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Kings 89, Clippers 105: Sacramento’s offense sputters at home

The Kings struggled to score against a suffocating Clippers defense.
By | 67 Comments | Dec 22, 2021

Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Well, folks, Tori is back on the bench from her one-and-only recap (she wanted to do her nails and not spend 2.5 hours watching Kings basketball), so your favorite Maxwell is back on the recap beat.

As has been the case for the last several games, both teams in tonight’s contest were facing severely limited squads. Alongside Kawhi Leonard, who has thus far missed the entirety of the 2021-2022 season, the Clippers were without several key players such as Reggie Jackson, Luke Kennard, Marcus Morris, and Isaiah Hartenstein, while the Kings were still missing everyone that has been listed in health and safety protocols over the last week. Thankfully, Richaun Holmes donned some goggles and was able to give it a go for Sacramento, but he looked exactly as one would expect a player to look after missing several games: out of sync and a little winded. He recorded 4 points and 7 rebounds in 17 minutes, but he only played five minutes in the second half, including sitting out the entire fourth quarter.

Sacramento’s loss tonight can really be defined by one primary element – zero offensive rhythm. Over the first 24 minutes of the game, the Kings managed to record just 38 points, despite averaging 56.3 points in the first half this season, the eighth-best mark in the league. Throughout the entire evening, the Clippers length and quickness on the defensive end of the floor disrupted Sacramento’s ability to score, and that, combined with the Kings limited roster, led to another loss at the Golden One Center, dropping the Kings to 13-20 on the season. Tyrese Haliburton led the way for the Kings, putting up 22 points and 13 assists, while the Clippers enjoyed a balanced scoring attack, with Eric Bledsoe recording 19 points and Paul George and Serge Ibaka both contributing 17 of their own.

Quick Stats

Sacramento Kings: 89 points, 40 rebounds, 24 assists, 40% FG, 31.6% 3P, 16 turnovers

Los Angeles Clippers: 105 points, 43 rebounds, 26 assists, 51.2% FG, 29.2% 3P, 12 turnovers

 

The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

 

The Good

 

  1. Haliburton stays hot: Over the first third of the 2021 season, questions have risen around Sacramento’s lack of a number one option on the offensive end of the floor. Tyrese Haliburton might be answering those questions, despite missing half of his fellow rotational players. He’s now recorded at least 20 points and 10 assists in each of the four games that De’Aaron Fox has missed, and his averages over that span are an incredible 23.5 points, 11.3 assists, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.8 steals while shooting 53% from the field and 50% from deep.
  2. Effort, even without results: This iteration of the Sacramento Kings is not anything close to what everyone envisioned at the start of the season. They’re missing starters, bench players, G League prospects, and even their head coach, but Doug Christie has these guys playing hard, even if they’re not winning many of their games. For a fanbase that has justifiably complained about a lack of effort for the majority of the last 15 years, this group’s unwillingness to give up and die, even when severely out-talented, is a refreshing experience.
The BAd

 

  1. Transition opportunities: When De’Aaron Fox entered health and safety protocols, it was expected that Sacramento’s offense would slow down a bit, but the Kings were hurt on both ends of the transition coin tonight. Los Angeles won the fast break battle 29-6, and the Clippers were able to get out in easy, open transition opportunities after missed shots far too often.
The Ugly

 

  1. Buddy Hield: There’s nothing more frustrating to watch in the NBA than a wildly inconsistent player, and Buddy Hield is the definition of wildly inconsistent. For the past several games, he’s absolutely killed the Kings in the first half before somewhat acquitting himself in the third or fourth quarter, and tonight was no exception, although the redemption was less spectacular than usual. On the night, he recorded a respectable 16 points, but Sacramento’s supposed sharpshooter made just 5 of his 22 field goal attempts, including a miserable 5 of 18 from deep. For a team that’s lacking in top-end talent like the Kings, dependable, night-to-night contributions are needed from their role players, and Buddy Hield certainly hasn’t been able to provide that this season.
Pizza Guy of the Night

Tyrese Haliburton. That dude is spectacular.

