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Kings vs. Suns Preview: Eight and Counting…

Remember last season when the Kings had a better record than the Suns?

I’m not sure what I’ve got to say here. Phoenix plays host to the Sacramento Kings, who are in the midst of an eight game losing streak. The Suns have lost 4 games since the All-Star Break. They’re quite good. The Kings are not.

Let’s talk, ugh, Kings basketball.

When: Thursday, April 15th, 7:00 PM PST

Where: Phoenix Suns Arena, Phoenix, AZ

TV: NBCSCA - Mark Jones on the call

RadioKHTK Sports 1140 AM

For Your Consideration

The Sun Also Rises: It's another day in Kingsland and another chance to see the Kings lose in the least exciting way possible! Today's meat grinder? The Phoenix Suns, second place in the Western Conference, winners of ten of their last eleven games and the only team in the league that's allowed to ignore the fact that they passed on Luka Doncic right now! (Well, that is until Chris Paul leaves to save the next team and the whole thing comes crashing down again.) The Suns are chilling in that sweet spot in the NBA, 6th in points scored per game, 5th in points allowed - they're good on both ends of the floor and do so at their pace, bottom 10 in the league in that measurement. Led this season by professional basketball's Yojimbo, Chris Paul, the Suns have taken their jaw-dropping Bubble performance and stretched it over the course of this grueling, unforgiving season of basketball, avoiding the widening pitfalls of injury as this season has dragged on. Devin Booker, the team's leading scorer, has gone from media whispers of his next location to on the verge of landing the Suns their highest regular season finishing point since '07-08. Key players like Mikal Bridges, Deandre Ayton, Jae Crowder and Cam Johnson are all playing like guys that know they're doing something special.

It's great basketball. I've never been much of a fan of Devin Booker and I've always just had mostly begrudging respect for Chris Paul, these guys are nearing the end of an incredible season... and they aren't going to let an easy game like an injured Sacramento team get away from them.

The Kings will be without Richaun Holmes for at least the next two games. Rumor has it that wayward son Marvin Bagley is returning to the Kings after dealing with his injury in Arizona and not in Sacramento with the team. Is there drama in that pot worth stirring? Sure. Am I going to? Not for someone who hasn't shown any sticking power like Marv. Hope he's doing well. If he plays I hope he plays well. But, also, like, it's not hard to just "out of sight, out of mind" him.

Let's not waste each others time today on this thing. Do the Kings have a chance? Sure. I can cherry pick a few stats. Are the Kings playing like a team that deserves it? Absolutely not. Whine at the bad refs and draw all the techs you want. Score more than the other team does over the course of 48 minutes and repeat that four or five dozen times and the refs are going to start respecting you. Enjoy your days, everyone! We'll actually talk when something is worth talking about! See ya in 2024!

Prediction

This thing is headed for 10 straight....... WINS. KINGS ARE RUNNING OUT THE SEASON ON A STRING OF VICTORIES AND WE DON'T NEED NO GODDAMN TALENTED KIDDO! FOX AVERAGING 35 TO CLOSE THIS SEASON. HALIBURTON DROPPING MERCILESS BOMBS LIKE IT'S 2004!!! MARVIN BAGLEY STAYS EXISTING IN THIS UNIVERSE!

Kings: 122, Suns: 117

 

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RobHessing
April 15, 2021 10:35 am

Kings. Suns.comment image
Next.

Klam
Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
April 15, 2021 11:07 am
Reply to  RobHessing

Yeah, but have you seen how those Kings players have been working on their aggression against other teams?
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Kosta
April 15, 2021 12:32 pm
Reply to  Klam

Have you seen ‘Rese Lightning?
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RobHessing
April 15, 2021 10:38 am

“Fun” fact: The Suns are a lock to make the playoffs. The Knicks are currently 6th in the East. Should this hold, the Kings will be the only NBA team to have not made the playoffs during Ranadivé’s eight year ownership.

AmateurNerd
April 15, 2021 10:45 am
Reply to  RobHessing

NBA 0.3

02kingsfan
April 15, 2021 2:56 pm
Reply to  AmateurNerd

More like NBA -3.0

Hippity_Hop_Barbershop
April 15, 2021 11:05 am
Reply to  RobHessing

Well that’s depressing.

BestHyperboleEver
April 15, 2021 11:28 am

Oh, it gets better. Or worser?

If the current standings hold, as we know the Kings will tied the NBA record with 15 play-off-free seasons. Second place for longest active streak will be Chicago with 4. The Kings/Clips record will stand for AT LEAST 12 years. No other team will even have a chance to break it until 2033.

