fbpx

Kings vs. Suns Preview & Predictions: Can eclipses come twice a week?

The Kings playoff hopes likely hinge on tonight's matchup against the Phoenix Suns.
By | 40 Comments | Apr 12, 2024

Feb 13, 2024; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Sacramento Kings forward Domantas Sabonis (10) drives on Phoenix Suns center Jusuf Nurkic (20) in the second half at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

One night after playing (and losing) to the Pelicans for the fifth time this season, the Kings get yet another opponent for the fifth time in the Phoenix Suns.  Thanks to the quirks of the NBA In-Season Tournament, fate has granted both teams the opportunity to break a tiebreaker with a very important game tonight that means a lot for both team’s playoff chances.

Let’s talk Kings basketball!

When: Friday, April 12th, 7:00 PM PT
Where: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, CA
TV: NBC Sports California, NBA TV
Radio: Sactown Sports 1140

Last Time

The Kings and Suns last met in mid-February in a high scoring affair that saw the Suns victorious, 130-125.  De’Aaron Fox scored 40 points and Domantas Sabonis added a huge 35 point, 18 rebound and 12 assist triple-double but it wasn’t enough to overcome the suns.  Kevin Durant led the way with 28 points while Devin Booker, Eric Gordon and Grayson Allen combined for 67.

Three in the Key

No time for excuses

The Kings head into tonight’s matchup with their playoff hopes on a razor’s edge; They sit tied record-wise with the Warriors and Lakers and a full two games back of the Suns.  Phoenix is coming into tonight with a day of rest while the Kings had to play yesterday.  The Suns are basically healthy while the Kings are without Kevin Huerter and Malik Monk.  But if the Kings want to make the playoffs, they cannot afford to lose tonight.  Losing tonight makes it increasingly likely that the Kings will be in the 9-10 scenario of the Play-In tournament instead of the 7-8 game.  A win would mean that the Kings could still have homecourt against this very same Suns team in the Play-In.  The Kings have nobody to blame but themselves if they miss out on the playoffs.  Not even counting all the blown leads and bad losses earlier this season, the Kings have gone 1-4 in their last five games.  In two of those losses, they held 20+ point leads.  In another, they had three chances at a game-winner that came up short.  All those missed opportunities are coming back to bite the Kings when it matters most, but they still have a chance to control their fate, they just need to buckle down and win.

Deal with the Small Ball

In both of the Suns wins against the Kings this year, they’ve done much better when they’ve switched over to small ball.  That was what spurred the huge 22 point 4th quarter comeback and also their narrow victory in the last game.  The Kings can’t afford to let that happen again.  Hopefully there’s enough film from those two games that the Kings can throw some new stuff at Phoenix.  The addition of Keon Ellis into the rotation is another wrinkle that the Suns won’t be used to and should hopefully help the Kings match up better when Phoenix goes small.

Keep Calm and Carry On

The Kings have been letting the officiating get to their heads a bit lately.  De’Aaron Fox has received technicals in two straight games now for arguing about non-calls.  It is frustrating to attack the basket, get hit and have nothing whistled while the other team gets to the line for similar contact.  The Suns are one of the best teams in the league at getting to the line, mainly due to the efforts of Kevin Durant and Devin Booker.  The Kings can’t let their frustration with the officials get into their head. Just play your game, stay physical and keep attacking.  These games are too important.

Prediction

The Kings break through and finally win a close back and forth game and even hit their free throws down the stretch.

Kings 119, Suns 115

Standings Watch

No game is more important than their own for the Kings but there are other important ones.

The Lakers are on the road to take on the Grizzlies while the Pelicans are in San Francisco to take on the Warriors.  Kings fans are rooting for Memphis and New Orleans tonight.

The scenarios are pretty simple now with just two games left.  The Kings have the tiebreakers over both the Lakers and Warriors, so both those teams need to finish with a better record than the Kings. If the Kings win both of their remaining games, they’re automatically ahead of them and at least in the 7-8 spot.  If the Kings win both their games and the Suns lose their final game in Minnesota, the Kings will have the 7th spot by virtue of the 3-2 season series.  If the Kings lose any game, the best they can do is 8th.

