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Spurs 120, Kings 106: Kings gets dressed as their streak ends

Get your erasers out. It has now been 0 days since the Sacramento Kings have lost a basketball game.

After beating the Spurs on Monday night, the Kings had a sleepover in San Antonio and prepared for their chance to extend their winning streak to six games for the first time since January 2005. That was over 16 years ago. What were you doing 16 years ago? I was 11 years old and foolishly optimistic in thinking that the Kings were bound to win a championship soon. Yeah, I was a dumb kid. Let's see how the Kings did:

Quick Stats

Outcome: Kings lose, 120-106

Sacramento Kings: 106 PTS, 42.4% FG, 31.4% 3 PT, 89.5% FT, 22 AST, 12 TO

San Antonio Spurs: 120 PTS, 46.7% FG, 38.5% 3 PT, 70.6% FT, 24 AST, 10 TO

The dark magic from Gregg Popovich that Will predicted in the preview turned out to be some powerful stuff. Pop casted some potent spell that had the Spurs killing the Kings at their own game. It felt like some Freaky Friday magic as the Spurs pushed the pace, scored in transition, and showered the Kings in 3s. To put it simply: the Spurs made a lot of baskets and the Kings did not.

The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
The Good:
  1. Free Throws: The Kings shot 17-19 from the free throw line despite not making any trips to the stripe in the third quarter. Their best performance at the line was in the first quarter, as they shot 7-7. The Kings' struggles from the 3-point line started early, but they demonstrated quick recognition and adjustment as they managed to earn their way to the free throw line several times. They eventually fell back into old habits down the stretch, but it was a nice change to see the Kings try something new earlier on in the game. The near 90% from the line is also a welcome sight and was especially highlighted in contrast to Jakob Poeltl's back to back airballed free throw attempts.
The Bad:
  1. Poletl Hurdle: Jakob Poeltl punished the Kings on Monday with a strong double-double and a heavy presence on the boards. Knowing that he would be a hurdle for the Kings to get over again tonight, the Kings still managed to trip and eat shit as Poeltl again posted 12 points and 14 rebounds, five of which were on the Spurs' offensive glass. All night long, the Spurs looked to wreak havoc on the Kings in pick & roll action with Poeltl and it worked. As Richaun Holmes had to step off of Poeltl to defend the ball, the Kings failed to rotate to help the helper and Poeltl was left to clean up all the Spurs' easy garbage.
The Ugly:
  1. Please, No More 3s: At one point in the game, I just wanted everybody to stop shooting 3s - the Spurs because they couldn't miss and the Kings because they couldn't buy one to go in. The Spurs rank 28th in the league in both 3-point attempts and makes. Adjusting from their normal style, the Spurs made it a point to kill the Kings with their own poison as they hit 10 of their 26 3-point attempts tonight, with nine of those makes coming in the first half when they established their lead. As the Kings tried to figure out how to wrangle Jakob Poeltl inside, they left shooters open and the Spurs capitalized. Unfortunately for the Kings, they weren't able to return the favor as they struggled from deep. Buddy Hield had four 3-point makes, but these came after he went 0-14 from the field in the first half. The Kings had some runs, but they came too late, and just weren't enough.
The King of Kings

In just his third game in a Sacramento jersey, Delon Wright is crowned as tonight's King of Kings for reminding us all that it is in fact possible for someone off the bench to score more than 0 points in a game. As a whole, this new Kings bench has looked exponentially better than the previous group, but Delon has been the first to show some real comfort and confidence on this new team. He finished with 16 points tonight, which is more than we would often get from the old Kings' bench as a whole. In a game filled with some dark magic, Delon was a bright spot.

Up Next

Friday, April 2nd vs. Los Angeles Lakers - 7:00 P.M. (PT)

 

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RORDOG
March 31, 2021 8:33 pm

Discombobulated. Now we find out if they can rebound from a loss.

kings4ever
April 1, 2021 8:05 am
Reply to  RORDOG

One player was definitely discombobulated and his name was Buddy Hield.

You may find out if they can rebound, as if it is some great mystery, I already know they can rebound from a loss.

This is a confident team that just had a hiccup for the reasons I referenced yesterday.

We should be able to destroy LAL, with or w/o Drummond. But I hate the matchup of Buddy vs Kuzma. Kuzma can and probably will be all-world against Buddy then revert to average to below average vs everyone else.

