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Kings 125, Rockets 105: Rest is good for the soul

Vacation time is important, people!

Hey there, fellow die-hards! I'm Mirann and I'm new to the TKH team and looking forward to talking some Kangz basketball with all of you. There are only a few important things to know about me: (1) I was born and raised in Sacramento, so (2) I have been a Kings fan for all 28 years of my life, and (3) I am overly dramatic about it. For anything else you want to know, you can hit me up on Twitter (@MirannLolani). Now enough about me, let's get to some Kangz.

I hope you all enjoyed a nice break from Kings basketball, free of cardiac stress and filled with much deserved self-care and relaxation. Unfortunately, the NBA doesn't care about our feelings or heart health and, after just one week, we are right back to Kings basketball. With the first half gladly behind us, we now look ahead to the uncertain future that is the second half of this weird NBA season. First up for the Kings was tonight's matchup at home against the Houston Rockets. Let's see how they did:

Quick Stats

Outcome: Kings win, 125-105

Sacramento Kings: 125 PTS, 48.9% FG, 33.3% 3 PT, 85.7% FT, 25 AST, 13 TO

Houston Rockets: 105 PTS, 41.4% FG, 24.4% 3 PT, 70.6% FT, 24 AST, 12 TO

Are you happy? Are you sad? We've reached yet another point in Kings basketball where the midnight tank train siren is blaring and you have to decide whether to hop on or remain on the platform with hopes of surviving until the next sunrise. Me? I'm pretty pro-tank at this point, but I also HATE losing. I'll be the one with one foot still on the platform as the train takes off and end up suffering great bodily injury. In short, I am impossible to satisfy and therefore every outcome leads me to the same destination: pain. But, since it's not very often that the Kings will have a 20-point win, I will focus on the rarity of this night and do my best to feel good about it.

The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
The Good:
  1. AN ADJUSTMENT?!: The Kings entered halftime after a cold shooting start, connecting on just 4 of their 16 3-point attempts. And then... they made an adjustment. YES. I repeat. The Kings made AN ADJUSTMENT. In the third quarter, the Kings were able to increase their lead to 20 points and it was not because they suddenly began hitting their long range shots. Instead, the Kings made a concerted effort to the get the ball inside. They attacked the paint, drew help defenders, slipped the ball to Richaun Holmes and Marvin Bagley III, and let the bigs eat. In transition, they gave up the usual quick 3-point looks to take advantage of early inside position. Going into the fourth quarter, this opened the floor up more for better 3-point looks and the Kings were able to knock down 6-11 from behind the arc. As a team who has never shown the ability to make effective in-game adjustments, this was a big step for the Kings tonight.
  2. Bagley Baby Step: Marvin Bagley III has struggled all season long on the defensive end, with his biggest weakness being his indecisiveness. He struggles to identify when and where to be on the help side and often renders himself useless by floating in no man's land. Tonight, he showed some improvement in this area by making the leap and actually committing to the hedge for on-ball screens. As Eric Gordon or Victor Oladipo came off of screens, Bagley quickly stepped up and committed to the help. This unfortunately got him into some early foul trouble, but it was an important baby step for Bagley to feel what it's like to commit to a decision on the defensive end. Next he will need to learn how to better read and stay in front of guards long enough for his teammate to recover.
The Bad:
  1. Early Foul Trouble: The Kings found themselves in early foul trouble, with De'Aaron Fox and Nemanja Bjelica each ending the first half with three fouls each. Marvin Bagley III picked up two fouls in the first four minutes of the game, only to be replaced by Bjelica who had to exit just three minutes later after committing three fouls himself. These would be easier to forgive if they came as a result of intense, in your grill, and over the top aggressive defense. But instead, these fouls were results of the Kings just being out of position. This early foul trouble haunts the Kings through the remainder of the game, as they have to be cognizant of their individual foul counts and often refrain from being too physical. The Kings will have to show more discipline moving forward to keep themselves in the game against more formidable opponents.
The Ugly:
  1. Boards: Against a team where all but one player is under 6'-6", the Kings allowed the Rockets to grab 10 offensive rebounds tonight. Some of these second chances allowed for the Rockets to cut the Kings' lead down to 13 points in the fourth quarter and we all felt the heartburn starting to kick in. Luckily for the Kings, the Rockets were never able to connect enough to put a solid run together and the Kings held on to their lead. But it's still frustrating to see these kinds of lapses. A lot of the Rockets' shots were long, which resulted in long rebounds, but the Kings still showed a lack of discipline in locating a man and actively boxing out.
The King of Kings

