The Sacramento Kings are in our nation's capital to take on the Washington Wizards, a team that just last night was getting blown to smithereens by a playoffs ready Cavs squad. The Kings have a day of rest, have a far better record and despite Kevin Huerter's best attempts, are still relatively healthy. So why is it I get this feeling like we could be in for one?
Okay now that the reverse jinx is out of the way - Can the Kings contain the sharp shooting Brad Beal? How many body blows can Kristaps take from Domas before shattering like a plate glass window? Does Kyle Kuzma dream of those brief moments where he was in California again, playing for the best team in the state?
Let's talk Kings basketball!
When: Saturday, March 18th, 5:00 PM PT
Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, DC
TV: NBC Sports California
Radio: Sactown Sports 1140
For Your Consideration
Beal-t to Win: The Wizards are a bit of a mess this season. They're in the NBA purgatory of never bad enough to fully to slap the reset button, but never having their talents gel well enough to make a run for a serious amount of time either. This team's both lost nine games in a row and had separate win streaks of five and six games. Don't get me wrong - they have a legitimately impressive amount of talent. Bradley Beal is an All-Star level player. Kristaps Porzingis is an All-Star level player. Kyle Kuzma is playing the best basketball of his career, Deni Avdija is a budding player, Daniel Gafford has had some great games, Monte Morris has proven he can be very good under the right circumstances... there is a six to eight seed squad buried under this underachievement.
It's too early and I'm too worn out to give a Saturday afternoon game the full level of analysis necessary to really figure out just what's happening to this Wizards squad. Like most, I'm sure we can assess a fair amount of blame on Coach Wes Unseld and GM Tommy Sheppard, we can look at the reputation of the three 20 point scorers of the Wiz in Beal, Porzingis and Kuzma, who have that always dubious air of "me-first" floating around them by talking heads and pundits. The fact is - it just doesn't click like it should.
So what does click for the Wiz? Well, their offense isn't where I'd turn. They're 23rd overall in points per game at 112.7, 22nd in offensive efficiency and they're bottom ten in pace. Outside of their triumvirate of scorers, they've got Monte Morris to claim as a double digit guy at 10.3 points and Corey Kispert gets a pass at 9.9 points per game, because, boy, have I been there Corey. You're a 10 point a game guy in my eyes. They're 25th in three point attempts and 18th in percentage. They're just north of center of the pack in terms of 2 point attempts and 10th in percentage at 55.8% from inside the arc. They draw a bottom ten amount of free throws, they're 24th in offensive rebounds and they're 18th in turnovers. Again, this is a team fighting for a play-in spot. These are the numbers they should have - I just... There's just some squinting going on at the numbers. Maybe it's a basketball players vs. hoopers thing. This team should be better.
On defense, the Wizards fare a little better. They give up 113.2 a contest, 14th best in NBA and top out at at 20th best rated defense. They're 6th in the NBA in defensive rebounding, block the 6th most shots while committing the 5th least amount of fouls. They're 23rd in steals, but hey, can't win them all. The Wizards do a great job at running teams off of the three point line - while teams shoot just near NBA average of 36% from deep on them, those opponents shoot the 5th least amount of threes. That 5th least in player fouls comes in handy too - opponents shoot the 5th least amount of free throws against the Wizards to top that off.
Coming into this afternoon's game and down the home stretch of the season, you see pretty clearly now what the Kings have to do to get it done on this leg of the road trip. Washington is 4-8 since the All-Star Break and they've lost four of their last five games. They've got three players primed to go off - contain them and you win the game. Huerter's injury should probably keep him out today and against Utah on Monday as well. Good thing the Kings are deep as hell with talented shooting guards. The Wizards feel like a team that would let Terrence Davis go for a random TD 30 point game.
Just take care of business. Treat the opponent with respect and step on their throats early, then don't let up.
Kyle Kuzma tries to defect at halftime. Daniel Gafford comes with him. Keegan Murray and Deni battle a bit, Sabonis gets Porzingis in early foul trouble and Kessler Edwards has a few defensive possessions on Bradley Beal that make you blush.
Kings: 134, Wizards:118
Let’s get win number 43!!!!
I read this and my gut reaction is…
Last game with the Wiz disappointed—
Both offense and defense disjointed.
The road takes a toll,
But we’re on a roll
Tonight we cannot get outpointed!
The Nuggets lost again. Wow.
This may end up being 3 team scramble at the top, the Suns locking up the 4-seed early, Houston and SA in the tank and then whatever the heck is happening between everyone else. Definitely nice to be in that first group.
The Suns being locked in place and shutting everyone down for the last 5 games or so is probably the scary part for me.
Crazy that we are closer to the first seed than the sixth seed.
Exactly like we all predicted in October.
I wish JLV was still here. He must be popping the champagne bottles.
Cowboyron is rising the hot hand.
What was the name of the girl who made transcripts of postgame interviews on StR?
Yes. Thank you.
Only 3-4 games back of the 1 seed.
I don’t see the Suns locking up the 4 seed, Clips are just a game back.
13 teams are still alive in the West. Seeds 6 through 12 all have 35-37 losses. Talk about a clusterfook.
The Clippers just lost to the Magic at home. They are, I think, closer to the muck than the Suns. Of course the Suns are also closer to the muck than they are to the Kings/Grizz but they actually scare me in ways the other teams in the West do not.
What about the Warriors?
If the Warriors somehow had home court I would worry.
I’d love to see the Kings vs Denver for the #1 seed on the last day of the season.
Oh my!!! That would be glorious
They would HAVE to put that game on national television if that were the case.
This Wizards team reminds me of Kings aver the last decade of being stuck in late lottery purgatory. They even have three 20 point scorers in Beal, Kristaps, and Kuzma, just like the DMC, Gay, and IT Kings did. This Wiz team has nothing that would give me hope for the future. All of the key contributors are in their late 20’s, only Beal is locked up long term, and they have no future draft capital. In fact, they have their 2023 first owed to NY and it’s locked up with protections until 2026! Their future is bleak. I feel they damn near have to move Beal this summer.
Also, am I the only one who didn’t realize Taj Gibson was still in the league?
Didnt He get waived or traded this year
Kings have to take advantage.
Ox > Unicorn
Ox >>> No Unicorn
I like the idea of King Kess on Beal and/or Kuzma who he should be very familiar with from his Brooklyn days.
The reference to the DMC/Rudy Gay/Pizza Guy I.T. Kings is apt. Does that make Deni Avdija their Omri Casspi?
How ‘bout that- I looked up the 2013 Michael Malone roster – Omri wasn’t on that one (he returned in 2015).
From BB reference.com
Speaking of injuries, no timetable for Edwards, either.
This sounds like a certain team I know for the majority of Vivek’s ownership.
And, yeah, the opponent-on-a-SEGABABA thing is always point of concern.
I have to say that opponent-on- SEGABABA thing has to be weirdest vulnerability ever. It just makes no damn sense