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Rockets 102, Kings 94: Get well soon, Tyrese!

The Kings missed Tyrese Haliburton more than the Rockets missed James Harden.

The Kings were on the receiving end of a late gift heading into tipoff this afternoon. Rockets star James Harden went through warmups, but was a late scratch with a right ankle sprain he suffered at the end of Thursday's 122-119 victory over Sacramento when he collided with John Wall on a congested inbound.

So James Harden is out for the Rockets with a sprained ankle, and Tyrese Haliburton is out for the Kings with a bone bruise in his wrist. That sounds like an even trade to me.

The game started with a wild offensive flurry from both teams. The Kings had no answer for Christian Wood or John Wall, who continues to look pretty damn impressive considering the severity of injury he's coming back from.

With Haliburton out of the lineup, Luke Walton subbed out Fox a bit earlier than usual and in those difficult minutes without an above-average creator on the floor, Buddy Hield really came through and carried the offensive load until Fox checked back in. Fox looked damn near unstoppable in his second run and finished the quarter with 10 points on perfect 4/4 shooting from the field.

The first quarter ended with an even 36-36 tie. No defense was played. The Kings dominated the paint with a 22-8 points-in-the-paint scoring advantage, but the Rockets dominated the perimeter with scorching 6-12 shooting from beyond the arc.

The Kings fell behind in the 2nd quarter thanks to a Haliburton-less bench unit that struggled to get anything going offensively. Houston really outplayed Sacramento for a significant run here and extended the lead to 7, but Marvin Bagley, who struggled mightily in the first quarter, came alive late in the 2nd and helped the Kings brute force their way to a tie with relentless pressure in the paint. Spacing is always going to be an issue with the Richaun Holmes - Marvin Bagley frontcourt, but they have, on occasion, made up for that lack of space with total paint control, and we saw that again here to close out the half. 64-64 going into halftime.

The Kings got a significant break to open the 2nd half as Christian Wood picked up an early 5th foul and had to sub out. Unfortunately the Kings couldn't take advantage of Wood's absence, and instead got cooked by John Wall repeatedly. Buddy Hield's shooting once again kept the Kings within striking distance, but the Rockets had some early momentum here thanks to Wall's dominance. Sacramento's defense was just incredibly lazy here. There were several instances where Wall was already at the rim before the Kings had their defense set, and often resulted in an easy bucket for the Rockets or an out-of-position foul. I don't know how much of this was Wall returning to form vs. the Kings turning in a truly pathetic defensive stretch, but they had no answer for him all night.

Sacramento was able to salvage the quarter in the closing minutes after Wall subbed out and the Rockets offense was forced to rely on a struggling DeMarcus Cousins. Fox picked his game up with Wall on the bench, and what was a 7-point Rockets lead quickly shrunk to 2 heading in the 4th quarter. 83-81 Rockets.

The Kings were completely stuck in the mud to start the 4th. The Rockets kept scoring and extended the lead to 11, the largest lead for either team to this point. I've said this on multiple occasions in this recap already, but man the absence of Tyrese Haliburton was felt on the Kings bench unit all night long.

Houston never lost control from there, and the second half against the Rockets tonight was the worst half of basketball we've seen out of the Kings all season. There was no creativity offensively, and no urgency defensively as Houston walked to the paint for layup after layup without much resistance.

Sacramento scored 64 points in the first half, but could only come up with 30 total points in the second half, including a putrid 13-point 4th quarter.

It's also worth noting here that Marvin Bagley didn't see the floor as part of the crunch time rotation again tonight. That is becoming a trend for Luke Walton, and while I can't argue that he's earned a crunch time spot with his play, Bagley's development is something we're all watching closely, and yes, it's still very early, but there hasn't been a lot of good things happening there.

On that note, in what is sure to spark more discussion than a terrible early-season loss to the Harden-less Rockets, Marvin Bagley's dad has requested a trade for his son before the final buzzer. The tweet has since been deleted, but screenshots live forever.

Remember when the Kings were 3-1? That was cool.

 

 

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Kangz_Landing
January 2, 2021 4:51 pm

You’re missing your 2nd best playmaker to start the game and your offense has stalled to a complete fart in the middle 3rd and early 4th and you don’t tell your $160 mill PG

“Hey I’m gonna play you 40 minutes tonight, you’re the only one working tonight go get us a win.”

Not blaming Fox, this is all on Luke. Fox played 38 min OPENING NIGHT, it’s not like he can’t play more in close games!

So frustrating how Fox has been babied his whole career in the minutes department.

Lost opportunity to steal a win without Harden tonight. Give credit to the Rockets they worked their butt off tonight. Sterling Brown, Nwaba and Jae’Sean Tate are all effort guys who won this game. On to the next.

BeTheBall
January 2, 2021 5:01 pm
Reply to  Kangz_Landing

So frustrating how Fox has been babied his whole career in the minutes department.

Especially in a season where the schedule has been dramatically softened in terms of b2b and travel.

Last edited 19 days ago by BeTheBall
BestHyperboleEver
January 2, 2021 7:00 pm
Reply to  Kangz_Landing

He’s 24th in the league in MPG. He’s playing plenty. The Kings are leaning heavily on their starters overall. Fox, Barnes and Hield are all in the top 25 in MPG.

Kangz_Landing
January 3, 2021 9:47 am

I get that they’ve been playing a lot this season but his whole career so far he hasn’t avg more than 32 mpg.

