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Strong defensive effort helps Kings hold opponent under 100 points for first time in nearly a month

Marvin Bagley has nice performance off the bench, compliments Alvin Gentry for "coaching us the right way."

The Sacramento Kings defeated the Los Angeles Clippers for the second time in a row Saturday night. The 104-99 win came on the back of a solid defensive performance and some nice outings by Terence Davis and Marvin Bagley.

The Kings held the Clippers to 38% from the field and from three, won the offensive rebounding battle 11-9, points in the paint 40-32, and held Paul George to 15 points on 5-21 from the field. This was only the third time this season the Kings have held an opponent under 100 points, and the first time since Nov. 7.

Davis scored a game-high 28 points and Bagley, who returned following a non-COVID-related illness, added 12 points and 11 rebounds, including 4 offensive rebounds, off the bench.

This was the Kings fourth win at home after Alvin Gentry discussed how the team needs to start taking better care of home court. They have a 6-6 record on the road.

Following the win, Gentry, Bagley, Tyrese Haliburton and Davis spoke to media.

Defense

Alvin Gentry: “Defensively, obviously, we were really good, we held a team to 99 and so it’s just a good win for us, we’ve got to, and here comes that word again, but we have to try to get to that consistent level where we’re doing it every night.” “Paul George is one of those guys, and I don’t think he gets anywhere close to the respect that he deserves. He is a big-time player in my eyes and a guy that can go get baskets any time he wants to, so I thought we did a good job on him. I thought Foxy did a great job and we also did a good job of helping Foxy in those situations. Davion [Mitchell] guarded him some, Fox guarded him some, we ended up switching out on him some, so it was a total team effort, but Foxy was the primary defender on him a lot of the night and I thought he did a great job.”

Tyrese Haliburton: “PG [Paul George] is the head of the snake over there and I thought Fox set the tone early. It’s obviously a point guard guarding a 2-3 and where maybe some people don’t think that can happen, but I thought Fox was really good tonight on PG, making it tough for him. PG missed some shots, but I thought Fox did a really good job and he kind of set the tone for us defensively and we all just kind of followed his lead. Yeah, I thought it was a great team effort.”

“I just felt like guys were engaged, not only on the court, but I thought our bench was really good communicating plays and things like that. I thought we did a really good job, so I think it was a complete team effort and just something that I hope we can keep building upon.”

Terence Davis: “Just really taking the challenge. One to guard, one to make a stop, limiting them to one shot, no offensive rebounds and things of that sort. It’s really, I would just say, a want to, wanting to guard, and that kind of changes the dynamic of our team because we’re able to get stops and run. I would say that’s the best advantage we have is our speed.”

Terence Davis’ Performance

Alvin Gentry: “I think he’s getting a little more comfortable and I think with him the whole idea is behind what is a good shot and what is not? When do you shoot it and when do you not shoot it? And I think he did a good job tonight of picking those opportunities and just jumping up and shooting them and shooting them with confidence. Obviously, he made a lot of big shots for us when we really needed them.”

Tyrese Haliburton: “It’s good to see him make shots and we’ve all got a lot, a lot of confidence in him so just happy to see him get going.”

Terence Davis: “It’s been tough as a shooter. I tell this to Buddy [Hield], we talk all the time, but as a shooter, when you’re not hitting shots it’s very, very frustrating just because that’s kind of what they pay you for, to make and hit shots. So, when it’s not going in it’s just really frustrating. You start to question yourself and things of that sort, but lately, I’ve been feeling really good. My teammates have been encouraging me to keep shooting.”

Marvin Bagley’s Night

Alvin Gentry: “He’s been pretty consistent since he’s been able to get back out on the floor, but I thought that his crash-zone rebounding on the offensive boards, he’s done a good job with that. I think he’s done a good job defensively of getting down and guarding perimeter players. We had him switched out on [Luke] Kennard a couple of times, I thought he did a great job with that, but the big thing is that he’s come up with some big rebounds for us and been able to do some things to help us on the boards.”

Terence Davis: “I know it’s a tough situation for him being No. 2 pick and it’s a tough situation. A lot of guys in his position haven’t been through something like that so for him to put that to the side and keep working, keep grinding, come in here double-double tonight, missing the last game from illness, that just shows a lot about him, honestly. He really changed the game for us, rebounding, just being a dog on the defensive and offensive boards so kudos to Marv.”

