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Lakers 115, Kings 94: The Kings’ slump continues

Kings hit the snooze button for the second game in a row.

As the Kings hot streak ended, the Sacramento hot weather began and I must say that I was not ready for either of these things to happen. I was enjoying the winning streak and the three whole days of spring weather. And then, as always, it all ended too soon and the first hot Sacramento day arrived and I was NOT feelin' it. So I was really counting on the Kings tonight to turn this gal's frown upside down. Let's see how they did:

Quick Stats

Outcome: Kings lose, 115-94

Sacramento Kings: 94 PTS, 42.4% FG, 28.6% 3 PT, 75.0% FT, 24 AST, 14 TO

Los Angeles Lakers: 115 PTS, 47.8% FG, 51.5% 3 PT, 60.0% FT, 26 AST, 17 TO

This gal's face hurts from frowning. Once again, Will was right - De'Aaron Fox had another tough night (12 points on 5-20 from the field) and the Kings fell in line right behind him. Through four quarters, the Kings looked sluggish, apathetic, and unmotivated. In a game where a win could have tied them for the 10th seed, the Kings couldn't have looked any less enthused about the opportunity.

The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
The Good:
  1. Delon was the Wright Move: I don't know a single soul on this planet who criticized Monte McNair's move in acquiring Delon Wright at the cost of Cory Joseph. But just in case, Delon continues to expand our understanding of his value as he had 13 points off the bench and was one of the few consistent sparks for the Kings. Most encouraging is his comfort from the 3-point line as he knocked down three of his four attempts tonight.
The Bad:
  1. Box Out, Bozos: It's difficult to put into words how infuriating it is for me to watch the Kings give up four possessions in a row on the glass simply because they don't feel like boxing out. The Kings allowed the Lakers 12 offensive rebounds tonight and each one felt like a stab in my back since I constantly yell at them to box out. Why they don't listen to me, I will never understand. Time after time we saw the Kings forget to put in the fundamental effort of finding a body and boxing out to close out a defensive possession. Instead, on the rare occasion of a Lakers' miss, the Kings allowed them to keep trying until they eventually got the bucket.
The Ugly:
  1. First Quarter: Tonight's matchup started out with some promising action as we saw the Kings execute a set play right off the bat for an explosive Richaun Holmes' slam. But the fun quickly ended as some of the ugliest basketball ensued immediately after. Both teams came out frantic and sloppy as we saw a total of 11 combined turnovers in the first 12 minutes. Although the Lakers committed the majority of these (7), they still managed to control the pace of the game and end the quarter with a two-point advantage. While the Lakers worked out the kinks and found their stride midway through the quarter, the Kings continued to flail before getting a spark from their bench.
  2. Second, Third, & Fourth Quarters: The first quarter felt especially ugly, since both teams looked like they had never played before. But the Lakers quickly remembered how to do their jobs while the Kings remained in bed hitting the snooze button for the ninth time in a row. Early on, the Kings were stunted by the Lakers' defensive pressure and forced into tough shots. This shows in Richaun's line from tonight as he shot 4-10 (40.0%) from the field, far below his usual accuracy. His push shot looks were more contested than usual and he was met aggressively at the rim by Montrezl Harrell and Marc Gasol on his drives. Later, the Kings just couldn't put the ball in the basket as they shot 10-35 from deep. On the other end, the Lakers enjoyed 48 minutes of wide open 3s as they knocked down an aggressively rude 17-33. I officially gave up on this game when Elmer Fudd (known on the streets as Alex Caruso) put up a SportsCenter poster in the third quarter. Even without their superstars tonight, the Lakers proved that defense can still win basketball games, especially when you're playing the Sacramento Kings.
The King of Kings

Sifting through all the garbage from this game, we can find one treasure in the resiliency of Harrison Barnes. As tonight's King of Kings, Harrison was the only one of the Kings' starters that showed up tonight, finishing with 26 points on 9-10 shooting. The Kings will need Harrison to spread this fight to the rest of the team because things aren't getting any easier from here.

Up Next

Saturday, April 3rd vs. Milwaukee Bucks - 7:00 P.M. (PT)

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TheGrantNapear
April 2, 2021 9:56 pm

I thought we turned the corner and became good and were playoff bound?
Lol. Don’t believe it until it actually happens. Don’t get lured in by a winning streak. Kangz going to Kangz as long as Vivek is running the show.

