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Dallas 107, Sacramento 103: Kings drop critical game in come-from-ahead loss to Mavs

Sacramento led from the opening tip until the midpoint of the fourth quarter, but it was the Mavericks who came out on top - and likely secured the sixth seed in the process.
By | 124 Comments | Mar 29, 2024

Mar 29, 2024; Sacramento, California, USA; Dallas Mavericks center Dereck Lively II (2) hangs on the rim after dunking the ball in front of Sacramento Kings forward Domantas Sabonis (10) in the second quarter at the Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

SACRAMENTO — The energy in the building was noticeably different from the jump Friday night as the Kings and Mavericks tangled for the second time in three days. Unfortunately, the result was the same, as the Kings once again fell at home to the Mavericks, this time by a score of 107-103.

Though the first half of Tuesday’s blowout loss was close, it never felt like the Kings were in sync on either end of the floor, something that was vastly different in round two.

I thought our guys fought throughout most of the game,” Mike Brown said. “They fought really hard to get this win. We had guys step up no matter who we threw into the game.”

Spurred on by hot starts from Harrison Barnes (11 first quarter points on 5-6 shooting) and Keon Ellis (a trio of treys in the first 12 minutes), Sacramento jumped out to a 34-26 lead. But it wasn’t just the offense that looked different; Mike Brown employed a defensive strategy that moved Domantas Sabonis to the top of the zone where he could double the ball, primarily when it was in the hands of Luka Doncic.

At the end of the day, we weren’t going to allow Kyrie or Luka to beat us,” Brown said. “They’re two Hall of Fame players and they showed up tonight. They were over 50% (from the floor) and had 20 free throws between them. You don’t want those two guys to beat you, but they have a great feel.”

While the Kings were very clearly a tired team Tuesday, it was the Mavs that looked worse for the wear early in Friday’s rematch. The Kings certainly stepped up the defensive pressure, but Dallas missed quite a few open looks as well, leading to Sacramento’s early advantage. Amongst the positives in the first quarter there was a glaring negative, as Malik Monk exited the game with a right knee injury after Doncic fell on his leg. He would not return.

With their normal spark off the bench sidelined, Sacramento, already short on wing depth, turned to Davion Mitchell. Mitchell was aggressive from the get, hunting his shot while also playing the excellent defense that had gotten him back into the rotation. Barnes also continued to step up, following his first quarter output with six more in the second on a pair of three-point plays. That was about the time De’Aaron Fox decided to heat up as well, scoring five straight points as part of a ten point second frame.

Meanwhile, Doncic was getting frustrated by the Kings’ double teams and the lingering knee injury that was clearly bothering him once again. Limping around, he relied on hard drives to the basket, where he was able to consistently get a friendly whistle from the officials on his way to 13 first half points (3-7 from the field, 5-8 from the line). Despite Doncic’s offensive forcing of the issue, Sacramento carried a 60-51 advantage into the break.

The second half started auspiciously for Dallas with Daniel Gafford earning those in attendance free Crumbl Cookies thanks to a pair of missed free throws. But a Fox three would be Sacramento’s only points for the first four and a half minutes, as the Mavericks went on a 6-0 run that was finally ended by a Sabonis free throw.

But the Kings hung tough and played through questionable officiating, continuing to play tough, physical basketball on both ends of the floor, even as it felt they were the only ones being whistled for fouls on aggressive drives to the hoop.

To lose the free throw battle 33-12, I just don’t understand it,” Brown said. “As a coach all you want is consistency, and 33-12 isn’t consistency. It’s tough.”

Kessler Edwards and Mitchell made big plays in the third, highlighted by Mitchell’s contested layup right at Kyrie Irving after a turnover and a pair of Edwards triples. Sabonis stepped up big in the period as well, despite dealing with an officiating crew that wasn’t giving him much of anything. He scored five points to go along with three rebounds and two assists in the quarter, but picked up his fourth foul with three minutes remaining in the period. Those stats secured his 56th consecutive double-double and 69th of the season. Sacramento held Doncic to just six points in the frame, four of which came from the free throw line, and took a 82-73 lead into the final quarter.

Golden1 came alive as the fourth quarter began, and Fox responded with a floater out of the break. An Edwards three pushed the lead to 10 with jut under ten minutes to play, and after Doncic responded from deep, Ellis connected on his fourth three on the game to regain the double-digit advantage. A 7-0 Mavericks’ run got Dallas to within three, and forced a Mike Brown timeout with 7:38 to play.

A Dante Exum three tied the game at 92 with 6:25 to play, and a very soft foul call against Ellis on an Irving three point attempt led to the Mavs first lead of the game after Kyrie connected on two of his three attempts. Needing a big play, it was once again Barnes that delivered, driving hard to the rack against Doncic for his third three point play of the night to put his team back on top.

Irving answered back on a midrange jumper one possession later, only to see the Kings go back on top behind Keegan Murray’s second three of the night. But the Mavs responded with a 5-0 run, only to see Sacramento return the favor to tie the game at 101 with 3:12 to play.

