded human history would be crazier than one of the lowest franchises in professional sports vaulting themselves into the playoffs in only eight games while playing at a locked down theme park resort as a deadly virus ravages the people and economy around them and a social justice movement unlike any in the last 50 years carries on in cities across the world. This is one of the dumbest, most insane years in modern history and nothing (sports-related) would be more perfect and more absolutely batshit insane than the Kings rocketing over three teams in order to steal the 8th seed in the Western Conference.

And that chance, that chance of hitting a full court shot, rolling two sixes and being struck by lightning? That chance begins today. Let's talk Kings basketball.

When: Friday, July 30th- 5:00 pm PST

Where: VISA Athletic Center, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Reunion, FL 

TV: NBCSCA

Radio: KHTK Sports 1140 AM

For Your Consideration

The next eight games and their impact on the Kings chances at moving up the ranks is going to require an abacus, two Turing Machines and a Ouija board to suss everything out with accuracy. I will not be explaining pretty much any of that, but I recommend you go stare at all the pretty tables that Tim Maxwell put together in his article on Thursday and see how easily he makes a very complicated subject sound easy. The main premise I took away from it is that if the Kings win 8 games, they've got a solid shot at the playoffs and if they lose more than two, only a manifestation of a living basketball god coming to Earth and asking Adam Silver politely would get the Kings to the post-season. It's do-or-die season for the most don't franchise in NBA history.

First up of the Kings in their attempted conquering of the bubble, is the San Antonio Spurs, a franchise whose worst season in the last 20 years feels like it would rival some of the best in Kings history. They haven't missed the playoffs since Allen Iverson was a rookie, since Jordan had five goddamn rings. The last time the Spurs missed the playoffs, Biggie Smalls was still alive. And yet, despite the Spurs being the NBA standard for twenty years, it is the Kings who sit a half game up in this last mad dash. Remember me talking about lucky breaks? Well, LaMarcus Aldridge, the Spurs second leading scorer and their anchor in the front court, didn't make the trip to Orlando after having shoulder surgery during the shutdown. Bryn Forbes, the team's fourth leading scorer before the break and one in a team of sneaky great finds for the Spurs, will miss Friday's game with tightness in his quad. To fill the holes left from these injuries, Gregg Popovich and the rest of his staff will turn to a crop of young and inexperienced guards and forwards and hope like hell their next-man-up attitude can sustain them for eight games like it has for the last nineteen seasons. Look to see small ball rotations with their young point guard core of Dejounte Murray and Derrick White, using both DeMar DeRozan and rookie Lonnie Walker IV as small forwards all while running guys like Jakob Poeltl, Drew Eubanks and Luka Samanic through the foward spots. I'd throw a bunch of stats at you, but I really think that they don't mean much in this new paradigm. The bottom line for the Kings is: they have eight games that are all must-wins. No time to get in a groove, no time to break the slump or get over a loss. Eight games to drag themselves into the national conversation, change the narrative around this particular team and this particular franchise at this particularly wild moment in history. Every number produced before tonight really doesn't matter, every stat rendered meaningless by pressure and time. At the end of today and the next seven game days afterward, all that matters is the number of W's you walk away with.

If, by chance, you're trying to catch what each player have on the back of their jerseys during timeouts and close ups but can't quite make out what they say, here's the full list for you.

Harrison Barnes:Say Their Names

Kent Bazemore:Education Reform

Nemanja Bjelica: “Equality

Bogdan Bogdanovic:Sloboda” [Serbian word for “Freedom” ]

Corey Brewer: “Peace

Yogi Ferrell: “How Many More

De’Aaron Fox: “Anti-Racist

Harry Giles: “Say Her Name

Kyle Guy: “Black Lives Matter

Buddy Hield: “Respect Us

Richaun Holmes: “Black Lives Matter

Justin James: “Peace

DaQuan Jeffries: “Power To The People

Cory Joseph: “Black Lives Matter

Alex Len: “Peace

Jabari Parker: “Group Economics

Our boy Marvin Bagley would have worn "Freedom" on his jersey.

Prediction

You're gonna ask yourself tonight at some point "Who is this Keldon Johnson guy?!" and then you'll see Marco Bellini yack a shot from deep and your eyes will roll so far into the back of your skull they get stuck.