I’d like to see a starting lineup vs LAL of Fox – Ty – Barnes – Metu – Holmes so we can better matchup against their size, strengthen the bench with Wright, Davis and Buddy coming off.

Barnes has filled in admirably at PF with the team 7-2 since. But his scoring has plummeted down to 11.2 PPG and 8.8 RPG.

This coach should NOT be afraid to juggle his lineup, show some faith in Metu as a spot starter, take a look at Buddy off the bench. There is NO reason not to try this out and if it pays dividends stick with it.

Obviously 7-2 is not something you want to mess with, but this streak is attributable to Fox and the absence of Marvin, primarily, to lesser extent Buddy being less shot happy with Ty as an additional facilitator.

So weigh those variables and with the addition of Wright as a setup man off the bench (for Buddy and others), far better than Joseph, and you can justify why Metu to PF, move Barnes back to SF to check Kuzma, makes sense for one game and maybe more.

Kangz_Landing
April 1, 2021 8:34 am
Reply to  kings4ever

The last hole in our rotation is definitely Buddy Hield. The best scenario would be move Buddy to the bench and start Harkless at 3/4 for 20 minutes per and have Buddy get his usual 28 minutes or so, but the contract won’t allow it.

Kings need to cut bait on him if they truly want a position less basketball team. The Davis pickup will be underrated as he will fill that 6th man SG/SF spot for the future allowing us to trade Buddy this offseason. Need a true difference maker at 3/4 this offseason next to Barnes.

Klam
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March 31, 2021 8:35 pm

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I spent the evening prepping for a move for this Friday, so I missed today’s game….I guess I didn’t miss much.

Also, I forgot how much I hate packing to move after doing it for the first in four years.

Marty
March 31, 2021 8:55 pm
Reply to  Klam

But you’re back to work right? Awesome.

Klam
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March 31, 2021 9:06 pm
Reply to  Marty

Yeah I am. I’m just moving to a studio on Friday because it’s time to live independently. First time in my apartment rental history I will not have roommates.

Funny thing too is that I was totally thinking of procrastinating on getting started on packing, but I’m REALLY glad I started tonight.

Last edited 17 days ago by Klam
Kosta
March 31, 2021 11:59 pm
Reply to  Klam

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Klam
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April 1, 2021 10:01 am
Reply to  Kosta

That was my exact reaction when my landlord just dropped in last month unnannounced to spend the night.

Kingsguru21
April 1, 2021 10:46 am
Reply to  Klam

Sooner you unpack, the easier it will be to move in. I’ve learned that one the hard way.

rockbottom
March 31, 2021 8:35 pm

Spurs just the better team tonite ! Fox just average and need him at his best to win against any playoff type team !

Jman1949
March 31, 2021 8:41 pm

The Spurs just rode roughshod over us all night!

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Jman1949
March 31, 2021 8:48 pm
Reply to  Jman1949

And Pop seemed happy to get the win!

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LaBradfordsCreditCard
March 31, 2021 10:35 pm
Reply to  Jman1949

LOL have a thumb

SelecaoKOJ
March 31, 2021 8:57 pm

Lets put it into perspective the Kings have beat very few playoff teams that were healthy.

The Full List.

Knicks
Nuggets (The other 2 wins, Murray was out)
The Hawks
The Suns
Blazers

That’s it.

Every other win against a playoff team has been due to the other team missing key starters.

Denver 2x
Dubs 2x
Clips
Lakers

10-21 against playoff teams.

WizsSox
March 31, 2021 9:59 pm
Reply to  SelecaoKOJ

Do you just copy and paste this each game with slight modifications? You don’t think the kings have beaten any good teams, you think they have a tough schedule left and as a result their record is fraudulent. You may be right…but I think we got the point after posting something along these lines after every game practically.

SelecaoKOJ
March 31, 2021 10:00 pm
Reply to  WizsSox

Thank you for the observation.

