Articles | Game Recap

Blazers 132 – Kings 126: Sacramento blows multiple huge leads

The Kings won't win many games with that sort of defensive performance.

Until the Sacramento Kings learn to play a lick of defense, fans are likely to become all too familiar with performances like Wednesday evening. After building and blowing a 20-point lead in the second quarter, and after building and blowing a 19-point lead in the third quarter, the Kings fell to the Portland Trailblazers 132-126, losing their sixth game in eight tries, having allowed an average of 126 points per game over that span.

Damian Lillard led the way for the Blazers, scoring 40 points and dishing out 13 assists, while CJ McCollum flirted with a triple-double, putting up 28, 7, and 10. Buddy Hield looked like his old self for his second consecutive game, posting his first 20-point performance since opening night, ending the evening with 26 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists, while knocking down 8 of his 18 long-balls. De'Aaron Fox was also highly impressive on the offensive end, nearly matching Hield's line with 29 points, 6 boards, and 6 assists of his own, including five made three-pointers. Not to be forgotten, Kings rookie Tyrese Haliburton once again showed his potential start power, scoring 17 points, grabbing five boards, and dishing out 9 assists in 31 minutes of play.

Game Summary

The Kings enjoyed perhaps their hottest shooting start to the season, sinking eight of their first nine shots, including all three of their three-pointers, and that trend continued throughout the first twelve minutes, as Sacramento finished at 68% from the floor and 64% from deep. After Marvin Bagley picked up his second foul, Luke Walton chose to roll with a smaller lineup, and that decision seemed to truly open up the offensive flow for Sacramento. De'Aaron Fox impacted the game at all levels, scoring 15 points in the quarter while also dishing out four assists, and Tyrese Haliburton showed out as well, scoring six points and recording three dimes in just a few minutes on the floor. After allowing a 10-1 run to fall behind 22-20, the Kings closed the period with a 23-11 stint of their own to take a 10 point lead after one.

For whatever reason, the Kings decided to get their horrific third quarter collapse out of the way a little early in this one. Marvin Bagley's Hali-oop pushed Sacramento's lead all the way to 20 points with 7:20 remaining in the second period, but that bucket also seemed to help the Trail Blazers realize that Bagley was available on the opposite end of the floor as well. Portland's guards regularly targeted Marvin in the pick-and-roll, and while the collapse can by no means be placed solely on his shoulders, his lack of defensive acumen killed the Kings until he headed to the bench with his third foul. Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum were the primary culprits behind the Blazers' 20-4 run late in the quarter, combining for 25 points in the period, while De'Aaron Fox was virtually invisible after his bubble-esque start, scoring just one point on three shots.

As Edmund Burke once said, those who don't know history are destined to repeat it, and the Kings sure didn't learn their history in the locker room at halftime. In a story that now seems as old as time, Sacramento stormed into the third quarter with a purpose, building a 19 point lead before allowing another massive Portland offensive flurry. The Blazers guard core once again punished the Kings on the perimeter and in the paint, and Sacramento had no answer for McCollum or Lillard.They entered the final period with just a five-point lead.

After their charge to end the third quarter, it was obvious that the battle-hardened Blazers smelled blood in the water in the final period. Portland continued to nip at the Kings heels, even when Sacramento was able to build a couple of double-digits leads, and the Blazers led the final six minutes of the fourth quarter. Sacramento will get one night off before taking on the 8-4 Los Angeles Clippers on Friday evening.

Player of the Game

De'Aaron Fox: 29 points (9/18 FG, 5/8 3P), 6 rebounds, 6 assists

Game Notes
  • Nemanja Bjelica seems to officially have lost place in the rotation, receiving his second consecutive DNP-CD.
  • Chimezie Metu actually saw some non-garbage time minutes after Hassan Whiteside failed to impress in his short time on the floor. Metu recorded 2 points and a turnover in a little over three minutes.
  • The Kings hit a season-high 19 three-pointers.
  • Four Kings players ended the night with at least 5 assists: Buddy Hield, De'Aaron Fox, Tyres Haliburton, and Richaun Holmes.
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Bkroo96
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January 13, 2021 9:46 pm

F Sacramento Kangs!

