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Pacers 126, Kings 121: The Kings look broken

Another horrible loss.
By | 167 Comments | Jan 18, 2024

Jan 18, 2024; Sacramento, California, USA; Sacramento Kings guard De'Aaron Fox (5) controls the ball against Indiana Pacers forward Jalen Smith (25) during the second quarter at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

On occasion, the basketball gods gift a struggling but good team a random scheduling break. Tonight should have been that night for the Sacramento Kings.

Facing the injury and trade-affected Indiana Pacers, who were missing two All-Stars in Tyrese Haliburton and Pascal Siakam, and two starters in Bruce Brown and Aaron Nesmith, the Kings embarrassed themselves at home against a team that could only dress 11 guys, including a couple of two-way players. This team, which once had hopes of a deep playoff run, allowed the Pacers to punk them for the vast majority of the game, as they refused to play an iota of defense, refused to protect the rim, and refused to care about the fans in the packed Golden 1 Center who were more desperate for a win than the team they were cheering on.

Outside of a late run in the final two minutes that saw De’Aaron Fox finally look like himself and the Kings finally show an ounce of pride on the defensive end of the floor, TJ McConnell was the best player on the hardwood all evening, carving up Sacramento’s defense for 20 points and 10 assists, while Benedict Mathurin put up 25 points of his own, and the much less talented, and much more aggressive and focused Indiana Pacers walked out of Sacramento with an unlikely, but somehow unsurprising victory.

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

The Good:
  1. Red Hot Red Velvet: After struggling for the majority of the season, Kevin Huerter has come back to life as of late, and that trend continued on Thursday evening. He was the best player on the court for the Kings, on both sides of the ball, and Huerter ended the night with a career-high 31 points, including 7 of 12 from deep. It’s good to see one of Sacramento’s most important players (and trade assets) find his confidence again.
The Bad:
  1. Free throws: The Sacramento Kings can’t shoot free throws. Despite a 32-19 free throw attempt advantage, the Kings added just three extra points in that column, as the made just 18 of their 32 attempts, good enough for 56%. De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk combined to make 6 of 15 free throws.
  2. Late game execution: As the Kings made their run in the final two minutes, and as their defense tightened up and flummoxed the panicked Indiana Pacers, a slight breath of hope could be felt in the building, but the Kings snuffed that out with several late errors. Kevin Huerter committed an awful foul on Buddy Hield to send him to the line for two free throws, De’Aaron Fox took an ill-advised, difficult three-pointer instead of looking for the red hot Kevin Huerter, and Malik Monk missed a pair of free throws to seal Sacramento’s fourth consecutive loss. At some point, playing lazy, undisciplined basketball for 46 minutes spills over into a successful run, and that’s exactly what happened to the Kings.
The Ugly:
  1. Defense: Normally, when a more talented team shoots 51% from the field and 41% from the three-point line, they find themselves in the win column, but Sacramento’s lackadaisical defensive effort throughout the entire night essentially neutralized their impressive offensive performance. They allowed a layup and dunk line, with the Pacers scoring 70 first half points and 62 points in the paint, and at no point did a single Kings player seem to care. There were certainly occasional individual efforts on that end of the floor, but the lack of leadership and accountability on defense was palpable, as it has been for the last several weeks.

The King of Kings

Whoever the Kings might trade for to rescue this season.

Up Next

Monday, January 22nd vs. Atlanta Hawks – 7:00 P.M. (PT)

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Hobby916
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January 18, 2024 10:20 pm

At some point Brown needs to be questioned about his starting unit and the rotation in general. Barnes usually gives nothing positive, but he gets ran out there every game. Maybe he needs a stint on the bench like Hierter got.

Put Sasha in the starting unit. He at least has a pulse.

And if no trades are going to be made, the 2nd half of the season just might get ugly.

Jack
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January 19, 2024 7:03 am
Reply to  Hobby916

the Kings are just treading water right now and if they don’t get at least 2 life jackets thrown to them they will drown.

Jack
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January 19, 2024 7:25 am
Reply to  Jack

PS Those 2 life jackets better play defense. The Kings are also last in the league in free throws. I can’t believe this is a NBA basketball team. My high school players shoot better and none of them went to the NBA. Seems to me we arern’t playing to wn but playing not to lose. Surre different than last year. When you are a starting forward who only scores 2 points and 1 rebound that’s a lot of your problem. Sorry Monte I think you have really made some really good decisions but this is not one of rhem. Hope it wasn’t sentimental. But the biggest problem is defense. You need to fix that. The other thing that bothers me is our bench. Last night the Pacers bench out played our bench by a great margin. Lyles seems to be no where to be found lately and Monk’s turnovers and bad free throws are really hurting us. That’s enough for now. I need some positives so I can sleep at night. GO 49ers!

Hobby916
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January 19, 2024 7:38 am
Reply to  Jack

I think Dejounte Murray is the guy to get, if possible. He slots in at starting SG, can handle the ball and play make a bit, and plays defense.

Playing him with Monkwpuld allow monkbto play off ball more. Monk turns the damn ball over too much.

Barnes would probably need to go out in the trade, so putting Sasha or Lyles in the starting unit, and huerter coming off the bench.

Whatever the route Monte takes, defense needs to be the focus.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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January 19, 2024 7:49 am
Reply to  Hobby916

I don’t think the Kings have the assets to get Dejounte.

Hobby916
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January 19, 2024 7:53 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Remove the 2024 protections and include an unprotected 2026? Plus Barnes/sasha/lyles/jones/Davion, etc to match salaries.