WizsSox
March 31, 2021 10:04 pm
Reply to  SelecaoKOJ

Just checking!!! 🙃

Last edited 17 days ago by WizsSox
eddie41
March 31, 2021 10:20 pm
Reply to  SelecaoKOJ

This game was not about winning or losing. This game was about Luke Walton not putting his team in a position where they had a chance to win.

krswin
April 1, 2021 7:58 am
Reply to  eddie41

The team as a whole couldn’t make a layup in the fourth quarter and it’s on Luke?
Thanks for your analysis.

kings4ever
April 1, 2021 7:26 am
Reply to  SelecaoKOJ

We took down the Hawks when they were soaring high. ATL had won 8 in a row off their coaching change, looking every bit a playoff team with Bogi back, playing well. They played a very good game against us, Capella and Young and Bogi making clutch plays, and we still beat them. So there!

And almost every team is dealing with an injury one time or another, so if that is the bar you are setting, uninjured playoffs team, then you can probably conclude every team is unproven because most of their wins are against playoff teams with an injury (minor or major) or a non-playoff team.

And we beat the Spurs w/o a significant injury, didn’t we, why are they are not on your list?

Obviously we are work in progress, we were a team with almost NO bench until recently and not the greatest coach, but we can still beat anybody on any night with Fox as the superstar and the talent we have assembled around him. We need more wing depth and muscle in the paint and McGenius will get it.

And we need Buddy to decide if he is the old Buddy, lean and mean, or the regressed Buddy who telegraphs passes and takes low quality shots too often and settles for 3s too often.

Buddy can be part of the core or not, and if he is going to shoot crap shots he is going to lose minutes to Terrence Davis (+9 in 21 minutes, even though he was 0-4 from 3s) who unlike Buddy can positively impact the game when his jumper is not falling.

eddie41
March 31, 2021 9:09 pm

Not sure which game you all watched. I saw a game where Popovich check mated Luke Walton in 3 moves. (1) Exploit worst defender on team (with Bagley injured, that would be Buddy Hield), (2) confuse Buddy Hield so that he’s also bad on offense (Walton won’t pull him off the floor), and (3) don’t let Fox beat you with drives to the basket. Game over. Get a sippy cup. What’s really sad is that all the pro-tankers are giddy now.

Marty
March 31, 2021 9:35 pm
Reply to  eddie41

all the pro-tankers are giddy now.

If you call feeling absolutely nothing being happy, than I agree.

As I said on twitter, my close friend and text buddy has been going on-and-on that this is a different team than the beginning of the season.

And no matter how many times he says it, it’s never true.

kings4ever
April 1, 2021 7:32 am
Reply to  eddie41

To your first point, the coach puts Wright for Haliburton as first sub. It would see this will be the norm no matter the flow of the game. He should have put Wright in for Buddy when he is bricking and getting beat, let him gather himself then put him back in against subs.

Buruskeee
April 1, 2021 2:12 pm
Reply to  eddie41

It’s pretty telling what kind of coach Luke is when it’s basically “give the ball to the playmaker and hope he can naturally make something happen”. Pop made Fox get tough looks and forced Buddy to be the volume shooter. There was no offensive sets to use Fox as a threat, running other guys off multiple screens or pin downs to get them open and have good looks.

Luke’s “offense” is talent based, where he just expect players to use instinct to play pick up basketball with a couple fundamental pick and rolls or top screens and dives built in.

We’ve seen a little bit more real sets this year that resemble NOP’s sets (I wonder why), but other than that it’s mostly a no scheme, scheme.

Why people like Carmichael Dave and other pundits refuse to call this out and keep going with the counter narrative to “give credit to the wins”, is beyond me.

I bet you anything, when Luke is finally canned, all of the sudden the narrative will be “we just have to be honest, Luke wasn’t very good here”.

Last edited 16 days ago by Buruskeee
TerzoM
March 31, 2021 9:42 pm

“..straddling between not being good enough for playoffs but not being bad enough to get top draft picks..”

SelecaoKOJ
March 31, 2021 9:59 pm
Reply to  TerzoM

It’s like the other 16 before it.

Not a pro tanker or pro play in. I think the playin is a joke. 8 teams already go to the playoffs. Why should the 7-8 team have to play teams under .500. It’s like a punishment for playing well all year.

Like making the play in is some kind of Gdamn accomplishment.

The team needs to get rid of Bonehead Buddy and Pack Marvin’s Bags.
I would trade Marvin to the Nets for Nicolas Claxton, which has more upside and no attitude.

If Holmes is getting more that 13 mil from another team let him walk.

