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Mavericks 132, Kings 96: Death by a Thousand Daggers

Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving bury the Kings at home.
By | 154 Comments | Mar 26, 2024

Mar 26, 2024; Sacramento, California, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) shoots the ball against Sacramento Kings forward Domantas Sabonis (10) during the first quarter at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

The best kind of basketball is basketball with stakes. And tonight in Sacramento, the stakes were abundant. The Kings hosted the Dallas Mavericks for the first of two consecutive matchups that could potentially decide which of these two teams ends up in the play-in tournament for post season play. Both teams entered tonight’s game with a 42-29 record, with the Kings barely hanging onto the 6th seed over the Mavericks for their two previous wins against them earlier in the season. Dallas entered Sacramento on a four-game win streak, looking to take over that coveted 6th seed. The Kings aimed to hold onto that 6th seed for dear life and push Dallas back down in the standings. Let’s see how they did:

Quick Stats

Outcome: Kings lose, 132-96

Sacramento Kings: 132 pts, 38.9% fg, 36.7% 3 pt, 78.9% ft, 27 ast, 42 reb, 14 to

Dallas Mavericks: 96 pts, 55.4% fg, 56.4% 3 pt, 61.5% ft, 33 ast, 50 reb, 9 to

It seems that someone forgot to inform the Sacramento Kings about the stakes tonight. Things were fun to start, as Keegan Murray and Keon Ellis got off to hot starts and fueled the Kings on both ends of the floor. The Kings finished the first quarter trailing by just 3 points. De’Aaron Fox (18 points) had a moment in the second quarter to keep the Kings in it, but Luka Doncic started to heat up and finished with 26 of his 28 points in the first half. Then things just went completely off the rails in the third quarter as Kyrie Irving took over – after scoring just 6 points in the first half, Irving flipped the switch and scored 18 points in second half to put the Kings away by the middle of the third quarter. It felt like death by a thousand daggers – when Doncic and Irving weren’t taking turns hitting tough, contested shots, Tim Hardaway Jr. (22 points) and P.J. Washington (14 points) were drilling open 3s all night long.

The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

The Good:
  1. Cleaning the Glass: One of the few categories the Kings managed to come out on top was in cleaning up the defensive glass. They only allowed Dallas to secure 5 offensive rebounds. However, this was probably due to the fact that 55.4% of the time, the ball was going through the net. I don’t know, I felt like I had to write something here.
The Bad:
  1. Lack of Awareness: Luka Doncic was listed as questionable prior to tip off for achilles soreness. If this is what Luka Doncic looks like with a sore achilles, then I want no business seeing him with a healthy one. But despite his tough shot making on offense, which sometimes you just have to live with, the Kings really missed an opportunity to capitalize on Luka’s defensive weakness. Even with a healthy achilles, Luka isn’t known for his defensive prowess. But aside from the first play of the game that found Keegan Murray a wide open shot out of a curling hand off, the Kings showed no awareness or intention of attacking Luka with targeted pick and roll actions. Dallas showed a clear intention in their game plan, while the Kings seemed to not have one ready for Dallas tonight.
  2. Forced Play: The Kings were forced out of their style of play as the Mavericks focused on eliminating their transition game. The Kings failed to score any fast break points in the first half, and once forced into constant half court possessions, struggled to find any real momentum. Compounding on this struggle, the Kings shot just 36.7% from the 3-point line, severely limiting their offensive production. Even when they were able to execute inside out actions and find shooters, shots just weren’t falling at a great rate. Dallas’ bigs provided a formidable presence in the paint, altering a lot of Sacramento’s drives to the rim. The Kings let Dallas dictate their style of play tonight and when an opponent is able to do that, it’s usually not going to work out in your favor.
  3. Drilled to Death: There’s something about Golden 1 Center that gives opposing teams the best shooting night of their lives. Tonight was no different as it felt like the Mavericks just couldn’t miss. They made 22-39 from deep, often finding themselves wide open as the Kings focused on stopping Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving. To his credit, Dereck Lively II did a good job of finding open shooters after receiving the ball at the high post out of double teams on Luka. P.J. Washington, Tim Hardaway Jr.m and Dante Exum all enjoyed cashing in on these open 3s.
The Ugly:
  1. On National TV, though?: In a regular season game in March that gets as close to a playoff atmosphere as you can get, the Kings were given the opportunity to perform on a national stage. Instead, they broke both legs. In front of everyone, the Kings practically handed the 6th seed over to the Mavericks. The only silver lining is that they have an opportunity to take it back on Friday.

The King of Kings

I guess on a night when nothing felt good, we can always rely on Domantas Sabonis to give us a stat line to brag about. Completing his 55th consecutive double double, Sabonis finished with 12 points, 11 rebounds, and 9 assists.

Up Next

Friday, March 29th vs. Dallas Mavericks – 7:00 P.M. (PT)

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BeTheBall
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March 26, 2024 9:49 pm

We keep getting worked over on national TV, and wonder why people outside of Sacramento don’t take the Kings seriously.

It’ll be interesting to see if they respond or roll over again on Friday.

AnybodyButBagley
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March 26, 2024 10:03 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

Two decades of refusing to play defense and rolling into a ball and crying when a team tries harder than they do. The tendency to do this on national television only shows the consistency.

BeTheBall
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March 26, 2024 10:10 pm

Part of the reason why we had no all stars and may well not have any all-NBA players.

AnybodyButBagley
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March 26, 2024 10:31 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

It definitely matters.

Jack
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March 27, 2024 7:17 am
Reply to  BeTheBall

I would rather the Kings not play on national tv. Had to wait until almost the second quarter to view the game. Maybe a blessing.

Jack
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March 27, 2024 9:42 am
Reply to  BeTheBall

Who would take you seriously when you lose by 36?

BeTheBall
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March 27, 2024 2:09 pm
Reply to  Jack

Nobody, and rightfully so.

Akiosama
March 27, 2024 10:42 am
Reply to  BeTheBall

That was national TV? Sounded like they picked up the Dallas Mav’s announcers. Not that it made the outcome of the game any different, but it was annoying nonetheless.