Irving and Fox traded buckets on ensuing possessions, and the teams traded misses each of their next two trips down. Dallas took a timeout with 1:12 to play and the game knotted at 103, and after the teams traded misses on each of their next two possessions, Dante Exum connected on a three in front of the Kings’ bench that gave his team a lead they would not relinquish. Sacramento did get Barnes’ an open look at the top of the key, but he could not connect, and though Sacramento secured the offensive rebound, they turned it over on a miscommunication between Barnes and Fox that led to a backcourt violation.

“Down the stretch we just didn’t make shots,” Fox said. “HB [Barnes] got an open shot at the top of the key, the way he was playing on offense tonight, that’s a shot you live with. It just didn’t go in.”

You can talk about the fouls: Dallas shot 33 free throws (including 14 by Doncic) to Sacramento’s 12, and it certainly played a factor. But the Kings were fully in control of this game until they weren’t, and had every opportunity down the stretch to make game-winning plays but could not deliver.

With just nine games remaining in the season, the all important sixth seed is now Dallas’ for the taking. Sacramento seems poised for the play-in unless they can make a run over the next nine games and get a little help along the way. Harrison Barnes spoke to the disappointment of not being able to take advantage of Friday’s strong start postgame.

Any time you have a loss, and you had opportunities to extend the lead, it’s tough,” Barnes said.

You can’t give up 34 points in the fourth quarter,” Fox said. “I think we had command of the game most of the game but losing the fourth quarter by 13 isn’t going to win you a lot of games.”

Brown was more gracious, crediting the offensive prowess of the Mavericks more than blaming his defense.

“We’re trying not to let Kyrie beat us, we were trying not to let Luka beat us, but they never panicked,” Brown said. “They just swung the ball to the next man and got wide open shots. The way they played down the stretch, I applaud them. It was a veteran team executing and taking what the defense gave them.

“We did a lot of really good things, but they put on an offensive clinic in that fourth quarter when it came to taking the right shot.”

Fox led the Kings with 23 points, with Barnes adding 20 and Ellis 16. Sabonis finished with a triple double of 13/12/10 in the loss, and Edwards (9), and Mitchell (8) filled in for Monk nicely off the bench.

Dallas was led by Irving’s 30 and Doncic’s 26, though the latter was just 6-14 from the field.

With the future of Malik Monk in doubt, and Kevin Huerter announced as out for the season, Sacramento will have a next man up philosophy for the stretch run. That was echoed by the players and coach after the game.

It’s definitely big obviously, what he does for us, playmaking scoring, coming off the bench – that’s a big blow,” Fox said. “We have nine games left, there’s no looking in the rear window now.”

It’s unfortunate.” Barnes said. “Obviously still trying to figure out the severity of it, but that’s part of the business. Last year we were extremely healthy, but this year we’ve been a little injury plagued. Next man up mentality.”

We just got to have the next man step up,” Brown said. “Nobody is going to fill Malik’s shoes so we just have to do it by committee.”

After back to back losses, the Kings will look to rise back up into the win column against the Jazz Sunday night.

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Ellis5
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March 29, 2024 10:12 pm

 - Find & Share on GIPHY

HandOfTheKings
March 29, 2024 10:16 pm

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BeTheBall
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March 29, 2024 10:16 pm

We could very easily land a 6 game losing streak and keep our draft pick. Jazz are due for a win, we have no sense of urgency, desire, or fight. After that it’s Clippers, Knicks, Celtics.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
March 30, 2024 8:17 am
Reply to  BeTheBall

Nah, the Kangz will win just enough games and loose in the play-in to get the last spot in the lottery and not convey the pick to ATL. It’s fate.

RikSmits
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March 29, 2024 10:21 pm

We can use all the excuses that we want, but we got into the 4th with a sizable lead and threw it away, literally.

Bad coaching and rotations (where was Davion in the 4th), horrible defensive rotations (how many wide open practice 3’s you gonna give Exum before burrying the dagger), Fox taking bad 3s, Sabonis not hitting the middy, Keegan with lukewarm aggression.

The season isn’t over yet but it’s a steep hill to climb.

RikSmits
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March 29, 2024 10:24 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

And not constantly hunting Luka on D. He was clearly not 100% and we did not make him work.

Instead we put that dumbass Vlade courtside to fuell him. WTF?

On our side, we kept switching defensively and give Dallas the mismatches they wanted. Stupid.

Last edited 3 months ago by RikSmits
Mike120
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March 29, 2024 11:10 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

I was so pissed seeing Vlade’s fuckface lumbering off the floor tonight after that win. Where is the frigging self awareness on the part of Vivek or Vlade? “Don’t want to take the ball out of Fox’s hands”. Stupid, stupid talent evaluator.

Adamsite
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March 30, 2024 8:12 am
Reply to  Mike120

You’re first mistake is assuming the dismissive little chap is self aware. I mean, the dude gave his daughter a G-League team as a play toy.

