Articles | Game Recap

Raptors 124, Kings 101: Basketball Hell

A great night for fans of garbage time.

The Sacramento Kings arrived to the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on Monday night riding a rough two-game losing streak. Sacramento followed up an all-time Kangz loss in Charlotte with a horrendous effort in Cleveland to put together the worst run of Alvin Gentry's tenure as the Kings' head coach. So far. And despite those losses, the team woke up Monday morning as the reigning 10th seed in the Western Conference play-in race.

The bottom of the West is just begging for somebody to start playing decent basketball, but it sure as hell wasn't the Kings tonight.

Gentry rolled out another new starting lineup for this one which felt like an appropriate response to their offensive effort in Cleveland. Richaun Holmes is still out with an eye injury, so the Kings started Alex Len, Chimezie Metu, Harrison Barnes, Tyrese Haliburton, and De'Aaron Fox. Early returns on that unit were pretty terrible.

The Raptors jumped out to a quick 11-0 lead which should have told us exactly where this game was going, but for one fleeting moment in the middle of the the first quarter, the Kings looked like a competent basketball team. Then came the 2nd quarter, and it was at that point that I stopped taking real notes down because the Kings stopped playing basketball.

Toronto dominated Sacramento 40-23 in the 2nd quarter, and carried a 70-45 lead into the half. Seventy to forty-five. There is nothing valuable to say about an NBA game where roughly 40 of the 48 regulation minutes were garbage time.

I'm saying nothing new here, but this team is a mess right now. They've been a mess for a while, of course, but things are particularly messy in this moment. Their defense is as bad as it has ever been in a season where they themselves talked about playoff expectations. Embarrassing is a good word.

I don't know what else to say about this one, fellow people with questionable decision making who are still watching this basketball team. I guess we're all just waiting to see what happens next, right? Will Monte McNair finally make an impact move, or will we continue to watch Vlade Divac's roster flounder?

Monte McNair has to know that his seat is rapidly warming up, yeah? Even if ownership is telling him he's safe, I would advise him that this is Sacramento – nobody is safe. Ownership expectations and executive job security can change on a whim. There is no time to wait. With McNair's back against the wall, I don't believe that he'll go down without a swing, so we'll see what happens over the next couple of weeks.

To make matters more difficult, opposing general managers know that the Kings are desperate right now. McNair has the difficult job of picking a direction – playoff push or rebuild, and maneuver around that direction without getting fleeced by teams that know you're deeply broken.

But that's just life as a King fan. See you back here on Wednesday.

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Markaroni
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December 13, 2021 6:34 pm

Someone explain to me why this season has me more dejected than any other during the drought. It’s been bad this whole time, but this year has felt the worst.

shawndeon
December 13, 2021 6:36 pm
Reply to  Markaroni

Because everyone realizes that it’s not the coach. it’s the players, and the organization. The entire team is just a bunch of people who haven’t the first clue how to win.

SmoothSactown
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December 13, 2021 6:48 pm
Reply to  shawndeon

It’s this, above all else. Let’s be real: Vlade was a huuuge issue. Getting rid of him had to happen. Walton was a huuuuge issue. It had to happen. But now that the massive piles of turds have been removed from the lawn, we can focus on the fact that the lawn is dead. There was good reason to be hyped about Fox, but it’s increasingly obvious that he’s not going to make it to heights need to break the Kings out. Then the rest of the cast range from Nice to mediocre. That’s not enough, and we don’t have the capital to launch higher.

And once more, another year into purgatory.

TerzoM
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December 13, 2021 6:50 pm
Reply to  SmoothSactown

The source of the cancer is still there

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Markaroni
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December 13, 2021 7:43 pm
Reply to  TerzoM

Is there evidence Vivek is still meddling? Seemed like there was more news about it while Vlade was around, but it seems more rumor lately. Idk though.

In any case, it’s super troubling, at least considering my own experience. I consider myself a pretty ardent fan, and most seasons I usually watch for player development once the playoffs are out of the picture, because before there was a future to look forward to, but now I find myself more curious/hopeful about seeing players like Hali and Mitchell excelling on other teams. Like I find myself watching and rooting for players like Bogi and Bjeli, while in years past I wouldn’t have (I’m a Kings/playoffs fan more than general NBA fan, I guess).