Bkroo96
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January 13, 2021 9:47 pm

Done with this team sick of this 15 years of sucking balls.

MillersCornrows
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January 14, 2021 12:09 am
Reply to  Bkroo96

Done? This season is what finally did it for you? This is actually the time to start watching the Kings as crappy as our coach is.

Gregoryl
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January 14, 2021 8:55 am

Hahaha, this game was a highpoint considering the s-show we’ve been watching the last 15 years!

L-Train3.1
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January 14, 2021 2:42 am
Reply to  Bkroo96

This was a fair effort, all things considered. We have seen a lot of truly awful basketball over the years, this was not it.

rockbottom
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January 13, 2021 9:50 pm

Would have liked to see more zone defense to nite ! May have eliminated some of the straight line drives by Dame and CJ ! Offense by Kings is good enough and defense near league bottom !

SelecaoKOJ
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January 13, 2021 9:52 pm

OPP PPG: 122.1
. Ranked Dead Last in The NBA 30Th.

RORDOG
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January 13, 2021 10:01 pm
Reply to  SelecaoKOJ

on the bright side, they’re 8th in scoring at ~115 points per game. Hopefully, they have had some bad luck. It does seem like teams have been making shots at a bit higher percentage than they would on average.

also tonight they lost a lot of those 50/50 situations. Maybe that’s because they’re not scrappy. Or, maybe they just missed it.

moral of the story: this wasn’t a bad loss. Sometimes shit just happens. With a mediocre team, the ball needs to bounce the right way sometimes when playing good teams.

WizsSox
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January 13, 2021 10:14 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

I kind of agree. Yes they suck something bad on defense…at the same time it felt like tonight there 4-5 times the the Blazers (McCollum) hit shots where it was just throw your hands up “what can you do” kind of thing.

Close game bounces go either way and if they won, majority of us would all be singing a different tune with dance GIFS…eventhough the effort and execution wouldn’t have been dramatically different.

MidtownMike
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January 13, 2021 10:40 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

Teams usually make shots at a slightly higher percentage when facing trash defensive teams

RORDOG
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January 13, 2021 10:51 pm
Reply to  MidtownMike

I’m not arguing that bad defensives all just have bad luck. I’m saying sometimes luck can play a part, and that tends to be overlooked.

It’s like Buddy Hield. He’s one of the best shooters in the history of the NBA. Sometimes he accidentally banks a shot in, sometimes the ball is in then out. Over time, those little nuances even out. But sometimes a player (or team) is just unlucky. For a team like the Kings, luck can play a huge role in determining if they’re a 26 win team or if they’re a 36 win team.

MidtownMike
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January 13, 2021 11:48 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

I agree 100%, until the sample size is large enough I’ll attribute our bad luck to simply shitty defense haha

Brizz
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January 14, 2021 12:17 am
Reply to  RORDOG

I don’t know man. The kings essentially gave up a 39 pt lead when you combine the 1st and 2nd half leads. That’s not bad luck or bounces, that’s trash defense by a bad team/coach.

MillersCornrows
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January 14, 2021 1:22 am
Reply to  RORDOG

And all too often Buddy can’t buy a bucket.

alec26
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January 14, 2021 2:25 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

Right, the Blazers hit a 3 as time was expiring in the 1st, a 3 as time was expiring in the 2nd, and 2 when time was expiring in the 3rd. That’s 8 points, more than the margin of victory. Richaun Holmes hit a 3 at the end of the first half against Indiana and the Kings won that game.

L-Train3.1
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January 14, 2021 12:57 am
Reply to  RORDOG

To your point, we got those 50/50 balls against Denver, twice.

kingsforaday
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January 14, 2021 6:42 am
Reply to  L-Train3.1

Yup. Our +/- for the season doesn’t show that we’ve been unlucky so far this season. We’ve won a few scrappy, €˜effort’ games. Our record is probably right where it should be, if not a little worse.

BestHyperboleEver
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January 14, 2021 10:17 am
Reply to  kingsforaday

Yeah, depending on whether you want to look at B-R pythag wins or ESPN’s EWL, the performance so far says the Kings record should be a game or two worse than it is. Now, SSS and a tendency to lose big when they lose obviously skews that.

MillersCornrows
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January 14, 2021 1:21 am
Reply to  RORDOG

The 4th quarter rotation was BAD.