Consider the circumstance of this game. We know the Kings are not tanking, you just lost a heartbreaker in game 1. It’s game 2 and Harden is out. Your win probability just went up. Don’t tell me they are better without Harden as some ppl in this chat believe, come on he’s the reason they came back on Thursday and he hit the dagger.

It was important to leave Houston with a split, De’Aaron was the only playmaker out there, let him win this game for you. Guys like Brogdon and Sabonis played over 39 min against the Knicks last night. Without Haliburton, you definitely needed Fox to go at least 38-41 like he did in the opener. Look at the 3 min to start the 4th, they went on a 9-0 run. Every minute mattered.

BestHyperboleEver
January 3, 2021 10:24 am
Reply to  Kangz_Landing

I don’t think anyone here said the Rockets are better without Harden. They said they’re still better than the Kings without Harden.

And I think you’re putting way too much emphasis on a single game early in the season. And, perhaps, overstating Fox’s impact. I mean, he was a -9 for the game. Which, you’ll notice, is more than the margin of loss.

Kangz_Landing
January 3, 2021 3:28 pm

Definitely not you, but I’ve seen the Harden argument in this thread.

I for one think we can hover around .500 for the whole year and battle for the play-in. So every game should matter even this early in the season.

I do respectfully disagree about your plus/minus argument, Barnes was also a -9 and Guy was a +6 but Fox and Barnes were clearly the most effective players last night.

Fox got us to within 2 at the end of third, took him out for the start of the 4th and we were down 11 and he came back in at 8:30. Why couldn’t he have just played the whole 4th?

It was just the narrative of this game and I hope the team learns from it and Fox gets even more minutes in close games. On to the next game.

BestHyperboleEver
January 3, 2021 4:08 pm
Reply to  Kangz_Landing

Fox was still in when we went from down 2 to 8 or 9 at the beginning of the 4th. He sat for around a minute and came back when we were down 11.

BestHyperboleEver
January 3, 2021 4:26 pm

Double checked to make sure I wasn’t totally full of shit.

9:57 left in the 4th, Hield enters for Fox. Kings down 8.

8:37, Fox enters for GRIII. Kings down 11.

from that point on Fox went:

1-5 (2 shots blocked)
1 reb
2 ast
2 TO
1 block
2 fouls

TheGrantNapear
January 2, 2021 4:53 pm

Annnnddd we’re back on track for the tank. Currently in the 8th seed but it looks like just two games off from the worst record in the league in the early going.

Adding a top five pick to a core of Fox and Hali is most important. Bagley has killed any hopes already these first few games that he’s part of a long term core and Buddy is eventually out of here.

Keep that tank rolling.

0397EC3C-1902-493A-9B53-D0862560BA52.jpeg
Amonk81
January 2, 2021 5:07 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

Bags is never going to be anything more than he is. I see no growth in the right direction.

listen to his dad—please trade him.

if Bags goes we know Vivek isn’t meddling. Bags is the anti-Hali. Makes the team worse.

a top 5 with Hali would be awesome. Kid is SOOO the real deal. Love him.

TheGrantNapear
January 2, 2021 5:40 pm
Reply to  Amonk81

Indeed I can get behind a potential big 3 of Fox, Hali and a top five pick in 2021.

Amonk81
January 2, 2021 5:42 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

Don’t think they can get Top 5 though, as Haliburton is a one anti tank.

Amonk81
January 2, 2021 5:43 pm
Reply to  Amonk81

A one MAN anti tank.

Bluejohn
January 2, 2021 10:57 pm
Reply to  Amonk81

Hali is not enough to keep us from landing towards the bottom of the Western standings by the end of the season . I have no problem with trading Marv, but he’s not going to bring back much. IMO hr’s only going to be a more polished version of what he is now.

That’s not enough to take the Kings to the next level and whatever he brings back in a trade is not going to be close to his draft position or to bring back a player who’s gonna become what Vlade must have hoped he’d become. No real loss in trading him, no real benefit either.

FairOaksBob
January 2, 2021 5:42 pm
Reply to  Amonk81

This team is too good to get a top 5 pick though. They will likely be in the 10-15 range again.

TheGrantNapear
January 2, 2021 6:31 pm
Reply to  FairOaksBob

We have to hope we lucky in the lottery.

Socalpurplecurse
January 2, 2021 6:56 pm
Reply to  FairOaksBob

As currently constructed yes but tank season doesn’t start until the trade deadline has ended and all the unrealistic feel good stories have settled snapped back to reality. We’ll most likely be at or near 500 ball club until we go sell everything at the trade deadline. As long as we are a bottom 8 team there a chance

9sac8
January 3, 2021 12:20 pm
Reply to  FairOaksBob

Totally agree. This team is better than expected. Sure, they should have split with Houston. From my standpoint, we should have won both. That’s a weak mentality. If Luke does not have this team ready to winevery night,then he needs to fuck off. This team needs to get to a mentality that going into every game, they know they will win. And if they don’t, then at least they left everything on the court. I am always on board with a winning mentality. That tank shit is weak.

These guys are professionals and should have some pride.

aplumley
January 2, 2021 8:12 pm
Reply to  Amonk81

It’s weird that Bagley’s ceiling is now Christian Wood

DaveCarlsen
January 3, 2021 5:36 am
Reply to  aplumley

Would anybody not prefer Christian Wood? That guy is playing well. That’s a bummer of a realization, but it is what it is.