Jack
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March 30, 2024 7:29 am
Reply to  RikSmits

I need to apoligize. The wounded fat guy came out to play. We have nobody to equalize him. Bagley before Doncic was one of the worst picks in the history of basketball. Doncic and Irving came out to play. Even Lively with 1 point less than Sabonis played him really well. I thought Sabonis, although he had a triple, looked like last years playoff. Missed layups, free throws and turnovers were the same as last year. Barnes had 20 at half but nothing in the second half. Murray our third go to p;ayer had 12 although he played really good defense.Ellis keeps amazing me. The old saying was there but “When the going gets tough the Mavericks get going ” We just don’t have it this year. All those loses to under 500 teams did us in this year. I still love the Kings but really feel for the fans. The Kings have no excuse but to look in the mirror. Monty needs to hopefully find some things out for next year and so does Brown and the other coaches. Can’t stand pat or we might not do anything for another 16 years. I’m 80 and will be far and away dead by then.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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March 30, 2024 8:00 am
Reply to  Jack

The obvious talent gap between Luka and Bagley aside, Luka has played in 138 more games than our former #2 pick. That’s nearly 2 seasons of basketball in 6 years!

AnybodyButBagley
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March 30, 2024 7:13 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

The less Bagley plays the better off he is. He has made a career hiding behind his “potential”.

Amonk81
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March 29, 2024 10:56 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

It’s the exact same shit as last year-playoffs. 1/2 court O has not changed. D/focus is questionable at end of games/when needed.

Barnes misses big shots, like last year. Sabonis can’t be counted on in 1/2 court -when needed-worse -turns it over.

Murray, Monk and Fox can be counting on under pressure. At least.

But this season-since trade deadline lack of movement t-has felt like a death March to a playoff loss. A waste of a year perhaps?

BeTheBall
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March 29, 2024 11:01 pm
Reply to  Amonk81

We will eventually need an upgrade in the coaching department. The same way the Warriors did.

Last edited 3 months ago by BeTheBall
Amonk81
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March 29, 2024 11:08 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

I really hope not, but at the least it looks like Brown has his way- but doesn’t have the right personnel for his system.

Brown needs to bend and shape what he has around his players. Instead of waiting for the right players. . I don’t know/think he will.

BeTheBall
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March 30, 2024 12:56 am
Reply to  Amonk81

I’m really not sure if he’s capable of that, based on his track record.

Ralph_Furleys_Tailor
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March 30, 2024 12:50 am
Reply to  RikSmits

I think everyone is burying the lead. There was no miscommunication Harrison knew that down 3 under 10 the ball goes through the superstar. Fox wasn’t even looking to be passed to DOWN 3 UNDER 10!

Be entertained by this team…you can even date this team, but please don’t fall in love with this team.

TheBaker
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March 30, 2024 4:31 am

but please don’t fall in love with this team.

I’m an adult and I can fan around with whomever I want to. With draft protections, of course.

Last edited 3 months ago by TheBaker
rockbottom
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March 30, 2024 5:29 am

I like and enjoy this team . It’s a winning and unselfish team that is one of the best in the last 40 years . I like many never expected a championship contender . Talent base below several West teams and talent usually wins ( like last nite ).

Ralph_Furleys_Tailor
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March 30, 2024 5:48 am
Reply to  rockbottom

Perfectly stated.

eddie41
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March 30, 2024 9:21 am
Reply to  RikSmits

I agree with most of this first comment of yours.

sort of choke job in the 4th. HB played well most of the game but had the jitters in the 4th. Fox is still “our guy” but didn’t act like it. Missing Monk’s attitude.

With Monk injured, and not having his pick and roll game, I think the coaches need to step up and draw up some plays. I still think they should run shooters (especially Keegan) around Domas in more ways. like Peja and Vlade did. That might elevate Keegan to the #2 option on offense … and generate some easy layups by cutters.

AnybodyButBagley
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March 30, 2024 7:16 pm
Reply to  eddie41

Peja and Vlade had Webber and Bibby.

…and ancient history doesn’t equal wins.

NowLoveThemOnceAgain
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March 30, 2024 8:34 pm
Reply to  eddie41

Keegan really had his hands full on defense.

Mike120
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March 29, 2024 10:22 pm

I see us facing Lebron then Curry for the play in. Or the red hot Rockets. Question, if we lose the play-in do we keep our pick? And if we somehow end up with the same record as the Mavs how will the tiebreaker work with us bein tied head to head?

RikSmits
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March 29, 2024 10:27 pm
Reply to  Mike120

The placing in the respective divisions is the next tiebreaker. See the convo in the pregame thread.

Klam
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Nostradumbass 18
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March 29, 2024 10:29 pm
Reply to  Mike120

If we get bounced in the play-in game(s), we keep our pick because we’ll be a lottery team.

The 6th seed is pretty much a near impossibility at this point. I do not like our chances of having to play Durant, LeBron, Curry, or the Rockets who have killed us this year in a do-or-die game….if we make it into the play-in.

