Articles | Game Recap

Kings 118, Pelicans 109: De’Aaron Fox Takes Over

De'Aaron Fox scored 17 of his game-high 38 points in the final quarter to lead the Kings to a comeback victory over the New Orleans Pelicans to cap off a 3-1 road trip.

In the NBA, stars can often be the difference between winning and losing and tonight was no different.  In a game that looked to be getting out of hand, Sacramento's star decided enough was enough and took over the game. De'Aaron Fox scored 17 of his game-high 38 points in the fourth quarter alone, and all in a row.  From 7:07 till the clock struck 33 seconds left, De'Aaron Fox scored every single point for the Sacramento Kings.  He did it with step backs, he did it with threes, he did it with free throws and he did it with spin moves.  He did it all.

Sacramento entered the final frame down 7 points after struggling for much of the third quarter.  New Orleans came out and hit a three to extend the lead to 10, but the Kings were able to claw back within 2 with 7:59 left.

From that point on, De'Aaron Fox made it clear that he wasn't leaving this game without a W and he put his money where his mouth was.  Many times in the past couple years, we've seen Fox play too unselfishly but here he was ready for the moment and put the team on his back.  That attitude can only lead to bigger and better things for both Fox and the Kings.

Fox may have closed the game out, but credit should be given to a few other Kings for keeping them in the game in the first place.  Harrison Barnes continued his excellent season with a 24 point, 8 rebound and 4 assist performance.  It often seems that when the Kings begin to struggle, Harrison is able to stem the tide with his steady play.

Richaun Holmes also had an excellent game with 17 points, 10 rebounds, 6 blocks and 3 assists.  After barely being involved in Saturday's loss against the Heat, the Kings seemed to make a point of attacking the smaller Pelicans, who were absent the services of starting center Steven Adams.

Marvin Bagley III was also having a decent game with 10 points, 4 rebounds and 1 assist in 21 minutes, but was ejected early in the 3rd quarter after expressing frustration on a questionable foul call.  Both of Bagley's technicals seemed to be unearned, and it would not surprise me in the slightest if one or both are rescinded by the NBA tomorrow.  It was an inauspicious exit for Bagley, who has been playing much better of late on both ends of the floor.

In Sacramento's first matchup with the Pelicans, Zion Williamson had his way with the Kings, getting to the paint at will and only missing 2 shots the entire game.  The Kings did a much better job this time, holding Zion to just 17 points.  Brandon Ingram also struggled, scoring 20 points but doing so on an abysmal 6 of 20 from the field.  Sacramento's defense was particularly good in the fourth quarter, where they held New Orleans to just 15 points overall.

The Kings finish their road trip 3-1, just one possession away from a flawless trip.  After a disastrous homestand in which the Kings were giving up a record amount of points, Sacramento's defense has tightened up.  Hopefully they can carry that over throughout the rest of the season.  Sacramento returns home to face the Boston Celtics on Wednesday.

Random Observations

  • Buddy Buckets has become Buddy Chuck-its.  Buddy was 4-16 from the field tonight, and 15 of those attempts were beyond the arc.  The quality of his attempts have dropped drastically in the last two years.
  • Tyrese Haliburton has definitely become a focal point of opposing scouting reports during this road trip.  His scoring and shooting efficiency have dropped dramatically and teams are no longer leaving him open and daring him to create his own shot.  The great thing about Tyrese is that he still manages to find a way to contribute if he isn't scoring. Tonight he managed to grab a career-high (and team-leading) 11 rebounds to go with 6 assists and a steal.
  • Corey Joseph played 14 minutes and scored 3 points to go with 1 rebound and an assist.  Corey plays with a lot of effort, but the production just isn't there.
  • Sacramento's passes were particularly sloppy in this game, especially in the first half where there was a stretch where New Orleans seemingly intercepted or deflected five straight possessions.  20 turnovers is too much and the Kings need to do a better job of taking care of the ball.
  • Fox has struggled with his free throws all year, and was particularly frustrated with himself after going just 3-8 from the line in the loss to Miami, but tonight he was 7-7.
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Klam
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Nostradumbass 18
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February 1, 2021 8:16 pm

LOL just saw this tweet on Twitter

ScottyPop
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February 1, 2021 8:17 pm

That was rad.