Gregoryl
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December 13, 2021 8:11 pm
Reply to  Markaroni

Ham recently reported the org structure in basketball ops is Vivek/Dumars at the top and Monte somewhere in the middle. I have said this many times: I think Monte is a smart basketball mind, and do not believe it was his decision alone to chase the play-in last year instead of blowing it up, and keeping Walton.
We are an army of knuckleheads at TKH, and 90% of knew those were the wrong moves.

rockbottom
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December 13, 2021 8:39 pm
Reply to  Markaroni

Why does he hire only GM’s that have never ran a franchise ? Answer- He is the shadow GM but needs a fall guy !

Falconsfury
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December 13, 2021 8:41 pm
Reply to  TerzoM

Everything going according to plans!

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Amonk81
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December 13, 2021 7:05 pm
Reply to  shawndeon

Correction. -It’s the OWNER. He runs a fucked up, probably underpaid amd under appreciated and understaffed organization. The whole thing is rotten to the core .

There’s no sign of him backing off.

I think many fans thought/hoped but doubted, as I did, that hiring McNair meant Vivek backing off and letting GM-Monte run the show. Nope.

This ownership is living in an alternate reality. 10th seed? Can’t they see how horrid this all is? Nope. Ego blind.

kings4ever
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December 14, 2021 7:11 am
Reply to  Amonk81

Allegedly Vivek was entertaining the idea of Doug Christie as interim.

If he was the incompetent intereferer you claim him to be, why did not just get his way?

Why is Doug not in charge now?

The best we can do is try to read the tea leaves, but it seems that the owner deferred to the judgement of the GM with the naming of Gentry.

Vivek allowed the GM to chose the man more prepared for the job over the splashy hire.

So how do you reconcile this probability with your assessment of the owner?

I’ll wait for an answer that makes sense. I think I will be waiting a while.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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December 14, 2021 7:26 am
Reply to  kings4ever

From what I read, it was Vivek who wanted Doug, but it was McNair, Dumars, and Wilcox who wanted Gentry. It took 3 basketball minds to convince Vivek.

The issue I have, is that we heard that Vivek wanted Doug. Why is he still giving his input to what he wants if McNair is supposedly in charge of making all basketball decisions? That is unnecessary pressure and influence from a owner on a GM.

Gregoryl
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December 14, 2021 9:27 am
Reply to  Adamsite

I heard the same thing. It is ridiculous that 3 basketball minds had to convince an inept owner of their recommendation.

Ham also mentioned how toxic it is now b/c everyone knows that Vivek’s next head coach is already sitting on the bench. Why would Gentry, or any prospective head coach, want this job if they knew that any slip-up and Vivek is running into Monte’s office saying, “I told you so, time to promote Doug!”

Amonk81
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December 14, 2021 11:37 am
Reply to  kings4ever

I love your obnoxious tone.

Adamaste and others answered your query.

Plus, about a billion other examples of Vivek meddling. Why would you think it’s anything else when most things point to Vivek still running things?

satdawg
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December 13, 2021 7:22 pm
Reply to  shawndeon

It’s not the players fault really, most of these guys are very average at best

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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December 13, 2021 8:03 pm
Reply to  satdawg

This is very true. The team has no top end talent.

Rosevillain
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December 13, 2021 6:42 pm
Reply to  Markaroni

Weren’t we the first first team in NBA history to go undefeated in both Summer League and Preseason?

deepshot22
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December 13, 2021 7:23 pm
Reply to  Markaroni

I’ll second this. I’ve chosen to not watch more games already this year than any full season previously.

Marty
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December 13, 2021 6:42 pm

Cue Charlie Brown’s teacher voice

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GFunkClassic
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December 13, 2021 7:06 pm
Reply to  Marty

-165 is this a legit stat? I’m a J and 2 beers deep right now, too lazy to look it up. Because you can’t just add up individuals +/- , right?….example a team only plays 5 players and loses by 20 point’s…did starters lose by a combined -100 points?

Last edited 9 months ago by GFunkClassic
Kosta
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December 13, 2021 7:18 pm
Reply to  GFunkClassic

Yeah, that’s kinda weird.

Amonk81
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December 13, 2021 7:37 pm
Reply to  GFunkClassic

Stoned and 2 beers deep is a requirement to survive the Kings experience.

