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Thunder 112, Kings 105: Thunder OutShai-n Kings

The Thunder topped the Kings despite by games from Fox and Ellis.
By | 138 Comments | Apr 9, 2024

Apr 9, 2024; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) shoots against the Sacramento Kings during the second half at Paycom Center. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

Despite stellar performances from De’Aaron Fox and Keon Ellis, the Kings could not secure a victory against the Thunder, losing by a final score of 112-105. The strategy of leaning heavily on three-point shots was evident as the team attempted 58, making 20, which isn’t a bad clip in a vacuum. However, this approach highlighted the overreliance on the dynamic duo of Ellis and Fox, who both achieved career highs in three-pointers made, with eight and seven, respectively.

The Kings’ defense put up a commendable effort for much of the game, but Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s impressive 40-point performance on just 22 shots proved too challenging to overcome. On the defensive end, Oklahoma City effectively limited the Kings’ offensive gameplan, especially in neutralizing Domantas Sabonis’s influence in the paint and playmaking.

Although the Kings dominated the rebounding battle 56-42, their shooting inefficiency and lack of shot variety were key factors in the Thunder’s win, with a field goal percentage of 48.8% compared to the Kings’ 34.4%. Additionally, the significant difference in points in the paint, 42-26, underscores a missed opportunity for the Kings. Despite their advantage in offensive rebounds (21-6), opting for three-point attempts over converting easy putbacks following rebounds contributed to the eventual downfall.

Game Journal

I thought it could be interesting to document my inner musings and spontaneous “play-by-play” commentary as thoughts arise. So, here’s an attempt to navigate through the turmoil and melancholy inside me.

First Quarter Highlights:
  • 5:03  – Fox hits his fourth three-pointer. What is happening!?!?
  • 5:25 – Keon Ellis banks his fourth three-pointer of the quarter,, making it 4/4! My excitement scares my puppy.
Second Quarter Action:
  • 10:38 – Fox adds another three to his tally, reaching 17 points. Trying to stay calm, there’s plenty of game left.
  • 3:05 – Concerns arise as Fox seems too reliant on threes, missing his last two shots.
  • 2:02 – Keegan lands a three-pointer, and Malik’s purple and yellow polo stands out.
  • 1:00 – Keegan scores another three, extending our lead to 19 points (61-42).
Third Quarter Drama:
  • 9:24 – Anxiety kicks in as Chet starts with consecutive threes and an SGA mid-range shot, cutting our lead to 10.
  • 7:09 We’ve gotta get Barnes out of this game. He missed another shot and fumbled another rebound.
  • 6:08 – Our 19-point lead dwindles to just two.
  • 4:23 – Kings rally with a 9-0 run, pushing the lead back to 11. Praise Zorp the Surveyor!
  • 0:28 – A missed shot by Keegan and a quick counter by Shai narrows our lead to five.
  • 0:06 – A turnover and technical foul by Fox, followed by a Dort fast break, reduce our lead to three (87-84).
Fourth Quarter Rollercoaster:
  • 12:00 – Why is Barnes back?
  • 10:40 – Wallace’s three-pointer flips the lead to 89-87.
  • 7:58 – Fox takes his first free throws of the game amidst a physical match.
  • 6:26 – Fox’s sixth three ties the game at 97.
  • 4:36 – Fox’s seventh three keeps us close, trailing by one (102-101).
  • 3:53 – Fox’s trip to the line ties the game at 102.
  • 2:47 – Keon’s three-pointer regains a slender lead, I’ve accidentally awoken my wife!
  • 1:41 – Davion excellently contains SGA but he continues to hit tough shot after tough shot down the stretch
  • 0:18 – A critical turnover with the Kings trailing 110-105.
Dope

Foxy has become the sixth player in the history of the Kings to hit 200 three-pointers in a single season.

Lately, Davion has shown remarkable improvement, not only enhancing his three-point shooting, which has received much attention but also demonstrating newfound confidence and accuracy in driving to the basket. 

Hurts my brain and my soul

Sabonis’s impressive streak of 61 consecutive games with a double-double will sadly end. During the game, his performance was below par, shooting 2-7 from the field, making 4 out of 7 free throws, and committing 6 turnovers against 5 assists, leading to a game-low -18. Despite facing constant pressure and double teams from OKC, we had high hopes for our star center to stand out, especially against his fellow Gonzaga alum in one of the season’s key matchups.

As for Barnes, he struggled significantly, shooting just 1-8 from the field. Although he managed to draw fouls and convert 8 out of 10 free throws, his defensive efforts were lacking, and his choice of shots was questionable throughout the night.

Conclusion

With the Kings dropping to a 45-34 record and only three games remaining in the season, the race for playoff and play-in spots intensifies. The Kings find themselves in the 8th position, trailing the Suns by a game and a half in the 6th spot, who might extend their lead as they face the Clippers tonight without James Harden and Kawhi Leonard. Meanwhile, the Lakers, with a 45-34 record, are battling the Warriors minus Anthony Davis, offering Sacramento a chance to possibly edge ahead by a half-game by the end of the night (keeping my fingers crossed). Facing the Suns, Pelicans, and Trailblazers in the final three games, securing anything less than a 2-1 finish could jeopardize Sacramento’s position in the play-in tournament.

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cwebb2bibby
April 9, 2024 8:28 pm

Going to repost what I put in the game thread here.

Man, Sabonis is not it. There’s just no world in which your highest paid player, a supposed all NBA center, can turn in this kind of performance in critical games and the team can be expected to be successful. A performance where he was too scared to even look at the rim. Yeah Fox took too many 3s, because that was literally the only shot available when there are no other playmakers on the team and the paint is packed due to Chet not needing to give Sabonis one iota of a thought on defense.

BeTheBall
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April 9, 2024 8:33 pm
Reply to  cwebb2bibby

Harkens back to the team shitting the bed in 2002, because their go-to players turned in terrible performances in the two biggest games.

It’s almost like we’re supposed play this way.

Inthestarz
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April 9, 2024 8:34 pm
Reply to  cwebb2bibby

Domas is an mvp candidate https://www.nba.com/news/kia-mvp-ladder-april-5-2024-edition. The turnaround of the team happened when he joined.

Even a “good game” by Fox is 12-29, 4 free throws, continuing yearlong inefficiency (and he started the season highly efficient, so you know his efficiency since 2024 hit). And his clutch play has completely evacuated him this year

Both were bad though, and didn’t contribute to winning basketball

Last edited 3 months ago by Inthestarz
cwebb2bibby
April 9, 2024 8:42 pm
Reply to  Inthestarz

Don’t make me laugh, no serious person considers Sabonis a real mvp candidate

ForKingsandCountry
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April 9, 2024 8:44 pm
Reply to  cwebb2bibby

Yeah I don’t think you should be allowed to get MVP votes if you can’t create your own shot on an NBA court and he can’t. He’s good in his role but there’s a firm ceiling on your team if he’s one of your two best players.