Tyrese Haliburton: “Marv just brings a lot of energy for us off the bench. He can rebound the ball really well and that helps us get out on the break and get running, and he was really good on the offense glass as well, 4 offensive rebounds. I just loved his energy tonight and I think that is something that he’s kind of focusing on is just having great energy out there and doing what he does best.”

Marvin Bagley: “I’m just playing basketball. I’m comfortable out there just playing the game. Just having fun, just enjoying the game of basketball that’s my main thing. Ever since I started playing was the love and the joy and not letting things or people take that joy from me has always been my thing. To kind of be out there again and playing, having fun, and smiling and helping my teammates, cheering my teammates on that’s what it’s all about for me and everything else will come. That’s how I always played the game and that’s how I’ll continue to play the game.”

A Few Takeaways

  • Bagley complimented Gentry at the end of his media session with this: “We have a great team here. We work very hard every day in practice. Coach Gentry is doing a great job at coaching us the right way and it’s been fun playing for him.”
  • It was good to see Fox step up and take on a defensive assignment like he did. The tools have always been there for him.
  • This was an odd game in that it felt like the two teams switched spots and the Clippers were the Kings. They couldn’t execute once the Kings took them out of what they were trying to do. They got somewhat close in the fourth quarter, but continued missing shots and couldn’t figure things out. On offense, Gentry used four guards to try to break the Clippers zone defense, an interesting in-game adjustment.
  • Bagley definitely looks like he is playing more in a team concept as of late. He isn’t forcing his offense every time he touches the ball, he’s looking for the extra pass, putting effort into defense, and focusing on what this team needs help with: rebounding.
  • The Kings have 9 more home games this month and only 4 road games so it will be a good opportunity for them to improve their home record.

The Kings will be able to get in some good practice time now since the next game isn’t until Wednesday against the Orlando Magic.

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murraytant
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December 5, 2021 12:58 pm

Kings 4-3 since Gentry took over. Although the Philly game (loss) came within a day of the caching change and there was no practice at all.
AG plays more guys, has a proactive rotation, not afraid to change and adjust quickly. Usually 11 guys play. Last night the sub-in with TT worked out very well. Fluke would have said that this is not TT’s night. The 4 guard line ups are scary but have been effective. Fox guard George. Bagley guards Kennard- all very interesting. He is not afraid to trust guys.
Better pace and lots of 3’s. They are a great3 point shooting team but not a great 3 point making team. Most everyone has contributed and the rotations are far less rigid. This team needs flexibility and proactive adjustments.
Let’s see how this month plays out.
Bad teams have good stretches- so let’s see what happens.
I think Rico Hines got moved up to first bench assistant?
The Delon Wright for TT trade looks “less bad” now.
The defense is just so much better- not sure if that is just time or new coaching. Defense is coaching, scheme, talent and desire.

markdog333
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December 5, 2021 5:14 pm
Reply to  murraytant

I think that is the first time I have read “in game adjustment” without a “no” or “lack of” in front of it in years.

murraytant
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December 5, 2021 5:18 pm
Reply to  markdog333

Agree. No mention or actual activity of “in game adjustment” in years. You know, I just discovered coaches can actually make adjustments and changes. Examples: inserting TT in second half, using 4 guard line up’s, switching defensive assignments .
However, did a bad job against LAC zone- never adjusted well to that.

Kingsguru21
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December 5, 2021 6:35 pm
Reply to  murraytant

However, did a bad job against LAC zone- never adjusted well to that.

Don’t think that’s an Alvin Gentry issue, but call me crazy on that one.

TerzoM
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December 5, 2021 5:37 pm

Playoffs!!!comment image
Playoffs???comment image

Kingsguru21
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December 5, 2021 6:32 pm
Reply to  TerzoM

Are you trying to tell us you’re just hoping the Kings win a game?

SelecaoKOJ
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December 5, 2021 7:41 pm

Oulier for both TD and the Defense. I don’t make much of this game. Clips are just a very mediocre team without Kawhi. It’s a nice win. But, it certainly doesn’t change my opinion regarding this team. The roster has a very low ceiling. I am afraid the Kings will be benefactors of a down year for the Western Conference. if they manage a play in or maybe a low seed, it will be considered progress. Considering the current state of the Western Conference. It will be considered Fools Gold. It certainly doesn’t mean they are a good team. Selling off the vets makes too much sense. That’s why this team is headed to another 3-4 years of purgatory. Unless something major happens.