RobHessing
April 15, 2021 11:55 am

If you set the bar at 53% playoff appearances (16 out of 30 teams), beginning next year the Kings would have to make the playoffs for 20 straight years to get to 53% over their time in Sacramento.

Kosta
April 15, 2021 12:43 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

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ForKingsandCountry
April 15, 2021 3:42 pm

I want the record. I feel like we’ve earned the right to be called the worst franchise in professional basketball history.

Here’s a fun question: is it at least possible that the Kings never make the playoffs at G1C? It’s conceivable isn’t it? We’re basically already in uncharted territory here.

outrider
April 15, 2021 9:05 pm

With the little nugget I’m about to share, maybe anything is possible. The last season the Kings finished with at least a .500 record was the 05-06 season. Beginning with the 06-07 NBA season, 06-07 NHL season and the 06 NFL and 06 MLB seasons, we’re the only franchise in those 4 sports to have ZERO .500 or better seasons.

I included Seattle with OKC since the Sonics were only around for a few seasons before moving to OKC and the great bulk of the time has been in OKC. I thought there had to be somebody to share our misery, but our closest competitor was the T-Wolves who exited the list in 17-18, leaving us as the standard bearer.

RikSmits
April 15, 2021 1:20 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

I never understood the need of some fans to shit on teams like the Suns and Knicks.

Who is left to look down on? Minnesota? Hardly.

We’re in a league of our own!

Putthegundown
April 15, 2021 4:52 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

The NBA has no standards. Vivek should have been forced to sell the franchise based on his horrible record as an owner. I for one will never support him. I guess the NBA needs their “shit” teams so the other top teams can rest their starters when they play us.

illuminance
April 15, 2021 6:52 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

What are the odds of the Kings missing the playoffs for 15 straight years? Well, let’s do some math. As 16 of 30 teams make the playoffs every year, the odds of missing it are ~ .467. The random odds of missing it 15 straight years (.467 to the 15th power) is .000011. This is equivalent to flipping a coin and it coming up heads more than 100,000 times in a row. If they can keep this streak going for an additional 3 years (.467 to the 18th power), it is, literally, a one in a million occurrence. Gentlemen, let us bask in the possibility of true greatness. Let no man derail our destiny. Extend Luke Walton for an additional year so we can see this to immortality!

Jman1949
April 15, 2021 10:42 am

One more team that has turned things around;
CP3 has the Suns playoff bound.
Unlike our crash landings,
They’ve climbed up the standings
For the kind of success we’ve not found!

AmateurNerd
April 15, 2021 10:44 am

Can we just fire Walton already? Everyone knows he’s a dead man walking, including the players. No wonder there are so many slow starts and losses defined by a lack of consistent effort. The coach has lost the team. They may not openly disrespect him or bicker with him, and they may genuinely like him, but they don’t PLAY for him. Show him the door, appoint Gentry as the INTERIM head coach for the rest of the season only (make that very clear, publicly), and go get your man/woman the second the final buzzer sounds on the season. I understand not wanting to feed into the “LOL KANGZ” narrative by firing a coach with 17 games to go, but keeping him around as an animated corpse is LOL KANGZ-ier.

RORDOG
April 15, 2021 11:02 am
Reply to  AmateurNerd

Perfect time to make Rico Hines, their Director of Player Development and Assistant Coach, the interim Head Coach.

Gregoryl
April 15, 2021 1:52 pm
Reply to  AmateurNerd

The way this season is going, lets keep Luke in there, continue losing every night, get a better draft pick and attempt to blow it up this offseason.

Brown.says.Good.or.Bad
April 15, 2021 2:05 pm
Reply to  Gregoryl

Yes, this is good

AmateurNerd
April 15, 2021 2:41 pm
Reply to  Gregoryl

I mean…. I understand that… and it’s completely rational and sensible… but… I mean… gosh… it’s just so LAME. And Walton deserves the humiliation of a late-season firing. If he wants to avoid some embarrassment, maybe the team can sign a non-disclosure agreement and show him the door with no public announcement or anything. After all, NDA’s have worked for him in the past.

Gregoryl
April 15, 2021 2:59 pm
Reply to  AmateurNerd

I think the bulk of the humiliation would be on the org for continuing to be a joke.

Carl
April 15, 2021 6:36 pm
Reply to  AmateurNerd

Everyone knows he’s a dead man walking

I’m still not convinced this is going to happen.