Jman1949
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February 1, 2021 8:19 pm

Looks like Fox is taking another huge leap these last few games!

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Kosta
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February 2, 2021 12:15 am
Reply to  Jman1949

“De’Aaron Fox won the game and ate Lonzo’s ass.”
-Anonymous Twitterer

Last edited 1 year ago by Kosta
Ralph_Furleys_Tailor
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February 2, 2021 12:52 am
Reply to  Jman1949

When you get tired of earning respect…you take it!

Looks like Fox is tired of being nice about it. That is good news Kings fans.

wilbur10
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February 1, 2021 8:19 pm

Gritty, gritty win tonight. This team showed a ton of fight not just tonight but this entire road trip. Fox and them boys were fun as hell to watch. Frustrating at times but with their backs against the wall, down 10 early in the 4th, Barnes kept us afloat with a timely 3 and Fox took us home with a win.

Jman1949
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February 1, 2021 8:21 pm
Reply to  wilbur10

Fox took care of everything on his own to end the game!

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wilbur10
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February 1, 2021 8:24 pm
Reply to  Jman1949

17 straight! Outscore the Pelicans in the quarter

Kosta
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February 1, 2021 8:26 pm
Reply to  Jman1949

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Klam
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February 1, 2021 8:31 pm
Reply to  Kosta

No one likes to high five you, Kosta?

eddie41
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February 1, 2021 8:36 pm
Reply to  Klam

We should do a mini-documentary on his push shot. Interviews and all.

RORDOG
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February 1, 2021 9:47 pm
Reply to  Kosta

the second funniest thing to me about this gif is they actually used to play Koufos and Cousins at the same time. In 2015-16 they were on the court together 293 minutes.

RORDOG
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February 1, 2021 10:05 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

that particular 5-man lineup had an offensive rating of 91.9 in 33 minutes that season.

satdawg
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February 2, 2021 3:47 am
Reply to  Kosta

Did he flip him off?

Kosta
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February 2, 2021 10:28 am
Reply to  satdawg

Hmmm….I don’t think Kosta would do that. 🙂

ZillersCat
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February 2, 2021 9:14 am
Reply to  Kosta

Hi Fives don’t always go well?
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Last edited 1 year ago by ZillersCat
Kosta
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February 1, 2021 8:24 pm

FOX put on a show tonight!

Barnes carried us for a chunk of the game before Fox took over.

We don’t win this game without Holmes.

The refs done Bagley wrong.

Last edited 1 year ago by Kosta
TheBufferZone
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February 1, 2021 8:27 pm
Reply to  Kosta

Definitely did Bagley wrong. Kings haven’t had a good time with the refs on this road trip.

Kangz_Landing
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February 1, 2021 8:48 pm
Reply to  Kosta

Team Bagley definitely deserves to @ the NBA tonight.

In other news Bagley has 9 wins in his 3rd year and Luka only has 8!

Vlade you sly dog you!

TheBufferZone
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February 1, 2021 8:25 pm

Loved seeing Fox take over the game. Loved seeing him hit his free throws. That type of play will take this team to its next level.

Hate seeing all the turnovers. That type of play will keep this team in the lottery.

WizsSox
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February 1, 2021 8:35 pm
Reply to  TheBufferZone

Without doing any digging beyond 2 mins, other players that have almost identical turnovers (or more) per game and usage rate…Durant, Lillard, Jokic. Fox is not that turnover prone overall based on usage.

TheBufferZone
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February 1, 2021 8:38 pm
Reply to  WizsSox

Meant the team turnovers, not Fox individually.

WizsSox
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February 1, 2021 9:30 pm
Reply to  TheBufferZone

Got ya…point taken

Amonk81
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February 1, 2021 9:06 pm
Reply to  TheBufferZone

Love seeing Fox improve.

Maybe I’m wrong but it seems to me Haliburton’s shooting (scoring slump) coincides with s shoulder issue. It’s taped and he’s fiveing guys w left hand etc.

its not like he isn’t getting open looks-threes but he’s not hitting them.

TheBufferZone
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February 2, 2021 4:13 am
Reply to  Amonk81

If that’s the case with Haliburton, then his shoulder is getting worse. He was shooting fine the first couple games it was taped up.