GFunkClassic
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December 13, 2021 8:00 pm
Reply to  Amonk81

comment image

Last edited 9 months ago by GFunkClassic
KingOfTheMonsters
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December 13, 2021 9:11 pm
Reply to  Amonk81

Take a hit for me.

Amonk81
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December 13, 2021 10:42 pm

Done…..and done again.

KingOfTheMonsters
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December 14, 2021 10:59 am
Reply to  Amonk81

I still don’t feel anything.

KingOfTheMonsters
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December 14, 2021 10:59 am

wait … wait … uncontrollable laughter.

Amonk81
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December 14, 2021 11:39 am

Ha. I’ll smoke more next time.

KangzofLeon
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December 13, 2021 6:46 pm

I mean, the good news is we are tanking whether on purpose or not

deepshot22
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December 13, 2021 7:21 pm
Reply to  KangzofLeon

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

ScottyPop
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December 13, 2021 7:52 pm
Reply to  KangzofLeon

That’s the thing though, they’re not.

Gonna finish one spot out of the play-in. With a pick between 9 and 13.

Tunel_21
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December 13, 2021 6:51 pm

Blow it up

RikSmits
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December 13, 2021 7:21 pm
Reply to  Tunel_21

GIVE ME A DETAILED PLAN!!!

Amonk81
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December 13, 2021 7:39 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

ha

First -you blow it up

Second- you rebuild

Third -you might actually be able to call yourself a professional organization and mean it.

RobHessing
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December 13, 2021 6:51 pm

This seems about right for this team:

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Carl
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December 13, 2021 6:54 pm

To make matters more difficult, opposing general managers know that the Kings are desperate right now.

And if the front office hadn’t been sitting around holding their d… being “patient,” “disciplined” and proclaiming what a fantastic place they were as far as the roster goes, they wouldn’t be in this spot right now. Their inaction was inevitably going to lead to a situation where movement is more difficult. It’s certainly not impossible to make a move to improve the team, but it’s very likely tougher today than it was in the offseason, at the deadline and in the prior offseason.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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December 13, 2021 8:08 pm
Reply to  Carl

Yup. Monte has painted himself into a corner by his own design.

“This is a playoff roster” – Monte McNair

“Walton will take us to the playoffs.” -Monte McNair

These (somewhat accurate) quotes are just from a few month ago.

HoustonJP
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December 13, 2021 6:56 pm

Geeforshitsky.

Kosta
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December 13, 2021 7:11 pm

I started drinking as soon as the Toronto starters were introduced.
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Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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December 13, 2021 8:14 pm
Reply to  Kosta

The incredible thing about that team that just beat the Kings, is they had just one lottery pick, in Barnes, and only two other first round picks in Siakam (27th) and Flynn (29th). The rest of the players tonight were second round picks or undrafted.

That is incredible.

FWIW, the Kings started 4 lottery picks, and brought 4 first round picks off the bench.

Last edited 9 months ago by Adamsite
KingOfTheMonsters
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December 14, 2021 11:03 am
Reply to  Adamsite

And they’ve won a championship.

RobHessing
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December 13, 2021 7:12 pm

On pace for 32 wins & the 7th worst record in the league.

Kosta
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December 13, 2021 7:14 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

we don’t even have enough moral victories to get into the moral playoffs.
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Last edited 9 months ago by Kosta
markdog333
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December 13, 2021 7:23 pm
Reply to  Kosta

I think we have enough moral losses for the moral lottery, so we’ve got that going for us.

Amonk81
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December 13, 2021 7:31 pm
Reply to  Kosta

Yes, but we can get into the playin game, and that’s all that really matters anyway.

Adamsite
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December 13, 2021 8:15 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

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Last edited 9 months ago by Adamsite
catterj
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December 13, 2021 8:37 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Hello 7th pick my old friend. They’ve come to screw you up again.

Last edited 9 months ago by catterj
KingOfTheMonsters
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December 13, 2021 9:18 pm
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It’s not the pick that screws you, it’s the picker.

Kosta
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December 13, 2021 7:12 pm

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Klam
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December 13, 2021 7:19 pm
Reply to  Kosta

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Klam
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December 13, 2021 7:28 pm
Reply to  Kosta

+1 Perfect timing on this GIF, considering it’s been raining almost non-stop since yesterday here in NorCal (with some more rain throughout this week too).

markdog333
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December 13, 2021 7:22 pm

Happy Dance GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

KINGS2110
December 13, 2021 7:40 pm

We’re at the point where we know Fox is not the star that can lead this team. There should have been noticeable progress by now. I keep seeing reports of the Kings being interested in this player and that player. This organization should be interested in every good player in the league. No one is untouchable when you’re this bad.

