Articles | Game Preview

Kings vs Spurs Preview: Stop Pop and Roll

The Kings are looking to push their lead in the Pacific Division and their fourth win in a row but will have to go up against a legendary coach to do it!

The Sacramento Kings have finally hit the road after their three-win, five-game homestand and are currently in San Antonio, taking on a youthful Spurs squad that's lost seven of eight games -  their most recent by 31 points in front of 68,323 people at the Alamodome. Yes, the Spurs are looking to set the future of the franchise right with a chance at Victor Wembanyama, and are doing one heck of a job at developing all that youth in the meantime! Can Domantas Sabonis find a way to redeem himself for the Jeremy Sochan poster? Can I keep from feeling all warm and fuzzy inside when Gregg Popovich inevitably says something surly, but kind about his friendship with Mike Brown? Can the Kings please just end things early and not wait till the fourth to beat a bad team????

Let's talk Kings basketball!

When: Sunday, January 14th, 4:00 PM PT
Where: AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX
TV: NBC Sports California
Radio: Sactown Sports 1140

For Your Consideration

Spurious Behavior: So we can just come out and say it: this Spurs team is bad. They're the third worst rated offense in the league, they're the worst rated defense in the league while giving up the most points in the NBA. Their net rating is thirty outta thirty. They give up to best three point percentage in the NBA, the fourth best two point percentage while also giving up the third most two point attempts. They can be a bit of a layup line, which is great for a Kings squad that is best in the league when it comes to two point percentage, while being only 25th in attempts. To make matters worse for the Spurs, the only player who could do anything against the Kings in the first meeting in November, Devin Vassell, is out for a good long stretch after left knee surgery. He scored 29 points during that first outing and the next highest scorer was Keita Bates-Diop, who dropped 16 points in an 18 point loss, so... yeah the Spurs are in some trouble.

That being said I don't trust them to play down to their numbers tonight, mostly because Gregg Popovich is still alive and coaching that team. I have seen so, so many times in the last 16 years where the Kings had struggled their way into a glimmer of an opportunity to win a game against the Spurs and then Pop calls a time out, says an incantation under his breath and the Kings shoot themselves in the foot to an untimely demise. I won't have it. They're the NBA equivalent to Rasputin, in my eyes. Poison them, shoot them, tie them up and throw them in a freezing river, bury them 12 feet deep, hell, hire Luke Walton as their coach... if Popovich is alive and in the building they're going to be a danger to my sanity and any win streak the Kings may have.

Look for the Spurs to get out and run tonight - they're sixth in the NBA in pace and 13th in fast break points. I should mention their Olympian and best player, Keldon Johnson, is averaging 21.2 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.6 assists but isn't exactly an efficient scorer, at 42.5% from the field and a respectable 34.4% from deep. He's good. He will present a challenge for whichever of our starting 3.5's guards him. Guys like Trey Jones and Jakob Poeltl will make life difficult for Fox and Sabonis as well, it's just, the Spurs are still into the freefalling portion of their rebuild and without their best young prospect, they're thinner than the guy they covet in the upcoming draft. They'll fight, but if they win? This would easily be the worst loss of the year for Sacramento.

Okay, it's a 4 pm game. Happy Sunday everyone! Stay dry and resist the urge to drive in great big puddles.

Prediction

Kings take control early, withstand a third quarter spurt and cruise to a 4th quarter PJ Dozier sighting.

Kings: 137, Spurs: 115

Support Us On Patreon
To prevent spam, our system flags comments that include too many hyperlinks. If you would like to share a comment with multiple links, make sure you email [email protected] for it to be approved.
Subscribe
Notify of
30 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jman1949
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
January 15, 2023 11:47 am

In the Pacific we’re now on top!
No reason our win streak should stop.
Is this real or a dream?
Who cares? Light the beam!
The Spurs—better off if they drop!

RikSmits
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
January 15, 2023 12:28 pm
Reply to  Jman1949

Do you get a heads-up before every preview article or are you sitting the whole day, poised over your laptop and refresh the TKH site every minute?

Kosta
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
January 15, 2023 12:42 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Unlike some people, he doesn’t sleep, Rik! You snooze, you lose.

Please don’t snooze.

RikSmits
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
January 15, 2023 12:48 pm
Reply to  Kosta

Oh, I thought those were only people from New York.

Kosta
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
January 15, 2023 1:00 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Oh.

Or maybe New Amsterdam?

Kingsguru21
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
January 15, 2023 1:16 pm
Reply to  Kosta

Pretty sure the Dutchman is not a Dr.

RikSmits
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
January 15, 2023 1:40 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

i’m as much a Dr. as Julius Erving!

fossilizedflatus
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
January 15, 2023 3:52 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Juris Doctor – Dr., J

Jman1949
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
January 15, 2023 12:46 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

comment image&ct=g

Kosta
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
January 15, 2023 12:38 pm
Reply to  Jman1949

How many games above .500 are the Kings ?

comment image

Last edited 22 days ago by Kosta
TheBaker
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
January 15, 2023 12:47 pm
Reply to  Kosta

Rec’d for a Pop semi-smile

Kosta
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
January 15, 2023 12:58 pm
Reply to  TheBaker

Compared to Keegan, he’s BEAMING 😀

comment image

Klam
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
January 15, 2023 12:52 pm
Reply to  Kosta

Let’s make it six tonight!