Not sure what the Hawks want. Kings also have the Portland 2024 or 2025 unprotected 2nd, so that should be a good pick.

Adamsite
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January 19, 2024 7:57 am
Reply to  Hobby916

Maybe, but it’s really only one pick if ATL assesses that the Kings are still likely to miss the playoffs, since they own the rights.

I also don’t think the Hawks want to take long term salary. IMO, It would take 2 picks, Monk and Mitchell at a minimum.

SelecaoKOJ
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January 19, 2024 8:01 am
Reply to  Hobby916

Think realistically. What would the Hawks want any of those players? Think about want you’re saying. Barnes has ZERo value. Davion cannot run an offense. Sasha is an unknown. Jones is a g league player. So you think the Hawks are giving a way an All Star for a couple late first rounders and garbage? Another Kings fan overvaluing the roster and assets.

Hobby916
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January 19, 2024 8:04 am
Reply to  SelecaoKOJ

I’m not overvalued the roster, I know they aren’t that good of players. Just not sure whatbthe Hawks are looking for. Maybe they like something about those players, maybe additional picks, who knows.

Realistically it probably won’t happen, and I know that.

NorCalKingsFan
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January 19, 2024 10:21 am
Reply to  Adamsite

The Hawks want 2 FRPs and they don’t want to take on any money beyond 2024 (they only want expiring contracts back).

I don’t think the Kings have any expiring salaries to match, but they have the draft assets Atlanta wants. It would take a 3rd team.

Hobby916
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January 19, 2024 10:31 am
Reply to  NorCalKingsFan

Monk and Davion works salary-wise on the trade machine. Davion has a team option for next year. So both are expiring if the Hawks decline Davion’s option. Now, the picks are a different situation as they would most likely be mid-late 1st rounders. Really comes down to who else wants Dejounte and what they are willing to trade.

BeTheBall
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January 19, 2024 11:00 am
Reply to  Hobby916

Davion’s 24-25 option was picked up this past offseason.

Hobby916
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January 19, 2024 11:03 am
Reply to  BeTheBall

Well that sucks. But he could be replaced in a deal with someone else. Dejounte ain’t coming to Sac anyway, so the point is moot.

Jack
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January 19, 2024 9:55 am
Reply to  Hobby916

Murray could be a good fit but we still need one more, a 4 at best, to replace Barnes. Then Murray would be the 3 where he should be.

oshima9
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January 19, 2024 12:56 pm
Reply to  Jack

I’m terrified about what is likely to happen over the next 10 games, starting with Golden State. I’m expecting a blowout with Draymond back.

DCKing
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January 19, 2024 7:27 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

I agree that Brown has been messing up and I am concerned. Sasha not being in the starting unit is fine, as long as he get 20-25 minutes a game. Our defense sucks a ton, but it’s about time inserting a bench player, other than Monk, who can score about 12 points a game with decent minutes. Lyles isn’t quite doing so hot lately, so make the necessary change and add Sasha to the rotation, using about 10-15 minutes from Barnes’ time.

Klam
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Nostradumbass 18
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January 18, 2024 10:28 pm

You can’t wait until two minutes left in the game to finally show up and start caring to win against second and third string players. They’ve lost the last four games in various disappointing ways, and you couldn’t afford to drop so many games you should’ve won when you’ve got a seven game road trip upcoming soon. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them drop in the standings significantly after this road trip is done, sadly.

ForKingsandCountry
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January 18, 2024 10:29 pm

The Kings are bad and they aren’t going to make the playoffs without major changes. It’s that simple. They’ve been bad for a month plus now so this result isn’t surprising. The Kings were above their skis last year and now the conference is better and now they’re regressing to the mean.

TheGrantNapear
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January 19, 2024 4:18 am

They’ll make the playoffs regardless but get bounced in the first by a superior team.

Jack
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January 19, 2024 7:30 am
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

I don’t know. There are quite a few new teams out there who have really improved. who they are. If by chance we do get into the playoffs I hope we aren’t playing the Pelicans.

ForKingsandCountry
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January 19, 2024 9:27 am
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

Not sure they’re making it out of the play-in. They’d need to play a lot better and they’ve got a brutal February schedule so I’m not sure I see it. I could easily see a couple long losing streaks.

BeTheBall
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January 19, 2024 11:06 am

We could very well be in the midst of a 10-game losing streak right now. Hard to see a realistic chance win prior to Chicago. Even that might be rough, depending on the Bulls’ trade situation.

ForKingsandCountry
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January 19, 2024 11:24 am
Reply to  BeTheBall

Yeah I think they could win but I’m not picking them with the way they’re playing right now.

Jack
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January 19, 2024 7:26 am

I agree!

rockbottom
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January 18, 2024 10:47 pm

This ship be sinking . Looks like a play-in team currently .

RikSmits
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January 18, 2024 11:01 pm
Reply to  rockbottom

Yeah. Hard to see them sinking below that, but nothing would surprise me.

BeTheBall
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January 19, 2024 11:06 am
Reply to  rockbottom

I don’t think this is even a play-in roster. A game or two under .500 feels about right for this group.

Last edited 6 months ago by BeTheBall
UpgradedToQuestionable
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January 18, 2024 10:50 pm

comment image&ct=g

Brown.says.Good.or.Bad
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January 18, 2024 10:50 pm

Probably time to stop watching these games live for a while, they’re not good for mental health.

