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Kings vs Wizards Preview: A Little Holiday Magic

The Wizards have lost 14 of their last 16 games. Jeeeeeeez.
By | 23 Comments | Dec 23, 2022

After a decent little romp over the lowly, dried up husk of professional basketball that is the Los Angeles Lakers, the Kings continue theirbeal homestand against a Wizards squad who just snapped a ten game losing streak on Tuesday night against the Suns, only to start a new one last night against the Jazz. After ending November with a dead even record of 11-11, the Wizards have seemingly lost everything but Bradley Beal’s direct deposit info. Folks, we haven’t seen Wizards free fall like this since Gandalf got his ankle’s snatched by a Balrog on the Bridge of Kazad-dum.

[There’s a Kyle Kuzma “You shall not pass!” joke in there too somewhere, but the man’s averaging 3.5 assists so I’ll pass it by.]

Okay. Enough.

Let’s talk Kings basketball!

When: Friday, December 23rd, 7:00 PM PT
Where: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, CA
TV: NBC Sports California
Radio: Sactown Sports 1140

For Your Consideration

Better Beal-ieve ItYou can stare at the stats all morning like I did and all you’re ever going to see from between the lines of this Wizards team is disappointment. Sure, it isn’t new that the Wizards start a season strong only to get towards the end of the calendar year and have an overwhelming set of the yips – just last season they came into New Years Day with an above .500 record, only to wind up 12th in the East. This team has a decent bit of talent! Bradley Beal is an all-world scorer who just two seasons ago was averaging over thirty points a game. Kristaps Porzingis has gotten healthy enough to turn things around, Kyle Kuzma is playing great ball. Those three alone are all averaging 20 a game for this squad and should, in theory, be enough to form a playoff contending core. With supporting roles for talents like Ruin Hachimura, Den Avdija, Monte Morris, Will Barton, these guys SHOULD be better. They’re the Wizards so its more of a “buddy cancels a coffee date again” disappoint than it is “fiancé leaves you at the altar” wallowing but… these dudes should be BETTER.

Let’s jump into the meat of it a bit. The Wizards are 23rd in offensive and defensive rating alike, scoring at the 7th worst clip this season, allowing teams to score just below average at the 16th in the NBA, and running at a bottom-third of the league pace. They’re Top-5 in the NBA in blocks, 21st in steals, 6th in defensive rebounding and 6th in fouls. Teams that run up against the Wizards shoot the 8th least amount of threes but do at the 2nd best percentage in the league. So, they’re conservative in their scheming, push guys off the three point line and with guys like Zinger and Daniel Gafford anchoring their defense (and both averaging over a block a game), they can swat some shots at the rim. The Kings have played like 5 teams this month that do what the Wizards do, only better. The Kings have beaten a couple of those teams. The Kings should not be taking this game lightly either.

On the offensive end, the twenty point trio of Beal-Kristaps-Kuzma are more than enough to give the Kings headaches, or neckaches if you’re Domantas Sabonis. Any one of those guys could pop off for 40+ points and keep the team afloat long enough for Sacramento to make mistakes. As a team, they’re 18th in the NBA in three point percentage while being in the bottom 10 in attempts, they’re 10th in 2 point percentage while being 13th in attempts because, hey, gotta score somehow in this league. They take care of the ball, 5th in the NBA in turnovers, but are also only 16th in assists. They don’t go to the free throw line much, they don’t make them at an exceptional percentage and they don’t push the pace that often. Don’t expect much from their bench either – they score the 6th least amount of points in the NBA.

A healthy, focused Kings team should wax the Washington Wizards tonight. I don’t trust the Kings because of, well, everything they’ve done for literally half of my time on this planet, but they should absolutely be putting a pillow over this team’s face and pressing hard until any light protests they have peter off.

Okay! With that joyful image, I’m off! Have a wonderful next few days, regardless of what you celebrate. I hope you get everything you want but nothing you don’t need. Come back to me safe and sound on Tuesday.