BeTheBall
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March 29, 2024 10:35 pm
Reply to  Klam

The play-in is definitely at risk at this point. Utah is due for a win, which is exactly the type of game that is a scheduled loss for the Kings. They’re going to sleepwalk through that game, as they did through Tuesday and the last 5 minutes of tonight.

Klam
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March 29, 2024 11:16 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

Yeah, and with the remaining teams we have to play, it’s going to be brutal. Doesn’t help that the Lakers, Warriors, and Rockets have been on a role lately.

Klam
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March 29, 2024 10:33 pm

I know there’s no official word yet, but this doesn’t sound good for Monk.

BeTheBall
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March 29, 2024 10:37 pm
Reply to  Klam

Feel bad for him, he had a legit shot at 6th man, but if his season is done, his shot at the award is also probably done.

UpgradedToQuestionable
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March 29, 2024 10:43 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

Dunno. He’s got 72 games in this season.

BeTheBall
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March 29, 2024 10:51 pm

But wasn’t a clearcut frontrunner. Now a guy like Naz on a top team can roll past him.

Dan Houlder
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March 30, 2024 1:12 am
Reply to  BeTheBall

He was a huge frontrunner. If he doesn’t play another game, he will win it easily.

Klam
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March 29, 2024 11:18 pm
Reply to  Klam

Ugh.

Klam
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March 29, 2024 11:29 pm
Reply to  Klam

TheBaker
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March 30, 2024 4:37 am
Reply to  Klam

Bad grades have a way of sinking us all.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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March 30, 2024 8:13 am
Reply to  Klam

comment image

AnybodyButBagley
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March 30, 2024 1:02 am
Reply to  Klam

He is done no matter what any doctor tells him.

His agent is telling him about free agency.

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March 29, 2024 10:41 pm

Every time the Kings pulled away, Luka amd Kyrie and Free Throws kept them close.

On the plus, Kessler Edwards, Keon Ellis and Davion Mitchell provided offense that they usually do not. Would Monk have made a difference? Hard to say. Lyles? How?

The Kings seemed overly dependent on Fox and Dallas doubled him as much as they could and that stifled the Kings. When Fox missed, that seemed to just take the wind out of their sails, and not getting stops (some amazing passing by Mavs to find the open man, “spray” was what won them the game, IMO. Exum was open 3 times and that was one time too many and then time and momentum carried it to completion.

Next.

HongKongKingsFan
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March 29, 2024 11:02 pm

Other than Fox bad performance, Keegan is taking some tough shots / low percentage shot….

I can see the efforts in this game early, but the players need to make shots

Amonk81
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March 29, 2024 11:05 pm

I didn’t mind Keegs shots. Aggression. Plus he hit at least one big shot. He can make shots under pressure. D was good.

I think Keegan is a little bit like monk in that he is more focused when there’s more on the line. Both those guys have a tendency to drift mentally otherwise.

VAking
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March 30, 2024 5:21 am
Reply to  Amonk81

I don’t understand why every dho/screen for Keegan is at the 3pt line.

Jack
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March 30, 2024 7:38 am
Reply to  VAking

I again don’t see why Keegan doesn’t get more touches especially in the fourth quarter.

Hobby916
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March 30, 2024 7:49 am
Reply to  Jack

Especially with Monk hurt. Looked like the shots went to Barnes instead. I don’t really care who gets the shots, so long as they are good shots.

Amonk81
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March 30, 2024 11:17 am
Reply to  VAking

Because this offense is no offense. It’s just- get by your guy and dish it out or shoot. It’s -whoever wants to can take the ball. Everyone else kinda stands there or at the 3.

No cutting. No plays. Browns O is just 1-1 bullshit in 1/2 court.

Mike120
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March 30, 2024 9:01 pm
Reply to  Amonk81

I have been looking for back door cuts for many games and just don’t see them at all.

oshima9
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March 29, 2024 11:25 pm

Losses to Wizards, Pistons, Blazers, Hornets and Hawks have come home to bite this team.

rockbottom
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March 29, 2024 11:43 pm
Reply to  oshima9

Great point. With an 82 game schedule losing 2 of those could be rationalized as Celts, Denver . T~Wolves at least that but 5 – No . 45 wins now would feel very solid but you get what’s earned .

Mike120
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March 30, 2024 2:15 am
Reply to  oshima9

Don’t forget Dame’s buzzer beater and the loss to PHX after leading by 22 with a bit over 8 minutes to go.

VAking
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March 30, 2024 5:20 am
Reply to  oshima9

Don’t forget the bulls. Up 20 at home, I think.

Jack
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March 30, 2024 7:40 am
Reply to  oshima9

You hit the nail on the head. Look where we would be if we won half those games.

DNP-CD
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March 30, 2024 8:55 am
Reply to  oshima9

Kudos for this. I’ve been preaching it all year long. If this team can’t learn to play with 100% effort it will ever change.

rockbottom
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March 29, 2024 11:34 pm

Mavs have better stars and a deeper bench . Good effort but execution in crunch time very poor as usual .