Is there such a thing as a FT&D player? Someone who can shoot free throws and play defense? They would be worth trading for

Last edited 6 months ago by Marcus Brown
Klam
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January 18, 2024 10:52 pm

If they start collapsing I might have to end my monthly League Pass at some point. Don’t wanna watch bad basketball.

Amonk81
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January 18, 2024 11:10 pm
Reply to  Klam

It not worth watching. And how the hell did we get back to Shitsville (Population : Kings) so fast.

RikSmits
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January 18, 2024 10:52 pm

The majestic swagger of last season was here at the beginning of the season and then it is as if it has gradually been beamed away and all that’s left is that sticky icky Kangzness.

Really hard to explain, and there are probably several factors. Coaching and leadership are surely big factors.

Time for Domas to stop leading by example and lean into everyone who give an half-ass effort and demand more. including from Fox. On the other hand, Domas has to be more willing to demand the ball and make shots.

At this moment, I expect little leadership from Fox. I may be wrong, because he has proven me wrong before and I don’t know what goes on in the locker room etc. But not looking great from the outside.

I don’t know what Brown is doing but you can feel the desperation in the constant changing rotations. Sasha played well last night and only got 10 minutes now, while the big 3 played heavy minutes and the rotations shortened. Brown really wanted this win and didn’t get it.

Last edited 6 months ago by RikSmits
Amonk81
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January 18, 2024 11:08 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

It’s a house of cards about to collapse?

This team showed its weaknesses in the playoffs and none were addressed.

Add to that Fox is playing hurt- players have regressed and some like Davion hardly ever see the floor? Or Vez for stretches?

Monk is inexplicably handling the O/Ball more than anyone it seems. Last year, Davion and or Fox were always the primary-sharing w Monk. Why? A million questions like that now……it’s weird to say the least.

Is there more to it than just D personnel brought in?

RikSmits
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January 18, 2024 11:11 pm
Reply to  Amonk81

Has it been reported that Fox is injured? I must have missed that.

Amonk81
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January 18, 2024 11:15 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Fox has said awhile back he’s not 100 from ankle/might not be for awhile.

And Hamm said he’s dealing with a wrist and hip injury. (Beat up)

The wrist coincides with his poorer shooting mid range/amd freethhrows. And he’s not going into lane near as much. Doesn’t have the lift etc.

I do think this has a lot to do with Kings completely messed up O. But I also think Brown needs to adjust

RikSmits
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January 18, 2024 11:33 pm
Reply to  Amonk81

Hard to explain losing against teams missing their best players but we can’t win with Fox at 80%.

But if that is the case sit him out until he is 100%.

Amonk81
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January 19, 2024 12:41 am
Reply to  RikSmits

I was saying Fox hurt one of the reasons the Kings are a house of cards. I wasn’t using it as an excuse foR losing.

RikSmits
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January 19, 2024 1:45 am
Reply to  Amonk81

Gotcha, agreed.

Jack
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January 19, 2024 7:40 am
Reply to  Amonk81

How can Brown adjust especially with the bench. He doesn’t have a reliable bench.

Vlawde
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January 19, 2024 10:41 am
Reply to  Amonk81

I also noticed he keeps grabbing his shoulder and wincing

Hobby916
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January 19, 2024 10:43 am
Reply to  Vlawde

Yeah, that’s been an issue for a while now. He is definitely banged up, which means he needs to get the others involved on offense more and take a back seat for a bit.

Amonk81
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January 19, 2024 11:01 am
Reply to  Vlawde

Right. There’s obviously an issue with Fox. It’s why we don’t see 4th quarter Fox or him just taking over like before.

The Kings relied on him to take over when a bucket needed but he can’t at the moment, so their other facilitators/their O is exposed.

Jack
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January 19, 2024 7:36 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Some of it might be Brown and the coaching staffs fault but how do you win with one starter scores 2 with 1 rebound, nobody plays defense, nobody can shoot free throws and in most cases they turn the ball over especially in critical situations.All of this is not coaching.

TerzoM
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January 18, 2024 11:02 pm

Where art thou
comment image

RPO
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RPO
January 18, 2024 11:03 pm

They seem to have forgotten the fundamentals – ball distribution on offense, timely rotations on defense, FREE THROWS, etc. They play every game as if they have enough individual talent to win, not playing cohesive team ball. They’re charting a clear path toward a 0.500 record, maybe worse. Hopefully they figure things out before the bottom falls out completely.

Jack
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January 19, 2024 7:43 am
Reply to  RPO

They finally got the ball to Murray last night and looked what happened. The last couple of games that wasn’t done. You just can’t win when the only ones to get the ball in the 4th. quarter are Fox and Monk. Not even Sabonis. Go figure.

ForKingsandCountry
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January 18, 2024 11:12 pm

I have to say, I’m shocked that a team who played no defense last season and made no defensive improvements in the offseason can’t play defense! I’m shocked I tell you!

TheGrantNapear
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January 19, 2024 4:17 am

MM doubled down on O and is currently taking the L for it.

Jack
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January 19, 2024 7:45 am

IMO we don’t have the players to do this or they don’t care. It takes special players who want to play defense.

DutchKingsFanInUK
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January 18, 2024 11:19 pm

The Kings fucked around and found out. Just embarrassing defense at the point of attack, and Indy exploited that very well.

I hope Brown changes some things up after this. Barnes (deservedly so) gets a fair share of the blame, but this loss is as much on Fox and Monk, who put up zero resistance for most of the game.

