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Kings vs. Clippers Preview: Wall, Kawhi Ain’t On This Western Front

Keegan Murray makes his NBA debut against the deepest team in the league missing a few key players!
By | 13 Comments | Oct 22, 2022

The Sacramento Kings had to wait their turn to debut on after the Kangz decided to hog the spotlight on Opening Night against Portland Trail Blazers. Wasting hot shooting nights from De’Aaron Fox and Kevin Huerter, the Kings and Kangz wrested control of the court from one another like they were Bruce Banner/The Incredible Hulk fighting for control after a swift kick to the crotch. Domas Sabonis played terribly, Harrison Barnes couldn’t have gotten burnt on the defensive end any worse if he’d been a scarecrow sailing a matchstick ship through Greek fire… oh and to top it all off, Keegan Murray had to delay his debut after clearing COVID protocols a tad too late in the day. It was a rather Kangzy start to what we all still hope to be a rather Kings-centric storyline this season.

Enter the Los Angeles Clippers – Sacramento’s second chance at a first impression. Down star forward Kawhi Leonard and the oft-injured, uber talented point guard John Wall, the Clippers come into the Golden 1 Center with a “next man up” attitude and plenty of talent to spare. Was Fox’s shooting a fluke? Can Keegan Murray provide that extra oomph to get the Kings into the win column? How many losses in a row till you start to panic (asking for a friend)?

When: Saturday, October 22nd, 7:00 PM PST

Where: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, CA

TV: NBCSCA – Kyle Draper (play-by-play)

RadioSactown Sports 1140 AM

For Your Consideration

A Sacramento Ascension: Despite the first quarter confusion and fourth quarter collapse, there was a lot to be encouraged about when it comes Wednesday’s loss at home. Obviously, we can assume that Fox won’t be having many 5-9 nights from deep, but just the fact that he wasn’t hesitating to take them, while also simultaneously not forcing them, was a big step in the right direction. Previous years might have seen Fox force the issue, or heat-check himself a bit early into a hot shooting night, but Wednesday night’s version of Fox found him taking these shots within the offense and in rhythm. Small sample size caveats obviously from now till January but, between pre-season and Wednesday night, commendations might be in order for the growth Fox has shown early on in that department. The eight turnovers? The five fouls? Eh, not so hot.

Hey, speaking of not so hot – Davion Mitchell started his season off with an absolute whiff of a game, shooting 1-8 from the field, 0-5 from deep in 25 minutes. The kid works his ass off and I don’t doubt some of this was first game nerves, but he’s an absolutely critical part of this team and if the Sacramento Kings want to see themselves near the middle of the Western Conference standings, Davion Mitchell is going to have to produce more than he did.

I was supposed to be talking about things I was encouraged by. The Kings took 44 threes and hit them at a nearly 39% clip, which is awesome. 27 assists looks decent. Umm… Terrence Davis came in an played meaningful minutes and bolstered an otherwise horrendous bench showing.

I could make a greater effort to dance around all the poor performances – Sabonis and Barnes obviously can’t play the way they did and expect anything other than ping pong ball dreams come April. Truth of the matter is, it was the first game in a long season, and I just don’t have the juice for much scolding right now.

On to tonight’s game: the Clipper’s are an incredibly even-keeled team. Ty Lue has truly flourished into one of the better coaches in the league, they’re deeper than an Alaskan King Crab mass grave, and have a mandate to go and win and championship this season. Paul George and Kawhi Leonard will be a formidable duo come playoff time, if their bodies can make it there unscathed. Until then, we’ll see nights like tonight: where Kawhi sits at the start of a back to back so he can play at home against the Phoenix Suns. Please, for the love of all that is holy, don’t take the Clippers lightly. Reggie Jackson, Norman Powell, Luke Kennard and Ivica Zubac don’t sound like a naturally intimidating crew, but surrounding a guy like Paul George, coached by a man like Ty Lue, pressured by the unfeeling eyes of a Kawhi Leonard supposedly on screensaver mode? They’re more than enough to beat a still-gelling Kings squad.

