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Suns 122, Kings 117: Kings get Outshined by Booker & Suns

A 44-piece from Devin Booker was just enough to extend the Kings' losing streak to three games.
By | 134 Comments | Nov 28, 2022

Nov 28, 2022; Sacramento, California, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) dribbles past Sacramento Kings guard Terence Davis (3) during the third quarter at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

OK, Beamers. After two losses in a row, I can’t be the only one who already missed the majestic illuminance of THE BEAM that we have all come to know and love. Tonight felt like as good a time as any to get back on track and relight our beautiful Sacramento sky. But we all knew it wouldn’t be an easy task. The Phoenix Suns, coming in as the hottest team in the NBA on a four-game winning streak, came into town to try and make sure our beams didn’t come true. The Kings needed to put together a complete game in order to beat the best team in the West tonight. Let’s see how they did:

Quick Stats

Outcome: Kings lose, 117-122

Sacramento Kings: 117 pts, 52.3% fg, 36.0% 3pt, 88.9% ft, 32 ast, 37 reb, 16 to

Phoenix Suns: 122 pts, 53.2% fg, 31.3% 3 pt, 85.7% ft, 26 ast, 45 reb, 17 to

Multiple times during tonight’s game, I was ready to lace up my running shoes to sprint to Golden 1 Center and slam on that beam button, certain that the Kings were going to close this one out. Every time the Suns started to pull away, the Kings would steal the momentum back and make me believe in the beam. Ultimately, the Suns executed better basketball in final possessions and the beam will have to lay dormant for another night…

The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
The Good
  1. Never Going Away: The Kings were a thorn in Phoenix’s side all night long. Multiple lead changes demonstrated Sacramento’s simple refusal to cower to the best team in the Western Conference. Despite the ridiculous performance that Devin Booker put together from start to finish, with 44 points on 17 made field goals and a perfect 9-9 from the line, the Kings refused to back down. Davion Mitchell especially displayed some relentless work on the defensive end, badgering Booker and forcing him to take, and unfortunately make, some really tough shots. When the Suns came out with a demonstrative 9-0 run to start the 2nd half, the Kings immediately answered with an 11-2 run of their own. Probably the most notable sequence of their resilience came in the final moments of play, where the Kings trailed by 10 points with 1:14 to go. A 3-pointer from Malik Monk, two more free throws from Monk, and a steal and dunk from Kevin Huerter, all within 40 seconds of play, suddenly put the Kings within three points with 35 seconds left. Although they didn’t turn those final ticks into a win, it’s hard not to admire the Kings’ refusal to quit.
  2. Scoring in the Paint: The Kings’ offense had some rough patches, most glaringly when they needed some productive movement the most, but overall, it was fun to watch. The Kings outscored the Suns 64-58 in the paint, and completed a team total of 32 assists, led by Domantas Sabonis’ 10. At its peak, the Kings’ offense found easy dunks for cutting teammates as bodies flew across the paint and the ball whipped around to multiple sets of hands. On a night where it seemed Devin Booker couldn’t miss and the 3 ball wasn’t falling in the Kings’ favor, as they shot just 9-25 from deep, it was imperative that their offense find a rhythm and consistency in the paint to counter Booker’s constant scoring.
  3. This Moment: In the 2nd quarter, we got to add another point to our long list of reasons we love Mike Brown:

The Bad
  1. Defending the Paint: While the Kings scored well in the paint, they also failed to defend their own. In instances where Booker was forced to give the rock up, it often found hands with easy lanes to the rim. Deandre Ayton (17 points) and Mikal Bridges (13 points) enjoyed the freedom of getting into the paint and punishing the Kings for it.
The Ugly
  1. That ONE Rebound: The Kings struggled on the boards tonight, losing that battle to the Suns 45-37. But none hurt more than the final offensive rebound they allowed during the  Suns’ final offensive possession. After executing a great defensive possession by doubling Devin Booker late in the shot clock, forcing it out of his hands, rotating to shooters, and finally forcing a Mikal Bridges’ corner 3, the Kings failed to secure the long rebound and it ultimately resulted in two more free throws for Booker to ice the game.
The King of Kings

Malik Monk is the definition of a game changer. Every time he stepped on the floor tonight, electric things happened. Not only did he have a handful of incredible individual plays that exhibited flashy, acrobatic finishes, but he also created a ton of productive opportunities for his teammates. It felt like any time the ball was in his hands, it was inevitable that something good was about to happen. Monk finished with 30 points and eight assists on 12 made field goals.

Operation: MCNAIR – Season 2 Watch

Tonight’s charity is the Central Valley Holocaust Educators’ Network. Donate here and be sure to notify Will via Twitter (@WillofThaPeople) or e-mail ([email protected]) so he can keep track of donation totals.

Up Next

Wednesday, November 30th vs. Indiana Pacers – 7:00 P.M. (PT)

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134 Comments
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tom4life2001
November 28, 2022 10:17 pm

No CP3, Johnson, or Crowder. We’re at home. They haven’t been doing well on the road up to this point. They gotta find a way to win these type of games.

Also, the psychological boost of seeing the Kings on the schedule since they have been bad for 16 years doesn’t help either. That explains in my mind why teams shoot higher than league average against us.

RikSmits
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November 28, 2022 10:34 pm
Reply to  tom4life2001

We can talk all about the improved effort on defense and that other teams make contested shots at a higher clip than should be normal, but when is the sample size such that you have to accept that it is a feature, not a bug?

Learn from this and on to the next game!