BeTheBall
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January 18, 2024 11:44 pm

Fox and Monk have done the bare minimum on defense all year. It’s like they’re reinforcing which others poor play. Breaking up the brofest might be the best thing going forward.

TheGrantNapear
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January 19, 2024 4:16 am
Reply to  BeTheBall

This is the team that MM assembled. No D, no size, no athleticsim. Can’t blame the players for being who they are as players and playing their games.

RikSmits
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January 19, 2024 4:20 am
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

You can blame them for effort and focus.

Jack
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January 19, 2024 7:54 am
Reply to  RikSmits

You sure can.

TheGrantNapear
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January 19, 2024 9:03 am
Reply to  RikSmits

You need players that instill that within themselves. We don’t have that. We have no dogs. We have guys that like O and padding stat sheets but don’t want to get dirty. To me that is on MM as these are the players he signs.
HB didn’t need to be resigned, he’s a big part of that problem. Until there’s some dogs on this team, they’re going nowhere fast.

Jack
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January 19, 2024 7:54 am
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

Boy did you hit the nail on the head.

BeTheBall
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January 19, 2024 11:09 am
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

You can absolutely blame the players for ditching the ball-movement script they used to play by, and going rogue. You can also blame the coaching staff for not punishing their playing time for doing so.

Jack
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January 19, 2024 7:52 am

IMO it’s on the shoulders of all the players. Last night TJ had more straight line drives than Carter has little liver pills. Didn’t just last night but almost every night this year. We just can’t stop. Also look at Mathurin. He individually outplayed our whole team.

Hobby916
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January 19, 2024 7:56 am
Reply to  Jack

Brown couldn’t have changed the way the team was playing TJ earlier? Seemed like they stuck with the same scheme for the entire 1st half and we saw the results.

Adjustments were made in the 2nd half, but TJ then just found back cuts and was still blowing by Fox.

So why did the adjustment take so long? And why was Fox still trying to pressure TJ so far away from the hoop?

Brown has been slow to make adjustments defensively. We all see it every game and note it in the game thread. It seems to take the coaches waaaay too long to make any adjustments.

BeTheBall
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January 18, 2024 11:41 pm

The optimist in me hopes this roster looks dramatically different after the deadline passes. However, the realist in me says the FO and the staff feel like it’s close the perfect.

RikSmits
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January 19, 2024 4:22 am
Reply to  BeTheBall

Slightly disagree. I think the Fo understands that something needs to happen, but they are not willing to panic and seel the farm to accomplish that. Which at this point seems prudent to me. I do reserve the right to change my mind on that, though.

NorCalKingsFan
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January 19, 2024 10:30 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Yeah, this is almost a lost season because I think its obvious that FO wants to make a move but understands that it lacks the assets.

Unfortunately, the best path forward might just be to stand pat and hope that the team finds it’s groove again. Then look to make deals in the offseason if Huerter and/or Barnes regain enough value to make them tradeable for a decent asset.

Amonk81
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January 19, 2024 11:07 am
Reply to  NorCalKingsFan

I do think guys like Monk should be available to deal now. If it’s part of package to upgrade to a D Murray or someone who really defends.

As much as I live Monk, he and Amy King who doesn’t play real D can be traded.

This team is starting to feel like ATL the year they made a run, but the Kings haven’t made a run yet.

Next year ATL falls. Good O bad D etc.

My hope is, Monte comes from that Houston front office that was constantly dealing/changing.

Mike120
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January 19, 2024 12:55 am

The Milwaukee and Phoenix losses hurt but at least the Kings played well in both. They didn’t play well at all this game until I’d already left the building. Love Barnes the man, but really tired of seeing him on the court contributing nothing. Can’t win playing 4 on 5 despite what Vivek thinks. Mr. Coach of the Year needs to get his head out of his you know what and make a change.

TheGrantNapear
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January 19, 2024 4:14 am
Reply to  Mike120

HB is averaging 2.8 boards a game 😭

RikSmits
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January 19, 2024 4:26 am
Reply to  Mike120

Yeah, I now defend Barnes as much as he defends his opponents. He’s reggressed significantly.

I think exchanging Barnes for Sasha is the only logical mayor roster card left to play for Brown, even if it’s temporarily like with Huerter.

But I think with a starting spot, steady increase of minutes and a clear understanding of his role, Sasha might improve. May not fill the defensive holes, but there are too many to fill.

Hobby916
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January 19, 2024 6:10 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Well Sasha gives a whole lot more effort and rebounding than Barnes, so that would make a difference.

Jack
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January 19, 2024 7:59 am
Reply to  Hobby916

A small one but a difference.

SelecaoKOJ
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January 19, 2024 8:04 am
Reply to  Hobby916

I wouldn’t get too high on Sasha. He’s not really the answer. Remember this the Pacers have the 27th worst defense in the league So Inwoildnt be flexing on Sasha’s performance.

Adamsite
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January 19, 2024 7:43 am
Reply to  RikSmits

I can’t figure out how he has fallen off a cliff so quickly. Not only does he appear physically checked out, but mentally as well. I really hope something isn’t going on with him beyond basketball.

Hobby916
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January 19, 2024 7:48 am
Reply to  Adamsite

It’s like he aged 5 years in the 4 month off-season.

AmateurNerd
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January 19, 2024 10:04 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Wondering… didn’t he have a child recently? Babies and toddlers can seriously wear a person down, especially if they aren’t sleeping through the night. I was half-zombie for a year or so myself.