Hopefully it’s just a rookie slump from teams watching tape on him/adjusting & not a chronic shoulder issue.

Kosta
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February 1, 2021 8:28 pm

FLEX!

(rest in peace, Mr. Diamond)
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RORDOG
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February 1, 2021 8:30 pm

The Pelicans attempted 15 more shots, and lost by 9. That seems hard to do.

RORDOG
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February 1, 2021 8:30 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

*13, but still

ImJoeKing
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February 2, 2021 12:46 am
Reply to  RORDOG

Yeah a product of the -10 turnover differential, but still won. That is hard to do. A lot of those seemed like unforced bad passes and sloppy play.

On the other hand, +8% field goal percentage differential and losing is also hard. That fortunately didn’t happen.

Jman1949
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February 1, 2021 8:37 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

The Pelicans just got left out in the cold!

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KingsSince85
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February 1, 2021 8:30 pm

Such a satisfying win as it was 5 on 6 most of the night… Several close calls went the Pelicans way.

Kosta
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February 1, 2021 8:39 pm
Reply to  KingsSince85

Kings > Pelicans + Zebras

Dirkula
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February 1, 2021 8:31 pm

Glad we won, and Fox looked great!

This is such a difficult year to be happy about the wins though. Strong draft, team needs talent, but is just good enough to drop hard in the lottery, so it’s truly bittersweet.
Such is the life of a Kings fan, I guess 🤷🏻€™‚️

furious.d
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February 1, 2021 10:02 pm
Reply to  Dirkula

I wouldn’t sweat it too much. Even the worst team only has a 14% chance of picking 1st and a 48% chance of picking 5th.

There are two busts in every top-5 and at least one all star in every 8-15. It comes down to picking the best player on the board and Monte is 1/1 in that department.

If we drafted 8th and picked the best player in the 10-15 range each year from 2013-2017 our starting lineup would be:

Mitchell
Lavine
Booker
Giannis
Sabonis

Want2win
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February 2, 2021 4:45 am
Reply to  furious.d

not enough passing in that trash lineup

i prefer

Kelly olynyk
elfrid payton
Cameron payne
pappagiannis
Zach Collins

Ialmostmissthemaloofs
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February 2, 2021 9:14 am
Reply to  Want2win

Uh… Wut??

TerzoM
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February 2, 2021 7:17 am
Reply to  Dirkula

I thought the Miami game was winnable so wow. However history have shown us that Kangz-Happens. Whatever – enjoy the ride 🙂

Kangz_Landing
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February 1, 2021 8:38 pm

Buddy Hield, Cojo, Jabari, any of our THREE 2021 2nd rounders for Terrence Ross, Aminu, and Mo Bamba.

Tyrese becomes a starter. We finally get a 6th man who accepts his role. Aminu is coming off injury but can D. Bamba has lost support and fits the timeline.

Aaron Gordon just got hurt, are the Magic in panic mode? DO IT.

satdawg
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February 2, 2021 3:50 am
Reply to  Kangz_Landing

Big fan of T.Ross

Kangz_Landing
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February 2, 2021 8:17 am
Reply to  satdawg

Ross is Chucker Personified but at least he’ll accept the bench role. Much more valuable than a disgruntled fake starter

TheGrantNapear
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February 2, 2021 4:30 am
Reply to  Kangz_Landing

I’d be fine with this, but don’t see Orl doing it. Doesn’t seem like Buddy is as highly regarded as we Kings fans think he is. I’d love to take a flyer on Bamba, just don’t think Orl is ready to give up on hik yet.

Kangz_Landing
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February 2, 2021 8:22 am
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

I could see them saying no, I would also include a lottery protected 1st in 2022, but didn’t wanna add it to the original proposal. I think we’ll need to include that for Bamba who I think they’ve given up on. He’s coming off early season Covid but has gotten ZERO playing time since. That must mean something.

My reasoning is Orlando seems happy with chasing the 8th seed even with Gordon, Fultz, and Isaac out. They haven’t embraced the tank yet. With Vucevic still on the team I can see why, so I think Buddy would be good for them but also Cojo. He is Steve Clifford personified. Slow and methodical.