Jack
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March 30, 2024 7:43 am
Reply to  rockbottom

Most experts said no but Washington and Grimes have helped the Mavs. Look at last night. Yes they have a better bench.

Amonk81
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March 30, 2024 11:25 am
Reply to  Jack

Why Monte did nothing is beyond me. Idiotic in fact. Now pick May not be conveyed and you won’t get a chance to play some
playoff games to get experience and better.

All because you don’t want to risk the future? Not smart at all.

Monte just prevented the team from improving

Im not sure about the foundation of this team at all now

ForKingsandCountry
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March 29, 2024 11:58 pm

Welp, good time to start checking tankathon because this team is cooked. Best hope is a miracle in the draft. I’m not optimistic because this is the worst draft in a long time but you never know.

kingarthur916world
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March 30, 2024 12:08 am

This draft still got talent ! Some guys in our range I will recommend checking out

Power forward

Ulrich Chomche( might be top 10 around draft season )

Tyler smith g league

BoBi Klintman Nbl

small forward

Dillon jones

Tidjane Salaun( might be top 10 )

maybe Justin Edward’s

Ellis5
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March 30, 2024 12:43 am

Did ForKingsandCountry just make a second account?

Last edited 3 months ago by Ellis5
kingarthur916world
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March 30, 2024 12:00 am

I don’t know who told fox to go away from what made him great from last year but stupid off season decision.

keegan should have focused on developing into a klay Thompson .

sabonis should have focused on the corner 3 not the top of the key 3 .

Barnes should have come off the bench and taking advantage of mismatches in the post and as a driver.

Fox trade value is down .no allstar or all nba title this year .

sabonis trade value is down, can’t get a hali type of player for him .

Mike brown is getting fired .

our GM keeping drafting or trading for guys under 6’6

Go for a rebuild .The talent coming into the NBA is crazy right now .The kings are missing out on it trying to build a team that is basically impossible around 2 guys that need players that will never become available these days.

build around keegan let him play the 2 . Be a a mismatch big guard in the post and shooting over smaller guards . When it’s his team he won’t be afraid to take over games .

rockbottom
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March 30, 2024 5:35 am

Great to learn all of the answers . Call McNair and Brown and volunteer to save the franchise .

BuffaloDiaspora
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March 30, 2024 12:14 am

They’ll probably finish in the 7 or 8 seed and make the playoffs, maybe even win a series but the injuries to rotation players are a hard mean reversion from last year – Trey, Huerter, Monk, Sasha – it all kind of sucks. Not like Joel Embiid getting hurt sucks for the Sixers, but still not great.

After years of Kangzy shit, whatever – these guys are fine. I like watching them and if they stat healthy i actually think they can pull a weird title run, particularly if Keegan can pull his disparate game together and Fox gets hot in April.

kingarthur916world
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March 30, 2024 12:28 am

Title run is crazy . Kings legit get bullied every time a team play physical

RikSmits
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March 30, 2024 12:43 am

Many Kings fans got annoyed when people last year argued the Kings were 3rd in a large part because they were uncommonly healthy. I think the argument was that it’s not our fault that other teams were old and injury prone.

We can’t have it both ways.

Every team deals with injuries. Good teams overcome them, lesser teams use it as excuse.

Our depth will be tested now. That’s not a reassuring thought.

Ellis5
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March 30, 2024 12:54 am
Reply to  RikSmits

I’m reassured that 10 years from now the big market teams will have the big market players…. They will pay twice as much as the small market teams and the small market teams will be payed to lose.

SelecaoKOJ
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March 30, 2024 7:48 am

A title run. You’re drunk. And deluded.

AnybodyButBagley
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March 30, 2024 1:00 am

Somewhere out there Luke is watching tape of this again…

All the same…Fox not leading and no concept of team defense.

Iyuman
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March 30, 2024 2:17 am

Double to get it to Exum the first time? Miss.

Double to get it to Exum a second time? Miss.

Double to get it to Exum a third fucking time?
No way he misses again lmao.

Russ916
March 30, 2024 3:00 am

If there will no drastic roster changes come next season, then the Kings will be lucky to even contend for 10th seed next year.

Barnes & Huerter have to go I wonder if Atlanta will take those two for De’Andre Hunter & Saddiq Bey and one 1st and one 2nd from us.

Last edited 3 months ago by Russ916
rockbottom
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March 30, 2024 5:43 am
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Roster talent base must be improved . Need better starting talent at 2 and 4 spots . Team has enough 10 men . Hopefully, Monte can move Huerter, Barnes and draft picks too solve it . Otherwise just another 40+ win team that is not a serious contender . I still enjoy this winning and fun team regardless .

Hobby916
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March 30, 2024 6:01 am

Not feeling too optimistic about the remainder of the season. Injuries piling up, offense has been subpar since Huerter went down too.