Dbullsfan
April 15, 2021 10:54 am

Barnes played 40 minutes last night, I see no good reason to push a vet like him that hard again. If Woodard doesn’t see the court again tonight I’m just going to assume he stole Walton’s GF or something. It makes zero sense not to play the kid

Klam
Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
April 15, 2021 11:05 am

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April 15, 2021 11:05 am

It really irks me that when a guy like Edwards, Shroder, divincenzo, white, Russ, Zion gets an open 3, Mark and Doug say “that’s the shot you want him to take” and when Fox bricks a 3 in crucial moments they say “that’s a shot he has to take” like what? Thats the shot the other team wants him to take all night and no he doesn’t need to take that shot, Jimmy butler has only taken 72 3’s all season, Zion got 24 attempts, Derozan got 62 and they are still high impact players. So why does Fox NEED to shoot 281?
I’m still a pro foxer and believe in him but stop letting him take lazy shots.

and thank you Luke for ruining the Haliburton experience for me. Take the only consistent player and give him the most inconsistent role on the damn team.

RORDOG
April 15, 2021 11:22 am
Reply to  Sir_tajj

Hopefully, over time, Fox will take less pull-up threes and focus on catch and shoot and stepback threes. This season he’s 34 of 82 (41.5%) on catch and shoot threes, 23 of 53 (43.4%) on step back threes, but 21 of 84 (25%) on regular pull-up threes. It’s all on pretty low volume, but this matches the eye test for me. He just doesn’t look good stepping into his shot for whatever reason.

Otis
April 15, 2021 11:38 am
Reply to  RORDOG

A handful of airball threes lately as well, although I can’t recall whether they were pull-ups.

kings4ever
April 15, 2021 2:49 pm
Reply to  Otis

Did you check your log titled De’Aaron Fox Airballs? I am sure you like to keep a running tally.

Here’s a fun game to play, a pre-game warmup to a 9th straight loss.

The biggest criticism of Fox is his 3s and FTs, and it is a reasonable critique.

Let’s compare his career FTs and his 3s to another Living Legend around these parts:

Player 1: 3P% 33% FT% 72%

Player 2: 3P% 33%. FT% 74%

I don’t see much difference, do you?

Player 1 is Fox. Player 2 is Luka Doncic. Has anyone around here ever fairly pointed out Luka mediocrity in these areas? Next time will be the first time!

His superstardom is etched in stone. The critics of Fox, and you are one of the few holdouts, desperate, flailing and intellectually disenguous, can’t speak often enough about his shooting inconsistencies while never considering the relative context.

The reason Luka is great is actually because of something hard to determine pre-draft, and that was his ability to get shots off and create separation in traffic and under duress, inside the arc and in the half-court set. That is his magnificence. He is not bothered by multiple defenders and uses his body to shield and bully his way to where he wants to go…..

This was actually difficult to forecast and so for those saying they envisioned as manifest they are lying. His footspeed and size 6’7″ did not make it automatic he would be able to carve out space for himself against equal and superior size as he has been able to do. This would have been the advantage to have had a real GM at the time to see him up close in 3 vs 3 settting to see how he sliced and diced and had the intuitive feel a la Haliburton.

Luka is shooting 55% career on 2 point shots. This is after only making 50% as a rookie then taking the “leap” to All-NBA player with 57% and 56% on his 2s next two seasons. Fox is making 54% of his 2s this year, very close, and that number is going up, up, up! His career high FG% on 2s is impressive bc he is shooting one more shot attempt from last year and 5 more FGAs as a rookie.

In other words, his effeciency has improved with increased volume, similar growth curve to Luka though it took Fox two years to go from promising to special whereas it only took Luka one year.

“bUt FoX is pRettY much the SaMe PlaYer as LAsT yeAr”

So Fox, the Airball King from 3, has comparable shooting splits as the Living Legend and the one who got away. Have fun trying parse this data to conclude Fox is a pseudo star while Luka is first ballot HOF.

And lastly, IMHO it is easier for Fox to create space and get his shot with his juke moves and speed. Luka is a great player, but he resorts to high degree of difficulty shots, like step backs, he does a lot of ref baiting and he palms the ball about 30-40 times per game, and he overdribbles.

For these reasons, it is not unreasonable to project Fox will surpass Luka in 2% accuracy as their careers unfold simultaneously, and as they strive to be better with FTs and 3s.

It is a joke that another fan on this forum thinks the debate is still open about who will be the better player, Fox or Lonzo. That debate is settled. It is better and more valid question how Fox will compare to Luka and Donovan over the next 3-5 years, and if he can surpass both of them in terms of individual and team accolades!