Up Next

Sunday, December 26th vs. Memphis Grizzlies – 3:00 P.M. (PT)

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JoeMama
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December 22, 2021 9:52 pm

2 things:

1) buddy hield sucks ass when his shots aren’t going in and yet he still chucks up 3’s all night…not a really good idea when your shot isn’t falling

2) this game has shown me why Mudiay is playing in Europe. He should probably continue playing there.

Brown.says.Good.or.Bad
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December 22, 2021 10:29 pm
Reply to  JoeMama

Mudiay was bad, but it’s his first game. Worth seeing for a few more games

1951
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December 23, 2021 8:15 am

Was he bad?

I mean, he had 2 dimes and no turnovers in 8 backup PG minutes on a team that he joined that day.

Or are you both basing this on missing two shots (huge SS, I know), one of which was needed at the end of a shot clock?

What exactly were y’all expecting?

I thought he looked good for the circumstances and he had a really nice two-man play to set up TT for an easy hoop.

Last edited 2 years ago by 1951
Hobby916
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December 23, 2021 8:15 am
Reply to  JoeMama

I thought Mudiay did fine in his first stint of the game. He was looking for others in the offense made some good decisions. It was when he started shooting the ball that things went wrong.

RandyBreuersNeckHair
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December 22, 2021 9:56 pm

At the risk of alienating Sims, tonight I thought Buddy looked like a guy who can’t shoot.

TerzoM
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December 22, 2021 9:58 pm

Buddy Chuckets

Fail Tough Luck GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

RikSmits
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December 22, 2021 10:05 pm
Reply to  TerzoM

Giving Buddy a bonus for made threes without demanding that he’d make them at a certain clip is like giving bonuses to salesmen without caring whether there’s sufficient margin on these sales.

Thanks, Vlade!

sonny
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December 22, 2021 10:23 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Another Vladeblunder

JoeMama
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December 22, 2021 10:26 pm
Reply to  sonny

Don’t worry…according to Vivek, buddy is Curry 2.0

BeTheBall
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December 23, 2021 6:49 pm
Reply to  sonny

Can’t kill him too bad for it. We could have been stuck with a completely broken center in the middle of a super-max deal.

sonny
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December 22, 2021 10:28 pm

My thoughts on Hield are exactly what I had with Cousins.
After 2-3 yrs, I realized he’s never gonna help the team.
Cutting losses early and trading when value is high was the better option.

This effing eff oh holds on to obvious failed players for too long.

Klam
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Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
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December 22, 2021 11:00 pm

BREAKING: Jim Crandell starting new job at FOX40.

https://twitter.com/JimCrandell/status/1473893191732449283

(All joking aside, not sure if he’s retiring or moving to another network, but best of luck Jim).

KINGS2110
December 22, 2021 11:06 pm

Same shit, different day. Rinse, repeat…

rockbottom
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December 22, 2021 11:10 pm

Kings now 12th in West ! Worst game of Christi Era and as much as we all love Hali is turnovers are too high ( 7 tonite ) !

Dbullsfan
December 23, 2021 6:16 am
Reply to  rockbottom

I don’t even blame Hali for the turnovers as a whole. The guy is literally a one man band out there right now. Buddy can’t create, Harrison can’t create, the bigs can’t create. The kid just played 43 minutes in a meaningless game in a lost season. I love his heart and effort and if it means a few turnovers I can live with that.

1951
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December 23, 2021 8:18 am
Reply to  Dbullsfan

When players are asked to be like 80% of the teams offense, they tend to turn the ball over a lot.

Want him to be mini-Magic? Then you live with Magic’s turnovers too, and boy was he proficient at that, the loser!

rockbottom
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December 23, 2021 12:20 pm
Reply to  1951

Fact, 7 turnovers are too many ! Excusing it is a cop out same as giving Buddy a pass for bad shots ! Hali knows that is not acceptable and why he will get better !

Hobby916
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December 23, 2021 8:18 am
Reply to  Dbullsfan

Those jump passes get him into trouble.

RikSmits
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December 23, 2021 12:10 am

Anyone has a doubt that the organization will use Omicron as an excuse when goals (play-offs baby!) are not achieved, ignoring that the whole league is similarly affected?

Looking at minutes per game, the Kings missed players the following rotation players: 1st (Fox), 6th (Davion), 8th (Mitchell), 9th (Marvin) and 11th (Len).

