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Warriors 123, Kings 116: Kings Give Up First Home Loss of the Series

It's win or go home from here on out.
By | 110 Comments | Apr 26, 2023

Apr 26, 2023; Sacramento, California, USA; Sacramento Kings forward Domantas Sabonis (10) has the ball knocked out of his hands by Golden State Warriors guard Jordan Poole (3) in the first quarter during game five of the 2023 NBA playoffs at the Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

My nerves have been working overtime ever since the start of this series, and they may have reached a new peak with the anticipation of tonight’s Game 5 matchup between your Sacramento Kings and the Golden State Warriors. After tying the series up 2-2 and transforming this battle into a best of three games scenario, the defending champions looked to use their playoff experience and steal the first road win of the series. But, with the entire season as proof, the Beam Team simply does not care. The Beam Team does not care about championship pedigree, playoff experience, or even torn finger ligaments. The Beam Team has no plans of conceding their home court. It shaped up to be their biggest test yet and the Kings were tasked with the heavy responsibility of defending this city for us all. Let’s see how they did:

Quick Stats

Outcome: Kings lose, 116-123 (Warriors lead series, 3-2)

Sacramento Kings: 116 pts, 46.7% fg, 29.4% 3 pt, 84.6% ft, 22 ast, 44 reb, 19 to

Golden State Warriors: 123 pts, 52.1% fg, 28.9% 3 pt, 63.2% ft, 33 ast, 43 reb, 15 to

They say a playoff series doesn’t officially start until a road game is won. Well, it’s really on now. Under the pressure of defending their home court in front of an electric crowd, the Kings came up short. They now find themselves in a win or go home situation for the rest of the series.

The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
The Good
  1. Meeting the Moment: The Kings played their best basketball of the night in the 1st quarter. It seemed as if they collectively understood the assignment and were all eager to meet the big moment. De’Aaron Fox showed no signs of hesitancy with his injured finger and hit his first three 3-point attempts. Keegan Murray started out aggressive on both ends of the floor and scored 10 points in the first six minutes of play. The Kings forced the Warriors into a handful of turnovers early on and made sure to secure defensive rebounds to hold them to one shot possessions. To top it off, the Kings hit 8-12 from deep to start, showcasing their most successful brand of basketball that has gotten them to this point in the playoffs. Overall, the Kings looked confident, in control, and ready to compete. They ended the 1st quarter with a 3-point lead.
The Bad
  1. Temperature Drop: The Kings shooting went from blazing hot to ice cold REAL QUICK. After shooting 67% from the 3-point line in the 1st quarter, the Kings followed up with an 0-9 2nd quarter, 1-7th 3rd quarter, and 1-6 4th quarter. Their inability to hit outside shots allowed the Warriors to go on a 12-0 run in the 2nd quarter while Stephen Curry was getting rest. In hindsight, this was the beginning of the end. Not only failing to capitalize on Curry’s absence, but also allowing the Warriors to gain their first sizable lead was the first gut punch that Sacramento spent the remainder of the game trying to recover from. Through the 2nd half, the Kings’ lack of shooting success shrunk the Warriors’ defense into the paint even more, clogging up any available lanes for their offense to probe.
  2. Inconsistency: This was a winnable game for the Kings. But through all four quarters, there was always something — or rather, someone — missing. Through the entire 1st quarter, Harrison Barnes, Kevin Huerter, and Malik Monk combined for 0 points. While De’Aaron Fox, Domantas Sabonis, and Keegan Murray were able to produce enough on offense to keep them in the game, the Kings needed more from their other two starters and bench spark early on. Huerter found himself on the bench by the 3rd quarter after Coach Mike Brown realized his nine points weren’t enough to offset his liability on defense. In the second half, Barnes and Monk found their rhythms, with Barnes getting to the line seven times and Monk running the pace and flow of the offense. Unfortunately, this is when Fox started to cool off and Murray became nonexistent. It looked like Fox’s finger started to get to him, scoring just seven of his 24 points in the 3rd quarter, and none in the 4th quarter, and Murray didn’t take a single shot after his electric start. Throughout all of this, the Kings also missed the consistent production and facilitation of Sabonis. Rattled by the size and physicality of Kevon Looney, and indecisive of what to do with all the space that Looney and Draymond Green were giving him when defending him, Sabonis finished with a relatively quiet 21 points and 10 rebounds.
The Ugly
  1. Defense: The Kings had some great defensive possessions. And to their credit, Klay Thompson (25 points, 10-19 fg) and Andrew Wiggins (2o points) hit some capital T, Tough shots tonight. But for every great defensive possession the Kings had, they had two bad ones. Whether it was easy back door cuts or the high post to baseline cut for an easy layup that we’ve seen the Warriors execute so many times, the Kings let the Warriors get too many easy baskets throughout the game. So easily put into scramble mode, the Kings often found themselves a step behind on rotations or close outs. And the Warriors only need a half of a step advantage to score. This resulted in Draymond Green having 21 points off the bench, which could be argued is the ugliest thing about this whole game.
The King of Kings

After an invisible start to the game, Malik Monk carried the Kings through the 2nd half. Monk scored all 21 of his points in the 2nd half and brought pace and energy back to the Kings. When the Warriors tried to slow the game down to their advantage, Monk refused to let them dictate the pace and instead pushed the ball at full speed every chance he got. He had some incredibly athletic finishes over Kevon Looney and was the only one who was able to get Domantas Sabonis some easy looks at the rim.

Up Next

Game 6 – Friday, April 28th @ Golden State Warriors – 5:00 P.M. (PT)

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BuffaloDiaspora
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April 26, 2023 10:42 pm

Ok, let’s go get after it at Chase on Friday!

Amonk81
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April 26, 2023 11:14 pm

Im just hoping for a game 7. this team is showing who they are in the playoffs and it’s disappointing to see how below average Heurter, Barnes and Sabonis play in this situation.

They need players who get better under pressure not look like head cases. I am surprised at how out of it Sabonis looks. Just making decisions and going, flailing, never coverts the and 1, loses dribble when he should be getting rid of it…..etc.

Hes got to get the mid range in the off season.

The only hope is these guys somehow snapping out of it but maybe it’s not in them.