Markaroni
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December 13, 2021 7:53 pm
Reply to  KINGS2110

We all just have to be emotionally prepared to see Fox killing it once he leaves.

BeTheBall
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December 13, 2021 9:01 pm
Reply to  Markaroni

Not a chance. If he leaves, he’ll wind up in a situation where he’s a #3 option putting up 17 or 18 a night. That’s the type of player he ultimately is. We’re just used to him stat stuffing on terrible teams that have no other players better than him (which is why we’re a perennial 30-win team)

KINGS2110
December 13, 2021 9:59 pm
Reply to  Markaroni

That may happen but it’s not working nor has it worked since he was drafted. The sad part is we had that star in DeMarcus but unbelievable talent was ruined by his attitude and his refusal to get along with his coaches and teammates. You have to move Fox and get what you can for him.

KINGS2110
December 13, 2021 10:02 pm
Reply to  KINGS2110

Swing for the fences. What’s the worst that can happen? We miss the playoffs again? 🤷‍♂️

Last edited 9 months ago by KINGS2110
BeTheBall
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December 13, 2021 10:12 pm
Reply to  KINGS2110

What if Fox is really just our Monta Ellis? The very good but not great guard we have to finally send packing to get this team moving in the right direction.

Last edited 9 months ago by BeTheBall
RikSmits
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December 13, 2021 10:20 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

Waiting for the Vivek “Go on”-meme.

KINGS2110
December 13, 2021 10:23 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

Only one way to find out…

RikSmits
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December 13, 2021 10:48 pm
Reply to  Markaroni

comment image

TheGrantNapear
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December 13, 2021 7:45 pm

But I thought Luke was the problem?

BeTheBall
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December 13, 2021 9:02 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

“A” problem….along with the roster and management. Regardless, he’ll likely not land another HC job in the NBA, and rightfully so.

Last edited 9 months ago by BeTheBall
TheGrantNapear
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December 14, 2021 8:16 am
Reply to  BeTheBall

The only solution is an infusion of talent. Luke, Gentry or whoever isn’t changing a thing.

GFunkClassic
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December 13, 2021 7:45 pm

Simmer down now. No we haven’t played good the last few games…quite terrible the last 2 games being honest. Real shit the bed kind of games. But we’re still .5 games from the 10 seed (play in), and only 4 games out from the 5th seed, 5 games out of the 4th Seed.

Last edited 9 months ago by GFunkClassic
GFunkClassic
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December 13, 2021 7:50 pm
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Simmer Down Now Cheri Oteri GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Last edited 9 months ago by GFunkClassic
Gregoryl
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December 13, 2021 8:14 pm
Reply to  GFunkClassic

Don’t. Just don’t.

GFunkClassic
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December 13, 2021 8:22 pm
Reply to  Gregoryl

I will…

Fail Falling Down GIF by RETROFUNK - Find & Share on GIPHY

Last edited 9 months ago by GFunkClassic
RPO
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December 13, 2021 8:24 pm
Reply to  Gregoryl

Have a rec

RobHessing
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December 13, 2021 8:45 pm
Reply to  GFunkClassic

The 10 seed ain’t shit. It’s a lowering of an already low bar.

32 win pace. 7th worst record in the NBA. That is where this team is on 12/13/21. A shitty team playing shitty basketball.

GFunkClassic
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December 13, 2021 9:03 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

10th seed is the new playoffs. That format seems to be staying. They have been playing shitty basketball the last few games, no argument there. But there’s still like 44 games or so left to be played. And the numbers say they’re still very much in the thick of things, as of now. We’re not even at halftime of the season, and people are giving up. I’m not there yet.

BeTheBall
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December 13, 2021 9:08 pm
Reply to  GFunkClassic

Remember, they were tied for the 1 seed after opening night. We’re only 11.5 away from reclaiming that.