The Clips missed 2nd (Jackson), 3rd (Morris), 4rd (Kennard) and Hartenstein (9th) and Kahwi.

rockbottom
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December 23, 2021 6:42 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Kings broadcast shills only think Kings are hurt by injuries and Covid !

1951
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December 23, 2021 8:19 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Hey, they fired Luke, so …
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Last edited 2 years ago by 1951
Gregoryl
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December 23, 2021 12:19 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

“We have to bring the core back, think of all the games we lost thanks to Covid!”

Ralph_Furleys_Tailor
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December 23, 2021 12:42 am

Thoughts for tonight.

It’s easier for me to online bank than post here. For the record I am not a robot.

There is no such thing as a partially blocked shot. If the shot goes in it was not blocked. All other outcomes mean it was blocked. Please stop saying it and tell a friend.

Buddy doesn’t suck he is simply showing what happens on a team with a talent and leadership vacuum. When he moves on it will only upset Kings fans that he plays better somewhere else.

Metu will 100% be on an NBA contract in 5 years. I get it…his 3 point shot lacks confidence right now, but at least he has improved as a player since arriving here.

Barnes looked tired, frustrated, apoplectic tonight.

Mark Jones tired, frustrated, apoplectic and repetitive style are wearing me out.

Still like Kayte’s hoops chops.

I would like to praise Emmanuel Mudiay for chasing the dream and trying hard…and damn y’all if he were top tier talent would he have been available right now? This is a forum, so please feel free to bitch, but let’s hope Santa brings you a damn mirror.

Every game Hali leads this team makes Fox look like the past. No hate. They just don’t complement each other.

Ramsey and Woodard II making Kyle Guy look polished.

Gary Gerould would be in the Hall of Fame if Sacramento was a large market. Thanks for a lifetime of memories Gman.

The owner is an idiot, but he is our idiot.

Have a Merry Christmas.

rockbottom
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December 23, 2021 6:45 am

Kayte talks way too much but agree with everything else !

1951
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December 23, 2021 8:51 am
Reply to  rockbottom

I’m cool with Kayte.

She is learning but I appreciate her willingness to acknowledge calls and plays that go against the Kings. It’s refreshing to hear a local media person actually say, “the Kings might have got away with one there.”

The only thing that made me chuckle a bit was when she called Stephen Adams “Jason Adams” or something like two times in a row. But that was more amusing than anything as everyone makes mistakes and she is doing just fine overall!

rockbottom
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December 23, 2021 12:24 pm
Reply to  1951

I get league pass and she still talks more than any color analyst by a lot ! Check it out ! I want to like her but getting tougher but respect your opinion and taste !

MillersCornrows
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December 23, 2021 12:34 pm
Reply to  rockbottom

She gets desperate late in the game when there’s nothing to talk about besides how shitty the Kings are.

Kingsguru21
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December 23, 2021 1:14 pm

What she is is a horrific analyst under the circumstances.

Yaska
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December 23, 2021 5:29 pm
Reply to  rockbottom

I prefer her talking than the redundancy of one or the unoriginal catch phrases of the other. But less would be more.

RighteousandHopeful
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December 23, 2021 12:37 pm

Mark and Kayte are a great team. The Kings are a … uh … team.

NorCalKingsFan
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December 24, 2021 3:00 pm

This idea that De’Aaron can’t shoot 3’s is not as bad as his detractors like to believe. In 2021, he’s shooting 27% from 3 overall, 23% on pull-up 3s at 3PA/game, and 33% on CnSs at less than 2PA/game. Fox needs to stop shooting pull-ups and should be taking advantage of assisted catch & shoot opportunities only. When Fox shoota 3s on the catch and he’s around league-avg (or better, he shot 40% on CnSs last year).

Fox and Haliburton can play together just fine as long as they use each other correctly to highlight their strengths and cover each other’s weaknesses.

Chippy23152
Chippy23152
December 23, 2021 5:10 am

This team is hard to stomach. The teams core hasn’t shown an ability to win consistently since they’ve been together. Ownership hasn’t done anything to change it and I have no confidence that they will. Do they really think that the fans would be happy with a 10th seed??? We want to see progress or at the very least, some kind of plan. The empty seats should give them a hint that the goodwill of just keeping the team in Sac is no longer good enough.