Inthestarz
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April 9, 2024 9:42 pm

he’s the best player, by a sizable margin.

The fact that we’re talking about him having an off game like this, when he rarely does, and the rest of the team besides Monk often do

ForKingsandCountry
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April 9, 2024 10:10 pm
Reply to  Inthestarz

My opinion of Sabonis has nothing to do with this game. He’s a very good player but the idea that he’s anywhere near the MVP race is silly IMO.

Inthestarz
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April 9, 2024 10:12 pm

why? How much help has he had? Keegan hasn’t taken a step forward offensively, though improved defensively, Fox has had an inefficient year, and Monk. Mike Brown is a hell of a coach, and Keon/Davion been coming on lately, and Len is solid when used.

Still, a comparatively uninspiring cast

Last edited 3 months ago by Inthestarz
ForKingsandCountry
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April 9, 2024 10:23 pm
Reply to  Inthestarz

I think MVP candidates carry their teams to the top of their respective conference in spite of what’s happening around them. Sabonis’s on off numbers are fairly pedestrian and he rarely carries this team to victories against good teams. The Kings are an average play-in team. If they had 50+ wins and were a 3 seed again, he’d have earned some MVP consideration.

Last edited 3 months ago by ForKingsandCountry
SelecaoKOJ
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April 9, 2024 11:05 pm
Reply to  Inthestarz

Sabonis is a great regular season player. But a leader? He’s not. This is why most of the media does not put him in the Elite class. He’s not.

Unless you are Embiid or Jokic. It’s those 2 and everyone else.Sabonis is second tier. But unlike those other 2. He cannot put a team on his back.

The blueprint to stop him begins in the playoffs/play in. Get physical with him, draw him out, force him to shoot in space, crowd him. Also all those illegal screen DHOs he actually gets away with in the reg season will actually be called in the playoffs. .

He is also a very weak playoff performer. 0-4 All Time. 14ppg 9rbds.

Kings have made their bed with Fox/Sabonis. The ceiling with this current roster. If they add a decent 3rd piece is still no more than a second round playoff team. At best.

i can see the Rockets and Spurs surpassing the Kings as soon as next year. Lots of picks both teams, assets galore and money to spend.

Realize this team has little cap, few assets. Huerter, Barnes,Davion, Etc plus a couple late first rounders
will not gain you an integral 3 piece.
Unless Keegan is part of any significant deal.

Fox is great. But BbIq can be quite questionable at times.

Shai shot 20 FTs. And only 3 3s
Fox on the other hand shot 17 3s

I wonder who got to the line more.

This should be a consistent playoff team for the next 2-3 years. But this team does not have the foundation to be competing any championship.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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April 9, 2024 8:46 pm
Reply to  cwebb2bibby

So what would you say if and when he finishes top 10 in MVP voting?

cwebb2bibby
April 9, 2024 8:49 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Top 10 in mvp voting isn’t a thing. Literally not a metric that means anything.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
April 9, 2024 8:52 pm
Reply to  cwebb2bibby

LOL, ok, So I guess only the unserious people will be voting for him.

TheGrantNapear
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April 9, 2024 8:46 pm
Reply to  cwebb2bibby

Domas is what he is. Same way he shat the bed in the playoffs last year he’ll do the same this year in the play-in. He just doesn’t have the athleticism or shooting to be a difference maker when it really counts.
i said it a few days ago, this team has a low ceiling. Odds are teams like the Rockets and Grizz are better than us next year.

BeTheBall
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April 9, 2024 8:48 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

The entire team shit the bed in the playoffs last season. It’s really just weird to put it all on one person.

TheGrantNapear
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April 9, 2024 8:52 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

The subject is Domas so I made that point, I didn’t put all the blame on him.

eddie41
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April 10, 2024 9:05 am
Reply to  cwebb2bibby

did someone say Domas is not a playmaker? he’s averaging over 8 assists a game.

BeTheBall
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April 9, 2024 8:29 pm

I hope I never see a team take anywhere close to that many 3pt shots in a game again. Unfortunately, I also know I’ll be seeing that awful gimmick happen again at least 3 more times this season.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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April 9, 2024 8:51 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

Kings are third in 3PTA in the league this year, but 15th in percentage made. There’s your play-in season.

BeTheBall
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April 9, 2024 8:53 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Brown is trying his hardest to get them to #1…results be damned.

AnybodyButBagley
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April 9, 2024 9:25 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

400 a game to score more than 120. Let ‘em fly!

Last edited 3 months ago by AnybodyButBagley
BeTheBall
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April 9, 2024 9:32 pm

Next season Brown implements that system they used in Reno. All threes.

AnybodyButBagley
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April 10, 2024 1:22 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

Defensive stats will be amazing because the opponent will only need to score 45 to beat us by 20.

We can brag about holding our opponents to 45 while having no wins.

Maximus
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April 10, 2024 10:13 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Kings are third in 3PTA in the league this year, but 15th in percentage made.

That is not much of a discrepancy though. Dallas is 2nd and 12th respectively.

Besides, taking 3s has something to do with limiting the opposing team’s transition frequency. If you go hard for a layup, you probably end up out of bound or on the ground, or worse a turnover. And if it is a missed layup, it is probably a 5 on 4 transition the other way.

AnybodyButBagley
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April 10, 2024 6:36 pm
Reply to  Maximus

There are other teams you should watch. The Kings offense does consist of Fox driving into 4 defenders for a turnover and random guards launching “spray threes”.

Other teams take jump shots or develop a opportunity for a layup or dunk in a half court offense. This doesn’t lead to losing the possession in transition so often.

Randomly launching threes for misses does increase the number of possessions in a game for the opponent.

Maximus
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April 10, 2024 8:23 pm

The Kings offense does consist of Fox Fox or Sabonis driving into 4 defenders for a turnover

Let me fix it for you

random guards launching “spray threes”.

Lol, no such thing as random.

This team is still missing another premiere shot creator. Fox alone can’t do it by himself. If you watch other teams then you know most good teams have 2 premiere shot creators.

AnybodyButBagley
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April 11, 2024 6:31 am
Reply to  Maximus

Most teams have a real point guard. We don’t.

We definitely need other players who are capable on this roster.

Maximus
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April 11, 2024 8:46 am

Well we build a DHO offensive system around Sabonis so Sabonis is the point guard. Unless you think his assists are empty stats.

AnybodyButBagley
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April 11, 2024 2:23 pm
Reply to  Maximus

Sabonis isn’t a real point guard is he?

Sabonis is the core of this team. Fox can go.

Maximus
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April 11, 2024 2:55 pm

Sabonis is the core of this team. Fox can go.

Lol, so only Sabonis can drive into 4 defenders for a turnover, is that right?