RealMaKoi
January 19, 2024 10:37 am
Reply to  AmateurNerd

That’s true, but you don’t have the same resources he does. I would think that someone would’ve told him that he can hire a nanny.

Hobby916
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January 19, 2024 10:44 am
Reply to  RealMaKoi

And he probably has a fairly large house so the kid can sleep on the other side of the house and he won’t hear the potential restless sleeping nights.

Amonk81
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January 19, 2024 11:09 am
Reply to  AmateurNerd

Looks like the entire squad practically just had babies then.

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January 19, 2024 11:12 am
Reply to  Amonk81

Light the binky!

Jack
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January 19, 2024 7:58 am
Reply to  RikSmits

That’s about what he has to wotk with. It’s worth a try.

Jack
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January 19, 2024 7:56 am
Reply to  Mike120

He doesn’t have much to work with.

bangbangplay
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January 19, 2024 12:59 am

Did we trade the wrong point guard lol? Fox gets these lulls every season and it sucks from the best or second best player

TheGrantNapear
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January 19, 2024 4:12 am
Reply to  bangbangplay

Of course we did. Hali is a better player than Fox at a younger age. It’s not complicated.

krswin
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January 19, 2024 10:21 am
Reply to  bangbangplay

We traded who we could. And got a fair value. Trading fox wouldn’t have netted us any value.
that’s my thought on it. Maybe we should have traded both Hali and Fox, probably could have gotten quite a haul.

ForKingsandCountry
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January 19, 2024 11:27 am
Reply to  bangbangplay

I think people forget that Fox had very little value when we traded Haliburton. I’m not sure how anyone could argue that Fox is better than Haliburton. They are both good but Haliburton has been clearly better this season and I don’t see why that would change given his skill set.

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January 19, 2024 2:56 am

Only saw the last 8 minutes or so. Looked very kangzy. Time to put Davion back in the rotation.

TheGrantNapear
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January 19, 2024 4:13 am
Reply to  eddie41

The Davion ship has sailed. He’s merely trade fodder at this point.

Hobby916
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January 19, 2024 7:26 am
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

He doesn’t fit anything the coaches are trying to do. Hope he finds a home somewhere else and plays well.

eddie41
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January 19, 2024 11:54 am
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

Have fun watching Kangz

BeTheBall
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January 19, 2024 1:21 pm
Reply to  eddie41

We’ve been watching them all season.

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January 19, 2024 5:24 am

These last five losses have been all over the map.

Bucks was a great breaker with not enough defense and FTs.
Suns was a great game for 42 minutes, and like Mike Brown said, it was an offensive collapse from not being able to execute on that end.
Tonight was FTs and effort.
The pelicans out muscled the Kings and I didn’t really watch the Philly game.

What I feel like is we don’t have a ton of game plan adaptation. We seem to run a lot of the same offensive sets in game without changing if it isn’t working. When one guy is torching us, we often can’t stop it. The other team exploits it, but we don’t adjust. Three only exception to that I remember is Detroit’s Bogdanovic going for 20 in the first and finishing with 26 total.

This team is in a funk. We’re not losing trap games or tough teams. We’re not unable to finish our getting blown out. It’s all of it, but in ways that don’t make sense. I still think things will get better but I want to see Barnes benched a few games like Kevin was and I hope we can do more mid game adjustments.

DNP-CD
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January 19, 2024 5:40 am

Barnes needs to take a seat. Also, can someone hit a free throw please. If we’d hit 75% (or so) we’d have won.

AriAvery
January 19, 2024 6:59 am

This just isn’t the same team.

Even in losses last year, we had an identity of pushing the pace, playing the half court through Sabonis, or Fox attacking the paint and punishing them or kicking it out to open shooters. I don’t see any of that this year.

The only thing I’m okay with during these past few weeks of bad ball is that the front office just got a little bit hotter and a move at the deadline seems like a must-do compared to if we went 12-3 in the last 15.

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January 19, 2024 7:36 am

For anyone wondering why I’m so adamant about trading for a legit wing defender, even if it takes Monk, just look at what the Knicks have done with OG. The Kings shot 51% and 40% last night. The offense is not the problem, IT’S THE DEFENSE.

Monte…go get someone like a Thybulle or Caruso and save this season. The Knicks gave up their Monk in Quickley to get OG.

Hobby916
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January 19, 2024 7:39 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Defense? What’s that?

SelecaoKOJ
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January 19, 2024 8:09 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Caruso misses an average of 30 games every single year. He can’t be depended on to even last in the playoffs. Thybulle is nowhere the level of OG. He’s a guy that can come off the bench and give you spot minutes for D. But would not provide anything offensively. OG was the Play and Kings decided to ride with Keegan.

Adamsite
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January 19, 2024 9:27 am
Reply to  SelecaoKOJ

I disagree. The last time the Kings had a player who made an impact on the defensive end like those two was Artest, or even Christie. You dont’ get those players to score the ball, you get them to vastly improve the defense at the POA which results in transition offense. They may not show up in the boxscore iin terms of PPG, but they’re impact shows up in the end score.

I’m still in the mindset that the move should (hopefully) be Grant and Thybulle. I’d offer picks and any player not named Fox, Sabonis, or Keegan.

My guess is PDX responds with Keegan, filler, and no picks from Sac. PDX wants to cut salary and build with youth. They’d slot in Keegan at the 4.

It honestly wouldn’t surprise me if PDX actually offered a pick, Grant, and Thybulle for Keegan and filler. Monte will then be tasked with a tough decision.

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January 19, 2024 10:40 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Tim is on it. Make it so.