MillersCornrows
April 2, 2021 10:03 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

The Kings were blue light special, I mean “value,” buyers.

Gregoryl
April 2, 2021 10:09 pm

Don’t forget that “winning culture” that Monte was talking about. A GM saying that means either: 1. He doesn’t know what he’s doing or 2. He’s just carrying the boss’s water…

MillersCornrows
April 3, 2021 12:13 am
Reply to  Gregoryl

“Winning culture” doesn’t always have to mean that?

eddie41
April 3, 2021 7:57 am
Reply to  Gregoryl

When the team comes out sluggish, that’s Luke Walton. He’s already given away 10 or more games this year that way.

Amonk81
April 2, 2021 10:31 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

Unfortunately, I agree with you. Viveked until otherwise show. I hold out barley a glimmer that V’s ego will allow McNair/b ball minds to run the show.

And this game shows, yet again that the Kings don’t really have a coach. The Walton way. Coach by not coaching. That’s why there’s no consistent boxing out, Defensive effort or offense that does anything more than 1-1, P&R, break down shoot or maybe 1 pass.

ScottyPop
April 3, 2021 10:00 am
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

Truth

sonny
April 2, 2021 9:59 pm

Justin James is not even an NBA player.
He sucks even in garbage time.

MillersCornrows
April 3, 2021 12:11 am
Reply to  sonny

Ok so you thought you’d see a glimmer of hope from James during garbage time? Good luck with that.

HongKongKingsFan
April 2, 2021 9:59 pm

No MORE Mo Harkless……………!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And play Jeffries or Woodards…we need defense

RikSmits
April 2, 2021 10:05 pm

Other than Delon Wright, it doesn’t seem that the bench upgrade is that meaningful at the moment. We’ll see.

HongKongKingsFan
April 2, 2021 10:11 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

we’ll see ???

There is not much time left….to my eyes test…

Wright well deserved to play meaningful time….Davis is a RFA, and he seems active on defense…

While Harkless sucks…..and he is a UFA…then why not play Jeffries / Woodard, who is still under contract..

RikSmits
April 2, 2021 10:29 pm

Well, Jeffries is gone, apparently…

sonny
April 2, 2021 10:00 pm

Hield sucks

Adamsite
Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
April 3, 2021 8:44 am
Reply to  sonny

It was really noticeable that they targeted him on the defensive end. Kuzma feasted on him all night.

MillersCornrows
April 2, 2021 10:00 pm

Two takeaways from Luke’s postgame presser. First, he stated that “we didn’t bring the appropriate physicality.” Then he expressed that he likes the way the team has been playing. Garbage. Fire him!

When the Kings win it’s oftentimes very close and a crazy miraculous win that could easily result from the players alone regardless of coaching. Other than that, their offense and defense is ugly, they look like they’re playing for a coach that doesn’t motivate them (even if they technically like Luke), the rotations are pretty bad, and Luke has an issue with his right ear and Covid mask.

Last edited 12 days ago by MillersCornrows
rockbottom
April 2, 2021 10:04 pm

When Fox and Hali play like a below average backcourt kings are doomed !

Gregoryl
April 2, 2021 10:05 pm

Kangz.

Also, Kyle Draper having to sit there as kayte just shills away in the post-game is tough to watch. She’s a good soldier for Vivek.

kings4ever
April 3, 2021 6:36 am
Reply to  Gregoryl

So why do you watch it?

Gregoryl
April 3, 2021 9:57 am
Reply to  kings4ever

Uh, bc I’m a lost soul without kayte telling me what I don’t understand?? Hello?!

Marty
April 2, 2021 10:06 pm

I was told there was an identity makeover.

RobHessing
April 2, 2021 10:37 pm
Reply to  Marty

As in witness protection?

RikSmits
April 2, 2021 10:09 pm

Is it me, or does others also get the impression that every time we publicly declare our intention to reach the postseason we proceed to cramp up and shit the bed?

At least the other bottom dwellers lost so the ‘dream’ is still alive.

1951
April 2, 2021 10:10 pm

Kings just shitcanned DQJ too, over Justin effing James?

wierd! Must be more to this story.

LaBradfordsCreditCard
April 2, 2021 11:59 pm
Reply to  1951

Gotta find minutes for Bagley when he comes back

TerzoM
April 2, 2021 10:14 pm

Mediocre. No playoffs. No high draft picks. Lost.