Last edited 1 year ago by RikSmits
Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
November 29, 2022 10:03 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Yeah, I’m not buying that “luck” idea of teams just shoot better when they play the Kings. I don’t care if some numbers show the teams are being contested on their shots. Luck can be a part of a small sample size of a few games, but we are nearing 25% of the season shortly.

AnybodyButBagley
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November 29, 2022 10:10 am
Reply to  Adamsite

16 years of bad luck. Nothing to do with anything else.

Gregoryl
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November 29, 2022 10:37 am

Right. I hear this stat every year… it is not a annual coincidence that teams shoot better against the Kings.

Bluejohn
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November 29, 2022 12:01 pm

“But if it wasn’t for bad luck we wouldn’t have no luck at all”

UpgradedToQuestionable
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November 29, 2022 11:44 pm
Reply to  Bluejohn

Born Under A Bad Sign – Albert KING

tom4life2001
November 29, 2022 11:40 am
Reply to  RikSmits

I get this could be just bad defense and this, of course, doesn’t explain away 16 years of awful defense. I’m saying this year, this team seems to have bad luck considering our defensive shot profile.

Here is this chart (albeit dated now) for example where they are obviously an outlier.
https://twitter.com/jtlhoops/status/1588198420988190721?s=20&t=fxrXhXo5UM4fzjyHgKqyyg

Seth Partnow, former Bucks’ director of analytics, mentioned on a Dunc’d On podcast a week or so ago that they have had unfortunate luck when it comes to opposing teams shooting percentages as well.

RikSmits
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November 29, 2022 12:02 pm
Reply to  tom4life2001

Yeah, this is just the kind of stuff I was refering to.

I don’t trust these kind of stats, which are likely based on AI and computer-measured proximity stats. Lot’s of noise there, I suspect.

Much less noise in the fact that the Kings allow their opponent to shoot well from distance after a bit over 23% of the season has been played.

Often, matters are a combination of factors. I’d say that is a bit of bad luck, partly not being as near to the shooters as the stat appear to show and partly bad defense.

When players can get to the rim uncontested, it gives confidence and that often makes the next long-distance shot a bit easier.

It’s nice that we’re trying hard to contest outside shots, but it seems to me that often the trade-off is easy penetration into the paint.

Jack
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November 29, 2022 6:55 am
Reply to  tom4life2001

IMO it looked a lot like last year. We get a lead and can’t build on it. The third quarter like last year and the last couple of minutes like last year would again be our downfall. But the biggest reason we lost the game was defense. We let one player score over one third of their points. They scored 122 points while we scored less. If we don’t start playing better defense we can kiss the playoffs or even the play in goodbye. Mitchell can’t do it all. Sabonis said in the post game we need to play defense together and communicate better,There are some players, I won”t mention because you know who they are, cannot defend the straight line drives. They are right now to slow as the opposition drives right around them for straight line drives to the basket or pull up in the paint for easy jump shots Everyone says it takes time to jell. It is one fourth into the season and they better start jelling or wait until next year.

AnybodyButBagley
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November 29, 2022 9:38 am
Reply to  Jack

Great point.

Have not checked this out but…..how many players have scored over thirty while playing the Kings?

I know Curry did it for a win and Booker as well.

RikSmits
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November 29, 2022 9:49 am

Paul George (40)
Curry (33)
Bane (31)
Herro (34)
Banchero (33)
Curry (47)
D. Mitchell (38)
Morant (34)
T. Young (35)
Tatum (30)
Booker (40)

So in 11 of 19 games.

AnybodyButBagley
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November 29, 2022 10:09 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Interesting trend….

Thanks for the info.

PretendGhost
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November 29, 2022 12:07 pm

All are the type of guy you expect to get 30. I think the Kings have done a decent job of mitigating role player contributions, but it’s hard to slow down elite scorers without a single true stopper on the team, all due respect to Davion

AnybodyButBagley
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November 29, 2022 12:09 pm
Reply to  PretendGhost

Davion is sitting on the bench which leaves him very few options to stop anyone.

All players who are capable of putting up more than thirty but don’t do it every game. Against the Kings though…..

Last edited 1 year ago by AnybodyButBagley
PretendGhost
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November 29, 2022 1:55 pm

That’s a pretty disingenuous argument. Yeah anyone can give you 30, but there are certain guys that do it multiple times a year, and the guys who do are the ones who have done it to the Kings.

Davion has done well defending in his minutes on the court, and I think there’s a case to start him over Keegan right now. But he’s limited in what he can do. He can bother Durant/Booker for a few possessions better than anyone else on the team, but at the end of the day they’re able to shoot over him.

AnybodyButBagley
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November 29, 2022 8:06 pm
Reply to  PretendGhost

I wonder if more players score 30 or more against the kings more often than other teams?

Davion is a good defender but not well rounded enough as a player to stay on the court long enough to impact the game of the scorers. He can stop them for five minutes then he leaves.

RandyBreuersNeckHair
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November 28, 2022 10:20 pm

Good game, De’Aaron.

Inthestarz
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November 28, 2022 11:20 pm

I think I got a lot of flack talking about Fox’s “imprint” back in the day

I was actually pointing out the innate inconsistent trait that I knew would haunt him his entire career, thats why it was a thorn in my side.

He can’t even be blamed, as a tiger cant change its spots, it just has to be worked around to the best of everyone’s ability

WizsSox
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November 29, 2022 12:35 am
Reply to  Inthestarz

innate inconsistent trait

Taking out injured Charlotte game the man as one of most efficient NBA scorers, has posted 20 or more in 12/16 games. He’s scored 30+ more often than he has scored 20 or less.

imprint

Lemme check my notes about clutch stats league leaders this year 🙄

He wasn’t great tonight. But he has been all year.