Hobby916
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January 19, 2024 10:45 am
Reply to  Adamsite

But doesn’t the 2024 to Atlanta prevent them from trading future picks?

Adamsite
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January 19, 2024 10:47 am
Reply to  Hobby916

I believe he’s implying the Kings remove all protections from the 2024 pick to ATL to make it happen.

Hobby916
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January 19, 2024 10:50 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Most likely. Tim knows his stuff. It could solve some of the issues with the defense.

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January 19, 2024 11:21 am
Reply to  Adamsite

ATL would likely do that in a heartbeat, as it would have a chance to get a lottery pick this year.

RikSmits
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January 19, 2024 10:47 am
Reply to  Hobby916

It’s in a tweet, so it must be possible.

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January 19, 2024 10:57 am
Reply to  Adamsite

I’d be all for it…even at a slight overpay.

I think the Kings best remaining shot at really mixing things up this year is to find a trade with a team like Portland that has 2 players the team could start in place of Barnes & Huerter than improves the defense.

Portland – Thybulle (SG) & Grant (PF)
Toronto – Brown (SG) & Boucher (PF)
Chicago – Caruso (SG) & Williams (PF)

Obviously, the Kings don’t have many player assets worth much to send back and would most likely need to throw in FRPs/SRPs, and pick swaps to get a deal done.

BeTheBall
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January 19, 2024 11:19 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Not sure why Portland takes on that many bad players just to get two picks. Especially considering that, outside of just waiving them, they’d have to include picks to dump them on somebody else.

I also assume Camara is for salary matching purposes? As he also has no real redeeming trade value.

Inthestarz
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January 19, 2024 7:31 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Kings fans and others constantly over valuing Kings assets and undervaluing others.

there is no “overpay” about it, it’s IMO another biased trade. The players have no value and the picks would be unprotected to say the least for both Grant and Thybulle

Last edited 5 months ago by Inthestarz
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January 19, 2024 1:18 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Maybe they can trade Keegan for Kris but Kris and Keegan just change jerseys and stay in place.

I’m not saying this would work, but it’s an idea..

ForKingsandCountry
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January 19, 2024 9:31 am
Reply to  Adamsite

The offense is significantly worse than last year so I would say both things are the problem.

Adamsite
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January 19, 2024 9:41 am

I credit the slip in offense to Barnes and Huerter’s poor production. Fox, Sabonis, and Keegan are doing just fine.

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January 19, 2024 11:30 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Yeah but having 4 above average offensive players on a given night isn’t a recipe for success either (and Keegan fluctuates from night to night). The truth is the Kings are worse because they’re defense is about the same (bad) and their offense is much worse. Fox has played a lot worse for a month now and if that’s the case this team is in big trouble given the regression from everyone else.

Amonk81
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January 19, 2024 11:10 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Completely agree. Monk is traceable. Offense is fun but it ain’t what wins.

Amonk81
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January 19, 2024 11:11 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Throw in Hierter too. Vez. All these guys don’t really defend.

Not to mention, the Kings 2 stars ar OK defenders as best.

Hobby916
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January 19, 2024 8:02 am

The defensive rating is similar to last year, but the league has surged in offense as a whole, while the kings have regressed offensively. That’s the main difference I see. The defense didn’t improve at the rate that the league improved offensively.

FT% is down around 7% from last season, which has a decent impact in close games.

TerzoM
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January 19, 2024 8:16 am
Reply to  Hobby916

Fox is playing hurt, and Kvon may be back – so the O will switch from regress to progress eventually. FT is not rocket science – fixable. Defense – what a shitshow. So many deadweights on the bench, defense trade improvements seems doable. Senator HB40, I love you man, but you need to be recalled.

Sacto_J
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January 19, 2024 9:48 pm
Reply to  TerzoM

What is Fox’s injury? Has there been an a report?

Kfan
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January 19, 2024 8:16 am

That was ugly. Three day break, get your shit together Kings!

RealMaKoi
January 19, 2024 10:41 am
Reply to  Kfan

and shoot 5,000 FTs each.

RobHessing
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January 19, 2024 10:44 am
Reply to  RealMaKoi

(Makes 3,500)

NorCalKingsFan
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January 19, 2024 10:48 am
Reply to  RobHessing

The missed FTs are the most mind-boggling issue to me.

Something is effecting this team’s psyche and its apparent in the little “mental” mistakes made like missing FTs, rotations, or poor touch fouls.

RobHessing
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January 19, 2024 10:50 am
Reply to  NorCalKingsFan

comment image
comment image
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NorCalKingsFan
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January 19, 2024 11:04 am
Reply to  RobHessing

“The mind plays tricks on you. You play tricks back!”

Hobby916
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January 19, 2024 10:51 am
Reply to  NorCalKingsFan

Buttholes are puckered. Couldn’t get a greased bb up there. It’s all mental, trying to do too much.

NorCalKingsFan
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January 19, 2024 11:03 am
Reply to  Hobby916

Could it really be as simple as getting the team to relax and just concentrate on the basics of good basketball?

Hobby916
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January 19, 2024 11:06 am
Reply to  NorCalKingsFan

It could be. We aren’t in practice so we don’t know what all is happening. Maybe they are pressing too much because of higher expectations? Coaches pushing them with more advanced schemes and they struggle to grasp those concepts?

It’s all spit balling at this point. Sometimes going back to the basics is how you find your way forward.

NorCalKingsFan
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January 19, 2024 11:10 am
Reply to  Hobby916

I don’t envy Mike Brown in this situation.