I wish this was the case. Unfortunantely, I don’t see it. The team may make 1-2 minor moves at best. The West is very weak this year. Teams like Portland and the Lakers are on the verge of a rebuild. Other teams like Denver, Memphis, and CLips are dealing with serious injury concerns to their stars. KIngs have a very good shot at the play in. If they could put together any semblance of a winning streak, a playoff berth could be possible. Eventhough it’s still early to know what this team is. 3 games from the 4th spot and 3 games from the 14th spot. A playoff team this year will probably hover around .500.The Rockets, all of sudden have a 6 game winning streak(Now, Wall wants to be part of the action) Spurs 5 game winning streak. i would prefer a proper rebuild. I don’t think Vivek has ever entertained this idea. I don’t see it now. Suns and Dubs are alreadly penciled in for the WCF and its not even close. They are ELITE in every sense of the word.
Would love for this team to show some Ballz for once and start gathering assets for the future. This team has a very low ceiling. I am afraid this team gets a playin or 7-8 seed in a down year. Get swept. Extend Gentry 3-4 more years, Essentially keep most of the roster, and the team will not improve in the following years, but decline,due to the limited talent on this roster.. With very few assets and no real core the team will continue to stay mediocre. I would sell off the vets. Keep most of the youth to see what we have.

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kings4ever
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December 6, 2021 8:02 am
Reply to  SelecaoKOJ

Doomer Alert!  

Dismiss every positive sign and embrace every flaw, heh?

The sun is shining with nary a cloud in the sky… meh….just a momentary pause between violent thunderstorms!

Just so you know “low ceiling, high floor,  chipped chandelier, walls in need of paint…” and whatever cliched metaphors you want to employ mean nothing unless you back them with substance.  They are mentally lazy terms in lieu of independent critical thinking.  

Just curious, if you have a high floor and low ceiling, are you still able to fit into the room? Or do you need to crouch or be vertically challenged or limbo your way in?  

If a team has a low ceiling you are saying in effect this team does not have a lot of potential, which is in effect saying the team is not very good. But you use the term low ceiling to sound as if this is some sort of scientific analysis, when all you are really saying is the team is not very good.  So if someone were to say, and I am sure this has been said, the team is not very good because they have a low ceiling, what they are saying is the team is not very good because the team is not very good.  LOL.

Okay now to the substance of the matter:

Nature abhors a vacuum.  

And this includes human nature in the context of group dynamics.  

The former coach was the de facto leader,  inherent  to the position.  He may have been (was) a bad leader, but he was the leader nonetheless.   Call him the pseudo leader.  In his absence, in the marking of his glorious dismissal, a vacuum was created filled by AG, who has done a splendid A grade job. But AG still has the interim tag after his name.  He’s officially unofficial.

Ty said the team had a meeting and coach let them go, paraphrasing, let them be instrumental in expressing their feelings and ideas. But should not this always have been the dynamic?  Wasn’t Fluke the players coach?

Ty intimated this meeting was different, the input from the players was more prevalent and considered and meaningful.  This was an indirect dig at the former coach, that the locker room communication was not as free flowing and constructive as it could have been.  

This is an intangible variable that can lead to tangible effect, and perhaps we have seen the early manifestations. 

Would Marvin being playing this way under the former coach? Maybe but I don’t think so.  There was too much past and tension and distrust that has been alleviated that has helped a player in the need of all the help he can get. 

Would TD have had the two games he has had under the former coach? I don’t think so.  You know his first 8-10 minutes of playing time vs LAC were rather ho-hum.  It was the faith and confidence that AG showed in TD to enable him to catch his groove in way that dictated the outcome. The former coach would have pulled TD sooner, on set schedule, thereby altering the course of the game.

Who has arguably been hindered most by the coaching change?  Buddy Yield.  Because he has been recognizing and experiencing that jacking indsicriminately is going to be less tolerated or not tolerated under this regime.  And he can play the right way or not at all.  He no longer has a dupe under his thumb.

So all of this is to say that there is a new dynamic forming, that has to be factored into projected fortunes or lack thereof.  Group dynamics occur in the present, ever evolving towards goals, or away from them. You can focus on the present or past.  The past is dead and illusory, since it is just a mental construct anyway, but if you are focused there, you miss what is alive.  

When you say the play of TD is an “outlier”, the defense is an “outlier” you chose to ignore compelling and corroborating evidence.  This includes the history of the former coach ineffectiveness, takeover ability TD showed in handful of games lat year, new dynamics in play with the new coach, and onus he seems to put indirectly (by nature of his designation) and directly on the player to take more accountability and ownership. 