But have at it tonight if you are trying to prove an old take right.

Last edited 1 year ago by WizsSox
PretendGhost
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November 29, 2022 2:07 am
Reply to  WizsSox

Fox has yet to be consistently great for a whole season. I’ve been pleased by his play to start the season, but until he plays winning basketball over a full 82, I and many others will remain skeptical.

This team will only go as far as Fox can take them. He’s now been outplayed by each of Young, Tatum, and Booker. Those guys outplay 99% of NBA players — but I think that’s the exact issue: you want your star player to show up for those games and be able to hang with those guys. If he can’t, it puts a ceiling on what your team can accomplish, and it’s disappointing to see Fox underperform against top level talent during this losing streak compared to what we’ve come to expect.

Really curious to see how he shows up on Wednesday against Haliburton, whom I believe has a higher ceiling than Fox, and might already be the better player.

Last edited 1 year ago by PretendGhost
TheGrantNapear
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November 29, 2022 3:29 am
Reply to  PretendGhost

This ☝️
It’s amazing how quickly many King’s fans are forgetting the Fox of the last five years and annointing him a star over some 15 or so games of play.
And as you say, let’s see him play at a star level for a whole season.
The reality is that the Kings need Fox to be a superstar, but I still see a player with a Mike Conley type cieling, which isn’t bad, but just not good enough for a team that still doesn’t have proven elite star talent.

RandyBreuersNeckHair
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November 29, 2022 5:52 am
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

This game should remind all those clamoring for a Fox All Star nod this year why it’s not realistic. Booker did what real All Stars do. In order for Fox to make the team, he’d have to take a guy like Booker’s spot.
Ain’t happening. Nor should it.

Daydreamer
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November 29, 2022 6:40 am
Reply to  PretendGhost

“Until he plays winning basketball over a full 82” is ridiculous! No one does that. Michael Jordan did not do that (but he rarely had two bad games back-to-back).

Granted, De’Aaron’s limited stardom in his first five seasons leaves something to prove, but let’s not raise the bar to a ridiculously high level.

Let’s see how he bounces back on Wednesday.

By the way the article’s demonstration of Mike Brown’s coaching and the results he achieved is wonderful and very helpful to me. More of that!

PretendGhost
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November 29, 2022 1:59 pm
Reply to  Daydreamer

Well #1, it’s an expression, but #2 you actually can play winning basketball 82 games a year. You do it by playing aggressive and smart even when shots aren’t falling. The best players do that every game, and the results tend to follow. Fox still has something to prove to this league, so his lack of aggression & bad mistakes during this skid has been revealing.

Jack
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November 29, 2022 7:14 am
Reply to  WizsSox

Booker did it all. We needed a way to play defense on him. Fox had a somewhat off might but if that happens we need others to step up. Monk did that last night but where was Barnes? He plays great one or two nights in a row then is nowhere to be found other nights. Mitchell plays great defense but needs to score more. Murray is a rookie. He had a good night going to the basket and shot his one three but if you are going to count on a rookie to carry this team we are in trouble. I thought Huerter was the smart one last night. Had problems with the three but then went to the basket for most of his points. Great steal. Could’t get the rebound at the end. Defense is the only way we are going to get to the tournament.

Gregoryl
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November 29, 2022 8:39 am
Reply to  Jack

Booker has that Kobe-like assassin style to his game. Just cold-blooded. Keegan looks overwhelmed out there…

1951
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November 29, 2022 8:53 am
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Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
November 29, 2022 9:14 am
Reply to  1951

It seems to me that some very hot players have simply come back to Earth, especially Fox and Huerter.

RikSmits
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November 29, 2022 10:28 am
Reply to  Adamsite

It was bound to happen, to some extent. Now they have to buckle down and adjust.

Jack
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November 29, 2022 11:42 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Adjust they have to do. That means team defense. After 25% of the season players better learn to play reasonable defense or sit.

AnybodyButBagley
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November 29, 2022 9:42 am
Reply to  WizsSox

Fox can score that is never in question.

Can he play winning basketball while leading a team as a point guard?

So far he has only done that in short periods of time. Hopefully he is learning.

Jack
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November 29, 2022 11:44 am

The team can score putting up high numbers but because of hardly any defense other teams are scoring more period.

AnybodyButBagley
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November 29, 2022 12:01 pm
Reply to  Jack

True. Fox is a key to that defensive improvement. The guards at the perimeter are not playing defense. Same as the last decade.

Teams have every choice open. Drive to the basket….yes. Pass it inside….yes. Shoot from the perimeter….yes.

This team has to take away at least one option. Fox’s lack of defense ability and focus is huge part of the problem. Fox is score first player on a score first team.

PretendGhost
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November 29, 2022 12:10 pm

Weird to be complaining about Fox’s defense and calling him score first when last night he was struggling to score and doing decently on defense

AnybodyButBagley
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November 29, 2022 12:15 pm
Reply to  PretendGhost

He did not score enough last night to offset his defense. Or he did not defend well enough last night to offset his lack of offense

Which one do you choose?

I like Fox but he is not a franchise player that will take over a game. The Kings have him anointed him to be this player but he is not. I like Fox but he is not the All Star dominating point guard they have tried to make him.

RikSmits
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November 29, 2022 6:18 am

If we don’t win the next game (aka the Tyrese revenge game), I can see this losing streak hit 8 or 9 games.

comment image

TheGrantNapear
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November 29, 2022 7:24 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Hali > Sabonis
Benedict > Keegan
Ham sandwich > Buddy

AnybodyButBagley
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November 29, 2022 10:11 am
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

You have made a ham sandwich equal to or less than a napkin.