UpgradedToQuestionable
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March 26, 2024 10:17 pm

whupped
shellacked
annihilated 
thumped
crushed 
destroyed
embarrassed 

Funny, but the thing that upset me the most was Kessler Edwards missing a lay up. Twice. And on the same play.

Next.

AnybodyButBagley
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March 26, 2024 10:34 pm

He didn’t know what to do. Like a kindergarten kid walking into sixth grade.

It’s a classroom but not the same…these kids can read!

…enters the game.. these guys can play basketball!

DNP-CD
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March 26, 2024 10:36 pm

Mirann, you may wish to edit the quick stats. Or does this mean we actually won?

AnybodyButBagley
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March 26, 2024 10:41 pm
Reply to  DNP-CD

She is numb from watching that garbage.

AnybodyButBagley
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March 27, 2024 2:18 pm
Reply to  MirannTsumura

That was an experience that most will never endure.

AnybodyButBagley
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March 26, 2024 10:39 pm

Does a playoff team win games by being fast in transition?

Defensive stops and a half court offensive game are lost on these guys.

Amonk81
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March 26, 2024 10:44 pm

Exactly. Playoff hoops requires a different style/set of skills.

Teams need to be built and play accordingly if they want to contend, as is Browns (kings) contention.

AnybodyButBagley
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March 26, 2024 11:11 pm
Reply to  Amonk81

Veterans to come in and play defense and understand a half court set. Along with Sabonis and Fox. Harrison Barnes gets it and will be fine in that situation.

Keon has barely figured out a fast paced basic offense. He plays D but then the game loses him. Need a solid roster one through nine at a minimum.

BeTheBall
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March 26, 2024 11:26 pm

Unfortunately Barnes is currently last in dRtg on the team. Which, considering what a bad defensive team we’ve been this season, is definitely concerning.

Jack
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March 27, 2024 9:50 am
Reply to  BeTheBall

If we keep Barnes bring him off the bench.

BeTheBall
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March 27, 2024 2:14 pm
Reply to  Jack

I think that’s what he is at this point of his career (and should have been for a couple years now). A good veteran presence who is ultimately better served within and against 2nd unit players

Jack
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March 27, 2024 9:49 am

IMO we keep Fox, Sabonis and Murray although I am concered about Murray. although he is only 2 years into the league. I might keep Monk and Ellis although Monk has so many turnovers more in 1 game than a lot of good players have in a season. Ellis IMO would be your bachup point guard next year. All others although not highly tradeable should be traded.

RikSmits
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March 26, 2024 11:57 pm
Reply to  Amonk81

Brown talking postgame about the lack of transition points and spray 3’s makes you wonder if he really believes that now we are entering the playoffs-like part of the season, the transition game is going to continue to be a real factor.

I understand that he’s a basketball junkie and knows much more about the game than I ever will, but sometimes I feel certain people are so caught up in the details that they failk to step back and see the bigger or more obvious issues.

I hope I am wrong.

Hobby916
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March 27, 2024 4:39 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Whether it was the game plan and/or lack of execution, the offense was awful.

RikSmits
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March 27, 2024 5:11 am
Reply to  Hobby916

When you allow 132 points I don’t realy care if your offense was awful, mediocre, average or even good.
You’d need to play really great offense to score 133 or more. That can’t be your starting point.
I don’t know how many f-ing spray threes you’d have to take to reach that total.

Hobby916
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March 27, 2024 6:03 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Making more shots means the Mavs take the ball out of bounds and limits any transition game, and allows the Kings defense to get set (for what that’s worth), in theory.

RikSmits
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March 27, 2024 7:19 am
Reply to  Hobby916

You feel that we lost this game in transition? I don’t.

The loss was in my view mainly caused by barely opposed dribble penetration and open trees at a scorching 56% clip, but lets blame it on the offense.

Hobby916
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March 27, 2024 9:18 am
Reply to  RikSmits

It was part of the problem, in general, along with other factors. That was just an example of the larger issues in that game.

Jack
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March 27, 2024 9:52 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Also we can’t stop a wounded, fat slow Doncic. Unbelieveable!

rockbottom
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March 27, 2024 7:47 pm
Reply to  Jack

No one can since he is the leagues top scorer .

Jack
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March 27, 2024 9:10 am
Reply to  Hobby916

Great theory but like last night we were outplayed in every catagory you can think of. Especially shooting.

Jack
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March 27, 2024 9:07 am
Reply to  RikSmits

I’ll say it again IMO the Kings are not a good 3 point shooting team. I think this has proven out over and over this year.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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March 27, 2024 9:13 am
Reply to  Jack

I think they were a good shooting team last year, but this year, with the same players, they are not.

The reality is, Fox and Monk are not good three point shooters, yet they take a good chunk of their shots from there.

rockbottom
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March 27, 2024 7:51 pm
Reply to  Jack

Actually you are part right . Kings rank 15th . Middle of league . Better question is why is being average what you build around .

rockbottom
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March 27, 2024 7:04 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Sadly, you are not wrong .

Jack
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March 27, 2024 9:04 am
Reply to  RikSmits

I agree. IMO this team does not look like a playoff team. I hope I’m wrong. There is an old saying which I used as a coach which says” When the going gets tough the tough get going” Itn seems to me there saying is” When the going get tough the team lays down and dies” I hope I’m wrong. If we stay the same as a team IMO we might not even get into the playoffs this year. It will be harder next year and years to come. There are teams like the Thunder and Wolves who are already there and teams like the Pels, Spurs, Rockets who are ready to compete for the playoffs. Pels and Rockets were 2 teams where the Kings lost to most of the time. The FO doesn’t have much to work with. Most of our firsts are not good first round picks right now. Don’t have players that have good value as trade chips. You could look at Murray or Fox but the FO isn’t ready to do that.

Amonk81
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March 27, 2024 10:28 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

I agree. I feel like Brown is one of those coaches who has his system- and runs it despite personnel or what style of ball is needed, rather than adjusting to the strengths of his players and to what wins.

I also wonder if McNair is overlooking playoff winning style too. They all talk about Pace and shooting. And all those numbers apply during the regular season, but it is a different metric in the playoffs. These guys need to catch up and figure it out.