Isn’t it interesting (and encouraging) that the team has played some of its best basketball, in context of performance volatility, which is to be expected when significant change occurs, while missing their best player? You can bet as the season imploded had Fluke still be on the job he would be bemoaning the absence of HB after every humiliating defeat.  

You may grant these points and say “fair enough, but the team is still not very good”.  But if you are going to be this honest, then you should also be honest enough to say “ you don’t know how good the team can be!”  And if you don’t know that, you cannot make a legitimate case to blow up the team  when we are in the process of discovery under more amenable conditions to enable discovery. 

Do you know if Tyrese is going to actively look for his shot, as he is doing more of lately, get to 18 PPG 8 APG where he needs to be? Do you know Fox is not going to persist on upward trajectory since the relative low point of his career? And do you know if the better cohesion and effort on defense is not going to lead to more made open shots? And most importantly perhaps do you know how much of a hindrance the former coach was on the team reaching its collective potential?  

It is shocking yet telling how the former coach was universally panned for his performance, yet upon his dismissal, the Doomers are back to singing the same old tune.  Should you not reasess the possibilities given the new dynamic?  It is one thing to pessimistic, stuck in fatalistic Kangz mindset.  It is another thing to be intellectullaly dishonest and pretend that a new coach cannot significantly alter the results. This is the reality of the situation whether you choose to believe or not.  Carry on, friend, try not to hit your head on that low ceiling.  

BeTheBall
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December 6, 2021 4:37 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

By all means, feel free to dismiss larger sample sizes in favor of the miniscule ones. To each their own.

alec26
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December 6, 2021 5:44 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

The Kings’ floor for 21-22 is around 32 wins and missing the play in. Not much accomplished and not high lottery odds. The Kings’ ceiling is about 44 wins and six-eight playoff seed. The Kings wouldn’t get a lottery pick at all but maybe they’d be more attractive to a quality free agent. At that point smart trades can make the team even better, and then from that point, rosiest but still possible scenario, they could be contenders. Slow improvement is the way the Kings get better. Does tanking ever work?

RPO
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RPO
December 6, 2021 12:35 am

If everything goes per Kangz usual, the team won’t make the playoffs but will do just well enough to keep Gentry as head coach next year. Next year will be more of the same sub-mediocre play and minor tweaking of the roster by the GM. Same as it ever was.

aplumley
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December 6, 2021 9:21 am

On one hand the Kings are one of only 5 teams in the west not slotted for a play in or better. On the other hand, they are only two games out of a 5 seed. Rooting for this team is very confusing.

SelecaoKOJ
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December 6, 2021 10:24 am
Reply to  aplumley

like i said. 3 games out of the 4, 3 games out of the 14th. Teams on the cusp will probably make more moves than the Kings come trade deadline. to ensure a spot. Kings will keep the status quo. Just play with Pace and the rest will take care of itself. Right now the Rockets and Spurs are playing way way better than the Kings with far less talent. So, I don’t see the real correlate with Gentry as (3 seasons above .500 in 17 head coachng years) and some incredible turn around. Until the Kings can put together some semblance of consistent winning, they will remain mediocre. Teams like the Spurs, Rockets, and Wolves will not only surpass them this year. But, continue to improve in uocoming years. While, the Kings keep on rotating deck chairs.

ZillersCat
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December 6, 2021 10:43 am
Reply to  SelecaoKOJ

Though I don’t understand why the Wolves are not better. I do not see much talent on the Spurs, or Rockets to get excited for playin’s from them.

I also don’t think much of the Mavericks with their one good player (1rst round and out). The only team in the West that looks like it has a chance in the playoffs are the Warriors, but it is early.

Last edited 1 month ago by ZillersCat
SelecaoKOJ
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December 6, 2021 2:39 pm
Reply to  ZillersCat

Rockets have some nice young talent in Green, Porter and Tate

Spurs have Murray, who is excellent. Outplayed Fox last time around. Keldon Johnson. Not tons of talent. But Pop regularly out coaches teams that look more talented on paper.

Wolves are a playoff team. A strong one of they make a move or 2 at the deadline. ANT is a future star. Better than any single player on the Kings.

SelecaoKOJ
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December 6, 2021 2:41 pm
Reply to  ZillersCat

Lol!!! Suns, Dubs and Jazz are the only teams In the West and it’s a huge drop off from there. I can guarantee you all 3 will be the Top 3 in the West. I don’t care what game it is. Those 3 are locks barring any injuries.

BeTheBall
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December 6, 2021 4:38 pm
Reply to  aplumley

That’s why it’s impossible to start taking any looks at the standings seriously until around March 1st.

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