This team lacked quality depth before the injuries, now it seems Duarte, Edwards, and Colby Jones will be in the mix for increased minutes, yikes. None have been that good this season. Really need Trey and Sasha back soon.

Fox is going to need to level up his game to all-nba status for this team to have a chance to win anything. Not holding my breath.

The team has surprised me in the past, so hopefully they can do it again.

bjax1
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March 30, 2024 7:04 am

Sat on the loss for a night. It’s all doom and gloom, so I thought I’d bring positivity. Tough loss, but 33-12 in FTs is tough for any team to win. That said, we were a brain fart away from having a shot at tying it, and without Malik. Davion, Keon and Kessler all stepped up big time. That bodes well going forward. Probably not getting the six now, but weird stuff happens. Even if they get the play-in, I can see them surviving and advancing. Hopefully Malik can return. Still rather have a late game heartbreak than the 16 years of shit before.

VAking
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March 30, 2024 7:38 am

I’ve braced myself for a Kangzian ending to the season here. Can’t wait for the sweatshirt/tshirt KH puts out afterwards. A new Kangz one or a new entry on Basketball Hell?

ajonez81
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March 30, 2024 7:40 am

Can’t keep leaving Exum wide open, dude has one of highest 3pt percentages in league. This team was not built to be any good with major injury problems like we’re seeing now but I didn’t really see them getting out of 1st round anyway. Seeing them play some defense has been fun, there has been a little progress there. Monte gets a pass for this year because I’m ok watching this team be pretty good after years of mediocre. But if they don’t make any progress forward next year then it will start to be a bit disappointing.
Get rid of Barnes though, I’d rather watch Edwards and Duarte try to figure it out and get better. Not saying this loss was Barnes fault because the whole team blew it but he’s just not effective enough consistently.

Jack
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March 30, 2024 11:36 am
Reply to  ajonez81

IMO we need to keep Fox, Sabonis, Murray, maybe Monk, Jones and Ellis who has outplayed Huerter both in scoring and especially on defense. All others should be on the trading block.

Adamsite
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March 30, 2024 11:45 am
Reply to  Jack

That’s basically rolling it back next year. The only “others” that would still be on the roster and are tradeable are Barnes, Huerter, and Mitchell. Those three aren’t bringing back any needle movers.

Do you really think having the core of Fox, Sabonis, Murray, and Monk are going to be any different next year?

If the Kings miss the playoffs and Monk walks, Monte may be forced to move Fox or Sabonis to remake the roster otherwise they are just treading play-in/late lottery purgatory.

Amonk81
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March 30, 2024 12:04 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I don’t think Monte/ownership would ever trade Sabonis or Fox?

I think, if they had a different coach you could add a 4 defender and wing D who are solid and be good.

Look at the Knicks. All those dudes surrounding Brunson don’t require a lot to get? Josh Hart previously. Look at how well Donte plays in that system.
Or look at The Heat

Someone like KCP. And with picks added to players could they get a couple of those guys?

But even then, do their stars (I’m looking at you Sabonis) have the ability to play well in playoffs?

Adamsite
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March 30, 2024 12:29 pm
Reply to  Amonk81

I don’t know…if you have your two best, maxed out, players play virtually the whole season and you still can’t crack the playoffs something has to give. This could just be their ceiling as a duo.

The Kings have a solid 3 and D in Keegan, but they still could use another defensive minded wing. The problem is, I just don’t see how they acquire that player with their current assets.

Who knows, maybe Monte pulls a rabbit out of his hat and lands a guy like Okoro in free agency using the MLE or is able to flip Barnes/Huerter and a future pick to snag a player like Tari Eason. They are all kind of pie in the sky possibilities, but the reality may be to just move Fox and/or Sabonis and rebuild like Utah or OKC has.

Jack
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March 30, 2024 2:16 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I really like Tari Eason. Just ask Murraytant. I also like Jalen Smith who is a Pacer. The idea of trading Fox has been in the back of my mind for some time. In IMO it would be a trade like the Hali one. Something has to be done and I am not a Monty McNair.

Jack
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March 30, 2024 2:19 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Look where OKC is now. I foresee Utah being there in 2 maybe 3 years.

rockbottom
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March 30, 2024 4:14 pm
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Utah and OKC has Ainge and Presti . GM ‘s that have built Championship and Finals teams . Big difference .

Amonk81
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March 30, 2024 6:37 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I don’t mind trading Sabonis is he’s useless in playoffs. Why I wanted to see them in playoffs….more data on Sabonis and Browns immovable offensive philosophy

I just don’t think they’d do it ?

SelecaoKOJ
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March 30, 2024 7:45 am

Having Flopper Divac around is just plain stupid. This man set the organization back over 10 years. This owner is F’in joke. Rehiring this loser. Sorry. Yes. He’s a loser. I could care less what he did 20 years ago.

Adamsite
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March 30, 2024 8:05 am

Welp, time to dust off the old Tankathon bookmark.