AmateurNerd
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April 27, 2023 8:33 am
Reply to  Amonk81

Especially disappointing is that Barnes, Huerter, and Sabonis are the ones with playoff experience.
Sabonis has struggled all year against a particular type of defender: Big, strong, disciplined, immobile. Looney is all that. Sabonis can’t play effective bully-ball down low against Looney, and can’t draw him out of the paint and create space for his teammates to drive because he’s unwilling to shoot a wide-open midrange jumper. Sabonis NEEDS to add the midrange J to his arsenal. If he could hit that shot consistently, the Kings would be winning this series. It would open up the paint area and allow Monk, Fox, and Co. to get to the basket and convert easily, instead of being forced to draw contact and draw a foul or make a tough, off-balance flailing layup over someone’s outstretched arms.
As strange (and entitled, or a squad that just broke a 17-year playoff drought) as it is to say, this postseason may end up feeling like a lost opportunity. The Warriors have been ripe for a beating, but the Kings just haven’t been able to exploit their weaknesses–and with Fox hurt and clearly hobbled, the window is likely closed. This has been an amazing season with an oddly unfulfilling conclusion, and assuming the Kings lose this series, here’s hoping it leaves a bad enough taste in the team’s mouth to fuel the steps they need to take to reach the next level in 2024.

discocricket
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April 27, 2023 8:37 am
Reply to  AmateurNerd

Great take. I think the roster holes that were apparent at the deadline (defensive minded backup big, true backup PG) are hurting us.

Hobby916
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April 27, 2023 11:42 am
Reply to  discocricket

I think the upgrade for Barnes is more apparent now. No clue whom that player is, but they need to improve somehow.

Mike120
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April 27, 2023 3:09 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

I’m hoping for Pascal Siakam. Consistent 15-25 a night. Longer and younger.

rockbottom
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April 28, 2023 7:00 am
Reply to  AmateurNerd

Sabonis has proven he can hit those shots at a winning pct he just will not take them .

Sacto_J
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April 28, 2023 10:54 am
Reply to  AmateurNerd

Coming in late and gotta say I agree with everything but the “lost opportunity” take. I don’t think there’s such a thing when you’re a team like the Kings fighting for your playoff lives. Adding these experiences is part of the process building a championship team in the long run and invaluable to their successes moving forward.

deepshot22
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April 26, 2023 10:43 pm

Murray takes no shots after his scorching first quarter. Huerter, no show. Barnes, no show until the 3rd. Monk, no show until the 3rd. Sabonis, oof, maybe the ugliest 21-10 game ever. I truly felt much better with Len playing. Fox did what he could but clearly his dribble was affected by the finger. Davion taking 8 three’s, wtf.

The warriors clearly have plans on both sides of the ball. Obviously tonight they wanted to stop our transition scoring as well. Our only plan seems like Davion on Steph. Brown has done a great job this year but I think Kerr is schooling him.

It’s not over yet but the beam is faint.

Amonk81
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April 26, 2023 11:45 pm
Reply to  deepshot22

I was thinking the same. That Brown now needs to make adjustments. Kerr has.

keith_kar
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April 27, 2023 6:44 am
Reply to  Amonk81

I’m wondering about these closing lineups Brown has on the floor. He’s reacting to Kerr. Why doesn’t he just put all the starters back in to close it out? Just do or die, and live with the outcome.

billoddity
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April 27, 2023 10:50 am
Reply to  keith_kar

Monk should be finishing games, maybe starting too… he and Fox are the only stars when the lights shine brightest. Huerter can be the three specialist off the bench until he becomes a lot more consistent.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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April 27, 2023 7:21 am
Reply to  deepshot22

The Warrior plan seems pretty simple to me.

1) Let Fox shoot as much as he wants, including open 3’s

2) Don’t let Sabonis run the offense and deny the DHO.

That’s it, and it is working.

Hobby916
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April 27, 2023 7:40 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Brown has no counter. Which is why we need to have additional playmakers going into next season.

GlueAndBold
April 27, 2023 11:50 am
Reply to  Hobby916

As a Warriors fan who is very intrigued by this up-and-coming Kings team, I think adding at least one more defensive specialist, a playmaker, and a big that gives you a different look from Sabonis could all help. I don’t know much about the coaching staff, but I can tell you that the Warriors have benefited enormously from adding Dejan Milojević, who was originally brought on to help Wiseman but turned out to be Looney’s salvation. I would love to see this rivalry blossom. Fox seems absolutely amazing to me, and with a really good attitude as well. You have a lot to build off of, and who knows- this series isn’t over yet. Either team could still go any number of ways.

RikSmits
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April 28, 2023 5:34 am
Reply to  GlueAndBold

Thank you for a thoughtful and measured take.

Twitter is full of Kings-Warriors trash talk (and not in a lighthearted, funny manner). I prefer to keep my commenting to this site, but it is good to hear a perspective from the opposing side.

Looney has been very impressive. We clearly underestimated him. And Kerr is outcoaching us at the moment, despite being without his masterminds Luke Walton and Mike Brown.

On the one hand, I think and believe that we can force a 7th game and maybe even win it. On the other hand, a narrow loss in a game 7 at home would be much more devastating than a competitive loss at Chase Center.

Sacto_J
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April 28, 2023 11:00 am
Reply to  RikSmits

using “mastermind” and “Luke Walton” in the same sentence made my eyes bleed, thanks Rik.

Sacto_J
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April 28, 2023 10:59 am
Reply to  GlueAndBold

“I would love to see this rivalry blossom.”

I can’t say I agree, G&B. Your overall tone of respect and praise is so far from the norm for the majority of Warriors fans, who’ve been showing their asses all over Kings social media, shitposting and generally being total pricks. Having to sit through that kind of garbage year after year sounds fkn heinous and depressing to me. Would be a lot cooler if the majority had a shred of the class your showing. Because the basketball part of it has been pretty damn good.

billoddity
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April 27, 2023 10:47 am
Reply to  deepshot22

Everyone touts Lens insertion into the lineup… he is making mistakes with and without the ball… maybe Holmes can handle Looney better but either was they need to address the 4 spot and a rebounding backup center this offseason to take another step.

NowLoveThemOnceAgain
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April 26, 2023 10:46 pm

Excellent recap and assessment. I’ll add that I was also disappointed Davion came out strong, but his offense waned as the game went on. I am rooting for him so much, but I cringe every time a 3 pointer leaves his hands. That’s the biggest part of his game to work on this off-season.