Prediction

Domas has a bounce back game, recording a 22 point, 14 rebound, 11 assist triple-double. Keegan Murray goes 4-7 from deep en route to 21 and 7 and De’Aaron Fox winds up with 27 points with sub-3 turnovers and plus-2 steals. Kawhi Leonard only uses three gigs of the G1C wi-fi.

Kings: 119, Clippers: 112

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Jman1949
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October 22, 2022 12:19 pm

A Kings win seems hard to conceive 
Unless Coach has new tricks up his sleeve.
We will not face Kawhi;
Even so we must try
To play defense—so hard to achieve!

RobHessing
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October 22, 2022 12:48 pm

There once was a man named Steve Ballmer,
who looked like he ate Arnold Palmer.
But we have Vivek
and a decade of dreck,
but hey, at least our guy’s a lot calmer.

Klam
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Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
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Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
October 22, 2022 1:58 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Please tell me you will be doing a pregame rhyme for every game this season.

RobHessing
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October 22, 2022 5:46 pm
Reply to  Klam

I will be the guy with the broom, sweeping up after Jman’s elephants.

catterj
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October 22, 2022 2:14 pm

I learned from listening to Brenden on Kings Pulse or Kings Beat (forget which) that Brown doesn’t think he needs to stagger Fox and Sabonis, so I won’t be watching for that. That scratched, here’s what I’ll be looking for:

  1. How many threes do Fox and Sabonis attempt, what is the 3P%, and how do they look? Sabonis attempted 1 in the last game and Fox attempted 9. I expect Fox’s to drop a little, and I hope Sabonis shoots two wide open ones in rhythm.
  2. Who KZ guards assuming he starts. It could be Jackson since he is point of attack or George since he is the best player.
  3. Do the Kings box out more than they did on Wednesday (which would have been good for 27th in the league last year)? Does Sabonis get his boards or is he too busy rim protecting to get many?
  4. How many touches does Richuan get? How well is he included in the offense? Is the ball passed to him in pick and roll? He had 19 touches on Wednesday, second to last after Okpala. The Kings shot 38.6% from 3 then. Richaun shot 66% from the field in 21-22. Most were twos so let’s say they all are. To do better on a points per shot basis than Holmes in 21-22, the team would have to shoot 44% from three. #MATH. Get Richaun some touches.
  5. How many Kings 3PA? If it gets to 40, does it look like a good shot selection?
  6. How does playing with pace look? Do they run like a bat out of hell helter skelter and throw up a brick or turn it over? Or does it look good?
  7. How many free throws at what percentage?
Dan Houlder
Dan Houlder
October 22, 2022 2:29 pm

Every time you hear the word “Foxey,” drink. Every time you hear the word “butter,” drink. Every time you hear the phrase “No excuses,” drink.

RobHessing
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October 22, 2022 6:05 pm
Reply to  Dan Houlder

I do not possess enough Advil to live up to the rules of your game.

Indolentdolt
October 22, 2022 6:19 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Might need to play this one with Whiteclaw…a case per player?

RobHessing
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October 22, 2022 7:43 pm
Reply to  Indolentdolt

Playing a Kings drinking game? JJ Pfister!

Kingsguru21
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October 22, 2022 2:38 pm

Kawhi Leonard only uses three gigs of the G1C wi-fi.

Bwahahahahahaha. Well played.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
October 22, 2022 4:07 pm

Just putting it out to the universe… I have the Clippers coming out of the West this year and they could very well win it all… if healthy. This team is no joke with two MVP caliber players and a very strong supporting cast. I feel like the only thing slowing them down are themselves.

It’s gonna be a tough on tonight. Kings need to bring their “A” game if they want to win. Let the Keegan Murray era begin!

NowLoveThemOnceAgain
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October 22, 2022 6:05 pm

This season, please start every review with Defense. That’s what wins–and loses–games. With that goes turnovers, fast break points, defensive rebounds and second chance points allowed. Those are the stats that will determine if this team spends another year atop the WC cellar.

4on5
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October 22, 2022 8:10 pm

If you think Sabonis is resigning and putting his prime into the hands of Vivek and the point guard play of Fox …. It’s going to be really hard for me to part with them, but I suppose that I could make a couple shares of the Tower Bridge available for sale

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