RobHessing
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January 13, 2021 9:53 pm

Your Sacramento Kings: Zero Stops Given.

Klam
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Nostradumbass 18
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January 13, 2021 9:58 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Those Kings leads…
comment image

Klam
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Nostradumbass 18
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January 13, 2021 9:56 pm

Blowing two 20 point leads in a game is so on brand with Kangz.

RikSmits
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January 13, 2021 10:01 pm
Reply to  Klam

Just an extreme case of the runs slippage.

ForKingsandCountry
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January 13, 2021 10:44 pm
Reply to  Klam

That’s elite tanking. The Kings are well trained at this game.

SelecaoKOJ
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January 13, 2021 9:56 pm

By game 20-25, I am hoping Monte has seen enough and starts the tear down.

reydarly
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January 13, 2021 9:58 pm

I think we can say the offense was satisfactory today.

Apparently defense and COVID-19 are one in the same for this team, so we avoid it at all costs.

New coach when?

Last edited 1 year ago by Daryl Adams
Sir_tajj
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January 13, 2021 10:08 pm

Buddy channeling his inner Marvin at the worst time in the game. I don’t understand how the best shooter, passer and playmaker on the team gets no touches in crunch time.

Migz
January 13, 2021 10:23 pm

Opponents just bully them and take no shit in return. Most evident against Raptors but happened again tonight. Bring back Shumpert to light a damn fire. I thought Whiteside would be the hired goon we needed but he’s playing offensive fulcrum at times? The fuck

SelecaoKOJ
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January 13, 2021 10:34 pm
Reply to  Migz

Whiteside’s game is so hilarious. He just stands there gets a few blocks and a few garbage dunks. He moves with the ferocity of a slug. Whiteside plays the game for a paycheck and nothing else.

RORDOG
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January 13, 2021 10:28 pm

Here’s RORDOG’s Lukewarm Take of the Day: if you’re gonna give up 125 points a game regardless, just play Bagley. I don’t even like Bagley the player, and I still think that’s obvious.

ForKingsandCountry
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January 13, 2021 10:46 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

Here’s a flaming hot take: I actually thought Bagley had some nice possessions on the defensive end in this game.

Last edited 1 year ago by ForKingsandCountry
richie88
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January 13, 2021 11:19 pm

I also think he had some nice defensive possessions tonight.

GhostMalone
January 14, 2021 12:41 am

He did, I recall him contesting to force a tough shot or two, sliding nicely once and forcing an awkward layup once, plus taking a charge

oshima9
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January 14, 2021 5:10 am
Reply to  RORDOG

Bagley played the best that I’ve seen this year.

keith_kar
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January 14, 2021 6:00 am
Reply to  RORDOG

Bingo, just play Bagley. I mentioned that last night. Why don’t we just close with him. If we’re gonna lose, lose with Bagley.

I’d rather have Bagley in there late, instead of Barnes. I’m also not a big Bagley fan, but let’s go with our young core, and grow from there.

Last edited 1 year ago by keith_kar
PlayoffModeT
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January 14, 2021 9:47 am
Reply to  RORDOG

This is my thought process with Guy. The narrative is that Cojo is a defensive stopper but if we give up 125 a night, are we really stopping anyone? I think Guy’s effort alone could match what Cojo brings right now.

jwalker1395
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January 14, 2021 12:31 pm
Reply to  PlayoffModeT

Yeah CoJo’s whole thing is defense which is really strange since he doesn’t seem that great at defense?

HopelesslyHopeful
January 13, 2021 10:29 pm

Yeah, they blew a couple of big leads, but it’s Same and CJ. They’re not letting you just “put em away”. This was there for the king’s to win, but the Blazers just showed that they’re the superior team.

SelecaoKOJ
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January 13, 2021 10:36 pm

No good team is going to blow leads of 19 and 20 pts. In 2 different qtrs of a game. Kings are mentally weak. Hali is easily the highest BBiQ player this team has had in 15 years.

RORDOG
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January 13, 2021 10:38 pm
Reply to  SelecaoKOJ

Do you believe if all the kings players and coaches were mentally as strong as you, then they would’ve won tonight?