ForKingsandCountry
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April 9, 2024 8:31 pm

Post-Monk injury this team’s problem isn’t defense. It’s offense. They can’t score unless Fox goes off and he’s not good enough to sustain that for 82 games in a season. They’ve just got no secondary creator now and they’re incredibly easy to guard in crunch time. They shoot a million threes because only one player on the roster can consistently get into the paint. It is what is for this season but without another creator this team has no ceiling.

cwebb2bibby
April 9, 2024 8:40 pm

Yes it’s an incredibly flawed and one dimensional team right now. Monte certainly deserves a lot of blame for the poor roster construction and lack of moves. Look at the Knicks for an example of what continuous incremental positive moves can do for a team. Monte deciding to sit on his hands for a year is really inexcusable.

BeTheBall
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April 9, 2024 8:46 pm
Reply to  cwebb2bibby

He’s sat on his hands for two years now.

TheGrantNapear
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April 9, 2024 8:50 pm
Reply to  cwebb2bibby

MM has perplexingly focused on unathletic ground bound players (HB, Sasha, Domas, Davion, Lyles, Keegan). Other teams are doing the opposite and trying to get length and athleticism around their core. Think of what the Nuggets under GM Jones built around Joker and Murray, two unathletic players..they focused on getting as much length and athleticism around those two. MM keeps doing the opposite. It’s just weird at this point

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
April 9, 2024 8:56 pm

They shoot a million threes because only one player on the roster can consistently get into the paint.

And yet that one player is taking the lion’s share of threes since Monk went down. Go figure.

cwebb2bibby
April 9, 2024 9:07 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Because opponents realize he’s literally the only playmaker and the Fox 3 is the shot they are willing to give to him in exchange for shutting down the rest of the offense.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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April 9, 2024 9:15 pm
Reply to  cwebb2bibby

Huh? He’s not the only playmaker. There’s a guy he shares the court with who is 5th in the NBA in assists per game.

cwebb2bibby
April 9, 2024 9:18 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

lol did you watch that guy play tonight?

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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April 9, 2024 9:28 pm
Reply to  cwebb2bibby

Have you watched him play at all the rest of the season?

What’s next, you gonna tell me how he’s a league leading, yet below average, rebounder?

I mean shit, Fox scored just 12 points against the lowly Pistons this year, and until you hear about is 1-10 game with 3 points against the Pels. I’m surprised that dude is still in the league.

cwebb2bibby
April 9, 2024 10:33 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Have you watched him play last year in the playoffs? There’s a good sampling now of Sabonis in April, and it looks like shit.

AnybodyButBagley
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April 10, 2024 6:39 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Upsetting that you choose to observe the entire season in order to form an opinion or make an observation.

BeTheBall
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April 9, 2024 9:30 pm
Reply to  cwebb2bibby

Looked almost as bad as Jaylen Brown did in the Celtics loss to Milwaukee.

ForKingsandCountry
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April 9, 2024 9:52 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Sabonis isn’t a shot creator. Assists aren’t always a reflection of shot creation. Sabonis does well operating out of the high post but he doesn’t put any pressure on the defense because he isn’t really a threat to score in high leverage situations. This has been the knock on him forever. It’s also why he needs to take more jump shots.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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April 9, 2024 10:13 pm

I guess I have a distinction between a shot creator and playmaker. I agree a shot creator is one who pressures the defense with their offensive skills only to create open shots for others in the process. Sabonis really only does this when he’s doubled in the post.

A playmaker, on the other hand, is someone who orchestrates the flow of the offense, like when Sabonis controls things from the elbow or leads the break. When he’s operating from the elbow and players are running off screens, cutting, or utilizing the DHO, he’s the playmaker, often running the offense like a quarterback. Multiple actions are happening while he holds the ball there and he’s looking for the open player. He’s the hub.

Now, when teams sag off of him at the elbow and dare him to shoot, his inability to no knock down those mid range jumpers keep him from being that shot creator you describe. If he cold only get a consistent mid range jumper…

ForKingsandCountry
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April 9, 2024 10:18 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Yeah thanks for the clarification I think we’re actually on the same page here just using different terms. He is the hub no doubt and that’s valuable of course. But his inability to consistently take those shots really hurts the team in crunch time. Last year Fox was unconscious in the clutch but this year he’s been pretty bad and it’s why we’ve collapsed so often late in games. The defense has taken a big leap forward with Mitchell and Ellis playing a lot more but the offense has gotten so much worse I think they’ve canceled each other out to some degree.

Jack
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April 10, 2024 7:12 am
Reply to  Adamsite

I’m all in on what you said. If Sabonis could just shoot and hit those mid range shots then there would be a big difference in the Kings offense. The question is will he? He has the mechanics, the touch but there is something there and I can’t put my finger on it. Maybe it has to do with confidence, That’s a mental issue and only Sabonis can work things out. Yes last night I was very disappointed in him. Reminded me of last years playoff but players do have off nights but why when it seems it comes when the win is on the line. Overall I was disappointed in the whole team. I’ve said it before and in to many cases”When the going gets tough rhe Kings fold.” Yes last night Sabonis was a big factor but so was the rest of the team. 41 points in a half just doesn’t cut it. Barnes is the seasoned player on the team and looked up on as a role model and is nonexsistent. The bench was horrible. Turnovers didn’t help but IMO a lot of it is mental. Monty needs to make some major changes next year or IMO we will keep going down hill. He IMO to do this has 2 options. One improve over a period of years or go all in now to help Fox, Sabonis, Murray and yes Ellis. They keep getting older year by year. GO MONTY! GO KINGS!

SelecaoKOJ
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April 9, 2024 11:11 pm

Sabonis has a backward set stance release point. He doesn’t take jump
shots because his shot delivery is slow as hell. He would be blocked 90 percent of the time. Have you watched him the past 7 years? All
of sudden he’s found to shoot like Embiid or Jokic. No because he can’t. The shots he does make a distance he is wide open and has like 10
years to shoot it. I can guarantee you he has no defender without 10
ft of him. Jump shots require quick decisions and a fast release. He does not have either. Another reason he is not Embiid or Jokic. Teams will let him take jumpers all day long. All you need is one guy on him.

Jack
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April 10, 2024 7:22 am
Reply to  SelecaoKOJ

Sabonis doesn’t take jump shots those are set shots. He looks like he has the mechanics with fluid motion, arch and good follow through. There is space as of now but if he could shoot that shot he brings his defender usually their center out to defend which opens said center to drives and cuts. Just a hypothetical though. If we could pick up a player like Jalen Smith in FA next year you would also have a high low situation to futher exploit the middle. Just a thought.

Amonk81
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April 9, 2024 10:14 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Unfortunately, Brown-Kings O not utilizing Sabs playmaking skills in 1/2 court-in crunch. Never see post ups. Jump hooks. Things that Sab does well.

it makes no sense-if you want to win. Nor does Fox getting away from mid range-floater-drive stuff that made him clutch player of the year.