Daydreamer
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March 28, 2024 9:30 am
Reply to  RikSmits

After mulling on the game and this comment for a while, I have an opinion: what Brown said was for news conference consumption. Behind closed doors coaches and players are trying to figure out how to stop this team. (Think how a playoff series can shift back and forth as teams make adjustments.) Can they do it? We will find out tomorrow. If they can’t, then the skeptics are right.

However, to those who complain of MM’s inaction on trades: he has limited stuff to work with. The task of taking this roster from where Vlade left it to a very good NBA roster is taking a while. We should expect that.

Last edited 3 months ago by Daydreamer
eddie41
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March 27, 2024 9:50 am
Reply to  Amonk81

do you think Sasha has that “style/set of skills” you refer to as being necessary for playoff hoops?

Amonk81
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March 27, 2024 10:32 pm
Reply to  eddie41

Could be. He can certainly shoot and score in 1/3 court slo down game. He’s got gravitational pull on O. No one’s gonna leave him open. I’d bet he’s pretty clutch/good under pressure.

Can he defend well enough to not be targeted? I think so?

Amonk81
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March 26, 2024 10:42 pm

So far I haven’t seen any indication that the Kings have or will figure out big game/playoff winning ball.

I’m just watching to see if 1-they can get some stops 2- they adjust when the game is 1/2 court and DHO taken away. Sabonis, and his ability to make or even shoot the middy impacts this a ton.

Still no 1/2 ct adjustments by team and Sabonis still to unwilling to shoot middy-be aggressive that way. He’s still taken out of games on O too easily.

I am hoping -but doubting- they will get better/adjust with more big gane experiences…..maybe?

AnybodyButBagley
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March 26, 2024 10:54 pm
Reply to  Amonk81

Sabonis needs a top 10 power forward next to him.

DNP-CD
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March 27, 2024 6:57 am

McNair, paging Monte McNair

rockbottom
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March 27, 2024 7:08 am

Good point and obvious last season . Dallas added 2 starters at deadline Suns a key 6th man and Kings zip . West better Kings not .

Jman1949
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March 27, 2024 9:39 am
Reply to  rockbottom

PJ Washington has been a Kings-killer throughout his career. He went 3 for 6 from three when we lost to Charlotte earlier this season and 4 for 6 from three last night. His season percentage from three is 31.0%, and since joining the Mavs it has been 27.8 %!

Jack
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March 27, 2024 10:01 am
Reply to  Jman1949

The biggest problem I saw last night we had no answer or defense against the fat slow big guy. I would have ran him into the showers or frustrated him so much he does what does and loses it. Once he gets hot the rest of the team follows suit.

RikSmits
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March 27, 2024 11:34 am
Reply to  Jack

The fat slow big guy averages more minutes, PPG and assists than either Fox or Domas.

AnybodyButBagley
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March 27, 2024 5:13 pm
Reply to  Jack

He is fat and slow. Glad we didn’t draft him.

rockbottom
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March 27, 2024 7:58 pm

Guess Jack does not want a first ballot Hall of Famer .

AnybodyButBagley
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March 28, 2024 1:38 am
Reply to  rockbottom

No need for all that drama.

Jack
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March 28, 2024 2:25 pm
Reply to  rockbottom

If it’s Doncic I don’t. I might vote for others but not the fat slow guy.

rockbottom
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March 27, 2024 7:56 pm
Reply to  Jack

No you would not as no one has in his career . His skill set and game feel has worked fine for about 5 seasons .

Jack
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March 29, 2024 7:04 am
Reply to  rockbottom

I don’t deny that. I just would not want him on the Kings because he would completely change the dynamics of the team. One example Murray would never get the ball and develop into a really good basketball player. Just one example. Also the Kings were in the playoffs last year where wqs Doncic?

Amonk81
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March 27, 2024 10:34 pm
Reply to  Jack

This is all very frustrating because these problems/limitations are the exact same one from last year.

Gotta done something this year.

Jack
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March 27, 2024 9:57 am

And if we leave Murray where he is at PF then we need a really good young or in his prime as our 3 and D. Not a has been. Someone like Michal Bridges.

BeTheBall
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March 26, 2024 11:30 pm
Reply to  Amonk81

We simply need more rotation talent on this roster after Sabonis, Fox, Murray, and Monk. It’s incredibly thin, even though some of those scrappy guys are beloved by fans.

Also, it’s a definite possibility that Brown is our Mark Jackson, and a coaching improvement is also necessary in the next year or two.

eddie41
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March 27, 2024 9:47 am
Reply to  BeTheBall

3 of the top 5 forwards are injured. (Huerter, Lyles, Sasha), and one of the two forwards (HB) looks creaky when the team has to play so many games in such a short time span.

BeTheBall
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March 27, 2024 2:20 pm
Reply to  eddie41

That’s sort of the rub. Short of landing a superstar, HB, KH, TL, and SV will all need to slide down the bench (or off), and give way to more talented players, in order for us to take that next leap.

AnybodyButBagley
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March 27, 2024 5:21 pm
Reply to  eddie41

Huerter is the only of those that plays on another NBA team.

Jack
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March 27, 2024 10:05 am
Reply to  BeTheBall

In the last 10 or so games I have my doubts about Monk. What he has done since I would not have had any doubts but when it is down to crunch time he throws the ball away too much and hasn’t shot the ball all that well. I wonder if he has problems during when we need him the most.

AnybodyButBagley
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March 27, 2024 5:18 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

THIS!

The fan base has been in love with any glimpse of hope. Harry Giles, Davion Mitchell, Keon Ellis, Sasha V, Chris Duarte…the list goes on.

Why not demand actual NBA players with a proven ability to impact games?

The feel good story is fun but it does not win rings.

Last edited 3 months ago by AnybodyButBagley
Hobby916
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March 27, 2024 4:41 am
Reply to  Amonk81

Once the DHO is taken away in the half-court, the offense becomes fox or monk iso while everyone else stands around.

Is that the only backup plan offensively?

rockbottom
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March 27, 2024 7:10 am
Reply to  Hobby916

It seems to be and neither have been at their best of late .

RikSmits
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March 26, 2024 11:01 pm

Well, at the first real test of our shiny new defense it fell apart under the pressure. That’s not good.