RikSmits
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April 26, 2023 11:13 pm

We still have a fighting chance.

I am slightly exagerating, but I want Coach Brown to change the gameplan and tell the guys to just make a killing in the paint offensively. Keep attacking the rim, put foul pressure on them and forbid long shots. It just isn’t working, for whatever reason. Huerter has appeared to be decent from midrange, but can’t hit anything from 3. Davion and Barnes too.

As much as I dislike Draymond Green, he was the difference maker tonight. On a pass by Davion near the end of the game, he had his hand out on the baseline corner, with his back turned, deflects the ball, and still managed to save the ball from going out of bounds. Incredible clutch play.

I know Domas gets a lot of shit, some of it deservedly, but some of it out of context and over the top. You know his importance by the fact that the Warriors gameplan is completely geared towards neutralizing him. They are willing to live by Fox’s heroics, as long as Domas’ game gets disrupted. Think about that.

The Warriors are taking away the DHO, swarming him the moment he puts the ball down (getting plenty of TO’s) and because they constantly get by defenders so he has to help, they attack the offensive glass because he is out of position, and few others are in position to box out and help. Especially Looney and Wiggins have been instructed to crash the offensive boards, and Domas is also not aided by the fact that long shots often give long rebounds.

Defensively, they have really studied Domas’ game and are defending it very effectively. Looney has been doing great, just standing his ground, and others come in and swipe at the ball and Domas’ arms. Brown and he have to find counters to that, and it starts by taking more shots from the elbow and the top of the key.

Just my 2 Eurocents.

Amonk81
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April 26, 2023 11:17 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Agree about attacking. Attack, attack-dish out fir shots.

Im one who’s been a bit harsh w Sabonis. I don’t know if it’s how he’s being iplayed or that this is who he is in the playoffs?

Exposing lack of midrange/shot

RikSmits
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April 26, 2023 11:25 pm
Reply to  Amonk81

He barely takes them, that’s the issue.

He’s also been injured for a long time this season and taking a lot of punishment, while playing the most minutes the whole season. It may be catching up with him.

Also, he would have had a few triple doubles if people would just hit some goddamn 3s.

Amonk81
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April 26, 2023 11:43 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

True. Good points. I’m a lot more concerned w Huerter from 3.

Overall, I’m wondering if certain players struggles show how they will play in the playoffs always or they simply lack playoff experience. IE -going through this will improve them, or this is what you get?

Just get us to game 7. Im happy w the Kings season if they can just get to game 7.

GlueAndBold
April 27, 2023 11:53 am
Reply to  Amonk81

I think lacking playoff experience is a real thing: it’s a longer season with much more pressure and it is exhausting.

RikSmits
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April 28, 2023 5:35 am
Reply to  GlueAndBold

I’m exhausted, I can tell you.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
April 27, 2023 7:24 am
Reply to  RikSmits

You nailed it.

DutchKingsFanInUK
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April 27, 2023 8:23 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Eurocents?!

RikSmits
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April 27, 2023 8:34 am

Yup.
And he’s peeling off those Euro bills, slapping them down.
One hundred, two hundred.

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Sacto_J
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April 28, 2023 11:05 am
Reply to  RikSmits

You’ve hit on the Warriors’ game plan exactly. This is what people mean when they talk about playoff basketball being different – Teams have time to analyze your game plan and find and test schemes that work against it. The Kings have a 3 headed attack, one predicated on Domas’ ability to find open looks for his teammates. When that breaks down its Fox / Monk. Their next option is the 3 game. Which, without Domas’ ability to spray out to teammates, you’re down to a singular attack option. Much, much easier to defend. The Kings need to figure out a way to work the DHO despite what the Warriors are doing to take it away. Find a new wrinkle to it. Or hope someone like Huerter, or even TD shows out for 40 points. Otherwise our incredible season is toast.

Milkman
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April 26, 2023 11:26 pm

Too much hero ball at the end. Not enough ball movement. Need more clutch passing and fewer clutch bricks. Set more double/stagger screens for Huerter and Keegan.

Last edited 1 year ago by Milkman
Socalpurplecurse
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April 26, 2023 11:36 pm
Reply to  Milkman

Agreed, not enough ball movement and too predictable. We need to bench Huerter, after six games I’ve seen enough. I’d rather see more TD and more Davion Mitchell, At least they can break plays open and playmaker more, we are spending way too much energy treating Huerter like Klay.

LALakerHater
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April 26, 2023 11:43 pm

Fox definitely wasn’t at 100% down the stretch. As crazy as it sounds, I was hoping Coach Brown would pull him for the last 4 minutes and bring in Davion for defense on Curry. They were already going to Monk on every possession at that point anyway but hindsight is 20/20.

Give ‘em hell in SF and bring it back to Sac for game 7!

alwaysrite23
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April 26, 2023 11:48 pm

Bummer game. I’m just not sure why Coach hasn’t tried more looks. Huerter to me has been way too ineffective on offense for a starting 2 guard. Is he out there for his D? Why not try starting Monk, or give some minutes to T. D. with second team, see if he can get hot from three? Our three point shooting has really been disappointing this series.

Also, defensively, the Kings need to zero in on somebody on the Warriors they want to shut down and see how Kessler does on D (against either Klay or Wiggins likely) … I’d even give him some of Keegan’s minutes if Keegan is not actively impacting the game. C’mon! Not that I blame the rookie, apart from his one offensive explosion, he’s looked like a rookie in his first playoff series and the Warriors are exploiting his inexperience

Also, Metu I feel like should’ve gotten something of a chance by now too, maybe his athleticism on boards could’ve slowed Looney down, who has really been the difference maker to me in this series — Though Green did have a great game tonight. Looney has absolutely killed us. You can’t give a team like Warriors second and third chances ….

Davion has done great on Curry at times, but he also needs to put pressure on Curry and take him to the rim some, make him work.

swipa
April 26, 2023 11:55 pm

I’m sick and tired of Keegan getting cooked over and over again on defense and I’m surprised coach went with him down the stretch with the game on the line. He looks positionally lost on defense, can’t stay in front of anyone in a 1:1 matchup, gets smoked on every single pick and roll and is easily out-hustled on the boards repeatedly. It’s coach Brown’s fault he got the crunch time minutes. This is the biggest leap opportunity for him in the offseason even more so than ball handling and shot creation. He had 35 minutes but you could hardly tell with a -13 +/- and he’s a liability to the team because he seems uninterested in the game when it’s not about his own 3pt shooting.

