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Sacramento is winless through three games, but there are reasons for optimism

It's still very early this season...

Easy matchups are a rare sight in the Western Conference, but the Sacramento Kings just played about as tough of a back-to-back as there is against two title favorites.

The Los Angeles Clippers came to Golden 1 Center to flex their lineup versatility and switch everything capabilities. Nobody on Sacramento's roster successfully slowed down Paul George, who ended the night with 40 points on 16/31 from the field.

A few of the buckets from George were a case of good defense but better offense, but wing defense isn't exactly a strong suit for the Kings. Harrison Barnes is a questionable candidate at this point in his career. KZ Okpala has length, versatility, and effort but he's often found himself in early foul trouble and has offensive shortcomings.

Keegan Murray, who was making his NBA debut, turned out to be the best option for containing George. "Just try and make it as difficult for him as possible," Murray said postgame. "He’s a guy who makes tough shots, so the more tough shots that I can have him take the better for our team... make him earn his buckets.”

Murray wasn't putting the clamps on George, but holding his own in game one is an impressive sight for the Iowa product -- especially when you take a look at what he did on the other end of the floor.

19 points on 7/10 shooting, five rebounds, and two assists is a stellar debut statline. "I think that’s gonna be a classic Keegan Murray game. He does things quietly and I think the fans feel it," Fox said. "He did a hell of a job and he’s out there guarding one of the best players in the NBA. That’s a tough matchup for anybody. I think he had a great debut, I wish we capitalized on that and got a win but we have a game tomorrow."

On a night where Fox contributed 36 points and four assists, the Clippers won by two largely due to the Kings missing 11 of their 26 free-throw attempts. That was the clear point of needed improvement headed into Golden State the day after.

Head Coach Mike Brown and Assistant Leandro Barbosa received their championship rings at Chase Center prior to tipoff and were quickly reminded just how good the Warriors are offensively. The defending champs managed 89 points in the first half of play, including a single-quarter franchise-record 50 points in the second.

Chasing Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Jordan Poole through screens proved to be a daunting task and Sacramento found themselves in a mess of foul trouble. Prior to the halftime buzzer, Davion Mitchell registered four personal fouls, Terence Davis and Okpala each had three of their own, and a few others had a couple as well.

"Most of those guys in the starting lineup are Hall of Famers and they've been together for a long time," Coach Brown said following the loss. "But, the things that disappointed me the most in that first half, defensively, is the amount of times that we scored and then they scored in transition. That was really bothersome to me."

If there's a silver lining in that game, it's the fact that Sacramento's offense looked stellar and somewhat kept them from getting blown out. De'Aaron Fox secured a double-double with 26 points and 10 assists on 11/20 from the field. Sabonis had a "quiet" 19 points, 11 rebounds, and four assists in 22 minutes of play. Murray added 16 points on 4/10 from beyond the arc in his game-high 38 minutes of playing time.

"I felt good throughout the 38 minutes. Conditioning is something that I take to heart, so if I'm on the floor I feel like good things will happen," Murray said. "I've never done a back-to-back before since high-school, AAU, so it's definitely a challenge but it's a good challenge."

After missing the season opener due to an illness, Murray played 70 total minutes in back-to-back nights against some of the best teams in the Western Conference. With his ridiculously efficient offense within the flow of the game and surprisingly NBA-ready defense, Keegan Murray is now poised to enter the starting lineup.

Three losses in three games is frightening for Kings fans who are hungry as ever for the playoffs, but don't freak out just yet. Fox looks like a star who is confident as ever letting it fly from beyond the arc. Murray is turning heads. There should have been a somewhat expected adjustment period to a largely changed coaching staff and roster.

“Because of the lack of playoffs in 16 years, there’s a little bit of anxiety around here. I would caution everybody, there’s a time to overreact and a time not to," Coach Brown said. "And after three games, for me, and I hope everybody takes my lead, is not time to…”

The Portland loss came down to the Blazers' 33 free-throw attempts and 11 offensive rebounds. That team also might be better than most people assumed, as they sit undefeated through four games.

Against the Clippers, Sacramento missed 11 free-throws and lost by two. There's no excuse for the Warriors' game, but their greatness is well-known and undeniable.

For Sacramento, it's about putting together a full 48-minutes of attention to detail, or as close to it as humanly possible. The schedule remains tough moving forward as the Memphis Grizzlies come into Sactown on Thursday night.

