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.
Kings take control early, withstand a third quarter spurt and cruise to a 4th quarter PJ Dozier sighting.
Kings: 137, Spurs: 115