Last edited 1 year ago by swipa
GFunkClassic
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April 27, 2023 12:09 am
Reply to  swipa

Nope he did well on the boards. Expecting him to guard Curry on an island is foolish. What’s baffling is not giving him a chance to put the ball in the basket after his hot start, and well played game, last game.

Last edited 1 year ago by GFunkClassic
Hobby916
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April 27, 2023 7:43 am
Reply to  swipa

He had moments of bad defense, which makes it imperative to get him shots when he is on the court to counter some of the bad defense. He is 13-18 the past teo games, and only had 5 shots, all in the 1st quarter…that’s unacceptable basketball by his teammates in not getting him more shots. It’s another player the warriors have to defend, instead of just sabonis and fox.

Last edited 1 year ago by Josh Hobson
RikSmits
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April 27, 2023 8:06 am
Reply to  Hobby916

In all fairness, Keegan is also not very good at demanding the ball and being visible to his teammates on offense. He needs to be more assertive.

Hobby916
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April 27, 2023 11:44 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Yeah, I think he is still too passive out there. He seems to be okay with not getting the ball, taking a back seat even when he is shooting well. Be great to see him go to the huddle and let everyone know that he is wide open a lot in the corner.

Jack
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April 27, 2023 2:44 pm
Reply to  swipa

I guess you didn’t see what he did the first quarter. One of his straight line drives was full court. He also was 2 for 2 from 3. The Kings never went to him the rest of the game. Sad.

GFunkClassic
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April 27, 2023 12:00 am

The seasoning really showed this game. They had their 2nd, 3rd , 4th best players step up and we still relied on our #1. And if there’s any question Fox is our #1. Sabonis playing like a 6 man, not a 2nd man. This is the surprising thing to me, how thoroughly he’s being outplayed by Looney. I don’t understand how Keegan gets no looks after his hot start, they didn’t even allow him to go cold himself, we just did it ourselves…I don’t care if he’s a rookie, you gotta give shots to the hot hand

Sacto_J
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April 28, 2023 11:11 am
Reply to  GFunkClassic

Pretty sure he got injured in the 2nd with a stinger, maybe worse. I think it was Draymond with the karate chop defense, might have been Pool I can’t remember.

ElkGroveKingsFan
April 27, 2023 12:24 am

Come on, let’s go Kings!!!

I hate myself for laughing at this l but we might start the season with a 4 game losing streak… and might end the season with 4 game losing streak…

Regardless what’ll happen… thank you everyone. I’ve enjoyed this season and the enjoyment been enhance more so because of you all!

again, let’s go Kings!!!

Chef
April 27, 2023 12:39 am

Just logging in to say this. Sabonis has not lived up to the All star player he’s been nominated to in the playoffs. I dont care how well the opponent has game planned against Sabonis. Enough with the excuses. Put your big boy pants on and show why you are an All Star. Dominate. Sick of hearing all these excuses. Fox showed up. Your turn Sabonis. Show up and dominate at lease ONCE. Its not about the role players even though they are nice to have. Where are the star players when you need them. Role player in Looney has taken Sabnonis’s lunch money and ran with it. SHOW UP. NO EXCUSES. Show us why the previous 3 teams made a mistake in trading you. So frustrating to watch “star” players not live up to the moment.

Last edited 1 year ago by Chef
Sacto_J
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April 28, 2023 11:12 am
Reply to  Chef

Meh. All Star is for the season and he was definitely that all season. Playoffs are different. As we’ve heard ad nauseum.

rff
rff
April 27, 2023 12:45 am

Kerr outmaneuvered Brown in game 3 and tonight by bringing Green off the bench. When Green entered in the 3rd quarter the Warriors immediately got better offensively and defensively. I don’t know how the Kings can counter that move if Kerr does it again in game 6.

BuffaloDiaspora
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April 27, 2023 12:59 am

Game 3 aside, every other game has come down to basically gaussian noise on shot making. Game 3 too, if you want to take a third-eye Kyrie kind of view (I don’t recommend it) but really, four of the five games played could have gone either way but for a 3 here or there. If you weren’t discouraged after games 1 & 2, if you thought game 4 was extremely well played until the final seconds, there is every reason to be hopeful – this team competes.

Go Kings. Light that fucking beam on Friday and I will be back on Sunday ringing my cowbell so hard that Warriors fans complain about me again [1].

[1] Security told them to slurp shit

Last edited 1 year ago by BuffaloDiaspora
DutchKingsFanInUK
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April 27, 2023 2:55 am

Devastating loss, but the Warriors deserved this win.

I feel like these last two games showed the experience gap between the teams. The Warriors know how to counter every move, which leads to a higher shot quality. The Kings don’t have that (yet). Despite seeing some good offense from time to time, there’s also moments in the game where they completely lose track. Leading to bad shots and turnovers.

That, combined with the two absolute killers and shot-making they have on that roster, was the difference in this game.

Seriously, how do you stop this?

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Hats off to Green and Looney as well. Green may have been the best player on the floor in game 5. The defense, his passing, and even the shot-making. Fantastic game from him. Looney has been great in all these games.

Carl
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April 27, 2023 8:50 am

Seriously, how do you stop this?

Agree on all points, but Davion has made things extremely difficult for Curry the whole series. On almost every possession where Davion guards Curry and doesn’t get switched off, Curry has to give up the ball or put up a bad shot. Davion’s defense has been one of the best things to watch in the whole series.

I said it in the game thread last night – Mitchell came off the floor in the last two minutes and I think that was a mistake. The play that ended the game, where Curry dribbled around for 10 seconds and then got fouled on an easy layup, doesn’t happen with Davion on the floor. Yes, you can’t really trust Mitchell to hit a three, but you have at least three other players on the floor who SHOULD be able to take and make that shot.

Hobby916
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April 27, 2023 11:46 am
Reply to  Carl

All that can be done to slow down Curry is to force him in to “bad Curry shots”, which Davion has been doing routinely.

PhilippinesForSacKings
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April 27, 2023 3:22 am

Sure this is a deflating loss, but the Kings should keep pushing, keep the pace up and keep the f*cking jets on. It’s an every other day game now and I would still like to think that it could work to the Kings’ advantage if they could just hang on and keep the games close and let fatigue set on the Warriors older core.