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RobHessing
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October 26, 2022 2:55 pm

Who leads the team in rebounds (and rebound rate), has 1/3 of the team’s blocks and a 3.2/1 assist/turnover ratio?
comment image
Make one or two more bunnies a game and one more made FT a game and he’s off to a pretty decent start this season…and the Kings have at least one win under their belt.

SelecaoKOJ
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October 26, 2022 10:59 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

He was getting rocked by Justice Winslow. Put him in Jail in that Clippers game. He also got wrecked in the preseason by Biyombo. His numbers don’t tell the whole story. Total lack of physicality.

He doesn’t scare most big’s and even smaller players that get in his grill. Lauri Markannan is outplaying him in every facet of the the game. Markanann is showing Unicorn type ability. That you can build around. Besides the fact, he looks like a beast out there.

Sabonis looks like he lost some weight in the offseason and actually looks skinny.

You don’t build a team around a big as part of your core. Unless Unicorn is your middle name. He’s a solid big that puts up 20-10. That doesn’t contribute to a lot of winning.

Unless he develops some sort of consistent outside game, improves his lateral quickness or becomes a better rim protector. He is a good player. He’s no game changer.

BestHyperboleEver
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October 27, 2022 7:33 am
Reply to  SelecaoKOJ

Somehow whenever someone comes to Sac, suddenly their numbers don’t contribute to winning.

The narrative on Sabonis after 3 games is drifting into comical territory.

Last edited 1 month ago by BestHyperboleEver
Kingsguru21
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October 27, 2022 8:27 am

What concerns me most about Domas is his rebounding….. and that I think is a tad circumstantial.

What I am happy with is his AST/TO ratio which is 3.1 to 1 atm. I doubt it stays that way, but I can hope. If Domas gets to his 7 AST levels keeping that 3:1 AST/TO ratio I’m very optimistic about this offense.

Sure, the 0-3 start is frustrating. But there are positives and I’l bet Domas ends up being an All Star quality Big who ends up doing what he’s always done.

Last edited 1 month ago by Kingsguru21
BestHyperboleEver
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October 27, 2022 11:56 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

They’ve had 3 games and he’s had 1 where he didn’t gather as many rebounds as usual so that’s pulling down his average. In the other 2 games he had 10 and 14 rebounds respectively.

This is it exactly:

Sure, the 0-3 start is frustrating. But there are positives and I’l bet Domas ends up being an All Star quality Big who ends up doing what he’s always done.

Kingsguru21
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October 27, 2022 12:23 pm

Yep, and if Domas is anywhere near normal Domas they win that game. You win tonight, you’re 2-2. That’s not bad considering what’s in front of you.

RobHessing
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October 27, 2022 10:12 am
Reply to  SelecaoKOJ

On the other hand…

The loss to Portland was at the hands of Lillard, Simons, Grant and Hart. If you want to get on Sabonis for failing as the final line of defense, fine, I guess? But maybe the issue was with the guys that were supposed to be covering the aforementioned fellows.

The Clips loss was due to PG3, PG3 and PG3. I don’t know who was covering him. Honestly, after watching the tape, I have no idea, as he blew by everyone. But Sabonis was not assigned to him, as far as I could tell.

Curry, Wiggins and Poole were the guys in the GS game. Again, none of them were Sabonis draws.

Sabonis, like everyone else in the rotation, needs to be better. As good as Fox has been, he needs to get the TOs down and the FT% up. And so on down the line. But Sabonis has been a lot better than many have professed. I have a hard time blaming him or holding him accountable for the shortcomings of the roster up front or the inability of the perimeter players to contain their defensive assignments.

Want2win
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October 27, 2022 2:51 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

I think they are 2-1 if they had shot 75% from free throw line. I know the point disparity was bigger at end but had they shot good percentage they would have had a different result in game 1 because they wouldn’t have pressed as much at end. And no doubt they would have beaten the clippers…

andy_sims
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October 26, 2022 3:17 pm

What he said.

4on5
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October 26, 2022 3:42 pm

They were most likely headed to the 9/10 play in game … and after that, who knows. Figured they would be competitive more often than last year.

That all seems to still be the case.

The conjecture this team was going to increase their win total by 15 or more games was unlikely and remains so.