This team should not be operating at or over the cap, until they become a playoff team.

rockbottom
April 1, 2021 6:44 am
Reply to  TerzoM

You mean like Utah ! No lottery but best record !

Carina707
March 31, 2021 9:51 pm

I didn’t watch the game because I was out sportsing myself (tennis and kickball), but if we truly want to compete we NEED Fox to play at that superstar level. Otherwise we don’t have enough. We lost by 14, Fox only scored 20 compared to the 36ppg average for POW, 16 points there’s the win (obviously not that simple, just pointing out that we really need him to be that star in order to compete and win).

Buruskeee
April 1, 2021 2:16 pm
Reply to  Carina707

If the Kings need a 30+ ppg scorer to be bottom seed in the West, then there’s some real issues to address.

Brown.says.Good.or.Bad
March 31, 2021 10:10 pm

he went 0-14 from the field in the first half.

This is bad

SelecaoKOJ
March 31, 2021 11:15 pm

Pop knew what he was doing. Target the lowest IQ player on the team. Bar None. That’s it.
Spurs have no stars. Just alot of well coached smart players that play the right way most of the time.

Spurs have a nice team and ton of cap room next year.
Mills, Derozen, and Gay all come off the books. They will be big players in Free Agency. They have a nice set of young players. White, Walker, Johnson, Vassell, Murray, etc. If one of those players can take a leap next year they will be a force. Vassell is 20, Walker and Johnson are 21. I can see them going after Markannen, Trent and Graham.

rockbottom
April 1, 2021 6:48 am
Reply to  SelecaoKOJ

If they lose Derozan they will be weaker next season much like Kings if Holmes is lost !

SelecaoKOJ
April 1, 2021 10:10 am
Reply to  rockbottom

Actually, I think they will be even better. They will be about 70-80 under the cap. Gay, Mills, Aldridge, and DDR come off the books. It’s a weak FA class. But, FA’s will
love to play for Pop. I see them going after Holmes, Markanan, Trent, Graham, etc.

in addition, to the young core they have: Walker, Vassell, Murray, White, Poeltl, Johnson. If Walker/Johnson/Vassell make a slight leap, Spurs will be a very good team. The

Jman1949
April 1, 2021 10:18 am
Reply to  SelecaoKOJ

Looks like they might be able to use a “veteran presence”.

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krswin
April 1, 2021 8:03 am
Reply to  SelecaoKOJ

Buddy hasn’t changed since last year or the year before. So are you saying that Pop didn’t know Buddy was a low IQ player a couple days ago when we won? You really think Pop didn’t know that?

PretendGhost
April 1, 2021 10:52 am
Reply to  krswin

More likely that he got an up close look on how to exploit Buddy’s weaknesses last game. Part of that had to do with changing the gameplan on the whole team to limit Fox, leading to Buddy doing more. Part of it was also Buddy having a particularly bad night. Some luck, some skill, as is all competition.

Jman1949
April 1, 2021 6:39 am

Assuming you’re referring to Buddy, that’s a pretty remarkable feat since he finished the game at 5-18 from the field!

aplumley
April 1, 2021 7:26 am
Reply to  Jman1949

He just went 5-4 for the rest of the game. Duh

alec26
March 31, 2021 10:15 pm

Not a great game but not the end of the world. Split with a team ahead of the Kings in the standings on the road. Now, if the Kings lose to the Lakers, Bucks and T-Wolves in the next three games, well, that’s the end of the world, or this season anyway.

RikSmits
April 1, 2021 5:28 am
Reply to  alec26

To comfort you, even if we lose the next 3, we still have a chance at the play-in. To comfort you even more, we did win Seven of Nine!
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scatshot
March 31, 2021 10:18 pm

I think individually each player hoped someone would pick up the slack for them because they were going to take it down a gear tonight.

Kosta
March 31, 2021 10:31 pm

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LaBradfordsCreditCard
March 31, 2021 10:34 pm

We need Marvin Bagley back as soon as possible.

krswin
April 1, 2021 8:05 am

LOL!

eddie41
March 31, 2021 10:52 pm

On a side note, did anyone think that was sort of inappropriate when Harkless kicked the basketball up to himself off a missed free throw? It wasn’t much, just a soccer juggle. I suppose if it were precise, it might have been okay, but it sort of came up to the side without any precision which only tells me he’s not a soccer player. So why do it?