After tonight the Lakers play the Pelicans in New Orleans on Sunday while the Warriors host the Jazz and the Kings host the Trail Blazers.

Fan Predictions

Link to Leaderboard (Updated 2/21/24)

Patreon Membership
* indicates required


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
40 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
April 12, 2024 10:05 am

Sure wish things were looking brighter;
But a win ‘gainst the Suns, makes things tighter.
Keep Booker surrounded,
KD and Beal grounded.
Don’t go down without being fighters!

Jman1949
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
April 12, 2024 10:06 am
Reply to  Jman1949

+1 The Kings falling gives me “High Anxiety”!

comment image&ct=g

eddie41
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
April 12, 2024 10:24 am

thanks for the SEGABABA. Yay.

odds favor Phoenix, but the Kings have a shot. Might need Kessler’s fresh legs to help guard those Suns wings.

Jman1949
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
April 12, 2024 10:47 am
Reply to  eddie41

Kessler did a more than credible job on Booker in the past. I don’t see why he couldn’t do so again.

Klam
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
April 12, 2024 10:37 am

Not feeling good about tonight. Back-to-back, third game in four nights, and starters played a lot last night. Hope they prove me wrong, but not expecting anything much.

RikSmits
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
April 12, 2024 11:27 am
Reply to  Klam

Sacramento Kings fandom: prepare for the worst, and still expect to be let down…

BigDrewbot
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
April 12, 2024 4:23 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

prepare for the worst…experience the worst. The Kings way

BigDrewbot
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
April 12, 2024 4:28 pm
Reply to  BigDrewbot

which i guess means, in a way, that we aren’t let down since reality met expectations! no wonder the past years on TKH and that other place before TKH were so fun

andy_sims
Vote Up
Comments
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Vote Up
Comments
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
April 12, 2024 10:43 am

Doesn’t matter, the postseason will be more special after the Kings fight their way out of the ten-seed all the way to the WCF.

Hd13
April 12, 2024 11:08 am

Most likely we lose today and beat Portland. Then what’s the play in look like?

RikSmits
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
April 12, 2024 11:29 am
Reply to  Hd13

Nah, we win today and lose to Portland. It’s that kind of season.

AnybodyButBagley
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
April 12, 2024 11:37 am
Reply to  RikSmits

I was surprised they didn’t win last night and then lose these two.

Hd13
April 12, 2024 11:40 am

I like your name. That 2018 draft was crazy. Didn’t realize that before

AnybodyButBagley
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
April 12, 2024 2:21 pm
Reply to  Hd13

The peak of the organization.

BeTheBall
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
April 12, 2024 2:49 pm

And of the disorganization.

TerzoM
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
April 12, 2024 2:54 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

I’ll take 45 win season anytime over these 3 amigos combination
comment image

AnybodyButBagley
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
April 12, 2024 4:21 pm
Reply to  TerzoM

They held the standard…never forget that there were concerns that Luka’s father was possibly a prick.

I am glad they didn’t allow him the opportunity to corrupt the team.

Last edited 3 months ago by AnybodyButBagley
ForKingsandCountry
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
April 12, 2024 5:58 pm
Reply to  Hd13

Still the most insane decision a team has made in the draft in quite some time. They could have picked literally any of the other top-5 and been good to go. But they… didn’t… I had Bagley 7th or 8th on my personal board and said I thought he had the highest bust potential of any of the top guys. It was just so obvious at the time and yet Vlade knew better.

Adamsite
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
April 12, 2024 1:08 pm
Reply to  Hd13

Read the “Standings Watch” in the game preview.