If local media wasn’t out slinging nonsense chasing clicks and views … there wouldn’t be hand wringing over unlikely events not occurring.

RobHessing
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October 26, 2022 4:27 pm
Reply to  4on5

I respectfully disagree that local media is at all responsible for the current light that this team is seen in. Local media is not 0 for the last 16 playoffs. The mismanagement of this organization is what has manifested said “hand wringing,” not the scribbles of local writers and/or broadcasters. Of course, your mileage may vary.

dieler
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October 27, 2022 9:19 am
Reply to  4on5

It isn’t the media that is producing a video series about this Kings team called “The Run.” In my opinion that takes some big huevos from a team that hasn’t even been in the playoffs for 16 years!

Brown.says.Good.or.Bad
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October 26, 2022 4:15 pm

Harrison Barnes looks disinterested, his play is bad. Are there any good trade options for him now?

TheGrantNapear
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October 26, 2022 6:12 pm

Have to hope he starts playing well and increases his value. HB is someone you consider at the deadline, hopefully we are unintentionally still tanking at that time.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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October 26, 2022 8:42 pm

Miami for Duncan Robinson and a protected first (2023 top 20 protected, which will very likely convey), or Robinson and Nikola Jovic.

Reason: Miami get a guy who can play the 3/4 in Barnes for a tile run and get out of Robinson’s bad deal. Kings get an asset in either a pick or Jovic and kick the Barnes contract (now Robinson’s) down the road. Robinson’s deal looks bad, but he can still shoot and may have value in the future.

eddie41
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October 26, 2022 9:17 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

that contract is soooo bad

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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October 26, 2022 9:28 pm
Reply to  eddie41

It definitely is, which is why you get assets to come with it. I’d start with asking for Robinson, Jovic, and the pick, but I doubt you get that.

According to reports, the Suns and Heat discussed a Crowder for Robinson deal, but the Suns did not want Robinson at all. That means Miami is gonna have to pay someone to eat his deal.

Personally, I’d rather pay Robinson and get an asset (or two) rather than let Barnes leave for nothing. As bad as Robinson’s deal is, he does bring a valued skill in 3pt shooting.

I still think a likely deal may be between the Kings and Suns. Barnes for Crowder and Torrey Craig works, but is really a bunch of deck chairs being rearranged. I’d rather get a future asset or prospect like Jovic.

MichaelMack
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October 27, 2022 8:59 am
Reply to  Adamsite

I think Miami is pretty high on Jovic, but I think the framework of that trade works. I have watched the Heat twice so far, and Martin is good, I can see why they didnt spend the dough on PJ. Barnes might be interesting to round out that rotation.

I was trying to find a trade for Barnes yesterday, and thought of that same one from PHX, but they lack depth, I dont know if they give Craig up. With Keegan looking like he can guard small forwards, someone like Crowder looks a lot more interesting to me.

The Nets situation might be interesting. They are getting killed inside, and Harris and Curry are still recovering from last season’s injuries, so they need shooting. A Barnes, Holmes, and some change for Ben Simmons works. Simmons only has two seasons on his contract after this.

Sacto_J
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October 27, 2022 1:22 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I read D. Robinson’s name and threw up a little in my mouth. Happens every time, which is why I don’t watch the Miami games. Let’s not make that every game, please god.

murraytant
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October 26, 2022 5:08 pm

Sabonis has been crowded on the post. Often has 1-3 guys with a hand directly on him. KZ and Barnes, so far, have not been seen as threats so their “men” can sag to the middle. Keegan may help stop that. Maybe not so much KM but the threat of KM.

All three games were “winnable” with the right combination of luck and better performance. That said, one at a time. Griz next.
Some Kings have been sub-par- Barnes, Richaun, Davion. KZ has done the expected. There are teams with an almost pure defender- Thybulle, Royce O’Neil, Crowder, Herb Jones etc. but the other 4 have to be stellar.
His best role might be sub- stopper. Sub in and stop the hot guy.
The excuses and “I see the glimmer of hope” comments end with Memphis

Sacto_J
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October 27, 2022 1:24 pm
Reply to  murraytant

Nah. We can “glimmer of hope” with the best of them. How else do you stay a fan of this team….?

UsedToLoveTheKings
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October 26, 2022 5:32 pm

When they’re 1-9 and last in the league in Defense–is that the time to become concerned?