I like to crown one person each game as the King of Kings, just to end on a good note and remind us that, no matter how dark things can get, there is always at least one thing to enjoy about this team. Tonight's crown goes to De'Aaron Fox for proving that vacation time matters. Before the break, we saw De'Aaron begin to show signs of fatigue from the condensed schedule of this season. Now that he's had a week off to recharge, we see De'Aaron back to the dominant force this team survives on. Tonight he ended with 30 points and nine assists and did so by getting into the paint whenever he damn well pleased. He had some acrobatic finishes and a nifty behind-the-back pass assist for a classic Richaun Holmes' push shot, all of which looked easy and comfortable for him. It was one of those nights that looked effortless for De'Aaron and really proved what some rest can do for a person. So use that vacation time, people!

Up Next

Saturday, March 13th @ Atlanta Hawks - 4:30 P.M. (PT)

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Jman1949
March 11, 2021 10:07 pm

Mirann! Welcome!

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DutchKingsFanInUK
March 11, 2021 10:08 pm

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RikSmits
March 12, 2021 12:01 pm

Wait, what, how? Another Dutch Kings fan? In the UK?

Tell me more!

Klam
Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
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Nostradumbass 19
March 11, 2021 10:09 pm

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Klam
Nostradumbass 18
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Nostradumbass 19
March 11, 2021 10:12 pm

And welcome to TKH family again, Mirann!
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You will see many GIFs in the comments.

Also, Rob doesn’t wear pants.

reydarly
March 11, 2021 10:28 pm

We beat the Rockets.

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Klam
Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
March 11, 2021 10:48 pm
Reply to  reydarly

Auto Emma Watson upvote.

(I almost said “rec”)

RikSmits
March 12, 2021 2:32 am
Reply to  Klam

Upvoted for “rec”.

Kosta
March 12, 2021 8:54 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Upvot’d

…or Up’d?

Last edited 2 months ago by Kosta
ZillersCat
March 12, 2021 9:35 am
Reply to  Kosta

Up’d
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1951
March 11, 2021 10:28 pm

Who are these players Harrison Barnes, Buddy Hield, BJelly, and CoJo that played for the Kings tonight?

I was led to believe that they wouldn’t be on the team.

RikSmits
March 11, 2021 10:36 pm

In short, I am impossible to satisfy

Ah, then the choice for Kngs fandom was a logical one? Well done.

I am satisfied by your recap.

Carina707
March 13, 2021 9:36 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Great write up! 🙌🏽

TheKingsGuard
March 11, 2021 10:40 pm

If only every game was like that and we weren’t 15-22. Ahhh.

Klam
Nostradumbass 18
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Nostradumbass 19
March 11, 2021 10:49 pm

Also, is this article’s incorporation mark the eventual return of “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly?” 😉

austinracer999
March 11, 2021 11:32 pm

Really liked the way you recapped the game, Mirann! I don’t always need a quarter by quarter breakdown, the key takeaways are what I get the most out of.

BabyGiraffe
Admin
March 11, 2021 11:37 pm
Reply to  austinracer999

She’s already much better than most of us, honestly – does a great job of telling you about the game without just plopping stats on a page like I do. I think everyone’s really going to enjoy her work.

AmateurNerd
March 12, 2021 11:10 am
Reply to  BabyGiraffe

[BabyGiraffe posts a recap]
Readers: “Oh great, another plopper on the front page”

Brown.says.Good.or.Bad
March 12, 2021 2:07 am
Reply to  austinracer999

This is good

andy_sims
March 12, 2021 9:36 am
Reply to  austinracer999

Concur, good thorough summary without the play-by-play.

GFunkClassic
March 11, 2021 11:39 pm

The best part of this game was Mirran’s breakdown. I don’t like sloppy wins against poor teams sitting their best players. I want moral victories with an L in the column and a few more ping balls

RattleSeattle96
March 12, 2021 12:05 am
Reply to  GFunkClassic

I might be in the minority these days but I’ll always take win over ping pong balls.

Convoy
March 12, 2021 12:27 am

Greetings Mirann, welcome!