Kings: 116, Spurs: 104

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J Man
12 days ago

For the Kings to get to the play-in,
Have to go all-out just to stay in.
Spurs don’t have LMA,
So we should rule the day.
A good start will help pave the way in!

Kevin Lam
12 days ago
Reply to  Jman1949

Preview articles aren’t complete without Jman rhymes and Rob Hessing “next” GIFs.

Ican Hascheezburger
12 days ago
Reply to  Klam

I don’t eat breakfast until I see those in the threads.

Kevin Lam
12 days ago
Reply to  Kosta

comment image

Rob Hessing
12 days ago
Reply to  Klam

How ‘bout my jersey statement?

T D
12 days ago

Go Kong’s!

Bobby Kennedy
12 days ago

It’s balls to the wall time! Let’s go Kings!

Ican Hascheezburger
12 days ago

I just KNEW Fox was one of them Antira!

De’Aaron Fox: “Anti-Racist

Ican Hascheezburger
12 days ago

Social distancing, Pop. Come on!
comment image

Kevin Lam
12 days ago
Reply to  Kosta

Pop gave him an earful.

Ican Hascheezburger
12 days ago
Reply to  Klam

I believe they call it a Wet Willie Cauley Steinie.

Ican Hascheezburger
12 days ago

And so begins our Big Adventure….
comment image

Rob Hessing
12 days ago
Reply to  Kosta

There’s no basement at the Alamo!

Mark Anstead
12 days ago

Cut a paste from previous thread “In a small corner of England today, sitting on the Beach with wife and my son – a man walked down wearing a Bibby 10 shirt – 1st time in 15 years of fandom I’ve met anyone with Kings Gear on — its a sign – tonight we shall win 🙂”

Adam Dieter
12 days ago
Reply to  ukca375

No wonder there are Kings fans in England, you all still have a royal family.

Rik Smits
12 days ago

Wow, high scoring 1st quarter in the Nets-Magic game. You’d expect teams to be rusty, despite the scrimmages.

Parker Wells
12 days ago
Reply to  RikSmits

I think defenses will be far more rusty than offenses early on in these games.

T D
12 days ago
Reply to  RikSmits

You’d expect them to be Rusty?
 comment image
 comment image?itemid=10198541

Ican Hascheezburger
12 days ago
Reply to  1951

Rusty’s dad is Dusty?
comment image

Camera Marty
12 days ago

E P I C
 
“It’s do-or-die season for the most don’t franchise in NBA history.”

T D
12 days ago
Reply to  Marty

comment image

Rory Cornell
12 days ago
Reply to  Marty

95.7 The Game in the Bay Area had some Philly radio host named Angelo on today to discuss Gabe Kappler, and I thought of you. He was absolutely ruthless in his criticism. It was like how Grant treated callers who criticized Walton/Vlade, but instead the ruthlessness was aimed at Kapler/Farhad.

Camera Marty
12 days ago
Reply to  RORDOG

Angelo is loved or hated, total schtick. He’s the guy who organized the bus trip to NY to boo the Donovan McNabb pick. He’s well liked but his schtick is pretty strong. He has no fear to ask the tough questions, none.

David Gracia
12 days ago

Pretty sure we stomp this thing by going 8-0 and become the Cinderella story of the tournament.

Rik Smits
12 days ago
Reply to  Malrock

It’s Disney world and we just live in it.

Adam Dieter
12 days ago

OT: in watching the Portland/Memphis game I can’t help but notice Kings 2nd round draft pick Gary Trent Jr. He’s getting significant minutes for Portland. Meanwhile, Cash Considerations has yet to suit up for the Kings.

T D
12 days ago
Reply to  Adamsite

Just pretend it was a three way trade with the Magic and the Kings got DaQuan in the deal.

Rik Smits
12 days ago
Reply to  1951

Yeah, for that I should have started drinking earlier.

Maxwell Huss
12 days ago
Reply to  1951

KHTK would like to have a word with you about their open radio host position.

T D
12 days ago
Reply to  AirmaxPG

Maxwell Huss
12 days ago
Reply to  1951

I think he’s trying the reverse jinx there… Dave is an unabashed homer and he owns it, which I respect.

Camera Marty
12 days ago
Reply to  1951

At least we still lead the league in weather women doing sports!