Last edited 1 year ago by AnybodyButBagley
macdoogs
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November 29, 2022 12:01 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

I love me some Keegan and think he turns into a really good player but watching Bennedict instantly step in and be the Pacers main scorer is impressive. It helps I’m sure having reece’s passes always looking to set his guys up too. If we passed on Murray he is who I was most interested in besides ivey

TheGrantNapear
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November 29, 2022 1:42 pm
Reply to  macdoogs

I personally wanted Ivey or Benedict over Keegan and even Dyson to a lesser degree. We won’t know who should’ve been selected for a few years so let’s see how it plays out. But man, a starting backcourt of Fox, KH and Benedict with Monk and Davion off the bench would be nice.

SuperShaka
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November 30, 2022 6:48 am
Reply to  macdoogs

Mathurin is also coming off the bench. Murray had success against bench units early and has struggled as a starter.

I’d like to see what Metu looks like at the 4 with the starting unit.

HongKongKingsFan
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November 29, 2022 7:19 am

Can somebody explain to me why Fox did not look aggressive at all ?

He is not driving into the lane , thus not able to draw foul

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
November 29, 2022 7:28 am

Not much you can do when the opposing team’s superstar plays for 41 minutes and goes off for 44 points. The Suns are the better team. Period.

That being said, I don’t understand why the Kings supposed superstar only got 29 minutes. You have to have your best players on the floor, as much as you possibly can, if you want to win the majority of your games.

FWIW, Fox is currently 69th in the NBA at 32.1 MPG, slotted just below Huerter and above Bojan Bogdanovic. Sabonis leads the team at 32.6 MPG, which is 60th in the NBA..and he dealt with foul trouble early in the season.

You gotta play your stars to win games.

HongKongKingsFan
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November 29, 2022 7:32 am
Reply to  Adamsite

yes….I agree…

Players need playing time to get into rythem………….
For Fox, he need to play at least 35+ minutes per night

WizsSox
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November 29, 2022 10:30 am

Chris Paul and Steph Curry haven’t played 35+ minutes in…9 seasons.

Someone Fox’s age you ask? Ja Morant hasn’t averaged over 33 minutes once in his career.

They seem to find their rhythm.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
November 29, 2022 10:43 am
Reply to  WizsSox

Fox and Sabonis are both down in their MPG compared to prior seasons.

I’m sure it’s no coincidence that Sabonis’ two all-star appearances line up with career highs with his MPG. His minutes haven’t been this low since he was a bench player. Keep in mind, he’s giving up those minutes in large part to Metu.

2 to 3 extra minutes per game for star players isn’t going to kill them, but it can definitely make a difference in the win column. If Booker had played 3 minutes less night and Fox and Sabonis played 3 minutes more, could the game have had a different outcome?

Keep in mind, 5 of the Kings losses have been by 5 points or less. Those minutes, as small as they may seem to be, make a big difference.

Hobby916
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November 29, 2022 10:45 am
Reply to  Adamsite

And their backups have not been particularly good this year (Metu and Mitchell)

Jack
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November 29, 2022 12:02 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

You need Mitchell out there until some others learn that defense is just as important as offense.With a 1 or 2 point lead or behind by 1 or 2 he needs to be on the floor. Sure I would like him to score more but as of now that’s not the important reason he is on the floor. If Sabonis would play more then you would’nt have to see Metu so much. He has improved his offense a lot compared to last year and he rebounds well but he like so many others needs to play defense. I would like to give Holmes a chance to play a game or two more than 3 or 4 minutes and see what he still has. His motor used to be contagious.

AnybodyButBagley
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November 29, 2022 12:05 pm
Reply to  Jack

Fox can score eight points in the last minute of the game but he will also give up 14.

Hobby916
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November 29, 2022 12:18 pm
Reply to  Jack

Mitchell has his role, that’s for sure. He also needs to improve his overall game, which I think is happening so far this season…Metu on the other hand, dime a dozen in this league. Athletic and not much else.

RobHessing
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November 29, 2022 10:51 am
Reply to  Adamsite

How do their minutes compare to the Lakers, Dubs, Wolves, Thunder and Pacers? Along with the Kings, those are the top six pace teams in the NBA. Just wondering if that is a factor. Also, I wonder if a few fewer minutes per game is an alternative to “load management” nights off.

RobHessing
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November 29, 2022 11:09 am
Reply to  RobHessing

Just noodling with some numbers here – typing out loud as it were.

Sabonis is 4th among centers in mpg. He is playing more than Jokic, Vucevic, Gobert. Bam, Wendell Carter and Jarrett Allen are the only ones above him (add Towns if you like, though I think he’s PF these days). When you consider the pace, as well as the amount of effort that he has to put in on the boards for this team, the minutes seem about right?

Fox is 13th among PGs, in Marcus Smart range. That seems a tad low, but given Fox’s injuries in the past and the fact that speed is a big part of his game (as well as the fact that the Kings are heaviest at the guard positions), I get it. Also, he is playing 48 seconds less per game than Ja, but the Kings average a couple more possessions per game than the Griz, so net-net maybe there is not that much of a difference?

This is all spit balling on my part – I really have no clue what the right answer is, and I too have been confused by a few of Brown’s substitution patterns. But I can’t complain about the results, and Brown appears to be managing this roster to get him through 82 games, not one at a time.

RikSmits
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November 29, 2022 11:28 am
Reply to  RobHessing

Only when a team starts losing a few games in a row, people start second-guessing such minutiae as the amount of minutes played.