Ain’t over ’til it’s over. Let’s go Kings!

Hobby916
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April 27, 2023 4:23 am

I was sitting in my nice recliner yelling at the TV to get Keegan a shot. Can’t just have an offense centered around 2 people most of the game.

They aren’t running the beautiful offense we have seen all season. It has devolved in to the monk and fox drive and pray that shots go in.

HumboldtCPA
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April 27, 2023 6:06 am
Reply to  Hobby916

I’m right there with you! I was yelling all game to get Murray the ball. When he was on fire he kept asking for the ball and it just never got back to him. I felt he was ready for a breakout game but his teammates put out the flame.

HumboldtCPA
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April 27, 2023 6:11 am

I’m going to have to leave work early and take out some anger on some golf balls today. Too nice of days recently not to take advantage. Frustrating night but hopefully they will come out firing Friday. Biggest mistake I saw last night was cutting Murray off when he was on fire. After the previous performance and hot start the rest of the team just started ignoring him on offense. Kings now have a big task at hand but they are not out yet. GO KINGS!

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April 27, 2023 6:18 am

Sac stayed close but the final two minutes had Wiggins, Klay and Steph make plays whilst Sac looked desperate, tired.

Warriors are winning the hustle plays as well (GPII, Draymond, Looney).

The stats are remarkably close.

The Kings looked to be the stronger team first two games and their roles have reversed. You could see it after Sac had a blistering 1stQ and were only up by 3.

After all that, IF the Kings make some shots, different game – but we’ve been saying that for four games now. Ifs don’t count. That loss at Chase for Game 4 looms larger.

Crazy playoffs. Bucks out. Jimmy Buckets otherworldly. Cavs also out 4-1. Amazing.

Friday should be a fun battle.

E-Guy
April 27, 2023 6:25 am

After an 0-4 start to the season, the Kings are on the verge of ending their season on exactly the same 0-4 stretch. And correct me if I’m wrong, we haven’t won since Mike was announced as COTY. The COTY curse!

Jack
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April 27, 2023 7:18 am
Reply to  E-Guy

The fourth quarter last night reminded me of fourth quarters two seasons ago when the Kings were right there but couldn’ t take the game. Rushed the offense commited turnovers and played terrible defense. IMO Fox, as great as he is, tried to do it all. It takes five players on te floor to win the fourth quarter last nght. You are getting out coached if you can’t find a way of getting Murray the ball after the first quarter. He was hot but never got the touches he needed to help the team. Barnes who has been there before never scored until the end of the third quarter. Where was he? One play that really frost me was again when we get the steal then Sabonis gives t right back. Just didn’t happen last night but a lot during the season. He did hit a couple of shots at mid range but not enough. If we can’t shoot threes this is the biggest reason we are losing games. McNair brought in players who can shot threes which we needed to contend. During the season this happened but during the playoffs this is tyhe biggest reason we are loosing. Back to two seasons ago. I love the Kings and I know I am pretty negative but I am also a realist. Let’s take one at their house and win it in game seven. GO KINGS!

Daydreamer
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April 27, 2023 7:34 am

With all the true things so many have said in these comments, there is one more thing that must be said: our two best players have broken digits. This is affecting Domas’ play (turnovers) and Fox’s (4th quarter).

rockbottom
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April 28, 2023 7:12 am
Reply to  Daydreamer

I find it amazing that players that are playing with skill affecting injuries are given zero consideration by so many fans ! Right now the Dubs (defending NBA Champs ) are healthy and full strength .

caseycheesecake
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April 27, 2023 7:56 am

The last 3 games, instead of adapting to the new offense that the Warriors are forcing us into like a Pick and Roll/Pop or Low Post like we did in the first 2 games, instead we’re forcing the High Post/Perimeter DHO over and over, but that isn’t working! When Domas gets the ball at the top of the key, they’re sagging back and cutting all the passing lanes off. There’s nothing there! Continuing to force it just makes Domas a liability on the court to be honest. I felt much better with Len out there the last 3 games.

Is Monk the only one who knows how to run a pick and roll with a big man? I don’t get it. Where is the offensive adjustment?

And defensively, there’s nothing to say. We don’t have the personnel to guard a high pick and roll against the Warriors without somebody rotating in and them kicking it out for a wide open 3 or lob. Our only chance is to out-score them and that’s not happening without them going cold randomly.

discocricket
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April 27, 2023 8:12 am

I agree. I’m a little confused by the lack of offensive adjustments from Coach Brown. Domas is clearly flummoxed by the matchup. He’s also been a turnstile out there in the lane, getting beat for rebounds, etc.

Hobby916
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April 27, 2023 11:47 am
Reply to  discocricket

The defensive rotations have been bad by the team for the most part, leaving Domas all alone in the paint to get feasted on. Back door cuts happened a lot in Game 5, and Domas is not Mutombo.

Adamsite
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April 27, 2023 11:02 am

Agreed. Where is the damn PnR game?

discocricket
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April 27, 2023 8:13 am

Malik Monk is a freakin’ lion BTW.

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April 27, 2023 8:49 am

Understandably, it is doom and gloom today.

But the Sun is out and there is still more basketball left to play – it ain’t over yet.

Chins stay high, eyes stay focused on the prize and make the Warriors beat you, don’t give in.

Cavs, Bucks let the games get passed them expecting to win and they are gone fishing because the Knicks (with injured Randle) and Heat stayed determined – and good things happened. I would like to see Sac’s hustle guys outhustle or at least keep up, with GPII, Looney and Draymond.

Kings have a strong road record and have the talent and the ability to win Game 6.

HongKongKingsFan
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April 27, 2023 8:56 am

Sac’s hustle guys outhustle or at least keep up, with GPII, Looney and Draymond

That’s really the main reason for the upset…………..

It’s sometimes not just about shooting…….Like Barnes said, it’s all about those little things….

1) GPII and DDV grabbed lots of off. rebound….running ups and downs and hustle all around the court…..
2) Looney fight hard for rebound…….

While the Kings players really did not show up, not hustling and never able to win those 50/50 balls is really frustrating………….

I blame Sabonis….he is damn lazy on defense….and is complete liability on defensive end…

It’s now WIN or GO HOME for game 6……………

I just want to see a complete game….all players giving 120% effort………..