BeTheBall
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December 23, 2021 6:55 pm
Reply to  Chippy23152

There’s a decent segment of fans that would treat a play-in as a title. Just read the comments on social media. People are, unironically, posting shit like “hell yeah, we’re gonna lock down that 10th seed this year. This team ain’t fucking around now.”

kings4ever
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December 23, 2021 5:36 am

Backed Up Buddy is not the definition of wildly inconsistent. He is probably the worst heavy rotational player in the NBA. He is a team killer and a cancer.

I will go along with the notion that he’s a wildly inconsistent shooter, but thats not what you said. You said he’s a wildly inconsistently player.

No, he’s a consistently bad player.

If you are a wildly inconsistent shooter, your defense and handles sucks, your athleticism and size are average to below average for your position, by definition and summation you are a consistently bad player.

What you are trying to do is perpetuate a characterization consistent with the wrong one you have asserted in the past. Instead of admitting your opinion of this guy is too high.

What is this talk of redeeming oneself when the game is out of reach, when opponent relaxes and can afford to disrespect the shooter goose egging? This is redemption?

Not in my book, it is the nature of competition, the ebb and flow, said player saving himself from complete embarassment. But it is not redeeming, it is lipstick on a pig.

When Buddy tries to play unselfish, he is manic and telegraphing. There is an unnaturalness and robotic quality to everything he tries to do. When he does move the ball after holding or unsuccessful juke or dribble move, wasting time on the shot clock, the recipient of the pass often has NO advantage (or in less advantageous position).

Buddy is bad at being unselfish.

Does Doug Christie think he can infuse this guy with the spirit and essence of who he was as a player and some magic transformation is going to appear before our eyes?

Is that why he subjects the fans to bear witness to the tedium and torture of watching this guy feign ability for 43:20 arduous minutes?

And what of the teammates, even with the depleted roster? In specific HB. I said previously teammates should start freezing this guy out, refuse to pass to him unless absolutely no other choice avails; what is the point, may as well walk off and forfeit instead of trust this guy to win you a game.

At his best Buddy may help you win 30-35% of your games, and this may be overstating it, which means he is NO help of all, since this is the win rate for perennial lottery teams, so this means he is NO use at all.

Even a guy like Ramsay, who has been shooting some hideous jumpers, I would rather see for the hustle and the scrap. You’re telling me DC could not find 10 minutes for Ramsay when Buddy was so awful?

The only one innocent in all of this is the GM, he tried to dump this loser and there were NO takers. Memo to Sonny: LAL rescinded when we thought the deal was done. Now any tepid interest from other teams is on hard fade,

Prior to Vlade putting the incentives in the contract, he ignored other teams and was too stupid to create a bidding war to drive up the price for Cousins.

We could have had Brandon Ingram from LAL for Cousins instead of Buddy. I think they may have given us Randle too. Fans harp a lot on the Luka draft, but whiffing on Ingram for Buddy and Donovan for Giles and Jackson are just as egregious.

rockbottom
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December 23, 2021 6:49 am
Reply to  kings4ever

Still giving Monte a pass while second guessing everyone else ! Most understand family loyalty !

HongKongKingsFan
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December 23, 2021 7:05 am
Reply to  kings4ever

I love Ramsey….

and don’t understand why Doug plays Mudiay in front of Ramsey….

Ramsey is only 20 yrs old….

p.s. This team just sucks………..I hope we can see a trade very soon, at least giving us some hopes…even a false hope.

1951
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December 23, 2021 8:31 am

Mudiay is only 25 and a much better PG, so …

Last edited 2 years ago by 1951
RighteousandHopeful
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December 23, 2021 12:38 pm
Reply to  1951

I hope he gets the chance to stick.

sonny
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December 23, 2021 11:25 am
Reply to  kings4ever

I never liked Hield since he came to Sacramento.

I quickly saw his very low BBIQ, poor handles and 3pt misses when he’s guarded.
Catch and shoot ok but I will never put him on my tean even if the NBA turns to be a 3 pt shot game!

I personally feel he oftentimes shoots with no “aim”, I mean like Reggie Miller, who, even in awkward positions, can still aim at the rim/net and if he doesn’t make it, just narrowly misses. In Hield shots, the misses are even awful to watch.