RikSmits
January 2, 2021 11:35 pm
Reply to  Amonk81

I called Haliburton the anti-Bagley a few days ago and got mainly downvotes.

Interesting to see how the sentiment apparently has shifted in a few days.

Otis
January 2, 2021 9:05 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

LOL. This team isn’t tanking.

ForKingsandCountry
January 2, 2021 4:56 pm

It’s almost like the team can’t score when it only has one player that can create a shot for anybody. Who would have guessed? Losses like tonight remind me why Vlade was such an abject failure as a GM. For a guy that was such a good passer and creator it is amazing to me that he somehow didn’t know that is what it takes to play high level offensive basketball. I am hopeful that Monte understands that and the Haliburton pick gives me hope that he does.

Speaking of Haliburton, with the information we have through 5 games, I think he’s the best player on the team. Might seem like a hot take but I suspect by the end of the year it won’t be. Watching this team try to do anything without his steadying hand in the 4th quarter was just awful. And if he has to miss any significant time forget it. We are not going to win very often without him on the court.

Kangz_Landing
January 2, 2021 5:05 pm

Monte will truly prove himself with what he gets for Buddy and Bagley. Having those two on the court on the same time is death.

Amonk81
January 2, 2021 5:10 pm
Reply to  Kangz_Landing

Having Bagely in court w anyone is death. Fucks up D and spacing in O. If this was 1990 he’d be decent/of some value.

ForKingsandCountry
January 2, 2021 5:24 pm
Reply to  Amonk81

I would put Bagley in the gym every single day with Haliburton and I wouldn’t let him leave until he runs pick and roll 500 times.

ElRonToro
January 2, 2021 7:13 pm

Bagley rolls before the defender ever gets to him. Seems like one practice of let the guard’s defender get to you and makes his choice before you pop or roll is all it would take. But no progress yet.

ForKingsandCountry
January 2, 2021 7:21 pm
Reply to  ElRonToro

Yeah and that has me wondering how he is practicing. There have to be guys on the coaching staff who understand this right? This is really simple stuff that I learned in 6th grade and yet he is rolling too early EVERY SINGLE TIME. Unless he really just can’t pick this stuff up I think these things would be pretty easily fixable which is also why I’ve got some hope he can at least figure a couple things out.

Last edited 19 days ago by ForKingsandCountry
RikSmits
January 2, 2021 11:37 pm
Reply to  ElRonToro

Yeah that stood out to me too. He has a complete lack of fundamentals, it’s crazy.

9sac8
January 3, 2021 12:23 pm
Reply to  ElRonToro

Agreed. He slips the screen WAY to earlier. Damn, it least make the screen look believable.

Kingsguru21
January 2, 2021 8:05 pm

I would put Bagley in the gym every single day with Haliburton and I wouldn’t let him leave until he runs pick and roll 500 times.

This seems like a summer project to me.

Bluejohn
January 2, 2021 11:01 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Summer can’t come too early around here.

Kingsguru21
January 3, 2021 1:16 pm
Reply to  Bluejohn

At least I can breathe in wintertime.

WizsSox
January 2, 2021 5:43 pm
Reply to  Kangz_Landing

My eyes tell me the same thing… but smallish sample size and prior to tonight, the Kings are actually positive net ratings (dramatically in some cases) in almost all top 2,3,4 and 5 man line ups with Bagley on the floor. Especially when you contrast to last year when EVERY line up he was in was a net negative. https://www.basketball-reference.com/players/b/baglema01/lineups/2021

I would want to see way more than 70-100 minutes of these combos to make any judgements, but it is surprising to me. Are we just completely overly analytical when it comes to Buddy and Bags? I lose it every time a stupid Buddy turnover or Bagley gets stripped while going up for a shot. Does it influence how we evaluate other parts of their game that may be effective?

I don’t know what the answer is but putting it out there…

Last edited 19 days ago by WizsSox
BestHyperboleEver
January 2, 2021 7:04 pm
Reply to  WizsSox

As you note above, none of these stats really mean anything yet.

DaveCarlsen
January 3, 2021 5:46 am
Reply to  WizsSox

I agree. Way too early to be sure Bagley won’t pan out. Firstly, I doubt his trade value is very high right now anyway. Do we really want to trade a guy who was a consensus top 5 pick whose young and hasn’t played a complete season yet for a future 2nd rounder? Let’s continue to put time into him as a project and give him a ton of minutes. If he improves, we’ll keep him or he’ll at least be a more valuable trade asset. If he stagnates, we’ll really know what we have. This is the season to really figure this out.

Amonk81
January 2, 2021 5:08 pm

Agree about Vlade. A piece of shit GM from the jump.

And agree Hali may be the best/most valuable King soon.

TheGrantNapear
January 2, 2021 5:42 pm
Reply to  Amonk81

The fact Vlade lasted like five years says all you need to know about Vivek. Still hard to believe how long Vivek stuck with him.

Kosta
January 2, 2021 5:58 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

Even just hiring Vlade in the first place was a questionable move. How was he ever qualified to run an NBA team?

ForKingsandCountry
January 2, 2021 6:18 pm
Reply to  Kosta

Yeah I remember everyone questioning the wisdom of hiring Vlade. I know some folks were just happy that Pete D was gone. “He can’t possibly be worse right?” Welp…

Kingsguru21
January 2, 2021 8:09 pm

I remember something Carmichael Dave told Greg when he was still doing the podcast. He basically said he would have hired Sam Hinkie because he was a nerd, like the owners, but in Hinkie’s case he knew much more about basketball.