Hobby916
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March 30, 2024 10:28 am
Reply to  Adamsite

I have definitely not looked at many prospects this season. I really hope I don’t have to…

Jack
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March 30, 2024 11:38 am
Reply to  Hobby916

You better or have fun rooting for a non playoff team.

delusionsofmediocrity
March 30, 2024 8:30 am

Assuming this season really spirals from here based in part on the injuries, I really hope we don’t hear a narrative from the front office that the injuries cost us this season. Or that they are content in running it back again because the team was coming together before the injuries. We have had a two year sample size with this roster. Whether your a glass half empty type of person and you believe this is a play in team at best, or your a glass half full person and you think this team could, if the stars align, win a playoff series, neither scenario is a reason to keep this team together. The good news in my opinion is that this team has assets. A good general manager should be able to take these assets and lay a foundation for a team that has a higher ceiling. No one is untouchable.

TerzoM
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March 30, 2024 8:51 am

We need to talk
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Marty
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March 30, 2024 9:04 am

Longest…recap…ever.

DutchKingsFanInUK
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March 30, 2024 11:30 am
Reply to  Marty

And I fully finished reading it, as it’s well-written. Well done, Melissa!

HoustonJP
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March 30, 2024 6:15 pm
Reply to  melissatrieb

It is well written and in the face of a tough defeat and the loss of a key
player you completed your task.

It was a good read.

OLDBHOY
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March 30, 2024 10:49 am

Games like these are why I have said the Kings don’t have a true ‘one’ to be a contender/champion. When the pressure and physicality is turned up they fold. Two Robins, No Batman….

I love Sabonis for his incredible effort game in, game out but this is why he does not get a lot of love from the talking heads.

I am thinking more and more his main advantage throughout the season is his motor and effort. When meaningful games and the playoffs come everyone cranks up the effort, he already has the pedal to the floor so he has no room to up his game and he gets exposed.

Adamsite
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March 30, 2024 11:16 am

Looking at the last 9 games, and the likelihood that Monk misses the rest of the season, I see the Kings going 3-6 or 4-5 at best. I think they get passed by the Lakers and fall to 9th.

That means they will have to win two play-in games to make it to the playoffs as the 8th seed. They’ll likely face either the Dubs or Houston in the first game. If, and that is a big IF, they win the first one, they face the loser of the Lakers/Suns game. It’s not impossible, but I give the team about a 5% chance to make to the playoffs.

What really sucks, is this means the Kings miss the playoffs and keep their late lottery pick which right now would be dead last in the lottery. WORST CASE SCENARIO is a very real possibility. Kings go into the offseason with the #14 pick in a bad draft, with Monk’s free agency looming large, and future pick obligations to ATL still in place.

Jack
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March 30, 2024 11:42 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Boy that trully sucks.

Adamsite
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March 30, 2024 11:46 am
Reply to  Jack

What also really sucks, is we may have just witnessed Monk’s last game as a King.

Amonk81
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March 30, 2024 11:51 am
Reply to  Adamsite

That would be very bad. As ham pointed out in his podcast, this all fence only works with guys like monk who can get past their guy and then pass if needed.

It is not a good off fence for the likes of Barnes,Heurter, and even Keegan.

so they either have to get those players in or Brown Hass to change which is not going to. It’s fucked maybe

Amonk81
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March 30, 2024 11:53 am
Reply to  Adamsite

And side note- I hate seeing Vlade around the team. That guy along with the owner almost took the team down. Just makes me nervous that Vivek’s gonna start meddling again.

in fact, Vlade has made the two biggest negative impacts on this franchise. As a general manager not drafting Luca and there’s a player slap in the ball out to Robert Horry.

rockbottom
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March 30, 2024 4:18 pm
Reply to  Amonk81

Legit point 👍

Jack
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March 30, 2024 2:21 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I think you might be right.

Amonk81
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March 30, 2024 11:49 am
Reply to  Adamsite

This team really feels like it might collapse/foundation unstable. It has an Atlanta run feel to it then back
to crap.

More concerning is it seems Monte is building a team one way and Brown is playing a different way-wants different players.

in addition, if they don’t figure this out by changing the personnel, and or the coaching, the Sabonis trade might’ve been a big fat waste.

Adamsite
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March 30, 2024 12:02 pm
Reply to  Amonk81

Your Hawks comparison is an interesting one. They made noise 3 seasons ago with a remarkable run to the ECF, but were still just a 41-31 team. Since then they’ve won 43 games, then .500 last season, and all leading to first round exits. This year they aren’t even likely to hit .500 and are sitting at 10th.

Atlanta also has two fringe all-stars and one is box score filling PG, but doesn’t really lead the team to wins. They have some nice pieces but really aren’t going to do anything special without blowing it all up. The Kings look to be in a very similar situation.

Amonk81
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March 30, 2024 12:07 pm
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Well stated. I agree. Hawks and Kings might be built around a flawed model for playoffs, coach and star player(s).

Mike120
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March 30, 2024 8:51 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Bogi with a 38/10 piece today. Sure could use that here.