Just stoopifying the direction this team-players and coaches have gone. Away from their strengths.

Jack
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April 10, 2024 7:35 am
Reply to  Amonk81

I just don’t understand why Sabonis doesn’t shoot enough in the post. Might be mental but also Sabonis is a very unselfish player. He needs to command and take control in the paint. He is one of the hardest players on the team but should be more of a leader not just by example. As an old coach and I am probably all wrong but Sabonis gets stripped to often. Needs to keep the ball up not down at his waist. He does this fine at the perimeter but also when in traffic he tends to keep it down so the little farts can strip him. Just an idea. When on the perimeter and when he wants to drive it takes time and let’s the other team collapse on him making it hard to get to the basket and eventually turns it over. Maybe after he passes from the perimeter now get to the blocks post up recieve the ball and do his thing. He has so many greay moves when in the post.

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April 9, 2024 9:49 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

The dirty little secret is that Fox’s at rim and restricted area finishing has fallen off a cliff this year. He’s driving less and he’s much less efficient finishing when he does drive. But he’s still the only player on the roster at the moment who can actually get into the paint. That’s why they’re shooting so many 3’s right now especially. They don’t have the personnel to score any other way. It’s why their clutch numbers are horrendous lately. They only had two shot creators and with one they’re just really easy to guard. All the Sabonis short roll baskets are gone now.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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April 9, 2024 10:03 pm

It always concerned me how Hali and then Monk could could run an effective PnR, which is the bread and butter of an NBA offense, but Fox could not master it. Maybe it’s that he just isn’t that great of a playmaker.

He’s always been a drive and kick kind of guy, but if he’s not doing that as much and instead settling for threes, the offense just seems to stagnate. It’s also evidenced by a decrease in FTA despite a career high in minutes and shots per game.

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April 9, 2024 10:14 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Yeah I agree with you. Fox is a good penetrator but not a great passer. He’s not bad, he’s just average. The fact that we can’t run pick and roll with Sabonis and Fox effectively is a big problem. This team just has zero sustainable offense right now. If they make a high rate of threes and get out in transition, they can win. If they don’t do that consistently they’re not going to be able score in the half court unless Fox can win one on one consistently.

OLDBHOY
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April 10, 2024 8:47 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Fox is not a great passer and never has been. For a point guard he is well below average running the two man game. I think this is one of the main things the team misses with Monk out.

I don’t really think of Fox as a true point guard at all. He is more of an undersized two.

Maximus
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April 10, 2024 10:04 am
Reply to  OLDBHOY

No man, being is a passer is not the same as being a PG. Fox’s control of the shot clock is really good. He knows when to push the pace and when to slow down. He knows when to take shots and when to move the ball. He is not a ball stopper. He is a good passer, not a great one but he is still good.

Monk is wild. He is a really good pocket passer but man his shot selection is wild.
I bid good luck to any team that pays Monk 20+mil to be its starter.

OLDBHOY
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April 10, 2024 1:42 pm
Reply to  Maximus

Monk is frenetic mostly in a good way but sometimes bad. He is good at the two man game with a big, better than Fox.

For a point guard his passing is below average. He is a very good player (not great) but passing is not a strength.

The team had a true point and traded him for Sabonis. If anyone wanted to trade for Fox the Kings would have kept Hali.

Maximus
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April 10, 2024 2:10 pm
Reply to  OLDBHOY

It’s that “sometimes bad” is a little too much. His turnover rate is a little too high to be a lead guard, oh and he is not scoring all that well to be an offense-only lead guard.

The team had a true point and traded him for Sabonis. If anyone wanted to trade for Fox the Kings would have kept Hali.

There were various reasons that I believe the only 2 options were either Fox+Hali or Fox+Sabonis. Fox was never intended to be traded. Besides, you really would not want to pair Hali+Sabonis. Sabonis is barely an average defender. Hali is really bad; he offers no physicality at all. He only plays the passing lane for steals. For that pair to work, you would have to flank them with 3 all NBA defenders.

OLDBHOY
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April 10, 2024 8:53 am

I completely agree about his finishing. That was the difference in this game especially in the fourth quarter, SGA relentlessly attacking the rim and finishing or getting to the line and Fox jacking threes.

Bigger picture, it was why I was saying on here months ago to consider trading Fox at peak value. I don’t see his game aging well. I think we are already seeing some decline. I have a bad feeling that by the end of his extension it will be considered a horrible, untradable contract.

Tankathon
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April 10, 2024 9:22 am
Reply to  OLDBHOY

I think Fox’s inside game has been impacted by teams packing the paint, especially Domas’s man sagging. I actually think his game will age ok as a scorer if he continues to improve the outside shot. I actually think his biggest limiting factor is being a play maker. He won’t be 35-36 year old point guard in this league for that reason

TheGrantNapear
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April 9, 2024 8:43 pm

Shai > Fox
Chet > Domas
Thunder role players > Kangz role players

The Kings simply don’t match up with the other top cores of the West. We are unathletic and have no length. Domas proves again what he will prove in the play-in / playoffs. No need to elaborate.

BeTheBall
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April 9, 2024 8:51 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

1 & 3 I’ll give you, but 2 is just laughable. Maybe in 4 or 5 years Chet will catch him, but he’s not even close to Sabonis at the moment.

TheGrantNapear
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April 9, 2024 8:55 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

If you asked anyone who covers the NbA who they would rather have between Domas and Chet, they would all choose Chet. He’s a superior defender and can shoot, and his game will translate amazingly in the playoffs whilst Domas’ doesn’t.

BeTheBall
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April 9, 2024 9:00 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

Swap Sabonis and Holmgren and the Thunder get better, while the Kings get worse.

In 6 years, that’s probably not the case, but today it is.

Last edited 3 months ago by BeTheBall
TheGrantNapear
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April 9, 2024 9:26 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

Domas in a vacuum is a better player right now. My point about Domas is his game doesn’t translate to the playoffs. Chet’s game is tailor made for the playoffs and it certainly won’t take him 6 years to be better than Domas, a year or two at most. Just watch him in the playoffs this year and you’ll see what I mean.

BeTheBall
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April 9, 2024 9:29 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

I eagerly await Chet’s 30/14/4 playoff line.

MillersCornrows
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April 9, 2024 10:43 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

That will be amazingly amazing!

MillersCornrows
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April 9, 2024 10:42 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

Chet’s game is tailor made for the playoffs and will translate amazingly? Can you share some context and details to support your argument before you step outside your Florida condo for a YouTube rant session daddy Napear?

Last edited 3 months ago by MillersCornrows
SelecaoKOJ
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April 9, 2024 11:20 pm

OKC has a limitless ceiling. They will leave the Kings in the dust now.

Tons of picks, tons of cap room, multiple young assets.