Last edited 1 year ago by RikSmits
RobHessing
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November 29, 2022 11:34 am
Reply to  RikSmits

It’s an interesting question, but there sure are a lot of layers to it. I mean, is 30 min. a night for 80 games better than 35 min. a night for 75 games? And does it work that way? I’m sure that these coaching and training staffs have their own algorithms for this stuff, much in the same way MLB has their own way (and vastly different from the “old” days) when it comes to innings pitched and consecutive games played.

One thing that I am pretty sure of: In this day and age, managing minutes of your star player(s) is a big, big deal.

RikSmits
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November 29, 2022 11:50 am
Reply to  RobHessing

IMO it’s indeed a big deal for contenders. For a team putting its chips on breaking a 16-year drought, load management should be less of a consideration.

But honestly, my comment was more about using the words “minutiae” and “second-guessing” in a thread about minutes, but I guess there’s a time and place for everything.

Kosta
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November 29, 2022 12:18 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Hour team needs time to sync!

Jack
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November 29, 2022 12:20 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

IMO both Fox and Sabonis should play more minutes. How many is the big question. Game to game management surely has something to do with it. For instance I wrote a couple of posts ago about back to back games. The second game of a back to back the other night my wife noticed that Fox kept hitting the front of the rim even on some of his pullups. She said he looked tired. I agreed. I am not sure how to remedy this but when I was coaching we never lost a game due to being out of shape. I understand that the NBA is far more tasking than high school but their must be some where or something coaches can do to remedy this.

Jack
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November 29, 2022 11:51 am
Reply to  Adamsite

You hit the nail on the head on this one. How come Booker plays some many minutes and our best players play way less. Is it is because they get tired? Booker didn’t get tired If that’s the case then they better get in shape now. We need them on the court.With Fox and Sabonis playing 3 more minutes IMO we win the game or any of the others we lost by 5 or less.

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November 29, 2022 2:37 pm
Reply to  Jack

With Fox and Sabonis playing 3 more minutes IMO we win the game or any of the others we lost by 5 or less.

Basketball made easy. Play best players more minutes = wins. No other layers to it. Done

The stupidity of these minutes takes is that, without Fox’s Charlotte game where he only got 9 mins due to injury and he is up 1.5 minutes average per game to 33.5.

Your halfway there to those 3 mins.

WizsSox
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November 29, 2022 1:43 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I’m sure it’s no coincidence that Sabonis’ two all-star appearances line up with career highs with his MPG

That’s a ridiculous argument. He made an All-Star team based largely off of who is available, who is in your conference at the time, usage etc. His per 36 numbers are not any different and his advanced numbers are actually better this year. Efficiency, VORP, Win shares etc.

So in the ever so slightly less minutes we are discussing he is actually playing slightly better/more efficient.

The Sacramento Flippin’ Kings are 10-9 and playing competitive basketball damn nearly every night, against good competition. Some of the board make it seem as if they Kings won 48 games last year and were looking to make the leap to a Top 3 seed in West.

Sometimes not every game needs to find something to nitpick about. Which is what this feels like. They lost to a better team…it happens. It will again. My 2 cents.

AnybodyButBagley
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November 29, 2022 12:03 pm
Reply to  WizsSox

You love Fox. We get it. Some people love winning.

WizsSox
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November 29, 2022 2:42 pm

Which last I checked they have won more than they have lost. Dunno, seems pretty good to me having watched the Kings all these years. Are we still discussing a team that hasn’t made the playoffs for 16 years? Did a 7 game win streak make people think this was suddenly a 55 win team and should be evaluated as such?

I don’t love Fox particularly. Enjoy watching him play this season. I just rather despise nonsensical spur of the moment takes when a game doesn’t go the way the fans way and they look to hand out some blame pie. It naturally goes to Fox more often than not as the best player. Sometimes deserved, sometimes not.

You like to find someone to crap on each game…we get it.

AnybodyButBagley
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November 29, 2022 5:58 pm
Reply to  WizsSox

Fox and this team are better. Fun to watch. The problem with this team and many of its fans is that less than average has been acceptable.

Fox is not what the team has sold him to be and the fans that think he has been an all star player are accepting garbage in return for their ticket purchases.

Some people choose to crap on any criticism of a player that wears a Kings uniform.

RikSmits
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November 29, 2022 7:42 am
Reply to  Adamsite

“I approve this message.”

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Adamsite
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November 29, 2022 8:46 am
Reply to  RikSmits

I know Thib has the reputation of playing guys until they drop, but I just did a quick gander at teams/players across the league and there is a trend of winning teams playing their stars.

Of the teams that have players that play more MPG than any player on the Kings:

Boston has 3
Toronto has 3
PHX has has 2
Miami has 3
ATL has 3
Brooklyn has 3
Cavs have 4!!!
Hornets have 3 (Gordon Hayward gets more MPG than any King)

jwalker1395
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November 29, 2022 9:38 am
Reply to  Adamsite

I had noticed this as well. Top teams are playing tight 8-9 man rotations, with heavy emphasis on the starters.

Unexpected until you consider just how competitive the league is this year. Coaches must not think there are any games you can afford to lose to explore the roster. But perhaps the deeper rotation will pay off for the Kings once we’re in the dog days of the season?

SneakerKing
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November 29, 2022 10:22 am
Reply to  jwalker1395

There might be something to this. With Coach Brown having been on GS’s bench for their title runs, he sees the season for the marathon it is and maybe wants fresher legs down the stretch? I know Tatum was gassed at the end of the ECF and last 4 of the Finals last season.

RikSmits
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November 29, 2022 10:30 am
Reply to  SneakerKing

 I know Tatum was gassed at the end of the ECF and last 4 of the Finals last season.