RowJimmy
Patreon Supporter
Original Member
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Original Member
Comments
Vote Up
January 15, 2023 1:10 pm
Reply to  Klam

And above.500 on the road

Adamsite
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
January 15, 2023 12:30 pm

I kind of feel bad for Coach Pop. This has to be the worst team he’s ever coached. They have only one true PG on the roster, their “best player” in Keldon Johnson is likely the 3rd to 4th best player on a playoff team, they lost a promising prospect in Primo for his off the court shenanigans, and Poeltl is a UFA this summer and is near 100% gone.

At least they have a cupboard full of future picks, Sochan, Vassell, and Johnson look like nice pieces going forward, and they are a frontrunner for Wemby.

By the way, if the Spurs are selling in the coming weeks. I’d take a flyer on Zach Collins. His deal is partially guaranteed for next season and he could potentially be a good system center behind Sabonis. I’m guessing he wouldn’t cost the Kings much.

By the way, the Spurs (as are the Pacers) are below the league salary floor, which is $111M. They are currently spending around $97M. They don’t necessarily have to spend to the floor, but if they wish to, they may take on salary for future assets. If Poeltl gets moved or likely walks this summer, could they have interest in Holmes?

RikSmits
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
January 15, 2023 12:37 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Not feeling bad. He is the one coach I feel confident about being part of the FO’s tank job. If they get Wemby Pop will go happily for another 5/6 years.

Adamsite
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
January 15, 2023 12:43 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

I don’t know about that. He’s 73 years old and is already the oldest NBA coach EVER. Only 1 other coach (Hubie Brown) has done it into their 70s. Pop turns 74 in 2 weeks.

RikSmits
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
January 15, 2023 12:47 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Well, then I don’t feel sorry for him for not resigning. He has the age, he has done it all, he has nothing left to prove.

But I think he’s like Brady (I love my family a lot, but what the hell should I do at home all the time?)

TheBaker
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
January 15, 2023 12:50 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Something like this. And I think Pop wants the challenge of resetting the franchise and passing off the torch to the next Spurs coach with a ready-made, ready to compete team.

Adamsite
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
January 15, 2023 12:51 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

I guess I just feel bad that arguably the greatest coach of all time may go out with arguably the worst Spurs team of all time.

RikSmits
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
January 15, 2023 1:09 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I guess you didn’t see the teams that netted them one of the greatest front courts in the NBA?
If Pop and Buford didn’t invent tanking they sure as hell perfected it.

Socalpurplecurse
Comments
Comments
January 15, 2023 1:30 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

How much would it take to land Poeltl do you think? They can’t lose him for nothing si I’d imagine he’s on the trading block, would you do it for holmes a future lottery protected 1st and a second? A bit much for such a risk but wouldn’t he put us over the top as a surefire top 4 Wedtern team?

Adamsite
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
January 15, 2023 1:51 pm

I wouldn’t. I don’t feel the Kings need to give away future first round picks for 4 month rental for a backup to their best player. If I were GM I’m only giving up future fursts for long term deals, much like Huerter was.

I could see a contender doing if they think he can be a one off difference maker for a title run. I could see the Celtics sending a pick and salary for him, maybe Nets or Miami?

If Monte thinks someone like Zach Collins can step in behind Sabonis and be a difference maker then I’d offer Holmes and a 2nd for him. The Kings have six 2nd round picks over the next 3 years, so might as well use them for something. Kings get out of Holmes’ deal and potentially get a backup center for this year and next is they so choose.

Jack
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
January 15, 2023 3:31 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Let murraytant know I would do this.

Kingsguru21
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
January 15, 2023 2:31 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

By the way, if the Spurs are selling in the coming weeks. I’d take a flyer on Zach Collins. His deal is partially guaranteed for next season and he could potentially be a good system center behind Sabonis. I’m guessing he wouldn’t cost the Kings much.

I’d be okay with the Kings doing something like this for Holmes and a 2nd. Collins injury history is bad, but that’s why he’s gettable. I totally see McNair trying something like this if he can’t get anything else on the market.

I think there’s a number of deals like this potentially out there for Sac to go after, it’s just a matter if there’s a bigger fish they could go out and get (I wouldn’t bank on it being John Collins in part due to optics and Sac’s understandable reluctance to deal Barnes to Atl).

It’ll be interesting to see which players the Kings end up targeting. They could go a lot of ways this deadline.

Kosta
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
January 15, 2023 12:43 pm

Remember the Alamo!

comment image

Yakshi
Comments
Nostradumbass 21
Vote Up
Comments
Nostradumbass 21
Vote Up
January 15, 2023 1:03 pm

“Stop Pop and Roll” is great.

Mike120
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
January 15, 2023 3:04 pm

I met Popovich in the summer of 2005 or 2006 at Finelli’s Pizza in my childhood home town of Ellsworth Maine. He was wearing black basketball shorts with a Spurs logo. I think he has a summer home in Hancock. Made small talk. Seemed like an OK guy but not overly talkative. Probably just hungry and not that interested in talking to a self described (at the time) Celtics fan.

ZillersCat
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
January 15, 2023 3:18 pm

The Kings are playing the Spurs at the Alamo Dome without a prediction thread. Not worth getting dressed up?
comment image

TheBaker
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
January 15, 2023 3:40 pm
Reply to  ZillersCat

Prediction: Kings Ride off into the San Antionio sunset with a win.

Badge Legend

Patreon Supporter Patreon Supporter   Registered On Day 1 Registered On Day 1   Published Post Published Post  Published Post Nostradumbass
Comment Up Votes 200 Up Votes   Comment Up Votes 500 Up Votes    1,000 Up Votes    3,000+ Up Votes
Comments 50 Comments   Comments 100 Comments    250 Comments    500 Comments    1000+ Comments