Otis
April 15, 2021 2:56 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

It’s interesting to me that you write such long comments, but don’t realize that most people see your handle and don’t read beyond that point.

peyroux
April 15, 2021 4:53 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

Cool.. now do Luka vs. Marvin.

Last edited 1 month ago by peyroux
April 16, 2021 1:21 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

Just replying to say I’m not the one downvoting replies lol I appreciate everyone’s perspective. I wish the downvoter down voted me too so it doesn’t paint me as the down voter. YES I care about that.

PlayoffModeT
April 15, 2021 11:45 am
Reply to  Sir_tajj

A little devil’s advocate and according to Basketball Reference.

https://www.basketball-reference.com/players/f/foxde01.html

Fox’s shooting is all career highs with the exception of 3 point shooting (FGs, EFGs, TS%, and 2P). 2 years ago he had a .371 and now he is around .320 but with about 80 more attempts and counting. I do think he rushes/loses his form when shooting the pull up 3s but taking those can keep the defense on their toes.

I also really like when he does those stop and pop shots near the free throw line and prefer those right now.

RORDOG
April 15, 2021 11:55 am
Reply to  PlayoffModeT

Yeah I’m not against him shooting those. I think his focus should be a) at the rim b) floater range, c) stepback d) pull-up threes when he has the ball in his hands. And hopefully once Tyrese is given more responsibility of organizing the halfcourt offense then that opens up more catch and shoot opportunities for Fox. That type of shot distribution could get him close to 60 TS% if he can get his FT% >75. If all that were to happen, then Fox would solidify himself as a top 10 offensive player.

PlayoffModeT
April 15, 2021 12:55 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

I agree and Fox creates most of his points.

On the Tyrese point, we need more structured plays. Our offense consist of dribble hand offs, pick and roll, and isolation. To his credit, Haliburton processes the pick and roll really well. So i am hopeful for a new coach that can make the game easier for Fox and Hali

BestHyperboleEver
April 15, 2021 3:28 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

What are the sample sizes on those pull-up vs step-back numbers? The reason I ask is that pull-ups, are traditionally easier shots. Now, that may be changing because step backs are becoming a much bigger, more common, and more practiced part of a player’s game. But I would still be surprised if it was generally a higher percentage shot. As such, and considering my assumed sample size, I wouldn’t bet on Fox continuing to shoot a higher percentage on step-backs than pull-ups. (Though, of course, step-backs are really a subset of pull-ups, sooooo……)

RORDOG
April 15, 2021 4:55 pm

nba.com breaks it down by shot type. It’s tracking data, so it’s not perfect, but it’s the best we have. Here’s the link:
https://www.nba.com/stats/player/1628368/shooting/?sort=FGA&dir=1

RORDOG
April 15, 2021 4:59 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

and maybe I wasn’t clear, but I tried to segregate the two:

but 21 of 84 (25%) on regular pull-up threes

point being, he made a higher percentage of threes when he stepped back to pull up versus when he stepped in to a pull-up based on the stats at nba.com.

Hippity_Hop_Barbershop
April 15, 2021 11:08 am

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NotAlwaysLogic
April 15, 2021 11:18 am

This team is absolutely awful and yet they are still only 9th on Tankathon. SMH.

Kosta
April 15, 2021 12:37 pm
Reply to  NotAlwaysLogic

Kings “rebuilding” for several years…pick 9th

Toronto takes off a year…wins first pick in the lottery.

Kings fans:
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Kosta
April 15, 2021 12:40 pm
Reply to  Kosta

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Last edited 1 month ago by Kosta
RikSmits
April 15, 2021 1:24 pm
Reply to  Kosta

Am i the only one who finds this cringeworthy?

Gregoryl
April 15, 2021 1:53 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

No.

Sincerely,
Jamie Foxx

satdawg
April 15, 2021 6:47 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Anything you see Vivek in is cringe

Klam
Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
April 15, 2021 4:21 pm
Reply to  Kosta

Ugh. Soooooooooooooooo cringy.

andy_sims
April 15, 2021 11:37 am

I freely admit that I’m a homer, but am I crazy, or have the Kings been getting an inordinate number of terrible calls against them over the past month? Fox has to get fined in order for the refs to call a foul when he’s attacking the basket, and the out of bounds call against them that went off of Bertans, and the foul on Hield by Beal on a made three pointer being called on the floor were just egregious.