I think about that comment and I wonder if that applies to Monte McNair. Because it certainly seems like it to me, but the obvious qualifications apply here: I’m not really familiar with the dynamic. Thus could be misreading the tea leaves here.

Last edited 19 days ago by Kingsguru21
ForKingsandCountry
January 2, 2021 9:20 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Yeah I’m certainly not either but it seems plausible at least.

RikSmits
January 2, 2021 10:48 pm

This is not true.
Many commenters were very happy with Vlade as a smart basketball mind and were referring to his “experience” as president of the Serbian Olympic Comity. I kid you not.

RORDOG
January 3, 2021 8:57 am
Reply to  RikSmits

To be far, wasn’t originally hired to be the GM.

ForKingsandCountry
January 3, 2021 10:15 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Oh sure there were some but I don’t remember it being the majority. I could be wrong though. I just remember thinking it seemed insane to bring in a guy with no experience who never really seemed to show any aptitude for working in a FO.

Kingsguru21
January 2, 2021 8:06 pm
Reply to  Kosta

He played on the Glory Era Kings and has his jersey retired. That was his qualifications.

I wish I were being funny, but I’m not.

J-Fresh
January 2, 2021 11:47 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

I apologise in advance this time for being a dick.

I keep reading the word ‘qualification(s)’. I believe the word meant is competency.

By all indications, I don’t believe there to be an official exam, course or specific requirements set by the FO to hiring a GM. If I prove to be wrong, I am happy to eat crow.

Vlade has very well proven to be the wrong guy, however I would have no issue if he was an assistant GM and groomed to the GM position in hindsight (and furthering that hindsight, probably would not hire him, or give him a much shorter/tighter leash).

Just my 2 cents and sorry again for the OCD/being anal (I think I kept reading the phrase multiple times over the a handful of posts – the last one was that one straw too many).

Kosta
January 3, 2021 6:46 am
Reply to  J-Fresh

On a typical job description, it lists “qualifications”. Qualifications doesn’t necessarily mean you have passed an exam. ____years of experience is one example of a qualification.

Last edited 19 days ago by Kosta
Kingsguru21
January 3, 2021 8:13 am
Reply to  J-Fresh

I keep reading the word ‘qualification(s)’. I believe the word meant is competency.

If qualified simply means that you have held the job title in the past, then in that case Monte McNair isn’t qualified for the job, either.

But Kosta’s point that you don’t have to pass an exam is reasonable. Another is that you have other experiences not necessarily in the field that apply to the current position you’re being hired for.

Vlade was never competent in the job, either, but he was never qualified to begin with. He should have never been sitting in the chair. I don’t blame him for trying, but I do blame ownership who should have never put him there as they did.

Vlade was hired to appease the fanbase, but this ownership also kept trying for quick fixes that weren’t happening. They wanted a playoff team for the new arena by hook or by crook. And they were willing to do ill advised things to get them that (like making a horrible dumb trade with Philly) in an attempt…..to sign Wes Matthews.

Qualified GM’s don’t make the JJ Hickson deal to free up cap space for Wes Matthews let alone the Philly deal. Qualified GMs know that you can get those type of players cheaper and easier than through Free Agency.

One of the problems with this ownership I’ve found is they try too hard to make a point, and get defensive when people who know more about the NBA they do, like the media and some fans, point out easy to spot flaws in the logic. Another issue is trying to please people (like matching Bogi) when your FO is saying no.

As far as I can tell, Monte McNair has already had a more successful offseason than Vlade Divac ever did. A) the Kings did not stretch Jabari Parker in some vain attempt at marginal cap room for players that didn’t move the needle B) is attempting at building for the long haul making high value sustainable decisions like not signing a RFA when trade value (and I’m not talking Bogi only, it also includes Barnes and Hield too) doesn’t line up for you to match immediately and C) didn’t break the bank to sign players like GRIII and Whiteside if they couldn’t get a young guy who was more aligned with the future like Gary Trent Jr.

Vlade Divac whether you thought he was a good hire or not at the beginning (I thought it was stupid, short sighted and typical of this group — but I was very sour on ownership then as I am now) clearly wasn’t the best choice available. That isn’t meaningful towards Vlade, he didn’t hire himself. Ownership did. If they can’t learn that sometimes fans just aren’t going to like you today for moves you make (not firing someone, let someone walk in FA etc etc), then this team has no shot of any success moving ahead. You cant succeed in the NBA without owners learning how to take criticism, and not taking it personally at that.

This ownership group gave Vlade carte blanche to do things he wanted that didn’t make a ton of sense to a lot of people. If this ownership group gives McNair that same carte blanche, this team will be a lot better period. Because at least some one with qualified relevant experience who has appeared to be a lot more competent is now doing things that make sense and that line up with how the NBA actually works as opposed to doing things in the way you think they should work.

Quibbling about whether Vlade was qualified or incompetent is not the point, not even close. The qualification part is always dicey when talking about FO’s. It’s not that important in actuality IMO as that’s up to interpretation. The problem with the qualification point I was making is that was that seemed to be the main basis of why Vlade was hired: His history with the fanbase would smooth things over when there were moves that people would disagree with in the interim. And there was no reason to believe that after the Philly trade that competency would follow down the line.

Having said that, the question at this point is whether or not there’s someone sitting in the chair ownership won’t flip out at when they get bad news from that person. Monte McNair has previous experience that suggests he’s at least qualified to sit in the chair he’s currently in. His moves suggest a plan, regardless of agreement or optics, that are seemingly about moving forward. That at the very least is a major improvement over the Vlade era when hope and bubble gum seemed to be the plan for success.