Ah yes, we can’t have that. 🙂

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November 30, 2022 11:30 am
Reply to  SneakerKing

It’s not just stamina, it’s also injury prevention. More minutes equals more fatigue equals greater likelihood of chronic and/or stress-related injuries.

Everyone who’s ever played for Thibs suffered some debilitating injuries that ended up derailing their careers, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence. Three Warriors suffered major derailing injuries after their 5th consecutive finals appearance, and that’s not a coincidence either.

Greg
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November 29, 2022 11:18 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Not specific to last night, but I wonder if the lower totals has to do with the speed and pace the Kings have been playing at.

Hobby916
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November 29, 2022 11:24 am
Reply to  Greg

Is there an easy to find stat that shows how many possessions a player was on the court for? That might be a little more of an indicator of minutes/fatigue, impact on the game, etc.

oswan88
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November 29, 2022 9:07 am

Seeing them leave Damion Lee open repeatedly for 3s was frustrating. We’re lucky he only hit 3-7 but each 3 he hit was huge for the Suns.

Jack
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November 29, 2022 9:14 am
Reply to  oswan88

They have 5 players on the court. We have 5. Got to play smart and defend or forget it

Adamsite
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November 29, 2022 10:13 am

This is a problem, and teams will continue to exploit it by driving to the lane.

https://twitter.com/TimMaxwell22/status/1597653649403961346

Adamsite
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November 29, 2022 10:14 am
Reply to  Adamsite
Hobby916
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November 29, 2022 10:20 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Yeah, he clearly is not the solution. They are either waiting until 12/15 to make some trades, until Queta seems ready, or just that it will figure itself out over time. Something needs to change because those numbers are terrifying.

Adamsite
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November 29, 2022 10:29 am
Reply to  Hobby916

They are paying Holmes a starting center’s salary to ride the bench. He couldn’t possibly be any worse at this point, unless there is something about him that we don’t know.

Kings have two legit backup centers on the roster and they aren’t getting minutes in favor of Metu. Something for sure needs to change.

Hobby916
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November 29, 2022 10:33 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Holmes must have done something to piss someone off. He can run the floor, get lobs, and do basically what Metu does. Now, Holmes probably isn’t any better than Metu so they are screwed any way.

I was looking on the trade machine and thought maybe Holmes/Metu for Noel could work. Noel has been a solid shot blocker over his career, lob threat, etc. Not sure about his play other than that.

Gregoryl
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November 29, 2022 10:35 am
Reply to  Hobby916

If I’m Brown, I see it as: They both suck at defense, and Metu in the only one playing decent offense.

Jack
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November 29, 2022 12:31 pm
Reply to  Gregoryl

You can’t compare the two. Holmes hasn’t been given a chance. He has a great push shot or have we forgotten?

Jack
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November 29, 2022 12:29 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

When it comes to motor Holmes is better than Metu. What say we play Holmes with Monk, two great motors, and see what happens.

AnybodyButBagley
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November 29, 2022 9:33 pm
Reply to  Jack

I cannot see a way that Metu out plays Holmes. Something weird is happening there in my opinion.

RobHessing
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November 29, 2022 1:10 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

Homes did not look good (at all) in those first seven games. I can’t recall the last time that he looked good without Hali. As I noted elsewhere, Holmes was averaging 14 mpg through the first seven, the same amount that Metu has averaged over the past 12.

It’s probably a small sample size anomaly, but here’s a weird stat nugget: Metu’s block % is a paltry 0.9, but Holmes was at 0.7. The answer, if block % was the true barometer? Trey Lyles, at 2.5%.

Murray is at 1.9. Sabonis 1.2

The answer is that there is no answer, at least not on the current roster.

rockbottom
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November 29, 2022 4:09 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Holmes was quite productive before Hali . Just a thought and do believe he would be an improvement over Metu , however slight .

EastCoastKingsFan
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November 30, 2022 4:29 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

I’m thinking it’s just Browns guy and I can’t be mad at that. I don’t know if it was Hali or not but Holmes hasn’t looked the same since before all that unfortunate off court stuff. Brown and Metu have the Nigeria team history/connection. Idk just my two cents

rockbottom
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November 29, 2022 4:04 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

Menu got zero rebounds in 12 minutes . Holmes thru his starting tenure Ave one per 3+ minutes . No way he would not be better than Metu, who seems more inclined to be a wing .

Jack
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November 29, 2022 12:27 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

Sabonis I like but he is not a shot blocker. We also need help on the weakside. Every time Sabonis has to defend outside the box we get killed. Again I ask cant’t we give Holmes a chance for a least 2 or 3 games and play as much as Metu does? Worth a try.

RobHessing
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November 29, 2022 12:33 pm
Reply to  Jack

He averaged 14 mpg over the first seven games, which is what Metu has averaged since he supplanted him in the rotation.

Jack
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November 30, 2022 6:43 am
Reply to  RobHessing

That’s true but I wanted someone to come in with a motor to jack this team up. IMO Holmes has done that before why not now. Give him a chance.

RobHessing
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November 30, 2022 8:26 am
Reply to  Jack

That motor was not on display through the first seven games of the season.

Jack
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November 30, 2022 3:55 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

True but he only played a minute or two here and there.

RobHessing
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November 30, 2022 3:59 pm
Reply to  Jack

14 mpg, same as Metu.

RobHessing
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November 29, 2022 10:44 am

It is an imperfect roster with some gaping holes, but Brown has them competing and producing up to and at times beyond their combined talents. It has been a very fun 1st quarter of the season.