MidtownMike
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January 13, 2021 10:43 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

Way to stay classy and turn a non personal comment into one. Did that make you feel big and tough?

MillersCornrows
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January 14, 2021 1:26 am
Reply to  RORDOG

Rordog, you could make a jerk comment like that in response to 98%-100% of the comments on TKR.

RORDOG
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January 14, 2021 8:45 am

Well I focus my jerk replies on the comments that accuse an entire professional basketball team of being mentally weak. It’s in the same mold as accusing athletes of not caring enough because they enjoy extracurricular activities such as making music or art.

MidtownMike
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January 14, 2021 9:14 am
Reply to  RORDOG

So you do feel like a tough guy, good to know bud *thumbs up to you

RORDOG
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January 14, 2021 10:15 am
Reply to  MidtownMike

what are you talking about? you’re acting like I said let’s meet in the Safeway parking lot for a battle of the minds.

Otis
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January 14, 2021 10:25 am
Reply to  RORDOG

Is there a Safeway in Temecula?

RORDOG
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January 14, 2021 10:40 am
Reply to  Otis

I think it’s called Von’s in SoCal

Kingsguru21
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January 14, 2021 11:13 am
Reply to  Otis

This is a horrible, horrible meme.

Otis
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January 14, 2021 11:30 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

I thought “maybe it’s so old it’s back in style!”

Kingsguru21
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January 14, 2021 1:28 pm
Reply to  Otis

That’s some positive spin right there.

Ralph_Furleys_Tailor
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January 14, 2021 1:19 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

It’s not like anybody got called a Jive Turkey.

Kingsguru21
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January 14, 2021 1:27 pm

Kinda disappointing really, if you think about it.

MidtownMike
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January 14, 2021 1:50 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

Because you launched the first insult over the internet like a clown, something all to common today, speaking to people in ways you never would in person.

Carl
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January 14, 2021 1:59 pm
Reply to  MidtownMike

Does that include calling someone a “clown?” Asking for a friend…

Otis
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January 14, 2021 2:10 pm
Reply to  Carl

Yeah, but to be fair Carl, that was in response to someone making a comment he never would have made in person to a guy who made a comment about a guy he never would have made in person.
comment image

The math checks out here – RORDOG is clearly the bad guy, and the guys who are diagnosing mental weakness based on court performance are the unsung heroes.

MidtownMike
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January 14, 2021 2:43 pm
Reply to  Otis

God I miss the terrible Otis takes.

Carl
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January 14, 2021 4:39 pm
Reply to  MidtownMike

Is this the Internet tough guy thing? I’m getting confused as to what the actual principle in question is here. To be fair, I’m not that smart.

MidtownMike
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January 14, 2021 2:42 pm
Reply to  Carl

I don’t mind calling people being rude out in person, I doubt rodog would of said that to whomever it was.

MillersCornrows
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January 14, 2021 1:29 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

Maybe the whole damn team IS mentally weak. Is that not possible? And what particular comment are you referring to?

RORDOG
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January 14, 2021 1:37 pm

It just rubs me the wrong way. I think there’s a way to discuss this stuff without questioning their collective mental fortitude.

MidtownMike
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January 14, 2021 1:51 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

Is that way to discuss by insulting individual people?

Carl
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January 14, 2021 4:35 pm
Reply to  MidtownMike

I’m not saying you’re wrong, but I mean, you did kind of call Bratz a clown.

BestHyperboleEver
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January 14, 2021 2:04 pm

See, I don’t agree with RORDOG’s approach to this, but I do get a bit surprised at people’s willingness to attack a player’s character like this. IMO, calling someone mentally weak is pretty well over the line. I think questioning their mental fortitude is a very different thing than questioning their basketball skills. The reality is these people are at the absolutely apex of what they do. Every single player in the NBA has worked their ass off to be there. The vast vast vast majority of them have exceptional work ethic to go along with their elite natural gifts. And not only have they work hard enough to be among the 500 or so best people in the world at what they do, they do it in full public view while receiving criticism at every turn. So, no, I don’t think it’s accurate to call any of these people mentally weak. And, I assume like RORDOG, it gets my goat a bit when people are seemingly blasé about making what I consider to be pretty serious personal insults.