Last edited 18 days ago by Kingsguru21
J-Fresh
January 4, 2021 5:16 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

That is all cool.

I am not disagreeing with your views on the current or past FO (I pretty much agree with all that). I was merely paraphrasing the actual definition of the word

(Qualification – 1 – a pass of an examination or an official completion of a course, especially one conferring status as a recognized practitioner of a profession or activity or 2 – a condition that must be fulfilled before a right can be acquired; an official requirement).

Without applicable defined criteria to count as satisfactory qualification for the role, one can’t be qualified/not qualified for the role. We are judging their overall competency for the role, but as far as any of us know, there is no set ‘qualifications’ for the role. I very much doubt there is this process for FO selection. Each organization seems to pick niche personnel from diversified fields, then gain ‘experience’ around the league long enough and become promoted into senior BBall GM positions.

If there was criteria set stating the GM position requires qualification in such course or have to pass certain criteria to become hired, then that is a different discussion.

For Example, for a head coaching gig, if the criteria defines the role to require a level 4 Basketball couching course or equivalent – then that can determine if the applicant is qualified/not qualified for the role.

As far as we all know this does not occur for Bball GM’s or at least for Sacramento (I can’t tell for certain witout working within that realm, however I very much doubt it based on the little dribble we hear/read). As mentioned, Vlade had prior experience with Olympic Committee which gives him some level of experience that may meet some of the job criteria, but not necessarily a qualification. Therefore his competency is judged based on his prior experience (Ability to do something successfully/efficiently). Vlade has thus far proven to be an incompetent GM, not a non-qualified one.

I am probably a bit too anal about this, since I deal with Contractor/Sub-contractor prequalification very often with my role.

Last edited 18 days ago by J-Fresh
Kangz_Landing
January 2, 2021 5:59 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

Not hard to believe considering we know that Vivek is Vivek now.

oshima9
January 2, 2021 6:38 pm

“Speaking of Haliburton, with the information we have through 5 games, I think he’s the best player on the team. Might seem like a hot take but I suspect by the end of the year it won’t be.”

I’m sure you aren’t the only one who thinks this. I had same thought myself today. I don’t think we are a good basketball team without him.

PatFenis
January 2, 2021 6:44 pm
Reply to  oshima9

certainly the most valuable.

ForKingsandCountry
January 2, 2021 6:47 pm
Reply to  oshima9

I don’t think we are good basketball team with him to be totally honest but without him we are REALLY bad. That’s not a knock on him, I just think it shows where we are. Fox is a good player and we’ve got some decent role players in Richaun, Buddy and Barnes but that’s really all we’ve got. Sadly, Fox is miscast as a star when he’s a good complementary piece and the other guys are miscast as solid starters when they are probably bench contributors on a contender. That’s just how it is at the moment.

The good news is, Fox and Haliburton in the back court is something to build on IMO. If we can get an impact wing in the draft then I think we’ll have a good chance at improvement in the future.

oshima9
January 2, 2021 6:51 pm

We are on the same page, including Fox. As you say, he’s good, but not great, and isn’t showing any signs that will change. But Haliburton is a good fit with him, because he makes up for things that Fox doesn’t do that well. 2 years from now, Haliburton will be the star, the leader of this team, not Fox.

ForKingsandCountry
January 2, 2021 6:57 pm
Reply to  oshima9

Yeah I don’t think there’s any question that Haliburton will be the leader of this team sooner rather than later. He already looks like he’s the one in charge when he’s in the game whether Fox is in or not. I actually don’t think it’s a knock on Fox necessarily although I suppose he’s on a max contract now maybe he’s supposed to be that guy. I think Fox would actually look really good on a team with other creators where he can focus more on getting his offense and creating havoc in transition. I just think he’s totally miscast as a 1A option. He’d probably look like fine as a secondary option though.

RikSmits
January 2, 2021 10:53 pm

It is a knock on Fox.
That within 6 games it is clear that a rookie is a better floot general with a much better understanding of the nuances and flow of the game and superior D than your max player is a sobering thought.

Kangz_Landing
January 3, 2021 9:53 am
Reply to  RikSmits

I 100% agree and think this proves why Hali can’t start soon enough. With Fox playing off ball, his 3pt shot won’t be a threat but his catch and drive game will be when the ball is whipping around the court after a Hali-Big pickNRoll.

Fox going one on one in the half court when the defense is set has been hit or miss, but if he gets more catch and drive opportunities with Hali handling, that’s just gonna cause more problems for the defense. More drives to the rim and more drive and kicks to open shooters.

ForKingsandCountry
January 3, 2021 10:23 am
Reply to  RikSmits

I mean sure, it is a knock on Fox but I don’t really fault him for the organization paying him to be something he’s not. It also doesn’t mean he can’t be worth the contract with the right pieces around him. I actually like Fox and see good things when I watch him play. I just think he’s more secondary creator than primary creator.

Otis
January 3, 2021 11:53 am

I think a few others here have noted it, but I think the potential of Fox and Haliburton as a combination backcourt is still pretty exciting, even if Fox isn’t a top-tier point guard. Looking forward to seeing them together for a full season or two.

Otis
January 3, 2021 11:52 am
Reply to  RikSmits

I don’t think it’s clear at all until teams are actively game planning for Haliburton.