I can’t think of a single positive to take away from this game. It’s back to the drawing board for Mike Brown.

AnybodyButBagley
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March 26, 2024 11:05 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Shiny new fourth grade zone defense vs. the real NBA.

Imagine a player that will actually play defense…and score a few times. Nobody has those…

Last edited 3 months ago by AnybodyButBagley
BeTheBall
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March 26, 2024 11:33 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

The shiny new defense seemed a little like smoke and mirrors to begin with. This version of the Kings has been a poor defensive team for almost two years. The chances that completely changes on a dime and goes forward as a solid one was never realistic.

Jack
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March 29, 2024 7:07 am
Reply to  RikSmits

And Monty.

JoeNoSay
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March 26, 2024 11:18 pm

It looked like our guys were pressing and rushing shots. A bad look in the national spotlight.

Glad to see Mason Jones get some run and hit a few shots though.

Thank you all for the company – my misery needs it.

eddie41
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March 26, 2024 11:33 pm

how about this for a dope lineup:

Fox, Ellis, Keegan, Vezenkov, Sabonis

AnybodyButBagley
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March 27, 2024 5:23 pm
Reply to  eddie41

That is a sub .300 team.

eddie41
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March 27, 2024 5:53 pm

not as a starting 5. just a different lineup to try.

but since 4 of those players are current starters, you must think Sasha is unplayable and does not belong in the nba.

AnybodyButBagley
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March 28, 2024 1:41 am
Reply to  eddie41

Sasha is unplayable.

Yes, four are current starters on a weak team.

Again.,.that is a sub .300 team.

Jack
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March 29, 2024 7:14 am
Reply to  eddie41

Looking at your lineup IMO Monty needs to add just one really good player to take Sasha’s spot. Just move Murray to PF and add someone like Michal Bridges and you have scorers along with defense. That would take a lot but maybe has to be done.

SomedayKing
March 26, 2024 11:42 pm

As bad as they were tonight, I don’t view this as a setback. It was their 5th game in 7 days and they played like it. Looked like they were not trying too hard and it may have been a bit of tiredness. Every team goes through such games. They have recently beat good teams (Philadelphia, Orlando, Milwaukee to name a few). I predict they will bounce back on Friday and beat the Mavs similar to how they have bounced back recently to play well the game after being embarrassed. This team just seems to function that way if you look at their results this season.

Klam
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March 27, 2024 12:00 am
Reply to  SomedayKing

For the most part, it does seem like the Kings do bounce back from bad losses this season. I expect to see more of their A-game on Friday, especially since now it’s a must-win if you want the tiebreaker against Dallas.

Jack
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March 29, 2024 7:17 am
Reply to  Klam

If we win tonight we are in the mix. If we lose tonight it might be playin time. That close.

oshima9
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March 27, 2024 10:01 am
Reply to  SomedayKing

I have a similar perspective, and I’m thinking positively about Friday as well.

Brown.says.Good.or.Bad
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March 27, 2024 12:32 am

I was on a plane during the game so didn’t get to watch it, but feel bad for those who did. Hope you guys are ok. This sounds soul crushing.

Dan Houlder
Dan Houlder
March 27, 2024 12:52 am

I’m disappointed in the result, but color me unsurprised if the Kings come out Friday and beat the Mavs handily for the third time this season.

rockbottom
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March 27, 2024 7:14 am
Reply to  Dan Houlder

This did show the difference between two super star players and star players . Luka and Kyrie are on another level .

Dan Houlder
Dan Houlder
March 27, 2024 7:31 am
Reply to  rockbottom

I appreciate your opinion, but the Kings have beaten Luka and Kyrie this season, and it didn’t seem particularly difficult doing so in Dallas.

RikSmits
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March 27, 2024 7:35 am
Reply to  Dan Houlder

True, and we may all relax a bit if they win on Friday.

But it seems that the Mavs got better at the deadline, we didn’t.

And it seems that we played tight now that the stakes are getting higher, so there’s that potential difference with games earlier this season.

Last edited 3 months ago by RikSmits
Dan Houlder
Dan Houlder
March 27, 2024 7:53 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Honestly, I don’t put much stock in the next game either.

For me, the important question is: Has inserting Keon into the starting lineup really changed the Kings defense as much as the last 5-7 games have demonstrated? (Not sure how long ago Ellis became a starter.)

If not, if it’s just a fluke, then the doomers win, we’re in the play-in, fighting it out with shit teams like the Warriors and the Lakers. And that will be mildly sad but entertaining nevertheless.

If Keon truly is the glue guy, then the Kings will keep winning such that Friday’s game isn’t as important as expected.

In any case, I think that getting Keon into the starting lineup was an essential (if accidentally necessary) step to finding out how the Kings can improve.

ForKingsandCountry
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March 27, 2024 10:40 am
Reply to  Dan Houlder

If the Kings lose the next game to the Mavs they are definitely in the play-in. The Mavs have an incredibly easy schedule and we have a very difficult schedule.

Jack
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March 29, 2024 7:30 am
Reply to  Dan Houlder

Ellis and Mitchell are what we got. Neither are great but can contribute. Both can play defense. If both are hot we have a chance to win. For what it’s worth Mitchell has had his chance and sometimes amazes me. When Keon starts he doesn’t have to score a lot but if he does that’s a big plus for us. Since he has started the Kings have won. He sure is getting experience maybe a the wrong time but that’s what it is. He plays with a lot of confidence and won’t back down. He has good court vision and can facilitate well. Now the offense needs to step up and we will be alright.

eddie41
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March 27, 2024 9:35 am
Reply to  RikSmits

actually the Kings did get slightly better at the deadline by promoting Keon.

and then got worse with all the injuries to the forwards (Huerter, Lyles, Sasha).

Dan Houlder
Dan Houlder
March 27, 2024 7:32 am
Reply to  rockbottom

My point is, I try not to overreact to a single game, especially when I can find more examples of the Kings winning against the same team during the same season.

Dan Houlder
Dan Houlder
March 27, 2024 8:26 am
Reply to  rockbottom

I understand your take, but I didn’t get that feeling at all.