OKC is essentially one rim protector and second star away from being completely dominant.

BakerBaker19
April 10, 2024 8:58 am
Reply to  SelecaoKOJ

To be fair, based on their assets they are primed to leave most everyone in the dust.

Daydreamer
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April 10, 2024 10:09 am
Reply to  BakerBaker19

Yeah, like the Westbrook/Durant/Harden Thunder left everyone in the dust.

BakerBaker19
April 10, 2024 12:16 pm
Reply to  Daydreamer

Good point

Jack
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April 10, 2024 1:38 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

i’m not the NBA but I would take Sabonis over Chet any day, Yes Chet might shoot the 3 better but that’s it. Anybody weighing over 200 pounds with physicallity will complete destroy the guy. He isn’t a facilitator like Sabonis and doesn’t rebound as much. Can’t run the floor and definitely does not have the moves or finese under the basket. Last how many triple doubles or even double doubles does he have. IMO no contest.

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April 9, 2024 10:16 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

Not really. As far as winning in the playoffs I’d rather have Chet. 3. Shoot. D. Only getting better.

SelecaoKOJ
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April 9, 2024 11:17 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

Sabonis will probably be better offensively. Because almost half of the offense runs through him.

oKC is vastly younger tons more young talent and a lot more scorers.

Kings heavily rely on Sabonis.
oKC has Shai. But on any given nights 4-5 different players could be a second option.

I would not say 4-5 years. That’s quite extreme. Wemby is already better than Sabonis now and will absolutely destroy him as soon as next year. As will he everyone else.’

Jack
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April 10, 2024 8:38 am
Reply to  BeTheBall

That may be true but look at last nignt. Sabonis needs to step up when the game is on the line especially when the game was so important like last night. And in last years playoff.

Jack
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April 10, 2024 8:40 am
Reply to  Jack

PS I bet he would give up all those double doubles for a championship.

Jack
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April 10, 2024 8:35 am
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

i agree. Look where we are this year with the same team as last year. Where do you think we will be next year with the same team? IMO not upwards.

rockbottom
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April 9, 2024 8:59 pm

Domas had his poorest game as a King and a team that shoots 50+ Threes has no legit offense .

BeTheBall
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April 9, 2024 9:02 pm
Reply to  rockbottom

And a donut with no hole is a Danish.

Klam
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April 9, 2024 9:08 pm

Looks like New Orleans is going to win tonight. Unless the Kings somehow go 3-0 to end the season and New Orleans goes 0-2, the 6th seed is pretty much gone at this point, because the consistent inconsistency is still a thing for the Kings.

Need to do what they can now to stay out of the 9th and 10th seeds, which could very well end up happening.

Jman1949
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April 9, 2024 9:21 pm
Reply to  Klam

Clippers (no Kawhi, no Harden) built a 33 pt halftime lead over the Suns in Phoenix. The Suns got to within 7 in the 4th quarter, but the Clippers have stretched it back to 15 with about a minute to go. The Suns will face the Clippers in LA tomorrow.

BeTheBall
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April 9, 2024 9:24 pm
Reply to  Klam

I think we’re 9th at the highest, but realistically 10th with a 1-2 finish ahead.

Scorliss_In_Sacramento
April 9, 2024 9:48 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

Kings pretty much have to run the table to stay ahead of Warriors since Warriors likely go 2-1 at minimum and own tiebreaker. 6 seed out of reach and 7/8 is an uphill battle.

Jman1949
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April 9, 2024 10:10 pm

While I agree that the Dubs could run the table, we have split the season series with them and have a better division record. If we finish tied with them, we have the tiebreaker.

BakerBaker19
April 9, 2024 10:18 pm
Reply to  Jman1949

Correct. We have the tiebreaker. For all the handwringing about finishing 10th, the Kings magic number over both the Lakers and Warriors is 2. And the Kings still play Portland. Assuming they win that they only need one win or Laker/Warrior loss to clinch 8th. And both the Lakers and Warriors have tough schedules the rest of the way. If the Kings can’t beat Portland they deserve to finish 10th.

BakerBaker19
April 9, 2024 10:20 pm
Reply to  BakerBaker19

I will retract the statement about the Warriors/Lakers having tough schedules. They don’t, but they do both play the Pelicans.

Klam
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April 10, 2024 8:08 am
Reply to  BakerBaker19

Yeah, I just saw that too. If the Kings want to be guaranteed in the 7th/8th seed play-in game (regardless of how the Lakers and Warriors do), they need to go 2-1 for the final three games. Assuming they beat Portland, they’d need to split the two home back-to-backs.

Jack
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April 10, 2024 8:51 am
Reply to  Klam

I can’t believe we are all talking about playin games. The Kings made their bed throughout the season losing games they should have won. Now they have to lie in that bed. I am a Kings fan and always will be won but let’s be realiistic they really don’t deserve to be even in the playins. I now am more worried what will happen this summer. Major things need to change or we won’t even be talking about playins or playoffs. What playoffs.

discocricket
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April 9, 2024 9:44 pm

We lost a road game to a top-flight team. We’re missing one of our top 4 players and the only decent secondary creater on the team. A loss isn’t too surprising, just dispiriting. Sure would have been nice to beat Detroit and Charlotte, maintain a 20pt lead against Phoenix, etc.

That said, I do not understand the game plans Brown is rolling out there. We are averaging >50 3PTA per game on this road trip. We continue to play extra small in crunch time, including tonight vs. a vulnerable OKC frontcourt. I’m trying to remember the last time I saw Mike Brown outcoach the other team’s head coach.

After winning COY and EOY last year, have either Brown or Monte performed even in the top half of the league this year?

ForKingsandCountry
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April 9, 2024 9:57 pm
Reply to  discocricket

I think you answered your own question. We’re shooting a million threes because we’ve got one player on the roster who can put pressure on the defense and penetrate to create easy shots for others. The monk injury killed our offense. I think after tonight we’re bottom 10 in offensive rating since he went out. We just have a severe lack of shot creation at the moment.

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April 9, 2024 10:20 pm

What I don’t get is they also have a big man who get get people open shots. Why not run an O that uses that? Like Denver and Jokic. Or get guys in who can run your system.

Cause this shit ain’t working. Terrible overview of this team by Monte and Brown.

ForKingsandCountry
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April 9, 2024 10:28 pm
Reply to  Amonk81

Does Sabonis really get people a ton of open shots? His screen assist numbers are good which helps. But all that’s needed to stop him is to sag off and force him to shoot. When he drives into traffic he loses the ball A LOT. I don’t think you can run the Jokic offense with him because isn’t as creative as a passer and he’s no threat to hit a jump shot right now. I’d love to see him come out next year and shoot a ton more jumpers.

cwebb2bibby
April 9, 2024 10:41 pm

Sabonis doesn’t create open shots out of nothing like Jokic does but he makes the right reads within the framework of the actions of the offense that generate open shots. Except now teams have figured out that they just need to pack the paint to put a stop to it.

macdoogs
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April 9, 2024 10:32 pm

So in the universe where we lose in the play in, we keep our 1st. What do you think comes of that? Is there any kids this year that could realistically help us next year in the lottery? Or does monte trade it again?