Hobby916
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November 29, 2022 10:49 am
Reply to  RobHessing

I have thought that they had a chance to win or at least compete in every game this season. They are much more competitive than recent years, which is a breath of fresh air. Be nice to have a few more wins, but at least they are staying competitive and not being blown out almost every night.

RobHessing
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November 29, 2022 10:55 am
Reply to  Hobby916

Currently 9th in the league in point differential. They finished 25th last year. That is a crazy improvement.

Kingsguru21
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November 29, 2022 1:12 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

The fact that a chunk of fans are just mad about losing to the Suns is an improvement. Fair or not, there are people upset this team is not a contender. Maybe not you or me, perse, but those people exist.

If you had told me that the Kings would be 500 after the end of this upcoming 6 game trip, I would have been pretty happy with that all things considered. I was hoping the Kings could be 11-9 after Wed’s game. They have a good chance at that. Unless you think the mighty Indianapolis Haliburton’s are all of a sudden an insurmountable juggernaut.

Some doom and gloom, I told you so’s and optimism here and elsewhere. Wherever you sit, this team has improved. But I saw Kenny Caraway point out something on Twitter we all noticed: This team doesn’t hit their 3’s, they won’t win as much. Which is like ‘yep, nothing new here.’ My point here is that the discussion is more narrative of ‘where we are at vs where we currently are vs WHOA MY GAWDZERS DID YOU SEE TYRESE HALIBURTON IS LEADING THE NBA IN ASSISTS AND MIGHT BE STEVE NASH SUMDAYZ MUY GAWD YALL.’ Not TKH, but social media and in fact Twitter in particular. Matters? Maybe it will, maybe it won’t.

What I know is the Kings weren’t relevant with Fox and Haliburton but are with Fox and Sabonis. The question is how relevant, not can they be IMO.

And so it goes, detective lieutenant.

RobHessing
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November 29, 2022 1:17 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

I would have had them somewhere around 9-11 after 20, based on my 37-45 prediction. So at the moment, I’m playing with house money. And I too am pleased that a loss to the Suns rankles me a little in the moment. My wife noted that I have been laughing with the team instead of at them this year, which is a significant improvement.

Kingsguru21
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November 29, 2022 3:06 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Your wife is a smart woman, no doubt. And I must point out, that the difference between 11-9 and 9-11 seems like alot but it’s not. It’s really a difference of 2 games.

There’s one game that I really feel like the Kings gave away and that was Opening night. I made this comment afterwards and I was hoping the Kings would be 11-9 after the Indy game tomorrow.

This 13 game stretch is tough on everyone. You go back East and wake up 4 in 4 different cities in 4 days. You come home to a contender that has been pretty blah all November and then their best player goes on a heater. Meanwhile your best player continues his own blah stretch of play over the last 3 games. Your next game features a fan and league darling leading the league in an individual category. Before hitting 2 potential contenders on b2b matinees in LA and Sac over the weekend. (Until it’s super clear Chicago isn’t a contender at all, I think they have a small shot at it.) Then you get to play more potential championship teams back East like Milwaukee, Cleveland, Philadelphia and Toronto (the last two are a b2b). By the end of this upcoming East trip the Kings will have already played 11 Eastern Conference road games.

Excuses? Sure, if you really want to see it that way. But that’s why this league is tough. These stretches happen and only elite teams really navigate them successfully. Sac is not an elite team, or at least not yet anyway.

If you’re in a game or two of 500 by the Dec 19th game against the new Charlotte Buzzies, I’ll be pretty happy. It doesn’t get much tougher than this 13 game stretch the Kings are in. Can they be 500 or better? I’m not counting on it, but it sure would be a fun unexpected surprise.

RobHessing
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November 29, 2022 3:54 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Your wife is a smart woman, no doubt.

Though she did marry me. That’s not paying her any dividends right now. Maybe I’m her get into heaven free card.

Last edited 1 year ago by RobHessing
TerzoM
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November 29, 2022 4:17 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Speaking of wives brought the fam to the game last night. The wife and my son had a blast, too bad we could not see the beam blast
comment image
Booker is ripped, I remembered him as a skinnier dude years ago. Anyways yes is was pretty much unstoppable and did not seem to break a sweat playing 40 mins. Oh well on to next one. Go Kings!

macdoogs
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November 29, 2022 12:08 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Honestly, I can’t be mad at how we’re doing after a very rough start to the season. I’d like a legit answer on why we’re not giving Queta minutes on the big team when we desperately lack an inside presence on d.

I also like coach browns rotations for the most part but I would like domas, keegan, and fox to share the court a bit more together throughout the game, with less staggering. I get needing 1 of them on the court at all times I just think they play so well off each other but they go such long stretches of either or

RobHessing
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November 29, 2022 12:14 pm
Reply to  macdoogs

I watch guys dominate in G league and then struggle at the NBA level, so I’m fine waiting a little longer on Queta. He sure looked like a guy that needed some game experience during the pre-season, and he’s getting a lot of that in Stockton. He’s going to have to be a better player than Metu to get any burn up here. Hopefully he’s working towards that in Stockton – he’s been looking good down there lately.

RobHessing
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November 29, 2022 12:29 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Ellis is looking better, too.

Jack
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November 29, 2022 1:37 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Ellis can play defense!

AnybodyButBagley
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November 29, 2022 12:31 pm
Reply to  macdoogs

This team is showing signs of improvement. One of the improvements is the talent on the roster. Relying on a G league player to improve this team is a step in the wrong direction.

Trade Holmes, Len, etc…to get someone.

Hobby916
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November 29, 2022 12:58 pm

Who?

AnybodyButBagley
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November 29, 2022 1:56 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

An NBA player that is not G league player named Queta.