TheGrantNapear
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October 26, 2022 6:14 pm

Looking at the sched I don’t see many wins coming up. They better hope they beat the Magic and split the Heat games.

AmateurNerd
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October 27, 2022 6:47 am
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

I’ve learned not to look at the schedule too much when predicting Kangz wins and losses. Inevitably they will beat the ’98 Bulls once and lose to the 2011-12 Charlotte Bobcats twice. Yes, this will all happen in 2022-23. Kangz, baby.

NorCalKingsFan
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October 26, 2022 5:50 pm

OZ might not be the starter who is replaced.

It’s probably too early for this now (no panic moves!), but if Barnes continues to really struggle (36% overall, 0% from 3) then IMO Davis should be given a chance to start at SF (50% overall, 36% from 3) for a while. Rebounding would probably take slight hit but defense and shooting would improve if they both continued playing as they have.

Since Barnes is now the last offensive option in the starting 5, as long as the replacement for him can hit a three every once in a while for spacing, we don’t need as much offensively from that position so it opens up other possibilities. TD/Metu/Lyles/OZ/Moneke all should be given a chance to work with the other starting 4 at some point if Barnes continues to disappoint. Only TD has done enough so far to say he’s playing better than Barnes, obviously with TD you have to worry about matchups due to his size, so a quick exit might be in order for TD on some nights if this route were ever taken.

I know others aren’t as high on him as I am, but I still believe in Metu and his athleticism. Murry/Metu worked well the other night, but that was at the 4/5. Curious to see Moneke next to Sabonis and Murray as well for his energy and athleticism but his game is mostly paint oriented so I don’t expect it would work.

RandyBreuersNeckHair
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October 26, 2022 10:31 pm
Reply to  NorCalKingsFan

So, Fetterman?

Sacto_J
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October 27, 2022 1:30 pm
Reply to  NorCalKingsFan

I don’t see Murray or Sabonis being sent down to Stockton so the probablity of them seeing the floor with Moneke is pretty small (unless he got called back up?) And even then I haven’t seen much to qualify him being part of the regular rotation.
I want nothing to do with seeing TD start at the 3, personally, any more than I’d want to see Monk starting at the 2, with the exception of injury replacement. Leave Barnes where he is, add a competent player to the starting 5 (Murray), profit.
I am with you on Metu, tho. He has very little business guarding 5’s but when he gets his rhythm going he’s fun to watch. Mostly.

TheGrantNapear
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October 26, 2022 6:10 pm

I didn’t understand a lot of commenters optimism the few weeks heading into the season. I get that the roster is pretty deep and overall more talented, but the West is loaded and this is still a roster without a superstar talent. Without top end talent in this conference, I don’t see playoffs as a possibility. Sure we’ll revert to the mean and win some of these close games but not many.
The proper path would have been to not trade Hali and we’d likely be building around Hali and Murray, tanking this season in hopes of landing Wemby or Scoot. Instead, the FO will have to pay Sabonis a max to stay and our maxxed out players are Fox and Sabonis, neither of which are superstars. Unless Keegan develops into a superstar, this team will remain in the purgatory of semi mediocrity and going nowhere as always.

Jack
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October 26, 2022 6:50 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

I don’t agree with your statement. Fox is playing as good as a lot of supposed super stars.We traded Hali proper path or not. So get over it. I trust Monty more than you. Sabonis is going to be very good for the Kings. When he does we will comment later.

TheGrantNapear
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October 27, 2022 4:22 pm
Reply to  Jack

Good to know you trust Monty more than me.
Fox is an empty stats player, the King’s record year after year with him as the franchise player bears that out.
0-3 and headed for worse given the schedule..but keep believing.

satdawg
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October 26, 2022 7:27 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

The roster is not deep and not that much more talented my guy. If it was we should’ve been able to beat Portland and LA

Jack
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October 27, 2022 9:04 am
Reply to  satdawg

We’ll see.

TheGrantNapear
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October 27, 2022 4:23 pm
Reply to  satdawg

The roster being deeper has been the offseason narrative, but you’re right it may not actually be, we’ll see as the season progresses

RPO
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RPO
October 26, 2022 8:35 pm

Thanks for the reminder. I need reasons to feel optimistic about this team. As a KANGZ fan I see everything as half-empty.

RPO
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October 26, 2022 9:36 pm
Reply to  RPO

Although the defense still makes me lose hope.