Every loss recently makes me think this team might have peaked last season. Most of the team can’t/ won’t play defense, and the historically good offense we had doesn’t cover that this year. Is there a scenario where we blow it up? Probably keeping fox/keegan or domas/keegan ideally. I just don’t see our team being better than a good chunk of the west going forward, as is

ForKingsandCountry
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April 9, 2024 10:36 pm
Reply to  macdoogs

I highly doubt they blow it up. This is a historically bad draft so I’d guess they’d try to trade the pick but I’m not sure what they can get. Maybe there’s a player in the late lotto who Monte really likes but man, the names are pretty uninspiring as of right now.

UpgradedToQuestionable
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April 9, 2024 10:35 pm

Passing up a lay up to spray to a 3 pointer is cool when it works, but seems dumb when it doesn’t. I saw a lot of dumb at the end of this game.

I get it, but it ain’t right. Just ain’t.

Now if the 2017-2018 Splash Bros. and Kevin Durant wore purple, I guess that’d be different.

My other beef: poor late game execution. This team is veteran enough that they should be making more smart plays that I’m just not seeing. It’s frustrating and disappointing.

Ok – let’s see if these Kings can rope the NOPs.

Next.

Last edited 3 months ago by UpgradedToQuestionable
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April 9, 2024 10:49 pm

Front court:
Sabonis 2 for 7
Barnes 1 for 8
Keegan 5 for 16

So, Domas and HB are a combined 3 for 15. With Keegan, 8 for 31. Sheesh.

Overall, shooting FG 34.4%

This was reminiscent of the Knicks game:
That game, second half: Sac 49 NYK 68
This game, second half Sac 41 OKC 67

Brutal. Kings need to play better second halves.

RikSmits
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April 10, 2024 1:48 am

I irrationally hated the “spray” term from the outset, it conveys an imprecise, uninspired scattering of passes, and boy does it look like that. The Warriors had the Splash Brothers, we have the Spray Cousins.

When the 3’s fall it’s sort of fun to watch, when not it is just dumb, uninspiring and non-winning basketball. When you take 58 threes, you have zero chance at winning the FT-battle, but you also put very little stress on the defending players, let alone foul trouble.

As stated by Zack in the recap:

and lack of shot variety 

And there is no real backup plan. As Jerry once said on the podcast, the Kings do not seem to have set plays that create high percentage shots when the goping gets tough. We just keep spraying.

That’s what happens when teams adjust in the second half and clamp down, and the 3’s stop falling. We struggle to put up 50 points in the second half. Brown is getting outcoachd this season. He seems to be desperately searching for ligthning in a bottle (Colby Jones probably isn’t it) and waited until past the halfpoint of the season to take defense seriously, probably because injuries forced him in that direction.

About the defense, it is improving but at the expense of what, exactly? When opposing stars seem to be able to score at will and we manage to somewhat slow their siupporting cast, does it really help us? Not tonight.

We are most likely heading to the play-in, and anything can happen there, so I am still hopeful. But there’s a sizable measure of trepidation accompanying that hope.

Adamsite
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April 10, 2024 7:36 am
Reply to  RikSmits

I also thing the biggest misconception of the “spray threes” is that the shots are kicked out to a shooter when the fact is, the Kings have very average three point shooters.

The bulk of he three points shots come from Fox, Keegan, Monk, and Huerter, in that order. They combine for 35.8% shooting 25.5 deep balls per game. That’s just not conducive to winning basketball.

It worked better last season in part because the role players in Keegan, Huerter, and Barnes shot at a better clip. This year they regressed while Brown doubled down on the 3 ball and didn’t adjust.

Jack
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April 10, 2024 1:59 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

You are absolutely right. We are a mediocre 3 point shooting team. Compared to some other teams we don’t match at all. Take last night. First half we shot threes all over the place. The Thunder did not. Second half and having a 20 point lead we continued to shoot threes and now at our average. The Thunder shot their average and their goes the lead and eventually the game. We can’t compete with teams who shoot threes better than we do. We lose 8 out of 10. We have no answer otherwise and that’s the game. It’s just the beast this year and we let the beast win out. Last year in games like last night I sat in my chair with a smile because I knew we were going to win. This year I go to bed early.

DutchKingsFanInUK
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April 10, 2024 12:34 am

I like that some people here use this particular game to write off Sabonis. Let’s not be like /r/Kings. Sabonis isn’t perfect, but he’s pretty damn good and a major reason why the Kings are a functional basketball team.

Very disappointed with this loss. Not because a depleted Kings team should beat OKC on the road, but given the great start. Not only did the Kings hit from everywhere, they played some pretty good defense for most of the first. Unfortunately they couldn’t replicate it in the second, and I felt like the shot selection got worse and worse as the game progressed.

Especially Fox took some ill-advised ones, after showing on multiple occasions just how much the Thunder were focused on protecting the paint: their defense would collapse every time Fox came off a DHO/P&R, leading to some wide-open shots for Mitchell (who drove and made a tough and one), Lyles, and Ellis. I feel like we say this every game, but I wish he’d do that more.

Shout-out to Ellis and Mitchell by the way, they were great for most of the night.

RikSmits
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April 10, 2024 2:39 am

Spot on.

Sabonis is not perfect, but which player is?

Jokic isn’t, and he’s a pretty unique player and a sure-fire Hall of Famer. If he’s the yardstick then Sabonis will fall short. Just like Ant will fall short if Jordan is his yardstick and Webber will fall short if LBJ is his yardstick.

I see Sabonis as a foundational piece, specifically in that he considerably elevates your team’s floor and as such makes a higher ceiling attainable, but he can’t do it himself.

I keep saying; teams gameplan specifically to disrupt Sabonis. They specifically defend the DHO, pack the paint and throw double, and triple teams at him. In contrast, teams let Fox mostly play his game and choose to contain him with predominantly single coverage.

What does that tell me? That many teams see Sabonis as the most important cog in the Kings offense, even if he isn’t the one to score the most points. Problem seems to me that the Kings are not able to cash on that.

IMO, part of that is on Sabonis, who gets stripped a lot because he is a bit automatic and slow in his reactions and doesn’t keep defenders honest from outside, part of that is that his teammates don’t help him out enough, and part of that is lack of counters from the coaching staff. And in my biased view, part of that is that Domas gets a very unfavorable whistle. It seems to me that at least once-twice a game, he gets raked on the arm, before a defender touches part of the ball, and then it’s a TO.