Kudos to Coach Shit-For-Brains in keeping that challenge in his pocket until the game was over. If we save enough of them, we can cash them in for a lottery pick. I just assume, since there’s no other reason to keeping them, although if I was 9-16 when I made challenges, I might be gun-shy, too.

Is Walton good at anything?

RobHessing
April 15, 2021 12:02 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

Fox is 9th in the league in FTAs and the team is 7th overall, but Fox is 15th in makes and the team is 14th. Based on those numbers it seems that the officials are holding up their end of the bargain better than the players.

Also, the Kings and their opponents are both at 22.9 FTAs per game, but their opponents 18.3 to the Kings 16.8, so again…

Last edited 1 month ago by RobHessing
andy_sims
April 15, 2021 2:12 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

The amount of free throws that he takes/makes isn’t really relevant when the question is about how often he gets smashed going to the rim and doesn’t get the call. Because he already gets plenty, refs are justified in letting a significant number of fouls go uncalled?

“Swallow your whistles, boys! Fox can’t make his free throws!”

If you want to separately address his free throw percentage, that’s certainly fair game.

RobHessing
April 15, 2021 2:30 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

Let’s just say that I don’t think that NBA officiating is what is troubling this team. I would go as far as saying that NBA officiating has not cost this team one net win this season. Your mileage may vary.

BestHyperboleEver
April 15, 2021 3:42 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Every team’s fans think the officials are cheating them. It’s a time-honored sportsball tradition.

andy_sims
April 15, 2021 4:20 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

I’ll concede that officiating isn’t the team’s major concern, but I must also point out that I didn’t suggest that it was, any more than I felt the need to impose Fox’s free throw percentage on my initial complaint about the officiating.

RobHessing
April 15, 2021 4:55 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

If the statement is that NBA officiating sucks, I agree. If the statement is that somehow the Kings get more than their share of bad / non-calls, I disagree. Simple, that.

Marty
April 15, 2021 12:17 pm

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RikSmits
April 15, 2021 1:26 pm
Reply to  Marty

Can’t stop laughing.

AmateurNerd
April 15, 2021 2:42 pm
Reply to  Marty

Change “Marvin” to “Luke” and this works even better.

Kosta
April 15, 2021 12:31 pm

Damion Jones revenge game.

Kosta
April 15, 2021 12:37 pm

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Last edited 1 month ago by Kosta
MyNeighborTurturro
April 15, 2021 12:49 pm
Reply to  Kosta

If he’s watching a Kings game, does he wake up nude in a lion exhibit the next morning?

Kosta
April 15, 2021 12:54 pm

Haha, yes
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Convoy
April 15, 2021 12:48 pm

The Kings have about a snowballs chance in hell of winning tonight. Its a shame too because last years Kings squad had so much more talent and poise, and a better chance of winning against this version of the Suns. Bogdanovich, Bazemore, and Len are all playing well for their respective new teams, and we’ve lost them for trash considerations. Don’t know what you got till its gone I guess.

BigDrewbot
April 15, 2021 6:29 pm
Reply to  Convoy

just think of the team we had two years ago

jlandweh
April 15, 2021 1:17 pm

So the Suns formula…hit on a handful of draft picks (Bridges, Booker, Johnson, Ayton), trade for a star (Paul), hire a competent and well respected coach (Monty), and sign some key vets (Crowder). Some of the other quality draft picks were traded away like Warren and Bogdanovic.

So in my estimation, the Kings are 2/3 draft picks away, 1 star trade, a competent well-respected coach, and a quality FA vet away from being contenders.

This is depressing.

Kui
Kui
April 15, 2021 1:28 pm

Kings will lose 9 straight again then string up some wins after, landing a late lottery pick again. Kangz 😀

Kui
Kui
April 15, 2021 1:29 pm
Reply to  Kui

Maybe 10 straight this time. We’ll play the Mavs after this.

1951
April 15, 2021 6:03 pm

People still talk about the Kings? 😜

Kingsguru21
April 15, 2021 7:03 pm
Reply to  1951

I’m watching the A’s. But I’ll probably watch the Kings too since I can.

Last edited 1 month ago by Kingsguru21
Adamsite
Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
April 15, 2021 6:18 pm

I got my second vaccine shot yesterday and I feel like I’ve been hit my a Mack truck. Don’t think I can bear to watch tonight’s game. I’m not that much of a masochist.

satdawg
April 15, 2021 6:51 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Is the second shot worse or something? Cause I had no side effects except for a slightly sore shoulder for one day

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