For the first two games against the Mavs this season, we could have reversed your argument on the Kings behalf– that is, that Fox and Domas are just two superstars that Luke and Kyrie simply can’t handle. Because Fox and Domas flatly won those games. To your point, yes, the Mavs improved at the deadline, but was it enough to explain this lopsided score? Shots dropped for one side and not for another, and it added up until it was out of reach. I can’t put too much stock in one game.

ForKingsandCountry
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March 27, 2024 10:41 am
Reply to  Dan Houlder

Kyrie didn’t play in one of those games and the Kings had the rest advantage in both. I don’t think the gap is as large as it was last night but I do think the Mavs are better than the Kings post trade deadline.

rockbottom
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March 27, 2024 8:08 pm
Reply to  Dan Houlder

Mavs did not have rest or Kyrie in one and two starters were added at deadline . PJ Washington and D. Gifford . No it was not a true indication but Mavs are the better team now and will likely be the 6 th in the west. I hope your optimism turns out to be true but talent usually wins out .

Hobby916
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March 27, 2024 4:44 am

comment image

rockbottom
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March 27, 2024 7:01 am

The only bright spot was listening to Greg Anthony and broadcast crew . Tried to give Kings hope and focused on game with little incessant and constant talk !

kings4ever
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March 27, 2024 8:01 am

Malik is shooting 30.2% from threes in his last 41 games (71 for 235). In his last 5 games he’s 2 for 23 for 9%. His defense is terrible which is more conspicuous with Keon getting elevated in our rotation. Monk was another flailing defender among Red Diva and HB. Now since the injury to the fake starter,  he’s more exposed. 

Malik has gone to the middy more and had success there, finishing with the off hand impressively, the floater game is sweet, but he has been an irrational confidence brick master for three months. He likes the flex pose after the hang and finish through traffic. Then there are ferocious dunks and the highlight blocks.  

The electricity with which he is capable of masks the ineffeciency as scorer and the horrible defensive lapses that rival anything HB displays, a mannequin last night vs Luka. Malik thinks he’s getting a Bag from Orlando or somewhere else? I am not so sure about that. The acquiring team better have a sturdy defense around him and shots aplenty.

Malik is also capable of one handed laser interior passes, that may or may not find their target. He jumps into traffic, then decides what to do, the opposite of how it is taught, to mixed results. The defense will bend and break without high risk pass that he is intend on forcing.  

I am surprised his TOV number (13.3 TOV%) is not higher.

My suspiscion is Monk makes ill-advised passes with the turnover being credited to the intended recipient instead of the guilty party. Our coach talks about over penetration, that is, where you drive too deep and get swallowed up. He is referring to Monk, just like he was referring to him RE: underhanded pass to the other team undermining our comeback.

We want Monk aggressive obviously. We want him getting downhill. But the dude has become too much of a “one man show” in his own mind, too thirsty to secure the 6MOY, to the detriment of the team. 

The simple play is not enough.

The hockey assist is not enough.  

It is going to cost us seeding, dubs in the playoffs, and it could cost him millions in free agency if he does not temper his wild tendencies with fundamentals.  

Whomever we face in the playoffs are going to target Monk. This was the pending concern with Huerter before he removed himself from the equation, fortuitously, for us, not him. The Mavs pick on the weak link as much as any team, especially when the alternatives are strong defenders like Keegan, Davion, Keon and Fox.  They find the weak link (HB and Monk) and run high pick and roll with Luka or Kyrie.  We already know this.  

If Monk is going to be bad on defense (inevitable) and ineffecient on offense (trending hard in this direction for three months) that is a lot for our superstars and new and improved defense, no thanks to Monk, to overcome, regardless of the playoff opponent. 

Despite the tone, I believe in Monk. Sort of. But his pending free agency and 6MOY has gotten in the way, whether he admits or not.  It complicates the matter when our coach gets exasperated with him, it does not affect his playing time, just like with Huerter. There is no consequence for mental and physical lapses.  Screw up and play on.

For the fans tempted to rush to his defense, note that in context of the scintillating plays (see MEM game), amounting to no more points than the mundane play, Monk is 56.5% TS% with bad defense. We are 58.5% as a team, above league average. I do not discount Malik’s value as a shot creator, getting dunks for Domas and spray passes for open threes, but even this execution has turned wonky.

It is a recipe as old as time. You can’t keep your man in front of you (Monk), you get beat backdoor (Monk), you are late in rotations (Monk), and your scoring effeciency is slipping (9% from threes in the last 5 games), it is a recipe to LOSE.   It is a testament to the brilliance of Fox, Keon, Keegan (a star reborn since Huerter) and Domas, the Double Double King,  we have won games in spite of Monk faltering.

Again, I do not discount the playmaking ability (2.5 ratio asst to TOV, 5.2 APG). It can phenomenal. And you would rather have a player with too much confidence (Monk) than not enough (Huerter).  But if Monk is not appreciably better, more selective with his shots, careful in his passes, especially with the way this coach relies on him (26% usage two years) ride or die, it is going to be that much more difficult to get out of the first round.

In the playoffs last year, Monk was spectacular in Game 1 (32 points) and Game 6 (28 points, 3 for 6 from 3s, 8 for 14 FGs) to force the Game 7. But overall he was 41% FGs, 33% from 3s and (25/14) 1.8 assist to TOV ratio. Combined with shoddy defense, below average from 3s, it is concerning. The opponents are too good in the West to succumb to this. 

Maybe Fox and Domas can be so special, Keegan on the Rise, we advance regardless, but if Monk in the weeks ahead is the Monk we have come to know (and love?), it is not a bet I would eagerly wager.  

It is reasonable to hope that once the regular season ends, Monk will rest easy with what he has done his job to win the indvidual honor, FWIW,  for a player on the verge of being out of the league and playing for a new deal.  

Hopefully there will be mental shift, lets say a mental stress lifted, to where he is soley focused on team. If this does not transpire, maybe because Monk knows free agent teams will be watching (and evaluating), our coach should not be reluctant to sit Monk in favor of Davion, as a shot maker and creator on the second team.Just like the notion of demoting Huerter, before the injury,  this should not be a controversial statement. Off Night, money with the Moon ball (67% TS% in his last 26 games on 110 FGAs), with trusty handles (42 assists to 16 TOVs over same span, 3:1), should be the recipient of Monks minutes if he doesn’t get right.