Kosta
April 1, 2021 12:06 am
Reply to  eddie41

Oh, I missed that. (probably dozed off)

I think it was for sure inappropriate that Poetl airballed two free throws in a row though. He should’ve been told to head to the locker room.

Klam
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April 1, 2021 8:33 am
Reply to  Kosta

You dozed off watching the Kings game? Are you Rik?

😉

RikSmits
April 1, 2021 1:22 pm
Reply to  Klam

There can be two Dutchmen at TKH. I draw the line at two Riks!

MillersCornrows
April 1, 2021 1:39 am

Pictured above: Luke Walton taking a brief nap while coaching in the 1st quarter as Buddy preceded to kill the Kings on both ends.

RikSmits
April 1, 2021 5:16 am

OT, found this pic with my son in the Dutch winter a few years ago, sporting our Kings beanies.

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KingOfTheMonsters
April 1, 2021 2:02 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

You made him a kings fan?
What kind of a parent are you?

RikSmits
April 1, 2021 10:27 pm

No worries. He just likes the beany. He cares nothing about basketball.

FarmerGuy
April 1, 2021 6:58 am

Is anyone else dealing with Sling removing CSN today (April 1)? If so, what streaming service are you moving to? I basically only have Sling to watch the Kings and Giants.

HopelesslyHopeful
April 1, 2021 8:01 am
Reply to  FarmerGuy

Wait, Sling removed CSN??

FarmerGuy
April 1, 2021 8:53 am

Yes. Effective today. Of course colliding with Giants opening day. I need a new streaming service. Anyone have experience with Hulu or YouTube TV for the Kings and Giants?

TheKingsGuard
April 1, 2021 9:22 am
Reply to  FarmerGuy

I use YouTube TV. $65 a month, can record games. Been using it a few months now, but don’t know if I’ll keep it going in perpetuity. I basically only watch sports with it. It’s nice, but it better be for $65 a month. Can share with 6 others.

Klam
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April 1, 2021 10:00 am
Reply to  TheKingsGuard

I subscribed to YouTubeTV for a month last year to watch The Last Dance. $50 a month at that time. But since I don’t watch much TV anymore, it’s definitely not something I’ll resubscribe anytime soon. And my friend was nice enough to share his LP info, so I can still watch Kings games.

Wilson
April 1, 2021 9:50 am
Reply to  FarmerGuy

I watch the Kings on Hulu.

sonny
April 1, 2021 11:17 am
Reply to  Wilson

I use Buffstream.
And I can choose between cringy doug christie and the opponent’s broadcast team.

FarmerGuy
April 1, 2021 6:23 pm
Reply to  Wilson

Trying Hulu. I’ll report back.

MillersCornrows
April 1, 2021 12:25 pm
Reply to  FarmerGuy

Just cut Xfinity a few weeks ago and moved to YouTubeTV. Great selection of channels, Kings games, and lots of sports for $65 a month. We love it!

Kingsguru21
April 1, 2021 1:11 pm

This is what I use, and have used for the last two years.

Jerzig
April 1, 2021 2:06 pm

Thinking of doing the same thing. Do you mind if I ask what xfinity is charging you for internet-only? We have internet, cable and home security with them, so I’m trying to figure out if losing the bundle discount will make it worth while to switch to YouTubeTV or Hulu Plus. Thanks!

Omr_14
April 1, 2021 9:38 am

I’ve learned not to get excited by their “win streaks” over the years, same old Kangz ..this will be another year in no man’s land and I was hoping monte had the cajones to change direction this season.

RobHessing
April 1, 2021 11:09 am

Love the retro logo in the masthead.

Kosta
April 1, 2021 12:06 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Try our thick creamy shakes!

Jman1949
April 1, 2021 12:45 pm
Reply to  Kosta

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Kosta
April 1, 2021 12:54 pm
Reply to  Jman1949

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RikSmits
April 1, 2021 1:24 pm

What’s up with the retro logo at the homepage?

Carl
April 1, 2021 2:03 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

The date today is “important” in America.

Last edited 16 days ago by Carl
satdawg
April 1, 2021 4:07 pm

Buddy was having a nice little laugh there with his coach when he started to get going but the team was still down big. Shows you he’s more about his stats than wins

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