MidtownMike
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January 14, 2021 2:46 pm

I agree with you for the most part, but as fans, it’s kind of what they do analyzing and making all sorts of comments about the team and player on random blogs or in bars etc.

Now the internet tough guy schtick is old, and I’m at least somewhat impressed that not everyone on this site jumped in to defend rordog as he is part of the in crowd, just the typical Otis think tunnel

Otis
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January 14, 2021 2:55 pm
Reply to  MidtownMike

You calling RORDOG’s comment “internet tough guy schtick” tells me your probably surfing the net with your penis.

And I think I understood the last part of your comment, and I’m amused if you think he and I are in some sort of groupthink here – I’m not sure there’s anyone I argue with more on this site, outside of maybe Sims.

Carl
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January 14, 2021 4:38 pm
Reply to  Otis

I want to know more about this think tunnel. I have more of a think hole, or a thought vacuum.

RORDOG
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January 14, 2021 6:22 pm
Reply to  Otis

people need to check out some threads from the Cousins/Karl days. They’d think we’re all mortal enemies.

(also, fuck George Karl)

Kingsguru21
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January 14, 2021 7:58 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

people need to check out some threads from the Cousins/Karl days. They’d think we’re all mortal enemies.

(also, fuck George Karl)

Not a chance in hell I’m reading that shit ever again. It was bad enough to have gone through it once let alone having to rehash any of it again.

RORDOG
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January 14, 2021 8:15 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

I wouldn’t either if I lost all those args to someone as swarthy as the rordog

Otis
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January 15, 2021 6:38 am
Reply to  RORDOG

You’ll keep saying you won the argument when Karl’s in the Hall of Fame and Walton’s working for Vlade, teaching hoops to grade school Serbian children. 🙂

RORDOG
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January 14, 2021 6:45 pm

I’ll admit I could have addressed my issue with the original comment without the extracurriculars. There’s just a certain category of criticisms of professional athletes that chaps my hide.

WizsSox
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January 13, 2021 11:42 pm
Reply to  SelecaoKOJ

Well it’s a good thing they are not a good team then! If you thought they were coming into the season then that’s on you

J-Fresh
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January 14, 2021 5:28 am
Reply to  WizsSox

This is where I am at. I am looking at this as the start of new core that looks like it will be built around Fox/Hali (as it should).

In that case, hopefully Fox and Hali (or whoever our backcourt duo will be when Kings are a mature team like Blazers w Dame & CJ), will also win these games when they are in a position like the Blazers.

So I am enjoying seeing more close, high energy games, no matter the inconsistency. Inconsistency is probably the only consistency with this current team, and that is fine with me, because I am expecting this to be far from the finished product.

oshima9
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January 14, 2021 5:15 am
Reply to  SelecaoKOJ

I thought something similar. I’m starting to wonder if this team has an ingrained losing mentality, necessitating a major roster turnover, but there is an admittedly significant talent deficiency, too. Not a lot of defenders and players with high BBIQ other than Haliburton. I’m not a big Bagley fan, but trying to develop him on the floor with other players who don’t consistently play defense and don’t move the ball well is a challenge. He plays so much better when Hali is out there with him. Shockingly, I’m starting to understand why his father demanded a trade.

Marty
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January 14, 2021 9:37 am
Reply to  oshima9

I think it’s probably viewed as a career stop for many players, to be honest. I don’t think that’s unusual in professional sports but in Sacramento’s case it could be the norm.

Otis
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January 14, 2021 6:59 am
Reply to  SelecaoKOJ

I don’t know if they are mentally weak, so much as a bad defensive team is going to blow leads more frequently than a good one.

HopelesslyHopeful
January 13, 2021 10:30 pm

I’ve seen guys on here upset that Metu and Guy don’t get more minutes. Well, Metu got some run which coincided with losing one of the leads. There you have it.

RORDOG
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January 13, 2021 10:34 pm

He had a bad game. I don’t really see why this game is definitive proof Metu is incapable of earning minutes.

Brizz
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January 14, 2021 12:20 am

He got thrown into the game with a stupid lineup for like three minutes…

MillersCornrows
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January 14, 2021 1:28 am
Reply to  Brizz

Yep. 100%. Metu and 4 guards was beyond stupid.