Last edited 1 year ago by HongKongKingsFan
SneakerKing
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April 27, 2023 10:14 am

Too many 3 point attempts and misses leading to long rebounds where the GS guards can crash.

rockbottom
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April 28, 2023 7:17 am

The players are giving great effort . If you can’t see it that is your own bias . Maybe the defending NBA Champs ( finally Healthy roster ) are simply better .

Hobby916
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April 27, 2023 11:48 am

Luckily we know this team does not quit. I expect them to come out in Game 6 with some fight.

RobHessing
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April 27, 2023 8:58 am

Takes a breath and exhales –

There, I feel better.

I don’t change a thing at this point, and I don’t have the huevos to second guess Brown. Hit your threes and manage your turnovers and you win this game. An inch or two difference on Barnes’ shot and you win game four on the road.

Huerter has been bad, and Brown has responded by playing Monk and Mitchell more. And that is all you do. You simply cannot undo an entire season’s contributions by shelving Huerter right now, but you can limit his minutes, which Brown has done.

Sabonis? I’m wondering how many wide open threes have been missed off of Sabonis passes? My guess is that it is costing him at least two assists a game, and there is not much that he can do about that. Sabonis has not played at an all-NBA level in this series, but he has been much more solid than what seems to be the general consensus. And without his rebounding and supplemental scoring, this team is swept out of round one.

The roster lacks wing length / defensive chops, at least in the form of players that you can plug into the rotation on both ends of the floor. That is something that cannot be solved in the here and now – it is an off season pursuit (Thybulle, anyone?).

This team, which Vegas had projected for low 30 wins in the pre-season, has taken a healthy defending champion Warriors team to game six in the first round of the NBA playoffs. The playoff lab has provided Brown with opportunities to expand the offensive vision, starting with Sabonis’ mid-range game. It has given Sabonis that same information. It has been invaluable to Keegan Murray. It has proven that Fox and Monk can flourish on this stage, and that Davion Mitchell has the appearance of rise-to-the-moment player. Most importantly, it has absolutely confirmed that this team needs to be exponentially better on the defensive end next year, and that the roster needs to add wing length and more rebounding help.

Looking forward to game six, regardless of the outcome. House money, y’all. What a wonderful, surprising, magnificent season this is.

keith_kar
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April 27, 2023 9:09 am
Reply to  RobHessing

I’m with you on all of that. Regardless of the outcome of game 6, what a great season this has been (so far). Can the Kings lose 4 in a row, though? Yes, possibly. We need an answer to whatever Kerr is throwing at us.

rockbottom
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April 28, 2023 7:21 am
Reply to  RobHessing

Agree 100% , this team is playing hard and together against a healthy defending NBA Champ . Not sure why so negativity .

Hippity_Hop_Barbershop
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April 27, 2023 9:06 am

Was Keegan pulled out cause of hurting his hand? I know he was on fire but I did see that his hand got jacked on a play, just cant remember which qtr.

Hobby916
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April 27, 2023 11:51 am

I think that was late in the 3rd or early 4th. The fact that he did not get a shot up before that is mind boggling.

HongKongKingsFan
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April 27, 2023 10:02 am

Mike Brown need to find a way for better rebounding…..especially defensive rebound….

stop those hustle guys and Looney grabs off. rebound

MidtownMike
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April 27, 2023 10:08 am

Everyone complains about the offense, or shot making etc…we are getting absolutely rosted on defense and it’s because Coach Browns inability to take our slow bigs off the floor vs the Warriors for some unknown reason.

We have to hedge high because of the 3 point shooting, so play small ball and have guys that can just switch because the p&r or p&r to kick out is absolutely killing us. Sabonis and Len are getting fucking abused on the boards, and not just by Looney, I just watched Sabonis lose boards to guards and wings all night.

I need the defensive genius to realize his bigs guarding Looney and Dray at 25ft is leading to fuckin layup lines! Holy shit it’s not hard to see…Warriors are letting their guards fight over the screens and play Looney sagged…give that a shot if you are going to bang your head on the wall about keeping a big slow in the game. Stop fucking hedging and guarding Looney and Dray at 25ft like morons…

RobHessing
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April 27, 2023 10:18 am
Reply to  MidtownMike

Take the all-star and all-NBA candidate and only guy on the team that is even trying to grab rebounds Sabonis off the floor in an effort to improve the rebounding.
comment image

MidtownMike
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April 27, 2023 11:14 am
Reply to  RobHessing

All of the above and he got owned on the boards by smaller people…we could absolutely rebound as a team better than his performance in that category this series. Especially by gaining efficiency on offense and defense, sorry you don’t understand that.

RikSmits
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April 27, 2023 11:33 am
Reply to  MidtownMike

sorry you don’t understand that.

How sorry are you really? On a scale from 1 to 10?

MidtownMike
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April 27, 2023 3:34 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

1.

Especially because I gave the alternative that had keeping sabonis on the floor but let him sag so the lane isn’t wide open. Have our guards fight hard over screens.

Now you can keep sabonis in while not getting cooked on layups and wide open kick out 3s.

RikSmits
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April 28, 2023 12:05 am
Reply to  MidtownMike

Yes, because our guards are so good at fighting over screens?

Our D at the POA has been horrific the whole season, and having Sabonis drop won’t magically fix that, sorry you don’t understand that.

Sacto_J
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April 28, 2023 11:20 am
Reply to  MidtownMike

You should coach. People respond well to being talked to like idiots.

RobHessing
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April 27, 2023 10:20 am
Reply to  MidtownMike

 I just watched Sabonis lose boards to guards and wings all night.

This would mean that these guards and wings – who are not being guarded by Sabonis – are not being boxed out by their respective defensive assignment, yes?

oshima9
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April 27, 2023 11:05 am
Reply to  RobHessing

Yes, this was angering, to be sure.

MidtownMike
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April 27, 2023 11:15 am
Reply to  RobHessing

yes, he also lost straight up to them, excuse Sabonis’ trash performance all you want, the dubs are exposing it and Brown is just taking it.

RobHessing
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April 27, 2023 11:39 am
Reply to  MidtownMike

Sabonis has 25% of the team’s total rebounds in the series. It is my humble opinion that you cannot make that up in the aggregate when you sit him, especially if your methodology is to go small. It is also my humble opinion that you cannot take the player that has been one of the two central pieces all season long (and a guy that has played most of the season with a broken thumb) and park him in the playoffs. The Kings are not here without Sabonis. It is unfathomable to me that anyone would suggest sitting him at this point. It seems short-sighted, and an emotional knee-jerk reaction.