April 2, 2021 10:14 pm

It just doesn’t make sense. You can’t just choose to be good, they have talent thats why they go on these streaks But you definitely can choose not to be good and that’s how fox ends up with 4 free throws, Halliburton only takes 9 shots, buddy chucks away with impunity and rest of the crew misses multiple wide open shots. If that’s the case then why? It just doesn’t make sense. Either that or curses are real.

MillersCornrows
April 3, 2021 12:15 am
Reply to  Sir_tajj

They have talent but their coach doesn’t.

Kangz_Landing
April 2, 2021 10:18 pm

Giannis had 47 tonight on 18/18 from 2 point range. He should be lickin his chops.

Over/under on the margin of victory tomorrow for the Bucks? I say 30.

BrocknessMonster
April 2, 2021 10:27 pm

“As the Kings hot streak ended, the Sacramento hot weather began and I must say that I was not ready for either of these things to happen.”

Nice write up!! Best part of the Kings today..

Amonk81
April 2, 2021 10:41 pm

Kings Fan Every May. “This summer wont be that bad.”
Kings fan Every October “This season won’t be that bad”

Thing our brains repress memories to protect us from psychological scaring.

RikSmits
April 2, 2021 10:52 pm
Reply to  Amonk81

Most fans have also downgraded their expectations to a level that is almost comical, and our new GM seems to have caught on to that pretty fast.

It’s a gap year. But if we make the play-ins we are showing the league and FA that we are really building something! We are gonna achieve that by rummaging in the bargain bin of NBA players and keeping a horrible coach for the whole season.

I wish I had a job with such low expectations.

Carl
April 3, 2021 9:58 am
Reply to  RikSmits

And the sum total of his first offseason and trade deadline is to draft a good player and make a trade for a rotation guy. Good work if you can get it.

SexyNapear
April 2, 2021 10:28 pm

Fox has hit the rookie wall.

Oh, wait.

MidtownMike
April 3, 2021 12:57 am

Fat turd of a performance on a near must win with all the main pieces for the Fakers out…ugh

Halifornia
April 3, 2021 2:33 am

I miss Dave Joerger. At least he drew up plays for our best players, held them accountable on defense, and coached each player to play to their own strengths. I feel like buddy hield would have improved his shot selection and recognize when to pull the trigger or draw the d and kick it out. Also he probably would recognize why each rotations pros and cons are like rebounding when playing small ball. Can we bring a real power forward on the team too?

Buruskeee
April 3, 2021 2:56 am
Reply to  Halifornia

Joerger got a better defensive rating out of Buddy/Barnes/Bagley/Fox 4-man-lineups than Walton ever had. Oh, and that’s with a rookie Bagley and second year Fox.

speaks for itself in the difference of coaching ability – and I think Joerger is only a decent/good coach.

What the Kings should have done is rode with Joerger and see how far he could take the team with 2 more years, and then decide if he’s still the long term solution.

Hobby916
April 3, 2021 5:47 am

Playoffs, baby!!! Woooooo!!!

kings4ever
April 3, 2021 6:34 am

I know fans don’t want to hear it, but we inevitably get wrecked, i.e. REKT, when Whiteside goes out. Without him we can survive (thirive) for a while but we need a player like him (Alex Len) to impose his size and will in the paint, to deter unfettered drives to the rack.

I like that Terrence Davis is super aggressive on defense. But when you have a guard like this that overplays and takes a lot of chances you especially need an eraser in the middle.

When Davis got beat by Caruso and he went for the poster jam, do you know who is waiting behind Davis….SloMoe Harkless! SloMoe can barely jump. He can barely finish a plate of lettuce by the looks of his physique too.

I have more to say about SloMoe in a second, but do you know how easy it is for a guy like Whiteside to neutralize Caruso or Poetyl? And as much as Holmes is a stud, he’s still an undersized center and this showed vs Spurs and last night.

We are a vulnerable team against opponents with beef, wing depth, and when Fox is not Fox, and all that has come to fruition that last two games. This is not the ammunition Doomers need to justify their doom, it is identifying and definining what McGenius needs to address.

The LAL were ice cold to start the game. Then like you say Mirann, as you yell at the them from your living room to box out, they were allowing second , third and fourth shots enough to allow them to find their stroke and this became contagious to the tune of 17 made 3s.