Look, I like the kid too, but some of the praise he’s getting after six games is over the top. Unless he’s a LeBron/MJ level talent, he’s going to take his lumps at some point.

BeTheBall
January 2, 2021 4:59 pm

Again, not a surprising outcome considering the talent disparity between the two teams. I’m glad they stayed in it rather than folding and losing by 25+. Definitely missed Haliburton’s presence. That makes 6 straight (regular season) games I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching. I can’t remember the last time I said that.

Marvin is eventually going to have to comment on this bullshit from his pageant dad, or else his silence is going to look like an endorsement.

Kangz_Landing
January 2, 2021 5:13 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

I’ll have to disagree on the talent disparity and I’m not just talking about Harden’s absence with I think shifted the level of talent into our favor. Brown, Tate, and Nwaba were not in NBA rotations last year. Our whole team was, minus Guy. Plus we’ve beaten the Nuggets twice and the Suns.

A game like this proves one thing: a difference in coaching. Silas took away the Holmes pick and roll and pressured the Kings “ball handlers” not named Fox.

BeTheBall
January 2, 2021 5:27 pm
Reply to  Kangz_Landing

Denver has only won 1 game. They look lost to start the season. We’re 1-1 against the Suns, who I believe are playing a bit above themselves.

Aside from that, we definitely differ on how we rate the roster talent.

Kangz_Landing
January 2, 2021 5:50 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

Denver had Jokic twice and Murray once. Yes teams can be playing above and below their talent level based on chemistry, early kinks, etc, but strictly speaking on talent, Denver returns their WCF roster from last year minus Grant and Plumlee and we beat them twice.

By association we should definitely have been favored to beat a Harden-less Rockets team. Just my opinion.

BeTheBall
January 2, 2021 6:01 pm
Reply to  Kangz_Landing

Yeah, I don’t know. That seems too much like a “we beat X and X beat the Lakers, ergo we’re better than the Lakers.”

Kangz_Landing
January 2, 2021 6:21 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

Not really. You guys think this Rockets team without Harden is better than our team? We are just strictly talking about today’s game right? We lost to them by 3 on Friday with Harden and 8 tonight without.

Did we not drop the ball tonight? Am I missing something?

ForKingsandCountry
January 2, 2021 6:26 pm
Reply to  Kangz_Landing

Yeah I think they are. I think if we had Haliburton we’d be better and we probably would have won. I honestly think on a team with so few play makers, when you lose one, you’re basically screwed. This roster is just so flawed in it’s construction, that when you remove one of the two main engines on offense the team is prone to go in the tank because nobody is creating open shots. The defense wasn’t great but it wasn’t terrible either. The issue was nobody could score.

I think Christian Wood and John Wall are better than anybody that was on the court for the Kings tonight for what it’s worth.

Last edited 19 days ago by ForKingsandCountry
BestHyperboleEver
January 2, 2021 7:08 pm

This is ultimately the issue:

I think Christian Wood and John Wall are better than anybody that was on the court for the Kings tonight for what it’s worth.

ForKingsandCountry
January 2, 2021 7:12 pm

Yep that is definitely the issue and will continue to be until the talent base improves. Grabbing Haliburton is a huge step in the right direction thankfully and his absence tonight was glaring.

BeTheBall
January 2, 2021 6:30 pm
Reply to  Kangz_Landing

We lost to them by 3 on Friday with Harden and 8 tonight without.

I’m legit confused, are you trying to make the argument that Houston is a better team without Harden?

Kangz_Landing
January 2, 2021 6:33 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

No I’m not. They’re a better team with Harden and we lost to them by 3 but then we lost tonight by 8 when they didn’t have Harden.

And I’m addressing your original point that this team without Harden was more talented than our team tonight.

I don’t understand that.

Kangz_Landing
January 2, 2021 6:38 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

We should have won tonight.

Bluejohn
January 2, 2021 11:12 pm
Reply to  Kangz_Landing

Would just slightly change your statement to “we could have won tonight”. The game was never out of control but the Kingz just couldn’t suck it up and play like they have in previous wins and it’s just not Hali’s absence tonight.

Kangz_Landing
January 3, 2021 9:55 am
Reply to  Bluejohn

I agree. We shouldn’t have won, as we’re not there yet, but our win probability definitely increased without Harden

9sac8
January 3, 2021 12:35 pm
Reply to  Kangz_Landing

And the other night.

January 2, 2021 8:02 pm
Reply to  Kangz_Landing

Well, that was all star John Wall that we got today. They had the best player on the floor. But his supporting cast did better than ours as well. It looked so bad but it really wasn’t. 36-36, 28-28, 17-19, 13-19. This should’ve been a blowout. That defense is real! I’m happy with this.

BestHyperboleEver
January 2, 2021 6:02 pm
Reply to  Kangz_Landing

Yeeeaaaahh, sports don’t really work that way.

Otis
January 2, 2021 9:09 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

Houston had the best player on the floor today. Outside of that, the talent levels were pretty equal.

Kangz_Landing
January 3, 2021 10:00 am
Reply to  Otis

It’s the end of the Rockets rotation that levels the playing field for me and they outplayed our guys tonight

Nwaba, Tate, Sterling B., a rusty Cousins vs Cojo, GlennRob, Bjelica. We all criticize our guys, but our guys have been consistent rotation guys for a majority of their careers, you can’t say that about the Rockets bench. They just played harder. Give credit to them.