Defensively, Sabonis of course also has his limitations. But he is quite good for a bigg man when switching on the perimeter and it’s insane how much he helps to avoid straight line drives at the PoA. Defense is a team game, even more than offense, and Sabonis gets penalized for other defenmders not being able to keep their guys in front of them. As much as I like the development of Keegan and Keon, they are not very good at containing dribble penetration.

Finally leadership. I don’t know much about Domas’ leadership qualities. But I always subscribed to leading by example. When it comes to busting you ass every single play, never shying from contact, being prepared and shrugging of pains and injuries every single game, I think few show better leadership than him. Hard to fault him in that regard.

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April 10, 2024 7:44 am
Reply to  RikSmits

I keep saying; teams gameplan specifically to disrupt Sabonis. They specifically defend the DHO, pack the paint and throw double, and triple teams at him. In contrast, teams let Fox mostly play his game and choose to contain him with predominantly single coverage.

This. Opposing teams know Sabonis is what makes the team hum, so they key in on him. At the same time they are perfectly content with Fox jacking up any shot from deep that he wants. I sometimes feel defenses have that inner smile when Fox shoots a three, just like he past decade plus when Westbrook shoots a three. Everyone know they are lethal in attacking the rim and collapsing defenses, so you happily live with their 3 ball which is average at best.

Jack
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April 10, 2024 6:21 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I agree. Last year Fox attached the rim especially in the fourth quarter and he got Clutch Player of rhe Year. This year he shots threes and would come in around 43th, Doesn’t he understand the difference? Go figure.

Maximus
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April 10, 2024 9:39 am
Reply to  RikSmits

I keep saying; teams gameplan specifically to disrupt Sabonis. They specifically defend the DHO, pack the paint and throw double, and triple teams at him

The opposing game plan is not necessarily stopping Sabonis. The opposing game plan is to stop the offensive system, which is pace and spray 3s. So how would teams do that? Slowing Fox down in transition and packing the paint.

Defensively, Sabonis of course also has his limitations.

The problem defensively with Sabonis is what he does well negates what he is bad at. He has one skill defensively which is defensively rebounding. And for that skill to be effective, he has to be close to the basket. He is very reluctant to switch out to the perimeter, because it takes him out of defensive rebounding position and his footspeed is just average out there. Most of the time, he is in drop coverage; but his lack of rim protecting skill just negates his rebounding skill. As a whole, he is just average at best defensively.

So basically if you want him to shine defensively, you have to surround him with 4 good defenders at all time. Finding those defenders is a big problem in itself.

On the offensive side, you have to surround Sabonis with 4 good shooters to give him space.
Now you do the math; 4 guys all have to be good defenders and all 4 have to be good shooters. One good 3 and D guys is already hard to get, much less 4.
And then one of them has to be a playmaker because Sabonis can’t create his own shots.
Now you realize how difficult it is to build around Sabonis. And this is just the starting lineup; once you get to the bench, they don’t have those skills. This is why Sabonis on/off number is pretty bad this year, he is just not versatile enough to shine on different lineups.

However, we have almost all of the ingredients to make it work around Sabonis. I think we have to good shot to build a great team.

Jack
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April 10, 2024 6:32 pm
Reply to  Maximus

IMO we need 2 good players who can score(not all threes) but also play good defense. We might have found 1 in Ellis. It will take more time for me to make a clear judgement. I would love to move Murray to the 3 spot. It gives him much more of an offense instead being in the corner most of the time. So that leaves #4. He has to protect the weakside rim and rebound. Take care of some of Sabonis’s wealness. He would also be a stretch 4 who can, here we go, shoot the 3. The players who come to mind are Jalen Smith and and Tari Eason. Either one would be great.

Maximus
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April 11, 2024 8:59 am
Reply to  Jack

Yeah, either Jalen Smith or Tari Eason would be fine. Jalen is a FA so he is most probable. Tari is tough to get.

Obi Toppin is also nice and he is a RFA.

If we make a trade, I think either Kyle Kuzma or Deni Avdija should be good.

RikSmits
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April 11, 2024 9:47 am
Reply to  Maximus

Yeah, you’re not getting Eason and not getting Avdija either. He’s on a steal of a contract and still improving.

Maximus
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April 11, 2024 10:01 am
Reply to  RikSmits

What do you think is Avdija’s ceiling? Do you have a comp for him?

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April 11, 2024 10:19 am
Reply to  Maximus

Scottie Pippen light, Detleff Schrempf or higher scoring Shane Battier. He’s not an alpha dog, but a connector/glue guy who does the things that help a team win. He needs to develop his left hand or a midrange game to develop further offensively.

Does that make sense?

Maximus
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April 11, 2024 11:28 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Yeah, he looks very solid from the few times I have seen him. Nothing outstanding. His advanced stat shows a slightly positive player, mostly on the strength of his defense. Offensively, he can occasionally act as a secondary ball handler. Occasionally shoots a pullup 3, otherwise get all the way to the rim. Does not settle for midrange much since he can’t hit them. Good finisher at the rim so he draws a ton of fouls. A little too much turnovers. I think he needs to cut down his ball handling duty and increase his spotting up.

Anyway, he already looks like a winning player because of his defense.

DNP-CD
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April 10, 2024 2:58 am

19 point half time lead. Up and disappeared like a fart in the wind.

RikSmits
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April 10, 2024 3:25 am
Reply to  DNP-CD

I read on Twitter somewhere that the Kings lost 14 games where they had a sizable lead (don’t remember how much). Don’t know if that is true, but certainly feels like it

I know that no lead is safe in the NBA but this is not good

VAking
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April 10, 2024 6:23 am

At practice today: tell the players it’s okay to take 2 point shots, that they can go to the rim. And create and practice set plays to turn to stop runs.

nonstripedzebra
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April 10, 2024 7:12 am

Maybe not the thread for this, but looking at where we sit, is there any rationale that it may be better for us to miss the playoffs? Our 1st is lottery protected from ATL, missing out assures that as an asset. In a general sense I think this team benefits from high pressure basketball, but I also am looking down the barrel.

The west is getting better, we are a little stringent on opportunities to improve this summer barring an expensive big swing deal. I think we really could use another upside play. Fair to note also this class has some major variance in opinions. Not unfeasible a top guy in a strange class comes at the back end of the lottery. Or that the 14th assures some real draft day trades for significant present impact additions.

It’s also informed by the fact I don’t have a lot of confidence coming in as the 7th or 8th seed considering injuries. The team looks a little beleaguered and dragging. Is a 5 and out really worth the difference to the alternative? I think its at least worth a conversation.

I do think there’s an argument expiring the convey to the Hawks does open more avenues to larger trades in the fact we will have a clearer picture of tradeable picks/navigating the Stepien rule.