GFunkClassic
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December 14, 2021 4:13 pm
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The Rock Reaction GIF by WWE - Find & Share on GIPHY

RobHessing
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December 13, 2021 9:31 pm
Reply to  GFunkClassic

For the last 15 years the Kings could not be among the 53% of the league that makes the playoffs. So now the bar has been lowered so that 67% of the league makes the playoffs or play-in. And if the play-in started today, the Kings would be on the outside, looking in.

.500 is the minimum baseline for me. And this team seems to still be light years away from that.

GFunkClassic
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December 14, 2021 4:08 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

I hear ya…but it’s been so long I’ll take whatever I can get. If that’s a sub .500, 10th seed so be it.

Goddamn, that's the best cracker I ever ate in my life!

BabalooMagoo
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December 14, 2021 7:06 am
Reply to  GFunkClassic

10th seed is the 9th loser.

Kosta
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December 14, 2021 7:08 am
Reply to  BabalooMagoo

If you’re not first, you’re last!

KINGS2110
December 13, 2021 10:31 pm
Reply to  GFunkClassic

We haven’t played well in 15 years.

Last edited 9 months ago by KINGS2110
TheGrantNapear
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December 13, 2021 7:48 pm

Does anyone still watch the games? If yes, why?

GFunkClassic
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December 13, 2021 7:57 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

I watch them because you’re not on the call…

RPO
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December 13, 2021 8:25 pm
Reply to  GFunkClassic

Well played

TheGrantNapear
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December 14, 2021 8:17 am
Reply to  GFunkClassic

I miss me.

Last edited 9 months ago by TheGrantNapear
krswin
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December 14, 2021 8:36 am
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

I don’t care, I sure miss him and Jerry. Who is this guy with Kayte? Every time someone hits a three it’s, “and so and so with the ‘three game'”. Or Holmes does his push shot, “and Holmes with the push game”, “the float game”, Jesus its irritating.

Adamsite
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December 13, 2021 8:18 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

To root losses.
.
.
.
.
.
No really, I’m at that point. I want it to burn.

deepshot22
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December 13, 2021 8:28 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

When can we meet and do this together?

JackassCentral916
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December 13, 2021 8:54 pm
Reply to  deepshot22

I live in Sac, and one of these days would love to get together in person with y’all to watch a game and be angry together.

deepshot22
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December 13, 2021 10:37 pm

I’m in Loomis and more than agreeable to that.

Kosta
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December 13, 2021 11:20 pm
Reply to  deepshot22

I’m in Pasadena.

Can we all meet halfway? Say….Firebaugh?

deepshot22
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December 14, 2021 6:07 am
Reply to  Kosta

Sure, may as well be in hell to experience hell.

krswin
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December 14, 2021 8:36 am
Reply to  deepshot22

LOL

1951
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December 14, 2021 6:29 am
Reply to  Kosta

We should all meet in Temecula and fight all the anti-tankers!

Kosta
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December 14, 2021 7:10 am
Reply to  1951

comment image

Jman1949
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December 14, 2021 8:07 am
Reply to  Kosta

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SMF-PDXConnection
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December 14, 2021 1:31 pm
Reply to  Kosta

Come to Portland, we sure know how to party after the last two years.

Marty
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December 13, 2021 8:50 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I’ve been rooting for chaos and dysfunction for two years. It’s honestly WAY more healthy and sane.

BeTheBall
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December 13, 2021 9:04 pm
Reply to  Marty

Thankfully, we’ve had chaos and dysfunction for 15 years.

Marty
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December 13, 2021 9:07 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

That’s why rooting for chaos and dysfunction is healthy, you know it’s coming.

We’ll probably get a locker room incident any minute now if we’re lucky.

Last edited 9 months ago by Marty Marty
BeTheBall
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December 13, 2021 10:15 pm
Reply to  Marty

Seems like we may have just had that with a players only meeting that nobody wants to really acknowledge.

GrandCanyonFunyun
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December 14, 2021 5:57 am
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

No lol. Especially if I have to listen to the terrible commentary duo.

RPO
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RPO
December 13, 2021 8:23 pm

The unintentional tank, humvee, Bradley, whatever you wanna call it, continues. Honestly, it’s very hard for me to believe this organization is actually interested in winning games anymore. I think it’s all about staying profitable, regardless of the on-court product.

Marty
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December 13, 2021 8:49 pm
Reply to  RPO

I think the dismissive little chap got one hell of a real estate deal and I expect him to cash out at some point.

Adamsite
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