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Kings vs. Trail Blazers Preview and Predictions: No time to panic

The Kings are back at home and looking to avoid their first four game losing streak since last year's 0-4 start.
By | 23 Comments | Nov 8, 2023

Mar 31, 2023; Portland, Oregon, USA; Sacramento Kings small forward Keegan Murray (13) drives to the basket past Portland Trail Blazers shooting guard Shaedon Sharpe (17, right) during the first half at Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

It’s hard to imagine things getting much worse for the Kings after an absolutely abysmal two game showing against the Rockets in which they lost by a combined 43 points, but losing tonight at home against the Trail Blazers might do it. The Kings only had one four game losing streak so far in the Mike Brown era and that was when they started last season 0-4. It’s time to stop the streak and get back on the right track, even with De’Aaron Fox continuing to miss time with his sprained ankle. Tonight will feature Sacramento playing another young team in the Portland Trail Blazers and hopefully some home cooking can right the ship.

Let’s talk Kings basketball!

When: Wednesday, November 8th, 7:00 PM PT
Where: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, CA
TV: NBC Sports California
Radio: Sactown Sports 1140

Three in the Key

Lineup Change?

The Kings have pretty much stuck with their lineup of having Davion Mitchell start in De’Aaron Fox’s place over these last three games but I would move that it’s about time that Malik Monk got the start over Mitchell. Mitchell is an excellent individual defender but he hasn’t done a good job of getting the Kings into their offense and both games against the Rockets saw the Kings get off to slow starts that careened out of control. Monk is much better at pushing the pace and should also open things up for the other starters.

Calling on our other All-Star

Another disappointment during this three game losing streak has been the relative absence of Domantas Sabonis. Sabonis is a very unselfish player and more of his time and effort is spent trying to make plays for others than himself, but with Fox out, the Kings need him to step up and take control. There’s no excuse for him only taking four shots in game he plays 30 minutes like he did on Monday night. JaVale McGee took more shots in only 10 minutes of time. Sabonis needs to step up and take more of a primary scoring role with Fox out.

Stop Fouling

One of the issues with Sacramento’s defense has been a tendency to foul so far. The Kings are having difficulty playing physical without fouling ,and it’s resulting in even more rotational funkiness with key players already out. Last game saw the Kings have three players (Domantas Sabonis, Keegan Murray and Malik Monk) all have three fouls at halftime. Partly as a result of that, the Rockets had 22 free throw attempts in the first half compared to just 4 for Sacramento. It’s hard to make up deficits giving opponents a chance to get comfortable at the line.

Prediction

Well sticking to the plan of predicting wins isn’t working lately so let’s go the opposite route and say that Shaedon Sharpe will score 50 points and DeAndre Ayton will have the first pentuple-double in NBA history.

Trail Blazers 199, Kings 14

Fan Predictions

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TheBaker
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November 8, 2023 10:08 am

Keegan breakout game. Kings win.

RikSmits
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November 8, 2023 10:14 am

Please don’t tell me how to fan!

RikSmits
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November 8, 2023 10:16 am

And kudo’s to this new feauture of the website in these dark times. Very fitting.

Jman1949
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November 8, 2023 10:40 am

I’d feel better if Fox had come back
As we’re facing the Blazers in Sac.
When he plays his game,
Helps our shooters take aim,
And could bring back the swagger we lack!

Jman1949
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November 8, 2023 11:26 am
Reply to  Jman1949

+1 We’re streaking!

comment image&ct=g

Klam
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Nostradumbass 18
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November 8, 2023 10:47 am

Well sticking to the plan of predicting wins isn’t working lately so let’s go the opposite route and say that Shaedon Sharpe will score 50 points and DeAndre Ayton will have the first pentuple-double in NBA history.

Trail Blazers 199, Kings 14

Famous last words. 😉

BeTheBall
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November 8, 2023 11:04 am
Reply to  Klam

The sad thing is, Shaedon could absolutely drop 50 tonight. He could easily end up being the 2nd (or even best) player of that draft class.

andy_sims
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November 8, 2023 10:57 am

Truly no reason to panic, we know what the main issue is, and it will resolve in short order.

It’s not great that everything fell apart with Fox out, but I don’t think it will be a theme as the season progresses. I was impressed with what Houston was able to to by running their endless supply of young athletes hard at the Kings’ offense, and never let them get comfortable. It’s something of a blueprint for other teams, although with Fox’s ability to create for himself and others, that plan loses a lot of effectiveness if he’s playing.

Anyone still want to talk about (still great) Sabonis as the team’s best player?

BeTheBall
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November 8, 2023 11:01 am
Reply to  andy_sims

I’d put Sabonis as probably 3rd, behind at least Fox & Monk.

Sacto_J
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November 8, 2023 1:31 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

Do tell, what is the main issue?
And please don’t say “No Fox” or “Fox is out”, because his absence is highlighting a much larger issue this team has. But he’s not going to fix it, he just helps cover it up a bit.

andy_sims
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November 8, 2023 4:03 pm
Reply to  Sacto_J

You clearly know the answer, and I’ll refer you to the ORtg/DRtg numbers with and without if you’re going to live that Contrarian Life.

What Fox does can’t be replaced by any teammate or a group of them. That’s not true of most NBA players, which isn’t a criticism. Some guys are just different.

BeTheBall
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November 8, 2023 10:59 am

I’m struggling with whether to pick Portland or us in the prediction contest, as I think we have a little more of a way to go before we hit bottom.

Klam
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November 8, 2023 11:06 am

OT: Love the new light mode/dark mode toggle in the bottom right corner of the website. I use dark mode at night so it’s easier on my eyes.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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November 8, 2023 12:27 pm
Reply to  Klam

Seconded.

TerzoM
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November 8, 2023 11:54 am

comment image

SneakerKing
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November 8, 2023 12:04 pm

No Scoot. No Anfernee Simons. No Time Lord. If the Kings can’t beat this team at home without these guys, I will be panicking something fierce. Need not just a win but an ass kicking tonight from the Kings.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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November 8, 2023 12:31 pm

No mention of the twins? Are gonna see some Murray on Murray action tonight?

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Sacto_J
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November 8, 2023 1:25 pm

“Sabonis needs to step up and take more of a primary scoring role with Fox out.”

I’ve been saying this. I’m always going to advocate for Domas taking more shots, in the paint especially.
Keegan is struggling because teams don’t have to defend Sabonis’ shot. Everyone has to work harder because you don’t have to guard one guy on offense. It boggles my mind when I see him getting double and triple teamed, he’s. not. going. to. shoot it. He had a wide open shot in the last game. Wide open. All he had to do was turn around but he was too busy looking for someone else to pass to.
How many times did he have Brooks, Tate, or smaller on him and he passed out? A big shouldn’t ever pass out of the post when he’s got a small on him. Domas doesn’t ever look to score and its a big problem.

Last edited 8 months ago by Sacto_J
Nothingbutnet
November 8, 2023 6:03 pm

Laker’s currently getting their ass kicked by Houston.

Klam
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November 8, 2023 6:11 pm
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Klam
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November 8, 2023 6:39 pm

Keon starting tonight instead of Davion.

Kosta
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November 8, 2023 6:41 pm

I miss The Beam.

And Fox.

And Trey Lyles.

Mike120
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November 8, 2023 7:08 pm

Glad to see Ellis get the start. Just wasn’t working with Davion. Huerter seems to be creeping out of his slump. Barnes and Murray need to revert to norm.

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