The goal is get stops and get wins, not just get on ESPN sportscenter plays of the week. 

Dan Houlder
Dan Houlder
March 27, 2024 8:12 am
Reply to  kings4ever

I read all of that and also respectfully disagree with almost every single point of it.

The Kings can and should offer Monk as much as they can this offseason in order to keep him, because he is an essential reason why the Kings record currently stands where it is.

The Kings will offer as much as they possibly can. The real question is whether Monk decides to accept it. And I hope he does.

kings4ever
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March 27, 2024 8:35 am
Reply to  Dan Houlder

Only half or less of what I wrote is commentary. The rest is objective fact. You don’t disagree with objective facts, do you? Let me ask another way. Is 30.2% three point shootng on 235 attempts over half of the season objectively good?

This is the same forum that as a collective, did NOT vehemently or even tepidly call for Huerter to be demoted and Keon to be promoted, as I did, when it was the obvious move.

Now in retrospect, the fans are like “well of course, it needed to happen and thank goodness it did”. There was one other poster who was strongly in favor of Keon starting, but idk his name “OldBhoy, I think” credit due there)

This was a move forced upon the coach that may save our season, and save us from the Play-In. So when fans disagree with me around here, I take it as a badge of honor. It means I am onto something.

Dan Houlder
Dan Houlder
March 27, 2024 8:46 am
Reply to  kings4ever

I disagree that more than half of what you wrote is “objective fact.”

Dan Houlder
Dan Houlder
March 27, 2024 8:52 am
Reply to  kings4ever

I simply don’t understand the rationale that if someone disagrees with you that it means that you are onto something.

To me, I just can’t wrap my head around it–unless you already earnestly want to believe something and are looking for some support to do so.

kings4ever
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March 27, 2024 9:49 am
Reply to  Dan Houlder

Boo hoo, don’t pick on Monk, boo hoo. Thats what I am hearing from you.

The facts are the facts. The stats are the stats. I have nothing personal against Monk, I like him. He’s extremely talented player who I enjoy to watch.

I presented a nuanced viewpoint, supported by facts, that may be too difficult for you to process. Monk is a highlight machine who doesn’t guard (and if you want these stats let me know) and whose deep ball has abandoned him:

9% over 5 games (2 for 23), 30% over half of the season as he jacks relentlessly and attacks the paint no matter how many defenders await with tunnel vision to get raw PPG and APG, effeciency be damned, to get 6MOY and cash in this summer.

Binary thinking rarely reflects human nature. It is naive and immature way to think Monk is purely selfless, altruistic as the salvation army, that there is NO self-interest involved. Monk wants to do right by the team, wants to play the right way AND he wants to maximize his market value.

I do think that these somewhat conflicting objectives have adversely affected his play. If you care to diasgree, be my guest, be wrong.

BeTheBall
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March 27, 2024 10:06 am
Reply to  kings4ever

He’s extremely talented player who I enjoy to watch.

Is he though? I say that because the numbers you post don’t seem to support that, no more so than our other resident unimpressive players like Keegan and Harrison. They certainly don’t support all this 6MOTY push he’s getting from local media, either.

kings4ever
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March 27, 2024 10:44 am
Reply to  BeTheBall

Well, he’s in a slump, at a bad time, coinciding with our playoff push and his pending free agency, He was 42% on 160 3s in November and December.

He’s down 12 percentage points from deep from the 1st half to second half the season. Womp womp.

If you can breakdown any defender, where you have juke upon juke move, craft, the body control, all angles of pass, creativity, off hand finishes etc, moves to make Fox raise an eyebrow, that qualifies in my book as “extremely talented”.

Extremely talented is not same as extremely effecient any more than one way is equivalent to a two way player, hence where the limitations lie.

BeTheBall
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March 27, 2024 1:29 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

Most of the season isn’t a slump, it’s a norm.

For what it’s worth, all players that make the NBA are “extremely talented”. Some just achieve luck with their showboating a little better than others.

kings4ever
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March 27, 2024 2:54 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

There is a handful of players in the NBA that can juke defenders out of their shoes, so to speak. Malik is in this category.

I would say he has elite shiftiness as an offensive player. He has an above average athlete relative to his peers. And the most difficult skill in the NBA is an ability to consistently score.

NBA players are elite of the elite in their sport. It goes without saying they are ‘extremely talented’ in this regard so there is no reason to say it.

WHAT IS YOUR POINT, BE THE BALL?

You don’t think Malik is any good? You don’t need to try to tell me of his weakness, I just spent 1000 words detailing his struggles.

AnybodyButBagley
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March 27, 2024 5:35 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

Malik is breaking ankles?

You watch the Kings games?

Last edited 3 months ago by AnybodyButBagley
BeTheBall
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March 27, 2024 8:17 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

Elite shiftiness? Bagley had an elite second jump. So that’s cool, I suppose.

I think Malik is a good player, but not a very good player or a great player. Ultimately, I find him to be overrated among the fans. He’s a likable guy, which history shows is a quality that tends to up a player’s talent rating in the eyes of the fanbase. My fear is, as we did with Barnes and Lyles, we’re going to find a way to commit salary to Malik that outweighs his actual production.

Jack
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March 29, 2024 7:47 am
Reply to  BeTheBall

As much as I hate to agree you are right.

AnybodyButBagley
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March 27, 2024 5:35 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

You make a coherent point in less than 19 paragraphs.

I celebrate this.

AnybodyButBagley
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March 27, 2024 5:33 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

Reality isn’t popular. Be quiet please.

AnybodyButBagley
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March 27, 2024 5:33 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

Who hurt you?

Jack
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March 29, 2024 7:44 am
Reply to  kings4ever

I love Monk and he is one of my favorite King. He has positives and negatives to his game. If Monty can keep him on a good to modest contract then keep him if not put the money somewhere else.

AnybodyButBagley
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March 27, 2024 5:31 pm
Reply to  Dan Houlder

He is the only person who supports Ellis.