Hippity_Hop_Barbershop
Original Member
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Original Member
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
April 12, 2024 1:42 pm

We need this. I need this. CWebb needs this. Eclipse the Suns

TerzoM
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
April 12, 2024 2:34 pm

comment image

Dan Houlder
Dan Houlder
April 12, 2024 3:03 pm
Reply to  TerzoM

comment image

lazlohollyfeld
April 12, 2024 3:29 pm

Is it correct if the Kings don’t make the formal playoff, they fall into the lottery and Atlanta doesn’t get the pick? If that’s the case, aren’t the Kings better off keeping/trading that pick rather than a quick playoff exit?

Adamsite
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
April 12, 2024 3:36 pm
Reply to  lazlohollyfeld

No, because the pick obligation then moves to next year and beyond and ties up Monte hands in dealing future assets to improve the roster.

Basically this year’s late lottery pick has little value and likely won’t land an impact player for the Kings. If, however, the pick is conveyed, the Kings then get ALL of their future pick obligations removed and Monte goes into summer with a full war chest.

Also, ATL is probably thrilled with the idea that the Kings may not make the playoffs. They’d likely prefer to get that pick next year, in a better draft, as it’s only protected 1-10.

lazlohollyfeld
April 12, 2024 3:42 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I thought that might be the case. I thought at some point it conveyed to two second-rounders. I was being somewhat sarcastic simply because not long ago we were!t thinking much below the sixth spot, and certainly weren’t paying much attention to the Lakers and Warriors catching up. Unfortunate late-season injuries and a pretty brutal and tiring final schedule hasn’t helped. I think it’s tough to adjust losing Kevin and Malik fairly late and not having a deep enough bench to overcome it.

Adamsite
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
April 12, 2024 3:49 pm
Reply to  lazlohollyfeld

Yeah, it does convert into two seconds in 2026. Who knows, maybe Monte can work out some deal to get ATL to take the pick. There is something to be said about “bird in hand.” The Kings may go into a tail spin and it may never convey. ATL may really like someone at #13/14 and want it this year.

I’m of the mindset that I want the pick to convey sooner rather than later.

Mike120
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
April 12, 2024 5:04 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Does no one want Zach Edey? Don’t understand why he’s not higher on draft boards. Two time player of the year. 7’4”.

Jman1949
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
April 12, 2024 5:13 pm
Reply to  Mike120

From what I’ve read, the common opinion is that he is not skilled or athletic enough to be a “modern” center. He can’t shoot beyond 6 ft. away from the basket and doesn’t have the foot speed to defend outside the paint.

Ellis5
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
April 12, 2024 6:50 pm
Reply to  Jman1949

Just like Wemby and Chad you will have to hire an Allstar center to play next to them.

ForKingsandCountry
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
April 12, 2024 6:00 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

The pick never conveying would be peak Kings LOL. If they lose Monk in the offseason without adding another creator I think that outcome becomes much more plausible.

kings4ever
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
April 12, 2024 5:12 pm
Reply to  lazlohollyfeld

Oh noes, we lost Kevin. What a laugh. What a farce. Losing Kevin was a blessing, facilitating what the coach was too chicken to do to get him out of the rotation or at least the starting lineup. Dude was a broken player missing badly on wide open looks worse than Marvin at his worst.

Kevin would come off DHOs taking 10 seconds off the shot clock and still unable to get a clean look. Keon by contrast gets clean looks barely trying. Keon messes around and gets a clean look.

Huerter tries with every pore and fiber in his being to get open and gets nowhere.

The team is better for his absence. God willing, he will never play another game for us. Get a drink or two in the head coach in private he will say the same thing.

Do I need to reiterate and for the upteenth time we would have faced LAL in Round 2 last year, and had a good chance to beat them, then face DEN, last year, if Huerter was not pure trash? In our 4 losses vs GSW Huerter was 3 for 17 from deep for 18%. He was 2 for 14 in Games 1 and 2 , games we won. He was a cerfitiable joke and choke artist.

I had hopes this season would be a redemption tour and a player on a redemption arc. Instead he regressed to a new low, the white Buddy.