I’ll take Jaylen Brown’s 3 pt shooting over Hield anytime.

I don’t care about stats. i care about how a player impacts a game.
Hield can be a career 40% 3pt shooter but I will never consider him elite.
His made 3 pointers consistently come in garbage time or when the Kings are trying to make a comeback.

sonny
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December 23, 2021 12:12 pm
Reply to  sonny

Aiming/locking your eyes on the rim – I mean, I always notice that Hield just heaves it, for the sake of taking the shot that the misses are either airballs or wide left or right.

MillersCornrows
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December 23, 2021 12:36 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

Agreed. Especially with your take on Buddy.

Kingsguru21
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December 23, 2021 1:37 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

I guess by reading this comment, you think Buddy is untradeable. I disagree, but I do think there are plenty of teams out there that could use a change of scenery guy with what Buddy does do.

It’s just difficult to see with his issue’s hitting you so directly in the face, IMO.

Still think the trade worth pursuing is for Sabonis and LeVert to OKC (in exchange for the Phoenix 1st which is almost guaranteed at this point to be a bottom 3 pick in the 1st round) for Hield, Bagley and 2 unprotected Kings 1sts in 2022 and 2024.

There’s risk there, but Sabonis is worth it. If the Kings need to not include Buddy, they could theoretically keep him and just make the deal Bagley + Thompson plus 2 unprotected 1sts which I would do also. Either way, Buddy needs a change of scenery and I think there are teams out there that could use what Buddy does. Just not what he’s doing in Sacramento currently.

Last edited 2 years ago by Kingsguru21
Chippy23152
Chippy23152
December 23, 2021 8:04 am

With each game, I see trade values keep tumbling down. Buddy is shooting himself out of any trades. His situation is going to just be a salary dump. Lesser players with smaller contracts. Hopefully a win-now team is willing to pony up some value for Barnes and Fox.

1951
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December 23, 2021 9:26 am

I would like to take a holiday moment and honor the spirt of Festivus by airing a few grievances:

Akis – Does he still work here? Like, what exactly does he do anymore? 

Greg – We all know he is just the worst. Stop sucking so much!

Rob – Just here for comments? Lame. Write something to entertain us, you pantless clown!

Brad – Worst twitter follow ever!

Fippin – What does he Fippin do?

Tim – Most annoying twitter follow. If I want bad food takes and meaningless stats I would join Jenny Craig!  Please hire his wife!

Tony – Great first name. Incomprehensible last name.

Will – Will he please just stop?

Bryant – hashtag not Captain America, like not even close!

TJ – Hi, I’m a Mavericks fan dressed in Kings gear. [Insert short person joke]

Mirann – get out while you still can!

Richard/Brenden/Robby/Omer/Sanjesh/Noel – How many freakin’ people work here?

Jerry – You are a legend, and I could never!  

PS:

I am very Grateful for you all and making this site so fun!
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RikSmits
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December 23, 2021 9:38 am
Reply to  1951

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NorCalKingsFan
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December 24, 2021 2:36 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Nope

RobHessing
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December 23, 2021 3:13 pm
Reply to  1951

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Marty
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December 23, 2021 9:35 am

Your seasonal reminder that without superstars it really doesn’t matter.

1951
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December 23, 2021 9:38 am
Reply to  Marty

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Carl
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December 23, 2021 11:07 am
Reply to  Marty

Your seasonal reminder that without superstars it really doesn’t matter.

But Mudiay.

Dirkula
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December 23, 2021 10:27 am

I’ve DVR’d every game and haven’t watched a full game all year, aside from the 1 I attended when they thumped the Grizzlies.
I feel like it’s made my holidays more pleasant by avoiding the games and coming here to read about the shitshow instead.

Happy Festivus everyone!