But sure, Sabonis is trash and Brown is just taking it. That is certainly one opinion, and you are absolutely entitled to it.

MidtownMike
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April 27, 2023 3:36 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Good thing I gave you the alternative to keep him in. Then you could go small instead of Len since it’s the same defensive issue with him. Or also just sag Len, this using bigs at 25ft is getting cooked and it’s on Brown.

rockbottom
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April 28, 2023 7:26 am
Reply to  MidtownMike

Total disagreement with every point you are trying to make .

MidtownMike
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April 28, 2023 11:47 am
Reply to  rockbottom

That’s fine if you don’t understand the nuisances of defensive basketball.

KingOfTheMonsters
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April 27, 2023 10:24 am

Agree with the general critiques.
In short, if the Kings hit their shots like they have been during the season, this might have been a sweep.
I will add, though, there is a distinct change of tone in these games ever since the media and the Warriors executive class began complaining after the Game 2 loss. The complaint being: The Warriors should not lose.
Since then:
Domantas doesn’t get calls inside.
Looney camps in the key with an illegal defense and no calls.
To turn JJ “little bitch” Redick’s words against him, the way the officials are calling the games gives an advantage to the Warriors.
However, even that would not matter if the Kings could just hit their damn shots.

oshima9
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April 27, 2023 11:07 am

The Kings are not losing this series because of the referees. Last night, Looney and Wiggins had 5 fouls, and Green had 4. It is sad to see, but Sabonis is being outplayed badly.

MidtownMike
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April 27, 2023 11:16 am
Reply to  oshima9

As is Mike Brown being out coached…or just stubbornly banging his head not adapting

jlandweh
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April 27, 2023 10:31 am

Unfortunately, it feels as if Mike Brown is getting out-coached…as well as shots are not falling and the officials swaying for the Warriors.

With Kevin Huerter not hitting shots – maybe we should see TD or Edwards. With the drop coverage, it might be time to see a Richaun Holmes push shot. I am not sure, but I am open to trying something different. Definition of insanity – doing the same thing but expecting different results.

I believe the Kings will win Game 6 but this has been an extremely rough series. Maybe McNair should have made some more moves at the deadline and not just relied on chemistry.

oshima9
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April 27, 2023 11:09 am
Reply to  jlandweh

Seeing Josh Hart play for the Knicks makes me wistful thinking about what he could have done here. For starters, take Huerter’s minutes, defend and knock down some 3s.

Hobby916
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April 27, 2023 11:55 am
Reply to  jlandweh

I wonder if Metu would be a better option than Len. Len is fairly slow and gets blown by a lot. Metu isn’t great, but at least a bit more athletic and energetic.

oshima9
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April 27, 2023 11:02 am

Some random observations:

Curry, Thompson and Green have played around 3 NBA seasons of playoff games, with Looney around for about 2 of them. It shows over the course of a playoff series. No other team is close.

Looney has always been one of the most underrated players in the league. Great intelligence, physicality and an eerie sense of where to be on the court at all times. I think it took him almost 2 years to get to the Warriors from Santa Cruz because he came out of college with serious injury problems, he looked like a wasted draft choice for awhile.

The return of Wiggins is significant. Going back to Durant, the Warriors have compensated for the lack of a rim protector with defensive help from the wing, and Wiggins has done this well.

Sabonis has been exposed and the fact that some Kings have missed open 3s doesn’t excuse it. Holds onto the ball too long bringing it up court, resulting in strips by guards, pounding the ball ISO style around the basket, leading to bad shots, turnovers and charges. He’s not getting calls because Looney and Green are quicker to the spot than him. He’s been hurt, so that could be a big reason for it, but he doesn’t look mentally sharp, and that’s disturbing.

Sabonis has scored when the ball has come back to him, which suggests that the Kings should have started running more plays through Fox, Huerter, Barnes, and, off the bench, Mitchell earlier in the series, and then finding Sabonis moving without the ball. He’s become the most surprising thing imaginable: a ball stopper.

Sabonis and Huerter were momentum killers in the first half, keeping the game close when the Kings should have been up about 10. During one sequence, Huerter either missed a shot or turned the ball over, and then, on the defensive end, wandered away from Klay with his hand turned as Klay drained a wide open 3.

Of course, the Kings have struggled defensively, but to expect a lot of better is unrealistic. McNair built the team around scorers and Sabonis’ ball movement. Fox has worked hard, and Mitchell is, of course, tremendous, but the team is going to have to bring in some players who can defend to improve the situation.

If the Kings were playing this series with Murray at the end of his 2nd year, we’d win it.

MidtownMike
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April 27, 2023 11:19 am
Reply to  oshima9

I don’t agree at all that it’s just players on defense for this series, we continue to guard Looney and Dray at the 25ft mark with Sabonis and Len which is leaving the paint wide open for layup lines or when the help comes a clean kickout to a wide open 3. It’s atrocious defensive coaching/gameplanning at this point in the series.

eddie41
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April 27, 2023 11:45 am

some thoughts:

(1) why not pass to Sabonis in the high post more often and utilize him there like Adelman did with CWebb and Miller. There is less chance of a turnover, more chances for the featured shooter to get an open 3 or backdoor layup. Or Sabonis can hit the open shot. There should be different methods of utilizing Sabonis as a fulcrum so that if a team take away one method, the team’s stud center is still making things happen.

(2) Huerter has been mentioning that shots are not coming within the flow of the offense, to explain the poor outside shooting from him and the team. Does the analytics have to change? Is a midrange Huerter shot within his flow better than an open Huerter three that is not within the flow? Probably yes. Is that true for anyone else on the team shooting below 30% from three? Would that also help with team confidence and momentum to see the ball go in more?

(3) Barnes and Keegan seem underutilized. How many games during the regular season did they help the team win when they were fully engaged? Barnes getting to the line helps restore the team equilibrium. Keegan is showing that he can be the featured shooter.

(4) I just saw a video explaining how Vezenkov can score 275 points with only 26 dribbles. Someone looked at all his game film and counted them. That’s impressive.

(5) oh yeah, Kessler Edwards. Why is he not playing at all? Certainly could use him on Klay at times, and just have another good defender out there.