Rory Cornell
12 days ago
Reply to  Adamsite

To be fair, the Kings got 2nd round picks in that trade. They used one of the picks to help move Dedmon’s contract a few months after signing him. They used the other to draft Justin James. Eric Paschall and Bol Bol were 2 of the next 4 picks.

Last edited 12 days ago by RORDOG
Adam Dieter
12 days ago
Reply to  RORDOG

Lol! Profit!

Kings Guru21
12 days ago

You forgot the Nets in this seeding quest, you chucklehead.

Kings Guru21
12 days ago

The last time the Spurs missed the playoffs, Biggie Smalls was still alive.

This is incorrect. Biggie got shot in March. The season ended in April. BABY BABY!

Rik Smits
12 days ago
Reply to  Kingsguru21

I thought Biggy lived on a secret island with Tupac, James Dean, Marylin Monroe etc?

Kings Guru21
12 days ago
Reply to  RikSmits

Oh. That Biggie. My bad.

Rory Cornell
12 days ago

I think I’m okay with the Grizzlies losing to the Blazers. The Kings can only get in if they can beat the Grizzlies twice. I think I’d prefer them struggling once they get to the play-in tournament versus firing on all cylinders.

Eric W
12 days ago
Reply to  RORDOG

Okay, I had to re-read this a few times. Ignore me.

Last edited 12 days ago by BestHyperboleEver
Rory Cornell
12 days ago

lol I’m riding my desk bike while watching the game and posting. I’m not the best multitasker, so that probably lead to my comment being a little unclear.

T D
12 days ago

Random aside: I was as skeptical as anybody about this NBA bubble plan, but man the NBA may just be the only league to pull this shit off!
 

Adam Dieter
12 days ago
Reply to  1951

Yeah, I don’t think MLB is gonna make it. There is no way to bubble them. Its just the logistics of ballparks and sizes of rosters and staff.

Is there a location where they could bubble them with a bunch of ballparks?

Kings Guru21
12 days ago
Reply to  Adamsite

Spring Training sites. Even that would be next to impossible. There are multiple complexes that hold two teams. Just in Arizona alone.

Last edited 12 days ago by Kingsguru21
Adam Dieter
12 days ago
Reply to  Kingsguru21

NFL is gonna have the same problem, only likely worse with the number of people the average team employs. How many people are on a team’s sideline on any given game day? Gotta be close to 100, right?

Last edited 12 days ago by Adamsite
Maxwell Huss
12 days ago
Reply to  Adamsite

If they can make it to the World Series, maybe they can play at the Field of Dreams in Iowa. They can all just stay in Ray Kinsella’s old farmhouse.

Adam Dieter
12 days ago

Just watching the Blazers/Grizz game and came to the realization I’m watching the could’a/should’a been Kings/Grizz game.

On the court right now for Porland: Lillard, Trent Jr, Collins, Whiteside.

3 of them were drafted by the Kings, and the Kings could have had Lillard. Amazing.

Rory Cornell
12 days ago
Reply to  Adamsite

“I worked out for them twice and I thought the Kings were going to draft me,” McCollum told Cowbell Kingdom.

Adam Dieter
12 days ago
Reply to  RORDOG

Yup, now I’m waiting for the Kings North lineup of Lillard, CJ, Trent Jr., Collins, Whiteside.

Adam Dieter
12 days ago
Reply to  Adamsite

For giggles here is the is the Kings North lineup vs. the actual Kings lineup with replacements

Lillard, CJ, Trent Jr, Collins, and Whiteside

TRob, McLemore, Justin James, Justin Jackson, Harry Giles

Last edited 12 days ago by Adamsite
T D
12 days ago

No Mills tonight. If the Kings lose then they should just pack up and head straight home!

T D
12 days ago

Walton with the DaQuan shade, leaving him out of the starting lineup!

In Starz
12 days ago
Reply to  1951

Why would he be starting?
 
Im just hopeful we don’t see the same tired lineup that’s been getting abused
 
im expecting the fox/Hield/Bogdan/Barnes/Holmes lineup as promised

T D
12 days ago
Reply to  Inthestarz

Because you should start your best players! 😜

Timothy Bornemisza
12 days ago

Fox/Bogi/Barnes/Bjelly/Holmes starting.

I dunno, was hoping to see a smaller lineup though I care more about who finishes than who starts.

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