MM has given MB the same set of inputs as last year but wants a different and somehow better output.

BeTheBall
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January 19, 2024 11:22 am
Reply to  RobHessing

Optimist.

HongKongKingsFan
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January 19, 2024 8:16 am

We would have won the game, if the Kings player grabbed the ball, instead of letting the ball goes out-of-bounds, after Buddy Hield shot an “air” 3 points shot…..
(But later found out it was blocked by a Kings players, and again ended up Pacers’ ball, and afterwards they hit a 3)

I mean, if that Kings player is not lazy, instead of letting the ball goes out-of-bound, he can simply grabbed the ball, and saved 3 pts on that possession.

Like I always said, win those 50/50 ball by doing small stuffs, like hustling / dive onto the ground to save the ball (like what TJ McConnell did)…

Again, it’s time to rewards some players who actually play hard

NorCalKingsFan
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January 19, 2024 10:39 am

You’re talking about the play airball that Keegan let go out of bounds…I don’t think it was a lazy play, a teammate on the court yelled at him to let it go (not knowing it was last toughed by the Kings).

Amonk81
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January 19, 2024 11:18 am

The overall lack of aggression- going after 50/50 balls drives me crazy.

So often the Kings watch the ball rather than grabbing the rebound. Or don’t go in the floor to get the ball. Keegan, Monk, all of em practically. Why?

AmateurNerd
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January 19, 2024 8:22 am

The magic is gone. The team has no spark, edge, “beam,” whatever you want to call it. Monte’s “run it back” idea seemed sensible at the time, but the message it sent to the team was “we’re not contending.” I would consider trading Monk. He is a flamethrower, but he’s undisciplined, sloppy with the ball, and a defensive sieve — a rich man’s Buddy Hield. He also has major trade value. Package him with Barnes, Huerter, etc., grab yourself a true difference-maker, and level up the roster talent while sending a message to the rest of the team at the same time.

RobHessing
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January 19, 2024 8:28 am

comment image

RobHessing
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January 19, 2024 8:32 am
Reply to  RobHessing

On second thought…

Playoff seeding certainly doesn’t matter the way they’re currently playing. They’re either a quickly dispatched play-in team right now or the team left without a chair when the music stops.

Monk needs to reign in the crazy play or he is not a viable backup PG. And when he’s on the floor with Sabonis & Fox he needs to understand his role.

This team has to figure out the FT problem. More fiber, a hypnotist, sacrificing a virgin, but your opponents are hanging 81% from the line vs. your 72.5%. You’re a -2.7 per night from the line. Yipes.

Your opponents are a full percentage better than you from the field (48.7 to 47.7) and from 2 percentage points from deep (39.2 to 37.2). Yep. The entirety of every opposing player that has jacked a 3 against you is the same percentage as Malik Monk.

The defense is an absolute sucking chest wound, and being 13th in FG% & 13th from 3, & 30th(!!!) from the line completely amplifies the defensive woes.

I still don’t blame Brown for this. There is nothing on this roster to replace Barnes other than square pegs. Lyles & Vez, as much as we hope, are not those guys. The Kings needed a true wing stopper this past summer & couldn’t get it done. Not sure how they fix this on the fly. We throw a lot of names around, but many of them are less than pristine fits or are not reasonably attainable when you factor in the other NBA teams that are looking for the same things.

I still think that if the Kings make a move, it will be incremental at best. The call is coming from inside the house, and you need to address that first. 

AmateurNerd
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January 19, 2024 10:09 am
Reply to  RobHessing

Yep. This is fundamentally a roster issue. The new guys (Duarte, Vez, JaVale) have all under-delivered, and many team vets (Barnes, Davion, KVon) have regressed, while the expected second-year “leap” from Keegan has been more of a hop. Monte’s decisions haven’t panned out, although they were all perfectly defensible at the time.

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January 19, 2024 10:14 am
Reply to  AmateurNerd

Agreed. I see it more as growing pains than a fireable offense. The early season penchant for pulling out close games at the end has been replaced by a new reality. We’ll see where it goes from here.

Marty
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January 19, 2024 8:41 am

Didn’t watch the game last night but followed the ESPN Gamecast on my phone. Barnes line didn’t change, it was like the site was broken and his numbers were frozen on a bunch of zeros, ones, and twos.

Take a second look at his line for last night, you have to work pretty hard to achieve that in 22 minutes.

RobHessing
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January 19, 2024 8:45 am
Reply to  Marty

Yep. Whether it was hubris or just bad luck in free agency, running it back with Barnes is turning out to be a really bad idea.

1951
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January 19, 2024 10:35 am
Reply to  RobHessing

running it back with Barnes is turning out to be a really bad idea

comment image&ct=g

Amonk81
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January 19, 2024 11:23 am
Reply to  Marty

I don’t understand how Monte didn’t see that doing nothing this off season was a variable option.

Barnes and the2/3 were huge holes and he fixed it by bringing in Vez? Another non defender-good role player?

RobHessing
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January 19, 2024 8:51 am

comment image
Hmmm, OK…

Saving a lot of money on not having to light the beam.

No longer feel slighted by the national media.

The Spring calendar is opening up nicely.

Visited Tankathon today and began looking at players available in the 13-14 range.

The level of play once again matches the level of the broadcasts.

Pitchers and catchers report in 19 days (this may not be as much of a positive for A’s & Giants fans).