Thanks for busting out the old-school “The good, the bad and the ugly format”. That was always my favorite recurring write-up on the Kings, mostly because as Kings fans, we’ve seen more than our fair share of ugly.

02kingsfan
March 12, 2021 12:41 am

Whiteside can’t play so Walton decided to add his 14 mins to Joseph’s obligatory 20 mins per game ahead of Ramsey, James and Guy in a BLOWOUT. Guy gets 0 mins….I sure hope McNair’s conversations with Walton is about showcasing his vets prior to being traded or else something is really wrong with this team’s future. And yes I love a victory!

Bbmuteman
March 12, 2021 12:49 am

Glad to have you here Mirann.

arbexfernando
March 12, 2021 3:15 am

Welcome Mirann!

About the game, awful basketball played by the Rockets. Tanking is rolling for them

rockbottom
March 12, 2021 5:41 am
Reply to  arbexfernando

This version of the Rockets without Tucker, Wood and Wall would struggle to win in the G League ! They may yet have a worse record than T-Wolves !

BestHyperboleEver
March 12, 2021 6:56 am
Reply to  arbexfernando

Unfortunately, for anyone chasing them, both MIN and HOU are even more motivated than usual to tank since their picks are only protected 1-3 (MIN) and 1-4 (HOU). That said, with Wall (who’s looking useful), KPJ, Wood, a top 4 pick this year, Houston may not spend too much time at the bottom.

Hippity_Hop_Barbershop
March 12, 2021 7:01 am

Welcome to the madhouse! Where we all live like Kangz!

Marty
March 12, 2021 8:05 am

Rest is good for the soul, losses are good for the future.

#slippingaway

1951
March 12, 2021 11:28 am
Reply to  Marty

Seriously. If we are trading any of these dudes then they shouldn’t be playing.

I have no clue what the FO is trying to accomplish at the moment. It seems like another year of one foot on the platform and another on the train.

Marty
March 12, 2021 11:49 am
Reply to  1951

They are now four wins away from the bottom three. We’re pretty much screwed.

RikSmits
March 12, 2021 12:05 pm
Reply to  Marty

Not yet, but something’s got to happen soon.

We’re completely pissing away a season, so Monte can evaluate? Fine, then at least het a top 5 pick and let the young guys play. (Hint; CoJo isn’t young).

1951
March 12, 2021 12:12 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

It had better. Cuz there is nothing to evaluate among Buddy, Barnes, Cojo, Bjelly, Whitside, CoJo and Luke. The FO damn well knows what they are.

So, why aren’t we evaluating our young talent? Are we really just letting Luke try to salvage his meaningless W/L record by playing a bunch of dudes with no future here at the potential expense of a devaluation of our draft asset?

My world. I am just so confused by the off-season moves which indicate a tank-ish year versus the in game and in season roster moves and letting Luke be the guy to keep making them.

On the one hand, Luke is a shit coach so we are not making the playoffs. And yet, he still thinks he is trying to win games with vets which is hurting the tank.

It’s just so confusing.

Last edited 2 months ago by 1951
1951
March 12, 2021 12:16 pm
Reply to  1951

Last night:

30+ minutes for CoJo and Barnes. 38 for Buddy.

Sub 25 for Bagley.
Sub 13 for DQJ.
Sub 1 for Guy, Ramsey, and Woodard (general point here, I believe he wasn’t available).

WTF are we evaluating or doing here? Especially against a G-League level opponent?

RikSmits
March 12, 2021 12:38 pm
Reply to  1951

Apparently Monte is evaluating Walton for a full season while ownership is evaluating their RE portfolio.

Marty
March 12, 2021 12:46 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Not yet

Disagree with you there Rik. We are in separation season right now, not next week, not in two weeks, right now.

It’s like a punch in the gut listening to Damien and KC right now talk about how they need to go three and three on this road trip. This addiction to the pursuit of mediocrity is so frustrating

RikSmits
March 12, 2021 1:17 pm
Reply to  Marty

I get what you’re saying and mainly agree, but I just want to give them until the trade deadline, when they still have an opportunity to gut the team and get the tank back on track.

Not very hopeful, though.

Marty
March 12, 2021 1:45 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Without a drop of sarcasm or emotion, I would say that’s a great plan for the 8 pick.