Klam
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October 26, 2022 8:56 pm

Man do I miss JLV’s comments.

AmateurNerd
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October 27, 2022 6:49 am
Reply to  Klam

Any info about JLV’s whereabouts? The relentless, misguided positivity is sorely missed.

Klam
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October 27, 2022 7:46 am
Reply to  AmateurNerd

I remember he sort of became inactive in posting comments a year or two before we all moved from the former site to The Kings Herald, so he never made the move with us here.

Back in 2016 when I was living in Burbank I was at a Kings-Clippers game at the Staples Center and found out JLV was at the game too. I tried my hardest to try to meet up with him, but it unfortunately never happened. 🙁

SBKangz
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October 26, 2022 10:25 pm

Wembanyaptimism 🤷🏻‍♂️

SelecaoKOJ
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October 26, 2022 10:48 pm

Unless Murray becomes a star in Year 2… A core of Fox and Sabonis is no better than an 8-10 seed ceiling. Sabonis is a solid big. Unless you have unicorn type skills. Teams don’t build around big men. Unless your name is Jokic, Embiid, or Freak. Sabonis will probably return to the mean.

Teams are probably watching that film now. This year. put a more physical player on him and he gets rattled. Saw it in preseason. Even smaller players like Winslow and Biyombo roughed him up.

Fox is playing lights out. But check back in 20-30 games to see if this torrid play continues.
Barnes is virtually untradeable right now. Kings should have traded him last year.

Miami would not be interested in Barnes at all. Esp for Robinson. Barnes wouldn’t get you anything more than a prospect, bench player of 2nd rd pick.

The Kings will be improved. But the West got healthy in the offseason.

4on5
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October 27, 2022 5:56 am

181 games of Sabonis vs 5 years of control over Halliburton is quite a choice

Marty
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October 27, 2022 8:30 am
Reply to  4on5

this

keith_kar
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October 27, 2022 6:20 am

Coach Brown said it;

“Because of the lack of playoffs in 16 years, there’s a little bit of anxiety around here”.

This long playoff drought I’m sure is in the back of the King’s organizations minds, all the way down to the players. They need to get over the hump, and that starts tonight.

Just give me one win, and let’s take it from there. Things could change quickly in the Kings favor.

kings4ever
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October 27, 2022 7:24 am

If Coach B wants to impress me, and I don’t impress easily, though I have been modestly so thus far, despite the record, especially when he stopped a scrimmage and called out Davion before all of his peers, he can do two things. (1) Bench Headcase Holmes. (2) Replace HB with Keegan in the starting lineup instead of KZ.

Why did the Lap Dog Media presume it would be Barnes keeping his spot among the starters with the elevation of Keegan? Probable this will transpire but does not make it prudent.

We are going to roll with our 5 best scorers to start the game? How will they all get the shots they need? How does this maximize their collective potency? Why not save some of this punch for off the bench?

Additionally what happened to the strategy to stick one of your best individual defenders, KZ, on the primary offensive weapon at the outset, setting the tone, thereby lessening burden on Fox to spearhead on both ends? Throw that shit out the window after three games?

In providing sturdy elite perimeter D, superior length and antiicipation, KZ also helps mask weakness of Sabonis, his defense at the rim, by decreasing the number of times he’s put in a position to contest.

Barnes has done little to retain his starting position. Perhaps the demotion to the second unit will stir dormant aggression and enable him to find more shots. A winless start to the season and this coach is preaching calmness. Going away from KZ so fast and soon, asking his two best players to do more in his stead (Fox and Ox), doing something so contradictory to the principles he espoused all camp, is a form of panic. 

Additionally, if you are going to roll with three guards in the second unit, Davion, TD and Monk, what the bleep are you doing to offset with regards to size and rim protection in the paint? Headcase Holmes, who beat the rap worse than, well, you know, offers none.

Once upon a time, Holmes used to be a formidabble defender. No more. His perimter defense is trash. His interior defense is trash. Where else is there to be but trash? Ox has exposed him by comparison. Sabonis does not budge when opponents try to overpower. HC relents with ease, preferring the matador over brick wall approach. Holmes has short arms, useless in getting deflections and breaking up pick and rolls. 