HopelesslyHopeful
January 14, 2021 8:06 am

Yeah, I didn’t mean my comment as “Metu sucks”, I just thought the rotation was funky and probably not the time to get cheeky playing him such an extended stretch. I thought he’d get a couple minutes to help keep Holmes out of foul trouble, then Walton trotted him out to start the 4th… Not Metu’s fault.

MillersCornrows
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January 14, 2021 1:23 pm

I like Metu and a lot of us want to see him play. Walton had ample opportunity to play him in the last few blowouts more than he did.

Last edited 1 year ago by MillersCornrows
aplumley
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January 14, 2021 8:21 am

Metu was awful in his three minutes. But I’d also say that some players not to be named have been awful for much longer stretches but have been allowed to grow. And he did have that monster dunk at least. I’d give him more looks.

MillersCornrows
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January 14, 2021 1:30 pm

Your comment does lack context.

Last edited 1 year ago by MillersCornrows
ajonez81
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January 13, 2021 10:34 pm

Fun game to watch, Kings almost pissed me off and won (please stop finishing just outside the playoffs and tank Kings).

Gregoryl
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January 14, 2021 9:00 am
Reply to  ajonez81

Right. This is exactly what many fans want: The team barely lost, the core (?) had decent numbers, and Buddy increased his trade value.

TerzoM
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January 13, 2021 10:41 pm

Dame and CJ just too good tonight. Clippers next? You never know, either we are tanking or we can beat anyone 😁

ForKingsandCountry
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January 13, 2021 10:43 pm

Kings tied for the 8th worst record with the 2nd worst point differential. Right on track for a high pick. Honestly just knowing that Haliburton is going to be awesome makes this season a win for me. Get a high pick and grab a stud in next years draft and move forward with Fox/Haliburton/Lottery pick and we may have something.

Kosta
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January 13, 2021 10:44 pm

+ Holmes if possible, please!

ForKingsandCountry
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January 13, 2021 10:51 pm
Reply to  Kosta

Yeah I’d be happy with them finding a way to keep Holmes. I love watching him play.

Kingsguru21
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January 14, 2021 11:16 am

The good news is the Kings have options to resign Richaun. Unfortunately any of them exceeding 10 million means opening up cap room.

ForKingsandCountry
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January 14, 2021 8:40 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Yeah I could actually see him sticking around for awhile if he’s willing to do a 4/40 type deal (assuming that’s possible, I am not the cap expert).

kingsforaday
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January 14, 2021 6:55 am

Can we add hiring a better/more likable coach to the list of things that would make this season successful? I realllly hope we aren’t forced to endure another season of Walton coaching next year. I find myself satisfied with the losses not only for draft purposes but also with the hope that we may be able to justify moving on from this HC.

ForKingsandCountry
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January 14, 2021 8:41 pm
Reply to  kingsforaday

Given that this was always going to be a transition year, I would guess he’ll be gone at the end of the season. If things really go south he might be gone by mid season.

ForKingsandCountry
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January 13, 2021 10:54 pm

Right now this team is giving off very 2019 Wizards vibes. They can definitely score and I have a feeling the offense will be pretty good with Haliburton on the court but the defense is just terrible. I do think the opponents shooting is a tiny bit flukey. Some of the shots the Blazers made tonight were well contested. But generally this is a bad team.

RikSmits
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January 13, 2021 11:06 pm

There will always be some contested shots going in.
It’s impossible to ignore the overall trend.

richie88
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January 13, 2021 11:23 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

It felt like Portland made more contested shots than a team would usually make (though most of those contested shots were made by Lillard & CJ, who are great players).

SelecaoKOJ
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January 13, 2021 11:31 pm
Reply to  richie88

Portland has the best backcourt in the NBA. But, they don’t play any D either. It’s not one game. It’s these first 12. Kings give up more pts then any team in the league. Tonite, was like every almost every other game, so far this season. This Defense is bad. Real bad. Defense is more about effort than anything else.

WizsSox
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January 13, 2021 11:51 pm
Reply to  SelecaoKOJ

Thats mostly bullshit. The majority of the guys are trying their best and giving effort most of the time. Half of them just have poor defensive instincts, experience or scheme.

And half is too many

BestHyperboleEver
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