PS Domas is the Kings best player and personally it’s not really close. Anyone acting as if he is our primary problem I think is out of depth.

sactownchad
April 10, 2024 8:09 am

You are talking about a team of professional athletes that all believe they can win. There is no way they intentionally tank the playin or playoffs to placate internet GM fanfic. 2 years ago we would have been so excited to be a lock for a playin spot with a slim chance at the 6th seed and now we’re all acting like this is the worst Kings team ever assembled. It’s actually kind of nuts reading some of these threads…

Tankathon
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April 10, 2024 9:08 am
Reply to  sactownchad

I may be guilty of this but the prospect of being locked into a play in team for 5 years and then becoming a 25 win team again is not what I would’ve wanted during the drought. Now, I may have wanted the Kings to make the play in during that time but not with a roster that is capped at that potential. I understand the Kings can make some fringe moves to upgrade the line up and hope Keegan Murray become PG13, but the fact of the NBA is, you only get as far as your stars take you. I will say that Fox should probably get more heat than Domas from me but his lack of mid range game has really impacted HB, KH, Keegan, and maybe even Fox. As mentioned in the thread earlier, Fox’s inside game has really fallen off because teams are packing the paint for Domas.

ForKingsandCountry
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April 10, 2024 7:30 pm
Reply to  Tankathon

Yeah I completely agree with this. I am happy we’re not a complete disaster anymore but the goal is still to win a championship. If we’re not actually working toward that goal, then what exactly are we doing? If we peak as a three seed who lost in a fun round 1 series I’d be pretty disappointed in that outcome. That doesn’t sound very fun to me. This offseason we are definitely in danger of falling into that play-in team carousel if we don’t make some pretty significant improvements to the roster. If we lose Monk, I think it’s actually a lot worse because we could easily fall out of the play-in picture all together. We are seeing what the team looks with Monk right now and there is just no offensive juice whatsoever. These things are pretty delicate and we can fall off a cliff really easily.

Jman1949
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April 10, 2024 8:57 am

I’m still a bit puzzled by MB’s reluctance to use Sasha, now opting to slot Colby Jones ahead of him. Per bball-ref, they have similar drtg and Sasha is a much better 3-pt shooter at 38.3% vs just 9.1% for Colby.

RikSmits
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April 10, 2024 9:09 am
Reply to  Jman1949

Colby is the mystery box!

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eddie41
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April 10, 2024 9:14 am
Reply to  Jman1949

Colby had some good defensive possessions on SGA. But yeah, I feel that there is wasted talent with Sasha, especially when the team is struggling in the half court offense.

If the 3rd quarter is when the team has been tensing up, maybe Sasha can be the element that gets them going. Consider starting him in the 2nd half instead of HB.

Jman1949
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April 10, 2024 9:55 am
Reply to  eddie41

Colby had a few good moments on defense, but not appreciably better than using Keegan to guard SGA or even bringing in Kessler Edwards would have accomplished. When your offensive philosophy calls for spray 3’s and the team is shooting 22% from 3 in the second half, a 9.1% shooter doesn’t make much sense to me.

eddie41
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April 10, 2024 10:40 am
Reply to  Jman1949

no objection here to giving Sasha some run. everything is too uptight in the 2nd half. put another gunner out there.

AnybodyButBagley
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April 10, 2024 6:53 pm
Reply to  Jman1949

Sasha will get eaten alive. He isn’t ready.

Jman1949
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April 11, 2024 9:31 am

Colby Jones it is then!

AnybodyButBagley
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April 11, 2024 2:24 pm
Reply to  Jman1949

Might as well give Ford a shot.

…while we are at it start a rant about why he isn’t starting the All Star game.

Jman1949
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April 11, 2024 5:15 pm

Only 5.6 assists per 36 for Stockton, so probably not the “real” pg you’re looking for.

AnybodyButBagley
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April 12, 2024 10:09 am
Reply to  Jman1949

He is the next GOAT.

billoddity
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April 10, 2024 10:31 am

I don’t know how to explain it but this is first season since I was a little kid (I’m 44 now) that I have not bothered watching most games. I watched almost every game before this season going back to the 80’s. Record-wise this is one of the Kings best seasons, just like last year but slightly worse. I was miserable sitting through Spencer Hawes and Jason Thompson but even then I was much more invested. Why is this team so uninspiring? And without Monk I just can’t be bothered.

sactownchad
April 10, 2024 1:15 pm
Reply to  billoddity

Because, like most people here, you aren’t managing your expectations. The West got even better than last year, the Kings have more injuries than last year and they didn’t make any moves in the off season. What does everyone expect? We want continuity, get it finally, and now all I read online is how people are fed up with Domas, Fox and Brown.

lazlohollyfeld
April 10, 2024 12:26 pm

To borrow Dickens, the Kings are the best of teams, the Kings are the worst of teams. Often in the same game. I think the reasons are often stated here and, instead of a few of them, it’s likely all of the above. As strange as they played this year, and even taking into consideration lost time for injury, they should have won 50 games this year by either not losing to a few bad teams (Portland, Detroit, Washington), been able to hold on to big leads (for example, just last night), or snuck out a few wins they didn’t deserve (see Boston game where they were either a Keegan strong rebound away from winning or a seemingly easy Keegan putback away from winning). I don’t think you can exclusively blame coaches, the front office or individual players for those missteps. It’s just the way things went this year. IMO, the team needs an Alpha. Even Le Bron needed an Alpha in Dwayne Wade in Miami. Monk came the closest to an Alpha on this team but is far from a player that hates losing so much he will kick everyone ass in the locker room’s for a missed assignment or not putting a bear hug on that rebound in Boston.

FarmerGuy
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April 10, 2024 1:19 pm

Your 2024 Kings: Bedshitters Anonymous.

TerzoM
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April 10, 2024 4:13 pm

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Jack
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April 10, 2024 6:40 pm
Reply to  TerzoM

It does seem that the Kings have gotten the shaft this year especially in the last 2 minutes but you have to play through those types of situations and not harp on them. As a coach I’ve gotten quite a few technicals over the years even been kicked out a few times. I’m human I think.

Ellis5
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April 10, 2024 8:41 pm
Reply to  Jack

They only review the last two minutes… If you got jacked in the last two minutes you were getting jacked the whole game. You are right though. It’s the NBA. This team needs to be better than the bad, biased officiating.

Klam
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April 11, 2024 7:31 am
Reply to  Jman1949

Makes things easier, but still gonna be tough, because I think the Pelicans beat us without Ingram already this season. Assuming they beat the Blazers, the Kings need to at minimum split these back-to-back home games if they don’t want to be in danger of being in the 9th/10th seed play-in game.

Jman1949
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April 11, 2024 7:34 am

Perplexing that the Clippers would give a game away to the Suns by holding out 6 of their top 7 players (Kawhi, Harden, PG13, Westbrook, Powell, Zubac). They are now only 1 game ahead of the Mavs for the #4 seed although they do have the tiebreaker.

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