9sac8
March 12, 2021 1:52 pm
Reply to  Marty

The idea truly is to go 6-0. Imagine if our team had that thought process.

9sac8
March 12, 2021 1:50 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Maybe Monte thinks we can turn things around. Not too confident in that idea, but it’s possible.

Otis
March 12, 2021 1:54 pm
Reply to  9sac8

I’m not sold that any trades he makes won’t make the team BETTER in the short term – depending on what comes back in the deal. For Bagley’s improvement, he’s still generally a net negative on the floor, so moving him could improve the on-court product.

The only sure fire way to tank IMO is to sit/move Fox, Haliburton, Holmes and Barnes and not get a whole lot of short-term production back.

Maximus
March 12, 2021 3:09 pm
Reply to  Otis

For Bagley’s improvement, he’s still generally a net negative on the floor

Every one on this team is a net negative (well at least for the major rotation guys)

If you mean with relative to the team’s performance, Bagley has not been negative for a while. In February, he was better than Fox, Buddy, Whiteside and Bjelica.
https://go.nba.com/c2eg

Otis
March 12, 2021 3:13 pm
Reply to  Maximus

Oh, I agree he’s played better of late. Whether that will continue to be the case, we’ll see.

Kosta
March 12, 2021 8:56 am

Mirann is undefeated! 1-0
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Last edited 2 months ago by Kosta
ZillersCat
March 12, 2021 9:39 am
Reply to  Kosta

Maybe Mirann is bringing us good luck. Some of us black cats get a bad rep.
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krswin
March 12, 2021 9:24 am

Great new voice at TKH. Welcome aboard Mirann. Great writeup.

Jerzig
March 12, 2021 10:07 am

Welcome Mirann! Great recap!

Now for something COMPLETELY off topic: How do you guys watch Kings games sans cable? My wife pointed out during the game last night that we now only use our cable service so that I can watch/record Kings games on NBCSCA. We have xfinity, so I’m paying a ton of money just to watch this team (hopefully) tank for the zillionth year in a row. I live in Sacramento so I don’t think league pass or Hulu is an option due to blackouts, but I honestly don’t know how all that works. Any suggestions, thoughts or ideas would be much appreciated!

TerzoM
March 12, 2021 10:18 am
Reply to  Jerzig

You could try YouTubeTV. No equipment, free 7 days. No contracts, don’t like it, cancel asap.

kfipp
Admin
March 12, 2021 11:12 am
Reply to  TerzoM

I concur with Terzo. If you have a Roku, Apple TV, Smart TV etc… just sign up for a trial of one of the many streaming services to see if you like it. If you don’t, cancel it, and try the next one.

I know that Fubo, YouTube, Hulu, Sling, and At&t all have regional sports and maybe some kind of DVR function as well. You’ll probably save some money but the issue i’ve found is that you still need a good internet package and sometimes when you split those two costs up (streaming tv and traditional internet from an ISP) it ends up costing the same or more.

Anyway, good luck hunting.

Jerzig
March 12, 2021 2:11 pm
Reply to  kfipp

Thank you all for the advice! The clarification on regional sports being offered through some of the streaming services is very helpful and much appreciated. Looks like YouTube TV is about $60/month. I’m going to price out the other options you mentioned and then call xfinity to figure out how much internet-only will be.

Otis
March 12, 2021 2:19 pm
Reply to  Jerzig

We tried Hulu TV and didn’t care for the interface or the picture quality. YouTube has been great, unlimited DVR, solid picture quality (rarely buffering). There has been a few instances this season where it was difficult to find the Kings game, due to the regional CSN conflicts. But here in the Sacramento area, you get the same regional sports offerings as the cable providers.

KFipp’s note on costs is well taken – our pricing on internet did increase when we dropped cable service from the package, but we were able to do the “threaten to move to AT&T” thing to get our price down.

Jerzig
March 12, 2021 3:48 pm
Reply to  Otis

Haha! Yeah, I’ve been doing the threaten routine with xfinity every 12 to 24 months for over a decade.

Otis
March 12, 2021 1:13 pm
Reply to  TerzoM

Yep, YouTubeTV is great. Unfortunately, the audio works on the Kings telecast.

Henry
March 12, 2021 11:13 am
Reply to  Jerzig

Also use YouTubeTV. Quite happy with it.