Hobby916
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November 30, 2022 5:25 am

Well that doesn’t narrow it down much. Try looking for a player that might actually help.

AnybodyButBagley
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November 30, 2022 11:10 am
Reply to  Hobby916

A player that is without a doubt an NBA level player. Which is not a G league player named Queta. Holmes, Len, and any combination of players will definitely be worth more than Queta.

Hobby916
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November 30, 2022 11:17 am

What about Bagley?

AnybodyButBagley
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December 1, 2022 1:30 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

……without a doubt an NBA player. He doesn’t pass that smell test.

Talent maybe?

NBA player = player who plays in the NBA. Bagley does not play.

Pay Bagley $2.00 and put him on the Stockton roster….good gamble.

Last edited 1 year ago by AnybodyButBagley
Jack
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November 29, 2022 1:35 pm

Adamsite posted a couple posts ago and I agree. What about Holmes and Barnes for Hayward. Hayward is averaging around 17 points a game and is consistent so far. He is also a good playmaker and mentor. He has two years on his contract which gives the Kings a chance to draft a 3 and D player and it gives him a year to improve while Hayward would at least be consistent at small forward. Please comment.

Hobby916
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November 29, 2022 1:49 pm
Reply to  Jack

I think Hayward just fractured his shoulder…not sure of the timeline for his return, but that dude is consistently hurt

AnybodyButBagley
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November 29, 2022 1:58 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

Consistently hurt?

How is his second jump?

His Dad have a twitter beef with any point guards?

This guy could be promising if he checks these boxes.

Jack
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November 29, 2022 3:10 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

Thanks for the info. That takes care of that.

Kosta
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November 29, 2022 12:20 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Most fun I’ve had watching the Kings in a long time. Which isn’t saying much. But I’ll take it!

EastCoastKingsFan
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November 29, 2022 12:34 pm

Sorry if someone shared already but Star Fox recently did an interview with Bleacher Report I thought I’d share.

RikSmits
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November 29, 2022 1:22 pm

congrats on getting to the next stage in the World Cup, Honoured Enemy.

I’m looking forward to the game on Saturday.

RobHessing
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November 29, 2022 1:31 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Joe Kleine, Duane Causwell, Mikki Moore – these are all guys that should have played futbol. Not using their hands was already a way of life for them.

TheGrantNapear
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November 29, 2022 1:45 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

I love blasts from the past.
I remember Corliss Willamson also having bad hands…L Train and Walt Williams probably did too.
,

rockbottom
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November 29, 2022 4:37 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

None of these three had bad hands and all had solid careers . Williamson was 6th man of the year on a NBA Champ . More respect deserved .

rockbottom
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November 29, 2022 4:40 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Hands of stone . Sadly, none were boxers .

aplumley
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November 29, 2022 8:07 pm

Did anyone see Doncic’s stat line tonight? 41-12-12. Many kings fans don’t realize that we could’ve drafted him over Bagley 😋

Jack
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November 30, 2022 6:52 am
Reply to  aplumley

Let’s leave this behind us Okay. Kings have a better record right now because they play better team basketball. Doncic, a one man show IMO isn’t going to get them to the promise land.

aplumley
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November 30, 2022 7:00 am
Reply to  Jack

So glad we passed on him.

AnybodyButBagley
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November 30, 2022 11:10 am
Reply to  Jack

Agree.

AnybodyButBagley
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November 30, 2022 11:11 am
Reply to  aplumley

Who knew?

Mike120
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November 29, 2022 8:31 pm

I’m concerned about Murray. Not aggressive, getting beat on D, shots not falling. Give his minutes to lyles until he figures it out.

Jack
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November 30, 2022 6:56 am
Reply to  Mike120

IMO he started to get out of his funk last night. Driving to the basket and hit his only 3 point shot he scored 11.I’m still a little worried that he still dribbles to high on his dives but that can be corrected.

Jack
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November 30, 2022 9:01 am
Reply to  Jack

PS think he plays pretty good defense

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November 30, 2022 12:11 am

Another Hot Take:

Maybe I watched a different game –

I was impressed by the level of play by both teams last night. Kings shot great overall Fg%, Ft%, and a decent 3FG%. Most everything was either even or tilted to Sac (how about those 32 assists) except rebounding.

I thought the big difference was PHX defending the Kings 3 point line- not only were Huerter and Murray off- but Sac only attempted 25 form 3 instead of their usual goal of 40.

If the Kings shoot those percentages they will be winning more games than they are losing. But they did lose this one. Not so many mistakes as just bested (some dubious calls, some bad bounces, some missed open looks).

I am enjoying consistent competitive basketball by the Kings for the first time in a long time.

Win streaks (Suns, Boston, Pels), losing streaks (Portland, Utah, San Antonio) – Sac is 7-3 for their last 10. It will be the 1st Q mark for the season tomorrow and Sac is either up (11-9) or tied (10-10). That is good news in my book.

Jack
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November 30, 2022 7:00 am

Murray only shot one three last night. I would have liked to seen more. We need to get him out of the corner more. Move. He shoots threes from the top of the key.

aplumley
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November 30, 2022 10:59 am

Teams have adjusted to the Kings. They are running us off the 3 point line. Huerter and Barnes have started making them pay by taking it to the rim. Keegan needs to do the same, but he’s been ineffective at doing so. I’m not sure what the stats are for him finishing at the rim, but the eye test doesn’t look good. He has to be the most blocked (by percentage) King.
This is surprising because this was a strength of his in College and he has the size and length to be an effective three level scorer. He’s just not showing any explosiveness at all. I know he has more than he’s shown though. Hopefully he figures it out.

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