I never got bashed by three hundred Ellis fan boys when I pointed out the reality of Ellis. It was only this one guy…

oshima9
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March 27, 2024 9:41 am
Reply to  kings4ever

I don’t post a lot but I was pushing for Keon to get a lot more minutes, starting or not. Never understood the sensitivity towards Huerter.

RikSmits
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March 27, 2024 11:29 am
Reply to  kings4ever

I hope they’ll put your statue next to mine, kings4ever. I am also rarely wrong on the internet.

Last edited 3 months ago by RikSmits
AnybodyButBagley
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March 27, 2024 5:39 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

It is the humility and concise voice I find worthy of a statue.

BeTheBall
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March 27, 2024 1:55 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

For what it’s worth, I’m fairly confident the Kings could have been blown out by 30+ last night and smoked in Washington, with or without Keon in the starting lineup. Not to mention also currently sitting in a play-in slot, right now.

Considering we’ve slid from the 6th to the 8th in the 10 days since the injury (8th being where we’ve spend the most time), I’m more curious about what you’re on…to give you that sort of confidence….than what you’re onto.

Last edited 3 months ago by BeTheBall
AnybodyButBagley
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March 27, 2024 5:40 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

For what it’s worth…nobody has read anything he wrote.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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March 27, 2024 8:40 am
Reply to  Dan Houlder

Yes, Monk is an essential reason why the Kings record is where it stands, but he’s also a central reason why they may not get farther than the play-in.

K4E can be long winded, but his point about Monk not being a good shooter is true. Monk epitomizes the idea of “live by the three, die by the three.” He’s a microwave player off the bench than can hurt you sometimes just as much as he helps at other times.

I’m 50/50 on him returning. There are better teams that can offer him more money and a starting role. If the Kings don’t make the playoffs and Philly or Orlando offer him marginally more than what the Kings can pay him, I feel he walks and I wouldn’t blame him one bit.

Something else to chew on… if the Kings do keep him at the max they can give him, it puts the team dangerously close to the tax threshold, which would cost the Kings their full MLE this summer, thus crippling their ability to add more talent. Basically, going all in with Monk really hurts Monte’s ability to improve the roster elsewhere, apart from trades that simply rearrange the deck chairs.

Dan Houlder
Dan Houlder
March 27, 2024 8:50 am
Reply to  Adamsite

That’s all fair. What I’m saying is that I have no doubt that the Kings are going to offer him all they can to have him return, and I agree with that decision.

If I were Monk, I would probably end up elsewhere, because some other place will offer more. But my only point is that the Kings’ top priority this offseason should at least be to offer him as much as they can.

And if they don’t, I will consider that lack of an offer to be a big mistake.

Adamsite
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March 27, 2024 9:05 am
Reply to  Dan Houlder

Something else to consider… If the Kings don’t make the playoffs, they keep their very late lottery pick (unless they trade it on draft night). That pick’s guaranteed deal and Monk’s likely full Earl Bird contact, would put the Kings into the tax and cost them the full MLE.

It’s all the more important that the Kings make the playoffs and convey that pick to ATL. If that happens, there is chance the Kings can still offer Monk a lucrative deal AND remain below the tax line. The issue is going to be rounding out the rest of the roster.

Hobby916
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March 27, 2024 9:25 am
Reply to  Adamsite

If Monk leaves this summer, the Kings are still capped, or fairly close, right? What ways would they have to improve the roster, other than the full MLE and trades of existing players? Could they just use the MLE and make improvements?

I am not up on exactly how they can work some cap magic, to improve the roster if Monk leaves.

Adamsite
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March 27, 2024 9:37 am
Reply to  Hobby916

They are already over the cap at around $150M next season, which means they only have exceptions, draft picks, and vet minimum deals to offer. They project to be around $19M below the tax. FWIW, the Kings have not crossed the tax threshold in the Vivek era.

Also, see what Maximus posted about the full MLE. It sounds like that won’t take effect until 2025.

Maximus
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March 27, 2024 9:32 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Monk’s likely full Earl Bird contact, would put the Kings into the tax and cost them the full MLE

Yes they can do both. If they are over the tax in the 2024-2025 season then they cannot use full MLE in the 2025 offseason. They should be ok to use the full MLE this 2024 offseason.

Adamsite
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March 27, 2024 9:40 am
Reply to  Maximus

Ahhh, thanks for the clarification. So the full MLE is determined by where the Kings finish in salary this season. I had assumed it kicks in right when you go over the tax. So they can go over the tax line, if need be to retain Monk, and use their full MLE this summer. That definitely changes things.

Maximus
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March 27, 2024 9:47 am
Reply to  Adamsite

No problem

eddie41
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March 27, 2024 2:00 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Monk is a 3-level scorer

rockbottom
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March 27, 2024 8:16 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

There are better teams that will offer more and a starting spot ! Seems like a weaker team should want to keep him .

Dan Houlder
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March 27, 2024 8:19 am
Reply to  kings4ever

I also find it odd that you seem focused on Monk caring so much about an individual award like Sixth Man of the Year when in everything he has said and done, I can’t remember anything indicating such a selfish wish on his own behalf.

AnybodyButBagley
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March 27, 2024 5:29 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

Nobody is reading that.

Please summarize this.

Do you like Monk on a max deal for the next 22 years?

HongKongKingsFan
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March 27, 2024 8:18 am

I just don’t see the efforts at all…..(except the very 1st Qtr)

On the other hands, the Mavs players were playing harder…..

I hope the Kings players can consistently win those 50/50 ball….and we need some ball dog to boost the team, to energize the team.

aplumley
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March 27, 2024 8:30 am

The Dallas Stars outshone the Kings Stars. It basically came down to that. Hopefully the Kings bounce back on Friday. That still would give them a tiebreak if it comes down to that.

9sac8
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March 27, 2024 9:23 am

Well…

RobHessing
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March 27, 2024 10:14 am

comment image

eddie41
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March 27, 2024 10:20 am

so, I’d like to see some discussion about how the Kings are utilizing Domas in the low post and how it can be improved. the success rate seems low.

It’s always on the left block, never on the right, and when Domas goes to his strong hand, he gets cut off at the baseline and can’t generate anything. They had success two games ago in the 1st quarter running Keegan off him like Peja and have not run it since. Davion hit a three spotting up two games ago, but Domas has had no other passing options the other times a wing has made an entry pass and stayed put. It seems futile and the feeling reminds me of when the Dubs took away the DHO.