Klam
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January 19, 2024 9:01 am
Reply to  RobHessing

I heard too that the A’s were touring Sutter Health Park in Sacramento yesterday as well. Wonder how Sac in general would feel about having the A’s for three years before they move to Vegas.

RobHessing
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January 19, 2024 9:07 am
Reply to  Klam

What I had read was probably one season, maybe two. The A’s will still play at the Coliseum this year, I think?

Oracle and the A’s AAA facility in Summerlin, Nv are being floated as alternatives as well. But if they play in Sac. for any period of time, I would buy at least a bank of tickets or go in with a group. I wouldn’t mind catching a few MLB games every month in my own back yard. And at that ballpark? Not a bad seat in the house.

Marty
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January 19, 2024 9:59 am
Reply to  RobHessing

It would be fuggin awesome if they played here. What a treat that would be.

There does seem to be a particularly vocal group of A’s fans on Twitter who seem to have just woken up and discovered how the real world works.

RobHessing
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January 19, 2024 10:11 am
Reply to  Marty

Yeah, I could see most of my entertainment dollars going to that.

1951
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January 19, 2024 10:36 am
Reply to  RobHessing

Yes, the A’s could bring some winning sports ball with no roster/talent issues to Sacramento!

Oh, wait …

BeTheBall
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January 19, 2024 11:27 am
Reply to  1951

You are absolutely correct about the “no talent” part.

BeTheBall
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January 19, 2024 11:26 am
Reply to  Klam

Pass for me. We already have one AAA team here, no need to add a second.

Mike120
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January 20, 2024 2:22 am
Reply to  Klam

West Sac, to be exact. We might be on the motels and trailer parks side of the river, but we have 4 McDonalds and 3 Taco Bells.

rockbottom
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January 19, 2024 9:51 am
Reply to  RobHessing

Do not agree as kings team is watchable 70% of most games but broadcast 10% at most . But pitchers and catchers do report in 19 days .

RobHessing
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January 19, 2024 9:56 am
Reply to  rockbottom

 …kings team is watchable 70% of most games…comment image

SMF-PDXConnection
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January 19, 2024 10:03 am

I don’t post much anymore, life has gotten so hectic (and the Northwest has been covered in more ice than an outdoor freezer in Buffalo).

I watch this team, I look at what’s happening, and uncharacteristically for myself, I’ve come to a rather unscientific conclusion.

We know this team needs defense. We know they need to make their damn free throws. We know the coach needs to figure out better rotations. But you know what I believe this team really needs?

This team needs someone with that dawg in them.

This team needs the kind of vocal, intense, loudmouth player that fires their teammates up and every fanbase hates until they’re on their team.

This team needs a Patrick Beverley, a Dillon Brooks, a Jimmy Butler.

This team needs a guy or maybe two or more who hate, hate, hate losing more than they love winning. It’s easy to be fun and smiles when things are going right, but things don’t always go right. They need the kind of guy who’s going to lunge like an Olympic athlete for a loose ball whether the team is up 5 or down 20.

I’m not saying those three guys in particular, there’s no way any of them are ending up on the Kings. But that’s the kind of guy this team needs, because I don’t see that fire in Fox or Ox or any of them.

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January 19, 2024 1:10 pm

We have that guy already!

Keegan has the dawg!
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RealMaKoi
January 19, 2024 10:18 am

It’s a good thing that Barnes was kept around to provide veteran leadership. Just imagine how bad this team would look without him.

jlandweh
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January 19, 2024 10:52 am

They don’t look broken-they are broken. This is mainly for discussion – I am not completely here with my opinion but it’s trending this way…

BUT I’m tired of hearing about chemistry and development. Everyone bought it over the summer and guess what – this team is stale, boring, unhappy, and doesn’t fit together. Not sure the ultimate vision of this team but it brings into question McNair’s ability. I’m not saying tear it down, but I am saying they need to figure this out and make some major trades.

Sabonis – soft and mentally weak-can’t defend anyone when they go small, and cannot exploit match ups against people who decide they will not be bullied. Great regular season player that can bully young players but gets bullied by experienced vets.

Fox – obviously hurt or unhappy or both. Isn’t attacking the rim with the same fervor. Something is wrong. Could he be unhappy with others? Is he unhappy Malik hasn’t gotten an extension? Does he like how much the offense runs through Sabonis? I don’t know but he isn’t right.

Those are your 2 best players…

Murray – great but inconsistent, needs to be more of an alpha

Huerter – hot right now but inconsistent. The problem is – he doesn’t play great defense and he doesn’t handle the ball great.

Barnes – a good teams 9/10th man. Does everything right, just not enough for his price tag and shouldn’t be playing so many minutes. Could be a good end of bench guy for the Nuggets or Timberwolves.

Monk – a bench chucker that is asked to do more…sometimes that’s good and sometimes it isn’t. Is he also unhappy with the lack of extension, Mike Brown’s rotations, or the offense? Seems unhappy to me and something is wrong.

Trey and Sasha – fun bench guys but not championship level starters.

MY POINT = Are we sure the vision for this team is right? Are we sure we are on the right path, hitching our wagon to Fox and Sabonis? Or are we the Utah Jazz…a good regular season team (which right now is questionable) with fundamental flaws around Mitchell and Gobert where they need to be in different situations to have success.

IMO – can Fox and Sabonis be a championship teams 1 and 2…NO. So we need to go get that 1 and fit the pieces around him.

billoddity
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January 19, 2024 11:24 am

Hey yo this needs to be front page:

Scot Pollard Needs Heart Transplant