By my count, Holmes has made zero impressive defense plays in 45 empty minutes: No assists, one measly shot block. 19% turnover rate, paltry rebound rate, negative 9 point differential. We don’t need his push shot any more. Headcase creates the illusion of hustle without getting anything done. The Warriors targeted him in pick and roll, an easy patsy. Do not mistake effort for effeciency. If any move is justified, it is benching this bum for Len. 

The reason Holmes supposedly had a nightmare season last year was injury and off the court issues. Well, he is sans goggles now and found himself a friendly judge, so what’s the problem now? Marvin is long gone, thank the Heavens, nursing his latest injury courtesy of a wet spot, but his defense lives on through Holmes, a testament to futility and ineptitude.

I have been away from this sleepy outpost since I last posted, which was the morning of the draft, when I said the next King would be Keegan, one of the easiest prognotistications I have ever made, simple AF for anyone paying remote degree of attention, with nominal ability to separate wheat from the chaff, apparently too much to ask some of the frequent contributors around here. Oops! Better luck next draft.

1st Team
Fox
Huerter
Keegan
KZ
Sabonis

2nd Team
Davion
Monk
TD
Barnes
Len

These groups look good to great to me. Coach B is a smart guy. They should look good to great to him as well. Going a different course than this is a blight on his new tenure as new coach, regardless of the outcome tonight.

We want to correct our defense, in particular our 30th ranked transition defense to go with an offense that has been good enough in each game? Then, do NOT go away from KZ so soon. And give the opponent a different look with Len in the paint to challenge and deter.  Len is also a relatively magnificent pick setter compared to Holmes, which will help Davion and TD and Monk get penetration into the paint for drive and kicks. 

We need to win this game tonight, get off the SAD goose egg. We need this coach to lead the way with some prudent tweeks. Here is the template for him to borrow, my gift to you. No need to thank me, that can wait until after tonights victory. 

Kingsguru21
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October 27, 2022 8:37 am
Reply to  kings4ever

McGenius rides again!!!

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October 27, 2022 8:38 am
Reply to  kings4ever

Well said kings4ever.

Jack
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October 27, 2022 9:11 am
Reply to  kings4ever

I would not start KZ. I would not start Murray at the 3 but rather give TD a chance. To me a lot of this depends on what to do with Barnes. I outlined a couple of trade ideas in another comment that I think might help.

BestHyperboleEver
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October 27, 2022 7:42 am

I don’t really see any reason the first 3 games should have significantly changed one’s outlook for the season. They’ve pretty much played to expectations. It isn’t like any of these 3 teams are teams the Kings “should” beat. If you were optimistic 3 games ago, you probably still should be. If you were pessimistic 3 games ago, you probably still should be.

Kingsguru21
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October 27, 2022 8:36 am

If you were optimistic 3 games ago, you probably still should be. If you were pessimistic 3 games ago, you probably still should be.

Perfectly put. I disagree slightly about Portland but that’s a minor quibble. I think, and continue to believe, this is a 45 win team. Will I end up right? Don’t know yet. I will say I will feel more confident about my prediction at the 20 game mark than I do now if for no other reason than sample size.

Last edited 1 month ago by Kingsguru21
keith_kar
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October 27, 2022 8:44 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

I hope you’re right about a 45 win team, I’m with you there, but it has to start tonight. I know it’s early, but that goose egg can get really big after a while, and it doesn’t take long for a new coach to feel he’s on the hot seat.

I hope the Kings can gather their collective basketball skills tonight and get Brown his first win.

Last edited 1 month ago by keith_kar
Jack
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October 27, 2022 9:13 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

I tend to go along with your prediction only a have them at 43 wins. Close enough.

Kingsguru21
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October 27, 2022 9:49 am
Reply to  Jack

I dont like offering win totals. I prefer ranges (45-50 for ex.) but I’ve not done so for simplicity sake.

There’s a wide variety of opinions on this team. And it could be much worse. You can compare this to the 19-20 campaign (Walton’s first year), but the Kings lost by 29 @ Phoenix opening night, 10 to Portland, and 22 @ the Jazz. They started 0-5. They then went to win 4 of the next 5. They were actually 12-14 at one point. And went on to lose 8 in a row immediately afterwards. They were 28-36 before the bubble, and if they break up any of the 5,6 or 8 game losing streaks, they are closer to 500.