Otis
January 3, 2021 11:50 am
Reply to  Kangz_Landing

Yeah, but that’s just one game. I’d say generally, I like the Kings depth of talent better than Houston’s.

BestHyperboleEver
January 3, 2021 12:51 pm
Reply to  Otis

The NBA isn’t really a league of depth though. I mean, assuming you have the high end talent, depth is better than no-depth. But without the high-end talent, depth is pretty much moot.

Otis
January 4, 2021 6:21 am

Absolutely.

Want-to-be-gm
January 2, 2021 5:05 pm

Definitely missed Haliburton but Buddy was awful. He has to shoot better and be better with his decision making when he has the ball. The Kings looked lost when Fox was out of the game. Really confused on what’s happening with Bagley. He’s looked good in spurts and was very active early especially on the boards. Showing some good post down moves although needs to be cleaner with his finishing moves. 6’ 10” guys with that kind of athleticism and agility are rare. Patience is the word right now.

The Rockets could be the sleeping giant of the league if the Harden soap opera gets resolved. Wall and Wood are huge additions. With some time I think Cousins will also make contributions.

keith_kar
January 2, 2021 6:33 pm
Reply to  Want-to-be-gm

For an elite scorer, Buddy hasn’t had a breakout game yet. Going into tonight’s game I was thinking we’ll need 30 from Buddy. He looks off this season, and I can’t wait to see what we can get for him at the trade deadline.

Kangz_Landing
January 2, 2021 6:36 pm
Reply to  keith_kar

In no way is Buddy elite. Lou Williams is the most elite non all star scorer so he’s the standard.

Buddy cannot create for himself, finish at the rim, and get himself to the line. He’s a streaky shooter at best.

BestHyperboleEver
January 2, 2021 7:11 pm
Reply to  keith_kar

He isn’t really an elite scorer. He’s an elite shooter.

January 2, 2021 8:07 pm
Reply to  keith_kar

I wonder how much of that has to do with the extra energy he’s spending on the D. He has been chasing good scorers all 6 games.

oshima9
January 2, 2021 9:55 pm
Reply to  Sir_tajj

I’ve wondered about that, too. But at some point, he has to be able to play well on both ends of the floor.

Kangz_Landing
January 3, 2021 10:03 am
Reply to  Sir_tajj

Steph and Klay run around for 35 minutes all game and have heavier mileage. Not Klay now, but healthy Klay. Buddy needs to work through it.

aplumley
January 2, 2021 5:09 pm

Tyrese Haliburton and James Harden both out and the Rockets win by more than when they both payed. PROOF that Haliburton is better than Harden.

Bluejohn
January 2, 2021 11:15 pm
Reply to  aplumley

Please……..you may be right at some point,,,,,but not yet.

BabalooMagoo
January 2, 2021 5:12 pm

11 assists total, 39% shooting, 71% ft shooting, no wonder we lost.

January 2, 2021 5:12 pm

Like I freakin’ said, TEAM HALI >>> TEAM BAGLEY.

Kangz_Landing
January 2, 2021 5:17 pm

Buddy and Bagley for Al Horford, Ty Jerome and 3 1st rounders is looking nice right now.

BeTheBall
January 2, 2021 5:32 pm
Reply to  Kangz_Landing

27M a year for a 10/8/3 guy? Yeesh.

Kangz_Landing
January 2, 2021 5:55 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

27M a year for a career 14/8/3 guy who has played in more playoff games then 90% of the league.

Or $22 million a year for a streaky shooter who can’t dribble, pass, defend, or keep his emotions professional.

Plus an inevitable extension for a skinny Center who can’t dribble, pass, defend, shoot, or keep his dad off social media.

And did I mention 1st round picks? Not expecting 3 but I was reaching.

BeTheBall
January 2, 2021 6:00 pm
Reply to  Kangz_Landing

Rondo & Marco played in a massive amount of playoff games, too. That meant nothing here. OKC doesn’t seem to be in the business of dishing 1st rounders, either. Especially to move a guy the just acquired.

BestHyperboleEver
January 2, 2021 6:06 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

Yeah, there’s no real reason the Thunder would do it. The Kings missed their chance on that type of deal for Horford.

Kangz_Landing
January 2, 2021 6:37 pm

I think Bagley would be a player they’d take a chance on rather than another late 1st round pick that they own. Just my opinion.

BestHyperboleEver
January 2, 2021 7:18 pm
Reply to  Kangz_Landing

Maybe. I think the team control is a much bigger deal than many people think.

but really I was talking about sacrificing value to unload Horford.

Last edited 19 days ago by BestHyperboleEver
Carl
January 3, 2021 11:51 am

I don’t think three firsts were ever in the conversation based on the assets the Kings had at the time.

BestHyperboleEver
January 3, 2021 12:40 pm
Reply to  Carl

I mean, 3 1sts aren’t really in the conversation now either. What I’m saying is that Philly was in a position where it made sense to give up assets to unload Horford’s contract. OKC is not. They’re better off just holding onto him. He’s a useful player and even within him on the payroll they’ll still have space to add 2 max players next offseason (and the assets to trade for a pre-max star if they want to).

Last edited 18 days ago by BestHyperboleEver
9sac8
January 3, 2021 12:41 pm

I don’t understand…whoTF wants Horford???? He’s just as trash as the trash (Bagley) we already have on the team.

