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Kings vs. Thunder Preview: Tank Fight!

The Sacramento Kings roll into Oklahoma City looking to outduel a master in the art of the tank! Whoever wins, loses.

I have no idea why the schedulers took so long to stack the Kings and Thunder against one another in the schedule, but I have to say that this, this set of games here against the Thunder might be the final reason I'm hanging onto this season, unable to let go. Losers in 17 of their last 18 games, the Thunder have spent every moment since an injury to their star point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, thinking about the tank. They've pretty much spent this entire season doing what I had hoped the Kings would do, and now we get to see the resulting horrors can do against an injury plagued, apathy induced Kings squad. Deep breaths, bud.

Let's talk Kings basketball.

When: Tuesday, May 4th, 5:00 PM PST

Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK

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

RadioKHTK Sports 1140 AM

For Your Consideration

I've made it fairly clear through out the last year or so that this Thunder team is who I wish the Kings had likened themselves after. Now, with Tyrese Haliburton being as good as he was and De'Aaron Fox taking another step towards superstardom, I'm not sure how well the Kings could have emulated the Thunder plan, but in a year where we weren't getting to see many games in person, with a compressed schedule, this was the year to bottom out and Sam Presti & Co. have done a marvelous job at it. Ample time for young guys to grow and experiment with their games on both the NBA and G-League levels, with a few quality vets in the locker room and aggressive draft pick accumulation - I swoon for OKC far more than I should.

Just take a look at who is in their Top-5 in minutes played this season: Theo Maledon (Rookie), Darius Bazley (Sophomore), break out player Lu Dort (Sophomore), Kenrich Williams (3 Years Experience), Isaiah Roby (Sophomore). [Shout out to Rob Hessing for pointing that out this morning!] They're fully committed to that youth movement - and it shows in some of their stats. For one, they're the worst team in the league when it comes to turnovers, coughing the ball up over 16 times a game. They're in the bottom five in both two point and three point percentages while also taking a decent amount of both. Jacking shots is timeless but for a team as young as the Thunder are, it's also probably expected. Oh, also, they're worst in the league in free throws as well, so, yeah woof. They're 7th in the league in pace, but bottom of the league in offensive rating and third to last in points scored a game. I wouldn't stan for a GOOD team, would I??

This game overall is going to be rough on the eyes. I could see either side blowing the other out just as readily as I can see this coming down to the wire - though I suspect that if it comes down to a final shot, the score is going to be like 89-87. The Thunder all about promise and they have it in spades. They just don't promise you're going to enjoy watching them very much this season.


Someone is going to get all the way through the preview and realize that I haven't even once mention Poku. Well, guess what jerks, he's probably not playing tonight because he bonked his popsicle stick knee on something. I'll gush over him another day.

Buddy Hield takes 25+ shots.

Kings: 112, Thunder: 99

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May 4, 2021 10:04 am

Kings. Thunder.comment image

May 4, 2021 10:09 am

OKC committed to tanking;
Their goal for now—their draft ranking.
They’ve acquired lots of picks
To build something that sticks.
Maybe both teams’ shots will be clanking!

May 4, 2021 10:12 am

Poku is afraid of Griffith!

May 4, 2021 11:31 am
Reply to  WGriffith

Gotta miss them all!

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Last edited 13 days ago by Kosta
May 4, 2021 10:13 am

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May 4, 2021 10:25 am

This better be a game the Kings win by 25, as the Thunder are actively trying to lose games. Combine that with NO playing GS tonight, and a win could pull us to within a half a game of the 10th pick, with the 12th pick definitely in reach.

May 4, 2021 10:27 am

Tanking? Not a chance. San Antonio and the 12th pick…we’re coming for you!
-vivek r.

Nostradumbass 18
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May 4, 2021 10:56 am

Happy Star Wars Day, dudes. 😀

Last edited 13 days ago by Klam
May 4, 2021 11:14 am
Reply to  Klam

In honor of the Kangz, may the farce be with you.

May 4, 2021 11:32 am
Reply to  RobHessing

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May 4, 2021 10:56 am

Does anyone here not swap the Thunder org (ie. front office, roster, owner, picks, cap space, etc.) for the Kings org?