Prediction

Our Murray Christmas starts early as Keegan hits another 4 threes en route to 22 points. Malik Monk cooks the Wizards bench for 20+ points and another couple of jump-off-your-seat oops to Neemias Queta. Fox and Sabonis play like the All Stars they both have been this season. Bradley Beal defects at halftime… not to the Kings, to a whole other country.

Kings: 127, Wizard: 98

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23 Comments
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Jman1949
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December 23, 2022 11:16 am

Kyle Kuzma was almost a King;
Wound up having a Wizards fling.
Does Monte still want him?
For now let’s just taunt him
By chanting that “Light the Beam” thing!

TheBaker
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December 23, 2022 11:59 am
Reply to  Jman1949

Pure Gold.

outrider
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December 23, 2022 12:00 pm

Beal has shown loyalty to the Wiz that is both admirably and puzzling to me.

Yep for this:

…but they should absolutely be putting a pillow over this team’s face and pressing hard until any light protests they have peter off.

TerzoM
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December 23, 2022 12:26 pm

Trap game?
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Kosta
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December 23, 2022 12:37 pm
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eddie41
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December 23, 2022 12:33 pm

Placed my all-star votes. checked the box for Sabonis and … Harrison Barnes!

Klam
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Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
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Nostradumbass 19
December 23, 2022 1:28 pm

OT: Man, I feel so spoiled being in California, while we watch almost all the rest of the continental US freezing…
https://twitter.com/DrewTumaABC7/status/1606355067816226816

Kosta
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December 23, 2022 1:43 pm
Reply to  Klam

Flight to PDX for Christmas got cancelled. Ugh 🙁

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Klam
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Nostradumbass 18
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December 23, 2022 1:52 pm
Reply to  Kosta

Oh no! I hope you aren’t stranded! Or did you already leave Colorado?

Kosta
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December 23, 2022 1:55 pm
Reply to  Klam

Made it out of Colorado–back to California!

But yeah, because of the weather, lots of flights were cancelled for today.

Klam
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December 23, 2022 1:58 pm
Reply to  Kosta

I read it’s going to be 80 degrees in LA on Christmas Day.
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Last edited 1 year ago by Klam
Kosta
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December 23, 2022 2:01 pm
Reply to  Klam

(runs to the store to shop for a winter coat and mittens)

TerzoM
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December 23, 2022 2:06 pm
Reply to  Klam

Folks who moved out from CA to e.g. TX. Temperature falling like Tesla stock price.

Klam
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Nostradumbass 18
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December 23, 2022 1:35 pm

The Wizards have lost 14 of their last 16 games. Jeeeeeeez.


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Kosta
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December 23, 2022 1:44 pm
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TerzoM
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December 23, 2022 2:02 pm
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Adamsite
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December 23, 2022 2:44 pm
Reply to  Klam

Oh come on! When was the last time the Kings lost to a struggling team coming off a loss on a SEGABABA, who have just one win in their last 10 games?
.
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.
Just 4 days ago against the Hornets. Trap game indeed.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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December 23, 2022 3:51 pm

With trade season officially kicking into gear, I’m gonna try and look at who might be of use on the rosters of Kings opponents. For tonights Wizards, my interest would be in Deni, Rui, and Kispert. I’m a hard pass on Kuzma.

If the Kings East are going to blow it up (seriously, this team is destined for mid lottery for years to come with this roster) I wonder who might be available? I like Deni for his defense and Kispert for his shooting, but am not sold on Rui. None are on crazy deals, so I wonder what their price would be?

satdawg
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December 23, 2022 5:06 pm

U saw what happened when u took the Hornets lightly… don’t do the same thing tonight

SmoothSactown
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December 23, 2022 5:20 pm

First time going to a Kings game this season, down in California for the holidays! Grant us beams this blessed day.

TerzoM
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December 23, 2022 5:49 pm
Reply to  SmoothSactown

Enjoy. May the Beam be with you

Mike120
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December 23, 2022 6:50 pm

Kings wearing the gray city editions tonight. Someone correct me if I’m wrong but I think they are undefeated in those.

satdawg
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December 23, 2022 6:55 pm
Reply to  Mike120

We lost vs the knicks in the greys

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