Regretting the loss of Huerter, who initially was a pretty good to very good player, about a month before the playoffs would be akin to regretting the loss of Buddy Yield, a net negative in almost identical way, unable to keep his man in front of him and unable to make shots when it counts, and otherwise.

The only thing Huerter has over Buddy is he has not bad mouthed the organization, though he apparently did his fair share of griping over the threat of losing his job, the self-entitled one who draws a charge as often as an eclipse.

Already mentally gone, Buddy was 54% TS% in 55 games and 11.5 PER in the season we traded him (2021-22) for Domas. Huerter was 56% TS% and 12.4 PER in 64 games this year. These numbers differ a little in favor of the Red Diva but I contend their relative performances are NO different given Huerter played with two All-Stars and Buddy played with none, unless you want to contend Fox was an All-Star before being officially named, more or less.

If Buddy was undeniably expendable Huerter is undeniably in the same category. We don’t have time for a player to get their head right, to work through their confidence issues. If a player needs a psychologist and a Tony Robbins conference, the writing is on the wall.

Is it possible Huerter returns next year shoulder healed, lean and mean and over 40 percent from deep and making shots in the midrange when forced off the line. This bet is NO better than Keon doing the same with much better defense. And Keon has no mental hang-ups or playoff PTSD at 10X less the number of NBA minutes played: 992 minute versus over 11,000 minutes.

We need a Sucker to Take Huerter. Work your magic, McGenius.

BeTheBall
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
April 12, 2024 3:47 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

If we end up with the pick, I say screw it and just draft Bronny. It’s a terrible draft anyhow, might as well have some fun with it. Who knows, maybe he can add to Stockton’s bench depth next season.

Adamsite
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
April 12, 2024 3:55 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

LOL. I read somewhere that Bronny hasn’t fully declared for the draft and may pull out last second. He also entered the transfer portal to leave USC, so it’s anyone’s guess.

My gut says he works out some wink wink deal with the Lakers to get a two-way deal to play with dad, all the while telling other teams not to draft him (much like Reeves). I’d be totally shocked if someone took the gamble of him as a first rounder.

andy_sims
Vote Up
Comments
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Vote Up
Comments
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
April 12, 2024 4:59 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I don’t think he’s an NBA player, but he’ll get a cup of coffee for being born well. Spending a first-round pick on him would be malfeasance by any GM.

rockbottom
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
April 12, 2024 7:24 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Not even a good college player now . Undraftable based on talent .

eddie41
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
April 12, 2024 4:37 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

It would have value. The draft might lack elite players at the top, but there seem to be plenty of good prospects.

Adamsite
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
April 12, 2024 4:55 pm
Reply to  eddie41

First, I’d put money on the #13/14 pick in this draft not having any impact on the Kings rotation. They’d be getting someone eating into the minutes of a guy like Sasha or Davion.

Second, Put that late lottery pick in a trade with any of Barnes, Huerter, Lyles, and/or whoever not named Fox, Sabonis, or Keegan and you are getting lateral movement. It’s a guaranteed contact viewed as filler, and that’s about it.

ForKingsandCountry
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
April 12, 2024 6:11 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

In this draft I might actually put the odds higher of picks 10-14 making an impact sooner rather than later than picks 1-10. The problem with this draft isn’t that there aren’t any rotation players, it’s that there aren’t any franchise changing players. It’s why’d I’d almost rather just draft someone and hope you find a diamond in the rough like Hali because you’re not getting anything with that pick in a trade.

Mike120
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
April 12, 2024 5:00 pm

Recent “playoff level” games the Kings booted: Mavs twice, NY, BOS, OKC, and Pelicans. Win 2 of those 6 and we’re talking about the 6 seed, 7th as fall back. At this point 7th would be great, 8th acceptable.

Tankathon
Comments
Comments
April 12, 2024 7:36 pm

I hope we somehow avoid a play in against the Warriors. I will be unwell if we lose to the Warriors two years in a row

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