BestHyperboleEver
January 3, 2021 3:20 pm
Reply to  9sac8

He’s not trash at all. He’s way overpaid and he isn’t what he once was. But he would still be one of the top 3 or so players on the Kings. Teams with plenty of cap space would want him because he’s a reliable, useful veteran player who theoretically comes baring additional assets. Last year, in a down season, he put up a higher VORP, WS, BPM (which is kinda double counting VORP but also shows his advantage wasn’t just because he played more minutes) and RPM Wins, and would have placed 3rd on the Kings for RAPM.

Kangz_Landing
January 2, 2021 6:30 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

Rondo and Marco do not compare here. That team was a dead-end with Coach Karl.

Luke’s deficiencies aside, the team is playing inspired ball. Horford is professionalism glue-guy personified. Will help any team right now.

If he doesn’t and is truly washed, then great might as well lose and get an extra 1st rounder in the process.

They’d part with at least 1 first rounder for Buddy and to see what they can do for Bagley. Especially those late 1sts they have from LAC, HOU, PHI, etc.

KingsSince85
January 2, 2021 5:21 pm

I hate hearing tank talk! Two relatively close losses to a team that will likely be a playoff team is nothing to cause a somewhat young team to fold / give less than full effort for the whole season. Especially considering they were probably about 15 close calls in that game at least eight or nine of them went Houston’s way. A few of those close calls go the Kings way and perhaps the game goes into overtime. Kings need to keep working hard and perhaps more of those close calls will go their way.

MillersCornrows
January 2, 2021 5:31 pm
Reply to  KingsSince85

The Kings will continue to struggle to hold leads this season, a lot of their wins will be close, and they’re going to lose a lot.

Pistola916
January 2, 2021 5:33 pm
Reply to  KingsSince85

I do think the Kings will beat the Dubs and Bulls to go 5-3. Hali returns thereafter and who knows that mojo they were on will be back. If they would have pulled off a win on Thursday night, I could have cared less with today’s performance.

ForKingsandCountry
January 2, 2021 5:35 pm
Reply to  Pistola916

Man the Warriors have just looked so damn bad to start the year. With that said, would it surprise anyone if they decide to start hitting 3’s against the Kings? It would not surprise me at all.

MillersCornrows
January 2, 2021 5:36 pm

Nope. Wouldn’t be surprised. The Dubs are due for a good performance.

BeTheBall
January 2, 2021 5:41 pm

the Warriors have just looked so damn bad

Wiggins will do that to a team.

FairOaksBob
January 2, 2021 5:44 pm

Yea but they beat the Kings which is very plausible and they will have a better record than said Kings.

Kangz_Landing
January 2, 2021 5:57 pm

Not a surprise, it will be an expectation. Wiggins and Oubre will go for 50 pts total with 4 three pointers apiece.

FairOaksBob
January 2, 2021 5:34 pm
Reply to  KingsSince85

Two…..losses to a team that will likely be a playoff team“, one of which was without their star player, doesn’t give me confidence this team will be a playoff contender. But good enough to not get a top 10 pick. So let’s hope we get the steal of next year’s draft also!

SelecaoKOJ
January 2, 2021 5:57 pm
Reply to  FairOaksBob

If the Kings move Buddy the Kings are definitely a worse team. Definitely one of the Bottom 10. Hali is great. But, I don’t think he replaces Hield’s production or 3 pt shooting. Not this year, anyways.

BestHyperboleEver
January 2, 2021 7:27 pm
Reply to  SelecaoKOJ

Fun fact! By most measures Halliburton has out produced Hield so far this year.

ForKingsandCountry
January 2, 2021 7:35 pm

The only thing Buddy has going for him over Haliburton at this point is shooting volume. I would say that Haliburton is superior in every other aspect of the game.

RikSmits
January 2, 2021 10:58 pm

Small Sample Size.

ForKingsandCountry
January 3, 2021 10:25 am
Reply to  RikSmits

I truly believe the gap will only widen the longer they play together. But I could be wrong.

MillersCornrows
January 2, 2021 5:40 pm

So Team Bagley deleted the trade request tweet then retweeted someone else who shared a screen shot of said tweet. Bagley’s going to lose us fans in record number. He’s looking awfully clumsy this season. Team Bagley is a clown show.

Last edited 19 days ago by MillersCornrows
FairOaksBob
January 2, 2021 5:41 pm

I think Monte would consider trading Bagley…if he was worth anything.

TheGrantNapear
January 2, 2021 5:46 pm
Reply to  FairOaksBob

It’s difficult to determine his trade value. I have no clue what it is. Maybe a late first rounder?
Instead of trading him, coach him up and get him to buy in and work on his game to fit the modern NBA. And a trip to the Hakeem Olajuwon school wouldn’t hurt.

FairOaksBob
January 2, 2021 5:48 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

Yes possibly and yes I agree.

Last edited 19 days ago by FairOaksBob
BeTheBall
January 2, 2021 5:55 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

Unfortunately, we’re 2+ years in and seeing the same game we did on rookie opening night. He seems to be exactly what he is.

keith_kar
January 2, 2021 6:38 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

It doesn’t seem like Bagley’s been working on anything in the offseason, unless he’s peaked already, and what you see is what you get. Package Bags and Buddy, let’s see what we can get.

ForKingsandCountry
January 2, 2021 6:44 pm
Reply to  keith_kar

Some of us were saying when he got drafted that his game really wouldn’t translate to the NBA and sadly I think that’s what’s happening. He just isn’t very good. He’s physically gifted but he has very few of the skills necessary to be an above average NBA player.