May 4, 2021 11:19 am
Reply to  Gregoryl

OKC’s draft pick inventory:

  • 2021:
  • Own first rounder
  • Heat first rounder (unprotected)
  • Warriors first rounder (top-20 protected; if not, turns into Minnesota Timberwolves 2021 second-round pick)
  • Pick swap for Rockets first rounder (top-4 protected)
  • Own second rounder (protected; could be owed to Boston Celtics as part of Vincent Poirier trade)
  • Nuggets first rounder (via Warriors)
  • 2022:
  • Own first rounder (owed to Hawks if 15-30)
  • Clippers first rounder (unprotected)
  • Suns first rounder (protected 1-12 in 2022, 1-10 in 2023, 1-8 in 2024 and unprotected in 2025)
  • Own second rounder (could be owed to 76ers)
  • 2023:
  • The best first rounder between Thunder and Clippers
  • Heat first rounder (lottery protected in 2023-2025, unprotected in 2026)
  • Nuggets first-round pick (lottery protected 2023-25; if not, turns into 2025 and 2026 second-round picks)
  • Own second rounder (could be owed to 76ers)
  • Wizards second-round pick (via Pelicans)
  • Better second-rounder of Mavericks or Heat (via Mavericks)
  • 2024:
  • Own first rounder
  • Clippers first rounder (unprotected)
  • Rockets first rounder (top-4 protected; if not, 2024 and 2025 second-rounders)
  • Grizzlies second rounder
  • Own second rounder (will be owed to Atlanta Hawks if 2022 first-rounder does not convey)
  • Hornets second-round pick (via Pelicans)
  • 2025:
  • The best first rounder between Thunder, Clippers and Rockets (Rockets pick top-10 protected)
  • Sixers’ first rounder (top-6 protected; protected 1-4 in 2026, 1-4 in 2027; if not, 2027 second-round pick and $2 million)
  • Own second rounder (will be owed to Atlanta Hawks if 2022 first-rounder does not convey)
  • Hawks second rounder (protected)
  • Sixers second rounder
  • 2026:
  • Own first rounder
  • Clippers first rounder
  • Rockets first rounder (top-4 protected; if not, 2026 second-rounder and $1 million)
  • Own second rounder
  • Mavericks second rounder
  • Sixers second rounder
  • 2027:
  • Own first rounder
  • Own second rounder
  • Pacers second-rounder
  • Rockets second-rounder (via Detroit Pistons)
  • Heat second-rounder
Last edited 13 days ago by RobHessing
May 4, 2021 11:55 am
Reply to  RobHessing

But… you didn’t answer the question?!

May 4, 2021 11:50 am

We keep trying to win games until we are mathematically eliminated. Let’s win these two games with okc and see where we are.

May 4, 2021 12:46 pm

We are going to win so many meaningless games from here on out.
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May 4, 2021 2:43 pm
Reply to  1951

You play to win the game. At Davis we played every game 100 percent until the final whistle. That’s how you establish culture. Nothing is meaningless.

May 4, 2021 3:05 pm

Ah, so those 39 wins carried over into the next two years?

pheonix won 19 games two years ago and 34 last year. Should that not have carried over?

There will be a new coach next year. These games are entirely irrelevant from a culture stand point.

May 4, 2021 12:56 pm

I’m not sure how well the Kings could have emulated the Thunder plan

They could have easily traded everything of value for 2-3 years worth of picks, but it’s more impotent to sell Fox jerseys I guess.

May 4, 2021 7:21 pm
Reply to  Marty

You gotta think Fox & Haliburton alone could have brought back a hefty bounty via trade.

Meanwhile, one of them has now suffered an injury that the organization does not want to publicize.

Last edited 13 days ago by BeTheBall
May 4, 2021 3:52 pm

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May 4, 2021 4:22 pm

I’m quite proud of you Will. It wasn’t super obvious you were drooling over OKC’s future. I’m sure that took tons of restraint!

Last edited 13 days ago by Kingsguru21
May 4, 2021 4:41 pm

Alright Buddy, time to take us to the promise land

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