(6) a couple observations to note about Fox. Don’t take this the wrong way – Fox has been amazing this year and is playing with an avulsion fracture now. But that technical with the ref: usually not a good sign. When Fox loses composure with the refs, we normally don’t get the dominant fourth quarter Fox. We saw this in the beginning of the season when the team went 0-4, and we saw it during the Kangz era, and then he fixed the issue this season had an amazing year. Playoffs are a new game, and the issue reappeared last night. And why did Fox not pass to Sabonis when he spotted up for 3 in the corner in the 4th quarter, instead opting to force a shot against a double-team.

Last edited 1 year ago by eddie41
outrider
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April 27, 2023 11:55 am

I have mixed feelings at this point. On the one hand, we’re playing with house money considering how the season went and the fact that nobody (outside of Sac, anyway) gave us a chance against the Warriors.

On the other hand, I feel like we lost winnable games to a team we’re entirely capable of beating, so that’s aggravating. It ain’t over yet, but I’d feel much better if we were up 3-2 instead of down 3-2!

RobHessing
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April 27, 2023 12:12 pm
Reply to  outrider

Agreed. Great season, much to be grateful for, but definitely a missed opportunity through five games.

UpgradedToQuestionable
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April 27, 2023 1:11 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

The Kings should be totally outplaying the Champs and it is obviously the Coach Brown (despite the CoTY), Sabonis (despite the All-Star nod, 6th in MVP race and rebounding title/double-double title), Barnes, Heurter, Keegan, the rebounding, the shooting and the referees and a conspiracy by the league and the national media. How they have even lost one game seems wrong. But to lose three games to Kerr, Curry, Thompson, Wiggins, Looney, Gary Payton II, Jordan Poole and worst of all Draymond Green is inexplicable.

House Money? Have you seen the rate of inflation?

Fourteen games to win for the Championship. And put duct tape over that Opera Lady’s pie hole.

And I am just getting started…

RobHessing
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April 27, 2023 1:16 pm

comment image

UpgradedToQuestionable
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April 27, 2023 1:28 pm

Oh, and one more thing…

that commenter who was asking about what to wear to not jinx the Kings for Game 5 –

I know that I was being particularly helpful in recommending sticking with Good Luck Boxers – if you did that, then please, by all means, change your underwear before Game 6.

Mike120
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April 27, 2023 3:06 pm

Not fun being there in person. Once they got behind just couldn’t get back on top. Please no post-mortems until it’s official. It’s been a season of surprises, maybe the Kings have one more in store for us. Stay positive and hope for the best.

Last edited 1 year ago by Mike120
Roaddog
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April 27, 2023 3:27 pm

Am I the only one who yells at the TV when Sabonis brings the ball down to his waist where the smaller players are waiting to swipe at it? Seems to be the same problem Bagley had and it’s maddening

HoustonJP
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April 27, 2023 4:59 pm

I am with BuffaloDiaspora, let’s get to Chase and win on a last second miracle shot, and go to bed preparing for the next day.

alwaysrite23
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April 27, 2023 7:34 pm

Man, I am really hoping for a game 7 in sac. I give Fox credit, he’s shocked me this year and has been a reliable star in this series, going toe-to-toe with the greatest shooter in the history of the league … But Sabonis needs to show me something. I kept thinking during this series — why did Indiana let him go when he’s been such a reliable, all-star machine for us? Maybe they know something we don’t. That when the real season begins in the playoffs, his game struggles mightily w/physicality & athleticism. He’s not the same dominant force. Look at his rebounding numbers alone.

The regular season is built for finesse players. Everybody knows the big knock on the NBA is that there are so many games (for financial reasons) that the players don’t even try that hard for most of the season; or that most games you can start watching in the fourth quarter. But the playoffs is a different beast. Teams actually play d and the refs let things get more physical. I think Fox and Monk can go up against Steph and Klay — but Looney, and Green to an extent, dominating Sabonis was NOT expected. He needs to find a way to have his best game of the season Friday night.

And I agree w/others here that Keegan needs to be used sparingly for offensive bursts, he’s a major liability on D. Kessler could’ve given that second unit some more defensive heft. If Sac loses game six, I think there will be some in the media who will point out how Kerr really outcoached us, bringing the Warriors back from 2-0 hole through adjustments, while Brown just kept preaching the same chorus: Pace, pace, pace. Shoot, shoot, shoot. Don’t turn it over. There have to be more fine tuned adjustments and I’m not seeing them.

rockbottom
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April 28, 2023 7:34 am
Reply to  alwaysrite23

Indiana realized Domas was not Embid and conversely the Kings realized Hali was not Chris Paul . The Kings would be a non playoff team without Domas and Pacers are with Hali . Most people rightly thought that a healthy defending NBA champ might be a bit better . Just sayin !

Want2win
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April 27, 2023 7:45 pm

I don’t begrudge anyone being upset and blaming players etc as that is one prerogative. Heck I’m bummed we are not prepping for the second round

with that said I am just freaking happy to be watching playoff basketball, I went to games 2 and 5…My boys dove up from SLO after classes to see their first Kings Playoff Game and returned to attend class on Thursday so we got that experience together. The warriors would have probably been the 2 or 3 seed if a Wiggins hadn’t been out 2 months. Three of the core players have won 4 rings together . They are a good team and their experience has really been the difference in my opinion . If the kings shoot their season average 3 pt percentage we are singing a completely different tune. Call it nerves or inexperience but it is what it is. need to get the experience sooner or later and we will be there again next year!!

love the Kings and I will be screaming and cheering on Friday and hopefully headed to Golden 1 for game 7 .

Lets Goooooo!!!!!

AmateurNerd
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April 28, 2023 6:47 am

Win or lose in game 6, this has been a great series and a great learning experience for the team. It’s shown what needs to be done to improve and get to the next level (true title contender) next season. The worst thing the team could do is pat itself on the back and start forking out the $$$ to “keep the band together.” That’s what Portland did in the mid-2010s after a surprising playoff run, and it crippled them for years. (Allan Crabbe, anyone?) The Kings have to be able to put emotion aside and do the hard but necessary things, like (possibly) say goodbye to Barnes and invest in an upgrade, and bid Len adieu despite the way he warmed our hearts in games 1 and 2. Hopefully Monte is forward-thinking enough to avoid the same mistake Portland made.

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