My point here is, Bobby Gerould wwnt on a rant that management and the coaches should be sensitive to the 16 year drought. But I disagree: That’s a big part of the issue. No-one in the organization is fully responsible for the entirety of that drought (key word fully; reading is fundamental kiddos), and the players and coaches should focus on the task at hand. Beating the Clippers without Kawhi isn’t changing a decade and half of missing the playoffs.

You get Memphis tonight without JJJ. (And in late November out there.) Miami at home. Charlotte without LaMelo or returning off injury. Miami on a home SEGABABA with the Dubs on the front half AND that game will be on TNT. Orlando. Dubs in SF again the following Monday (Nov 6th). Cleveland at home on the 8th and in LA vs the Lakers on the 11th. (A road win for my bday!! Yippee!!!) Dubs at G1C on the 13th. Brooklyn on the 15th on TNT. San Antonio and Detroit to finish out that homestand. I can see a .500 team by that point. I know others do not.

These are opportunities. Miami doesn’t win every time out. Neither does Memphis. The Clippers wwnt into OKC thinking they could win without PG or Kawhi and lost. Will the Kings take advantage of enough of these opportunities? I don’t know.

But I’m optimistic they can and tonight would be a great start in proving it. Of course, I believed the Blazers were a great opportunity. And they were. Kings just didn’t finish the game off.

RikSmits
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October 27, 2022 10:21 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

No-one in the organization is fully responsible for the entirety of that drought 

Matina?

Kingsguru21
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October 27, 2022 10:24 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Is she a part of the organization?

RikSmits
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October 27, 2022 10:52 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

From her Linked-In:
A long-time Sacramento resident and community leader, Matina Kolokotronis is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Sacramento Kings, bringing a strong background in sports and government law, community affairs and contract negotiations. Prior to this role, she served as President of Business Operations from March 2010 to July 2016.

Kingsguru21
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October 27, 2022 11:31 am
Reply to  RikSmits

And what influence did she have on basketball operations? At this point, she gets far more credit than she deserves outside of negotiating contract releases for Stojakovic and Turkoglu over 20 years ago. She’s not more important, ever, than the managing partner who listeners to her.

Vivek Ranadive has chosen for her to be around. But what influence did she have over Geoff Petrie and the Maloofs?

If the best you got here is Matina Kolokotronis, you’ve proven my point splendidly Dutchman.

RikSmits
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October 27, 2022 11:54 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

You take me way too seriously, ‘Murican.

Kingsguru21
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October 27, 2022 12:28 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

You take me way too seriously, ‘Murican.

Probably. It’s an issue I’m working on with my therapist.

Daydreamer
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October 27, 2022 4:42 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

😂

BestHyperboleEver
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October 27, 2022 12:05 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Portland is 4-1 having beat good teams in the Suns and Nuggets. I said before the season that IF healthy, they’re a solid team. Of course, that IF is already unraveling. Personally, I would put the Blazers in the Kings’ “could win” column. Not the “should win” column.

MichaelMack
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October 27, 2022 12:24 pm

As a PNW resident, the Blazers are my second team after the Kings and I have watched each game.

Grant is a lot more active than he was last year for Detroit, its been fun to see. Likewise, both Dame and Nurk seem quite a bit more fit than they were last season. I hope Dame’s injury is minor, and I do think they are playing over their heads a little, but its been fun to watch.

Sharpe seems like he is going to be a good pro. Who knows if it is just a valuable rotation guy, low end starter, or one of a big three, but the skills and athleticism is certainly there.

Kingsguru21
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October 27, 2022 1:43 pm

I’ve said a couple times that I think they were put together with the appearance that they were going to compete but in actuality would tank when the opportunity presented itself.

It doesn’t surprise me they played well for a few games. There’s talent on that squad, and I would love Jason Hart. However, I think Lillard, Grant, Hart and Nurkic will all get traded if things don’t go swimmingly for them.

ajonez81
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October 27, 2022 6:04 pm

Why is D-Bone (I’m gonna keep saying it until it catches on) only getting 22 minutes in a game. I agree with comment I saw that Barnes seems to have very little passion this year, I’ve always found him very overrated.
I also see people on here writing super long paragraph after paragraph comments on here talking about Richaun Holmes and players like they are not humans. This site is completely lost if it’s allowing players to be completely trashed that way. If the best thing you have to do is come on here and write super long whiny posts you are a million times more pathetic than any professional athlete.

Last edited 1 month ago by ajonez81

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