What a disgrace, and this is why I was advocating (almost pleading) for this idiot coach to shuffle our lineup for one game (and maybe more), move HB to the 3, insert Metu at the 4, and Holmes at the 5. Why is this moron so adamantly reluctant to , y’know, be a coach, and strategize and take prudent chances and coach the team?

Fluke decides to put HB on Kuzma, okay fine. But he tries to hide Buddy on Morris, who he is giving up 4-5 inches. That’s the plan, that plan sucks! Buddy gave us nothing on defense and he could not use his quickness advantage against taller players.

Teams are blitzing Buddy in the pick n roll and it is working. He is befuddled and bewildered and be-awful. I may have to exclude him from the new 8-man core.

When we first got our “calvary”, I said “Moe Harkless can’t play”. Then in his second game he logged one of those once in a blue moon Ariza games in which he got hot from deep. But the guy we have seen in 4 of 5 games is the guy I suspected, a zero, the new slow (SloMoe) to replace old slow (CoJoSlo) .

Except for first Spurs game in which SloMoe got lucky, he’s 0-5 FGs in three game and 44 forgettble pointless minutes with 9 fouls. Why does he foul so much? Because he cant guard anyone without fouling. Are you telling me that SloMoe was a better option last night than Woodward?!

Terrence Davis is ice-cold from deep, but I am not worried. He’s going to turn it on. He shot 60% TS% as a rookie. But it is disappointing and discouraging he has not found his shooting touch because he could easily start taking minutes from Buddy.

D-Wright looks great, what a steal! McGenius needs to fill the aforementioned holes, re-sign Holmes, re-acquire Alex Len or a player of his caliber and size, and then get us some quality wings in the draft and open market, and games like last night will never happen.

We can still win when our superstar is not playing his A or B or even C game.

We do not need a Top 5 pick to get a Franz Wagner, for example, a 6’8″ wing from Michigan. He looks like good! So as sad as last night was, I think it is important to say we can easily define the strength and weaknesses , where with previous incarnations it was difficult and impossible to separate the wheat from the chaff.

HongKongKingsFan
April 3, 2021 6:48 am
Reply to  kings4ever

I totally agree with what you seen in Mo. Harkless….he is done, and he’d better to be waived ASAP…so as to give all the playing minutes to Woodard….(of course Woodard will foul someone…..but unlike Harkless, at least Woodard can block shot and play some tough defense…)

krswin
April 3, 2021 8:52 am
Reply to  kings4ever

Your point about Alex Len is spot on. I wish we still had him. He would scare some of the Montrezl’s of the NBA away from the paint.

BabalooMagoo
April 3, 2021 6:41 am

What I don’t get is how a team can go out and play well for a half dozen games and then suddenly play as if they don’t know what a basketball is. This kind of behavior has been going on for years so it’s not necessarily unique to this squad.

Hobby916
April 3, 2021 7:51 am
Reply to  BabalooMagoo

It’s because they have had the same level of talent for years, and they trick people in to thinking they are better than they actually are by beating bad teams and injury depleted teams.

Carl
April 3, 2021 10:00 am
Reply to  Hobby916

Mostly this. Plus bad coaching.

BabalooMagoo
April 3, 2021 10:20 am
Reply to  Hobby916

But what about the times they go out and beat a team such as Denver not once, but twice, then go out and lose to (say) a Minnesota? This team has often times played to the level of the competition and it just dumbfounds many of us. And yes Carl, bad coaching plays into it too.

Last edited 12 days ago by BabalooMagoo
eddie41
April 3, 2021 7:35 am

I stopped watching after about 7 minutes in the 1st quarter when they subbed out Haliburton. Pretty much everything you need to know was right there. Haliburton touched the ball only one time on offense, never brought the ball up the court once. Unless someone is hot and draining shots, that’s dumb basketball. Luke Walton has to get his team ready. They were more sluggish than a 1980s team that partied all night before the game.

Klam
Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
April 3, 2021 9:29 am

Noooooooo. I missed my Nostradumbass prediction last night because of moving and totally forgot about it!! 🙁

aplumley
April 3, 2021 10:15 am

That was one of the most painful games I’ve ever watched and I’ve been a Kings fan since they moved to Sacramento. Ugh..gly…

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