(1) why not utilize Keegan more there, where he is a threat to shoot or cut for a dunk and can run his man around in circles, (2) or run it with Sasha, and (3) would it be better on the right side where Domas can turn to face the court when he goes to his strong side instead of the baseline.

Vlade and Peja had it down to perfection. But the entire Lakers team was doing it during the ’95-’96 season, with either Vlade, Magic, or Elden Campbell passing from the low block, and guys like Eddie Jones and Cedric Ceballos running around them.

Hobby916
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March 27, 2024 10:26 am
Reply to  eddie41

Yeah, it is an issue. I really hope that Domas can expand his game more offensively and be a “go to guy” when the team needs a bucket. He kicks out to shooters, whom haven’t hit many shots lately.

eddie41
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March 27, 2024 10:30 am
Reply to  Hobby916

he’s kicking out to shooters from the high post, like he always has, but I’m talking about the situations lately when they’re feeding him in the low block.

RikSmits
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March 27, 2024 10:54 am
Reply to  eddie41

Teams collapse towards Domas the moment he gets into the point. So he usually has to kick it out and our shooters have to hit their shots.

If he doesn’t kick it out he has to be faster or more decisive, because he’s bound to lose the ball in a swarm of arms. Sometimes he’s too slow and methodical.

eddie41
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March 27, 2024 10:57 am
Reply to  RikSmits

when is the last time you’ve seen someone feed Domas in the low post on the right side?

eddie41
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March 27, 2024 11:54 am
Reply to  RikSmits

that’s one example starting from the left low block and interestingly, Domas ended up on the right low block from where he made the pass to Keegan. thanks for sharing.

RikSmits
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March 27, 2024 11:55 am
Reply to  eddie41

Yesterday. 😉

eddie41
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March 27, 2024 12:23 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

no. I asked for the last time someone fed Domas the ball in the low post on the right side.

because, … wait for it ,… Domas is left handed.

RikSmits
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March 28, 2024 11:00 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Drat.

Last edited 3 months ago by RikSmits
Jman1949
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March 28, 2024 12:00 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Let’s see if this link works:
https://videos.nba.com/nba/pbp/media/2024/03/26/0022301047
/418/3cal16456-1446-b493-707e-8c89af99414a_1280x720.mp4

Last edited 3 months ago by Jman1949
Jman1949
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March 28, 2024 12:09 pm
Reply to  Jman1949

Nope

RikSmits
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March 28, 2024 11:07 am
Reply to  RikSmits

[video src="https://videos.nba.com/nba/pbp/media/2024/03/26/0022301047/418/3ca16456-1446-b493-707e-8c89af99414a_1280x720.mp4" /]

Last edited 3 months ago by RikSmits
Bluejohn
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March 27, 2024 5:13 pm
Reply to  eddie41

Eddie…….you walked right into that one!

eddie41
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March 27, 2024 11:06 am
Reply to  RikSmits

both your comment and the comment by Hobby916 are talking about when Domas gets the ball in the high post, which is not the situation I brought up in my initial comment.

Hobby916
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March 27, 2024 11:10 am
Reply to  eddie41

I do see him get the ball down on the block at times, and they try to run actions off him, it just isn’t good. Keegan is not the player that Peja was, and Domas is a different kind of passing big than Vlade. Those Kings teams were also freaking stacked for a starting 5, and this current roster is nothing close to those teams.

So yes, run more action on the low block with Domas and Keegan and see how it works, I just don’t think they will. Brown has his system and that play is not really in his playbook.

eddie41
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March 27, 2024 11:23 am
Reply to  Hobby916

okay then why not put it in the playbook, and do it from the right low block where Domas can see the entire court more easily. Domas will figure it out. and Jerry Reynolds recently said that Keegan is better at this point in his career than Peja was.

Hobby916
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March 27, 2024 1:11 pm
Reply to  eddie41

Because Brown is set in his ways? I don’t know.

rockbottom
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March 27, 2024 8:22 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

Keegan better than Pega in both year two . Check the stats. Better in every way including winning game pct. You remember Pega in year 5 .

RikSmits
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March 27, 2024 11:26 am
Reply to  eddie41

Sorry, I just react to the overall situation that he gets swarmed in the post.

He should have more angles and room to manouver in the high post than in the low post, so I don’t know if that would be an improvement.

Last year in the playoffs, GSW swarmed him in the post despite spacing and our 3-point threat. This season we aren’t even that much of a threat from 3, so he has to operate with even worse spacing.

If you want him on the low block, maybe they should stop letting him bring the ball up and let him sprint to the paint to establish position deep and feed him before the defense can get set. Problem is that the Kings are so dependent on his rebounding that he’s often not in the position to do that

eddie41
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March 27, 2024 11:47 am
Reply to  RikSmits

our comments are passing over one another.

the high-post offense has been successful mostly and I’ve never said to not do it.

regarding Domas in the low block, they Kings have already been attempting it during the last three games (about 7 to 9 times). There’s no difficulty with the entry pass. What I’m discussing now is how to do it better when they do feed him in the low post, and maybe do it a bit more often when other plays are not working.

eddie41
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March 27, 2024 10:46 am
Reply to  eddie41

here are some examples of what they can do … and because Domas is lefty, switch to the other low block.

NowLoveThemOnceAgain
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March 28, 2024 11:49 am

Sacramento Kings: 132 pts, 38.9% fg, 36.7% 3 pt, 78.9% ft, 27 ast, 42 reb, 14 to

Dallas Mavericks: 96 pts, 55.4% fg, 56.4% 3 pt, 61.5% ft, 33 ast, 50 reb, 9 to

Fake news…or sloppy editing?

ajonez81
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March 28, 2024 4:06 pm

Let’s not overreact to one loss, this team has been destined for the 6-8 seed all year long, and not much has changed. The Kings have looked good in some of their National games and bad on others, I still think they are a fun team to watch and are pretty well-liked nationally. I’m enjoying the last couple years a lot but I really hope this is not the peak because the success has been pretty average so far.

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