Last edited 2 years ago by Dirkula
RobHessing
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December 23, 2021 11:04 am

I had ’em at 26-34 or 25-35 at the break. I’m leaning the under on that now. 35-47 is looking more like 32-50 at the moment.comment image

Klam
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December 23, 2021 11:13 am
Reply to  RobHessing

Kings fans waiting for the Kings to be a good team:
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Kingsguru21
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December 23, 2021 11:15 am

Team ORtg these last 4 games: 104 Team DRtg these last 4 games: 115.2

Player A: Total Minutes: 160 TS%: 58% USG%: 20% TOV%: 10.6% AST%: 10% ORtg: 103.3 DRtg: 112.7
Player B: Total Minutes: 159 TS%: 63.8% USG%: 24.7% TOV%: 13.2% AST%: 47.9% ORtg: 106.1 DRtg: 113.5
Player C: Total Minutes: 153 TS%: 57.9% USG%: 18.2% TOV%: 7.7% AST%: 12.4% ORtg: 100.6 DRtg: 115.7
Player D: Total Minutes: 133 TS%: 49.6% USG%: 18.7% TOV%: 6.2% AST%: 7.2% ORtg: 104 DRtg: 114.1
Player E: Total Minutes: 108 TS%: 46.8% USG%: 20.5% TOV%: 12.1% AST%: 9.6% ORtg: 112.7 DRtg: 111.8
Player F: Total Minutes: 101 TS%: 57.3% USG%: 8.9% TOV%: 16.7% AST%: 3.3% ORtg: 113.1 DRtg: 112
Player G: Total Minutes: 60 TS%: 69.8% USG%: 21% TOV%: 25.8% AST%: 2.7% ORtg: 100 DRtg: 114

So, yeah. Depleted team plays like depleted team. But we at least get to see some pretty Tyrese Haliburton assists so we’ve got that going for us which is nice!

RighteousandHopeful
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December 23, 2021 12:33 pm

That was grisly. Who do the Kings play next?

Kingsguru21
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December 23, 2021 1:21 pm

Memphis again.

Gregoryl
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December 23, 2021 4:20 pm

Thread Jack Trade Talk: From Bleacher Report. Thoughts?:

  1. New York Knicks Receive: PG De’Aaron Fox
  2. Sacramento Kings Receive: PF Obi Toppin, PG Kemba Walker, G/F Alec Burks, 2022 first-round pick (top-three protected), 2023 first-round pick (via Dallas Mavericks), 2022 second-round pick
sonny
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December 23, 2021 5:38 pm
Reply to  Gregoryl

Kemba’s just gonna Kemba in a Kings uni

BeTheBall
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December 23, 2021 7:04 pm
Reply to  Gregoryl

Meh, the draft picks are the only thing in that package that isn’t garbage, and even then they’re not great picks. Call me a homer, but I have to think that Fox rates higher than what amounts to junk and two mid-to-late teen picks over the next two years.

Last edited 2 years ago by BeTheBall
Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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December 23, 2021 7:44 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

A multi-year all-star and in his prime Boogie got the Kings a first rounder, Buddy, and expirings. I think we need to keep things in perspective.

Toppin in the Buddy in that deal. Burks and Walker are NOT expirings, but two first round picks (likely non lottery) is about what Fox should return.

I had floated something similar the other day that included Quickly and a few more players as salary filler. The desired return is basically Toppin, Quickly, two picks (2022 via Hornets and 2023 via Dallas) and filler.

AnybodyButBagley
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December 23, 2021 8:27 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Unreal expectations have submerged this team in shit. Accept reality and go forward.

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December 23, 2021 8:36 pm

I agree. Kings would be trading a non all-star PG who can’t shoot from deep and is now on a max deal. IMO, some fringe prospects and a protected first is likely what he is worth by himself. Pair him with a pick or two and the Kings might get a star player.

TheBaker
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December 23, 2021 6:22 pm

Horford and Jaylen Brown for Fox and Buddy works in the trade machine.
Thoughts?

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December 23, 2021 7:45 pm
Reply to  TheBaker

Boston says no. If Boston were to move Brown they’d want pick(s) to go along with Fox.

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December 23, 2021 9:02 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I’d send them some picks. At least there’s high level talent coming back, and at this point it looks like you might be dumping a lot of bad salary as well.

cloudyeyes
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December 23, 2021 7:53 pm
  1. This team is trying to win but this team still sucks.
  2. This team is losing against teams trying to lose.
  3. Management believes this team can win and does nothing to change it.
Gregoryl
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December 23, 2021 10:56 pm
Reply to  cloudyeyes

Years of being the worst team that isn’t tanking… really sucks.

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