Hobby916
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March 30, 2024 12:13 pm
Reply to  Amonk81

Monte wants 3s and a high power offense, Brown has stated so many times for players to run and pick up the pace, shoot open 3s, etc. So they seem to be on the same page there.

As this season has gone on, Brown seems to be hammering home defense, defense, defense. Monte made comments about needing to score and getting up more 3s (near the all-star break I think).

So I don’t really know what nook, chapter, page they are on at this point.

OLDBHOY
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March 30, 2024 12:36 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

They seem happy to live by the 3 but seem confused when they die by the 3.

I question Brown on hammering about defense. The defense was an obvious issue yet he kept running Huerter (maybe the worst defender on the roster) out there until he was injured when he had a much better defensive option staring him in the face.

Either Brown didn’t mean what he was preaching about defense or couldn’t see the better option. Basically lying or incompetent. The more I have seen of Brown the less impressed I have been, seems last season he caught lightning in a bottle and now we are back to reality.

Amonk81
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March 30, 2024 6:40 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

I heard that too. Seems like different philosophies. Not great for team success.

Jman1949
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March 30, 2024 12:50 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I don’t think the Suns are a lock to finish ahead of the Kings. Every game left on their schedule is against an above.500 opponent while we have three games against sub-.400 teams. (Yes, I know we’re not guaranteed wins against anyone at this point!) Our remaining game against the Suns could determine which team makes the play-in and which team is completely out of the running.

Adamsite
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March 30, 2024 12:33 pm

Holy shit, I am just now seeing this. The shade thrown by Luka towards Vlade is incredible. “He should have drafted me!”

RikSmits
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March 30, 2024 12:45 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Vlade deserves all the contempt and more.
Dismissive long chap.

Amonk81
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March 30, 2024 6:41 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Agree. Screw Vlade. He was horrible at his job and took no responsibility.

TheBaker
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March 30, 2024 12:45 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Just watched this also. Awesome that we could give him that chip on his shoulder.

Klam
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March 30, 2024 12:56 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Just another reminder of how horrible of a GM Vlade was.

Jack
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March 30, 2024 2:27 pm
Reply to  Klam

And there he still sets right in front. Shouldn’t be in the arena.

TerzoM
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March 30, 2024 5:12 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

comment image

Amonk81
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March 30, 2024 6:44 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

And as someone pointed out earlier…. Why the hell have Vlade there for Luca game. Just gets Luca even more riled up.

Vlade to blame for 2 pic and that loss.
(rap name- 2pick Unsure)

Mike120
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March 30, 2024 8:49 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I couldn’t make out what Luka said but I’ll take everyone’s word on it. How can we be mad at him? He’d be here now if not for Vlade and Vivek. Vivek could have insisted on it so I hold him accountable too. I moved to West Sac in 2007 and didn’t become a Kings fan until around 2013. I grew up in New England so have been a Celtics fan since 1975. Point is I wasn’t here for the “glory years” and my thought of Vlade of that era was him tipping the ball to Horry. His banner should be removed based on his shitty performance as GM. Luka was the consensus #2 but somehow he thought he knew better. So screw him for hurting the Kings for at least a decade.

Klam
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March 30, 2024 3:44 pm

Fuck. It’s official. Monk is done for the season.

TerzoM
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March 30, 2024 4:39 pm
Reply to  Klam

No hard feelings if he leaves. It’s business. Thank you Monk for 2 great seasons

VAking
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March 30, 2024 5:00 pm
Reply to  TerzoM

Yup, go get paid!

Adamsite
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March 30, 2024 4:43 pm
Reply to  Klam

Game over man. When do we start doing draft profiles and free agent targets? Asking for a friend.

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Jack
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March 30, 2024 6:31 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I’m sure Monty has been on the phone already.

Hobby916
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March 30, 2024 4:54 pm
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eddie41
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March 30, 2024 7:39 pm
Reply to  Klam

Well that sucks. Losing Huerter sucked and now this. Monk’s attitude is irreplaceable. His pick n roll game will have to be replaced with another one or two attacking strategies.

That being said, the injuries will not prevent me from cheering on this team. Fox and Domas are still winners. Keegan, Keon, and Davion are solid young players ready to step up. and maybe Lyles and Sasha return to action soon.

NowLoveThemOnceAgain
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March 30, 2024 8:25 pm

First half very solid play by Kings even with loss of Malik. Second half very flat, Mavs turned up their D and Kyrie went to work. Irving is truly the most gifted player in the league in terms of ability to get by defenders and elected with his jumper; DeAaron is a very admirable second. Some great efforts from Davion, Barnes and Keon and very tough play by Damontis doubling up guards every play. If Barnes had hit that list shot or executed the final possession he’d be a hero. Alot of key men down right now. It will take a full 48 minutes of solid O and D going forward to have any chance in playoffs.

NowLoveThemOnceAgain
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March 30, 2024 8:26 pm

elevate (not elected!)

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