Henry
March 12, 2021 12:40 pm
Reply to  Henry

+ 1
YouTubeTV allows up to six separate logins/profiles per subscriptions. So you can share costs with family/friends.

Carl
March 12, 2021 2:45 pm
Reply to  Jerzig

I live in Sacramento so I don’t think league pass or Hulu is an option due to blackouts, but I honestly don’t know how all that works.

Team League Pass plus VPN, though unless you’re going to watch on your phone or some nonsense, you obviously need a TV connected device that supports this.

AmateurNerd
March 12, 2021 11:07 am

Recap had enthusiasm, good analysis, and very few (if any?) typos. Mirann’s job is safe for now!

Henry
March 12, 2021 11:14 am

Welcome! Loved the recap. Great start!

kings4ever
March 12, 2021 11:40 am

Bjelica getting in foul trouble is a bad thing? The game was put away when Walton had a tizzy after the Rockets got an offensive rebound , he angrily talked a timeout, yanked the bum, and we subsequently buried them with Buddy and Fox taking over.

The coach should have been upset at himself, he put the scrub in the game in the first place!

Buddy made arguably the best pass of his career, left hand wrap around to the three point line, a thing of beauty from Buddy Dimes! 🙂

Back to Bjelly, the guy is a Disgrace. He doesn’t try, obviously going through the motions, a slacker with no muscle tone. He is a farcical defensive player, barely step above a corpse.

And yet fans harp on Whitesides lack of effort?! Bjelica should be waived if we find no takers by the trade deadline. How can anyone possibly criticize Whiteside and give Bjelica a pass?!

Bjelica needs his pulse checked, he may be dead!

Bjelica may find new life on the 76ers or Heat, two teams who can cover for his defensive ineptitude. But he is impressing no one with dead man walking routine!

Fox was particularly fantastic last night, he is turning into a MVP caliber player. It is ludicrous there are fans contending they see no improvement from a year ago, it is like saying the sky is not blue, totally oblivious to objective reality.

Fox has turned into a 25 PPG and 10 APG since his slow start. Check the stats over the last 20-25 games. He can easily get into the lane, he is punishing opponents, and he said himself how easy the game became for him when teams had to go over the screen on the Zack Lowe Show as opposed to daring him to shoot.

Fox is just a joy behold dancing and prancing on peoples heads, he basically indirectly tore Gordon’s groin, I think fans may take his awesomeness for granted!

You know how they say a player can break ankles with his moves, Fox moves are so wicked tears groins !!! 🙂

So Fox is just elevating himself into an elite bad ass, entering video game mode at will, and if that was not said above or below with this excessive exuberance for a female joining the board, it deserves to be said. And welcome to her and all the newbies.

Lastly, the coach is a clown not emptying his bench when we are up 23 points with 3 minutes left. Then he calls timeout with one minute left after a missed play. The guy is neurotic and paranoid! And he insults Kyle Guy by trying to put him into the game with under 1:00 to play. Guy should have refused entry, the disrespect to him all season is off the charts.

Walton is a loser and I look forward to his ass being canned. Even in blowout victory he gets on my nerves.

WizsSox
March 12, 2021 11:54 am
Reply to  kings4ever

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Otis
March 12, 2021 1:17 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

When we remember you a few seasons down the road, it will be as the guy who got incredibly worked up about two marginally effective older players on expiring deals in a lost season.

Marty
March 12, 2021 1:44 pm
Reply to  Otis

Kudos (I think?) to those who took the time to read it. 😜

Otis
March 12, 2021 1:26 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

Fox was particularly fantastic last night, he is turning into a MVP caliber player.

Let’s start with the team being better when he’s on the court than off. Then maybe we can progress to the team outscoring the opponent on average when he’s on the floor. These improvements would likely improve his RPM beyond 15th among point guards in the league, and he may have passed PatBev, Patty Mills, Cameron Payne and Lonzo Ball. Then maybe we can legitimately talk about him being an All-Star.

AND THEN, after a few All-Star appearances, we can talk about him turning into an MVP caliber player.

Last edited 2 months ago by Otis
krswin
March 12, 2021 1:33 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

Your hate for Bjelica is a Disgrace. What? Did he sleep with your wife or something. Enough!

9sac8
March 12, 2021 1:55 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

You hate Bjelly 🤣🤣🤣

March 12, 2021 1:05 pm

Welcome dudecomment image

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