Kui
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Kui
February 1, 2021 8:38 pm

Watched only highlights of the game. Loved seeing Fox taking over the game again and knocking down FTs. What happened to Bags? Was he ejected?

Last edited 1 year ago by Kui
wilbur10
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February 1, 2021 8:49 pm
Reply to  Kui

Two techs for Bagley. Both were extremely questionable. Especially considering Marv doesn’t say a whole lot to the refs out there.

154-98
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February 1, 2021 8:49 pm

The annual Ball bash has just left NOLA.

Taking bets Lonzo is ‘DNP – heel spurs soreness’ next game.

154-98
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February 1, 2021 8:50 pm

Holmes is the ultimate beta blocker

Where has this come from? Is this like the third or fourth time this season he stuffs 6?

2018DraftTimeMachine
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February 1, 2021 9:01 pm

Fox > Ball, as always

And I like the fire from Marvin!

Klam
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February 1, 2021 9:10 pm

HoustonJP
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February 1, 2021 9:24 pm
Reply to  Klam

That personal light touch foul, followed by a second T on Marvin were ref turds in the punch bowl. Horrible calls.

Klam
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February 1, 2021 9:41 pm
Reply to  HoustonJP

Yeah, they were awful.

Kosta
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February 1, 2021 9:48 pm
Reply to  Klam

No ref, YOUR reaction was overt and went beyond the heat of the moment.

ForKingsandCountry
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February 1, 2021 10:00 pm
Reply to  Klam

I’m not a complain about the refs guy but those techs were nonsense. Even on the first one they said he had a profanity laced tirade directed at the refs but if you watch the replay, that must’ve been the calmest tirade ever. The second one… he yelped and jumped up in the air and walked away. That’s absurd.

Last edited 1 year ago by ForKingsandCountry
Kosta
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February 1, 2021 10:08 pm

“Technical on ForKingsandCountry!” – Referee Capers

The second one€¦ I yelped and jumped up in the air and walked away.

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Jman1949
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February 1, 2021 10:12 pm
Reply to  Kosta

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Klam
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February 1, 2021 10:29 pm
Reply to  Jman1949

Technical on Cousins.

ForKingsandCountry
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February 1, 2021 11:11 pm
Reply to  Kosta

HaHa yeah I realized my mistake and edited it but now I sort of wish I’d just left it as is.

Kosta
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February 1, 2021 11:43 pm

Ohhhhhh…just saw the edit.

i thought you yourself actually did jump up and yell. I sure did!

ForKingsandCountry
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February 2, 2021 8:19 am
Reply to  Kosta

You know I probably did jump and yell because that second T was pretty silly. A player does that exact thing 10 times a game and the refs don’t bat an eye. Zion yelled at the ref after an offensive foul 5 minutes later and they didn’t do anything.

ImJoeKing
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February 2, 2021 12:27 am

That 2nd jump though

ArsLegendi
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February 2, 2021 8:58 am
Reply to  Klam

That is literally the opposite of what happened, at least for the ejection. Marvin showed frustration in the heat of the moment over what is clearly a super-soft foul call, and the refs calmly and deliberately T’d him up and threw him out while he was walking away.

I never @ the NBA about officiating. I did last night. The refs in the last three Kings games have been consistently, objectively awful.

TheKingsGuard
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February 1, 2021 9:21 pm

Hard to argue if he’s an all star or not if he’s consistently delivering those performances in the future. He was straight cooking with flash tonight. Like frying oil splatter flash with the way he cleared the lane!

ImJoeKing
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February 2, 2021 12:29 am
Reply to  TheKingsGuard

Hotter than fish grease

RORDOG
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February 1, 2021 9:38 pm

add a weird rainbow filter to Fox’s sick reverse
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Klam
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February 1, 2021 9:42 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

I see a double rainbow…

Kosta
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February 1, 2021 9:49 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

Bill Walton-vision!

RORDOG
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February 1, 2021 10:08 pm
Reply to  Kosta

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Widowwolf
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February 2, 2021 7:10 am
Reply to  RORDOG

Reminds me of Mario Cart Star mode

satdawg
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February 2, 2021 8:04 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

Man if I was high on weed right now

ForKingsandCountry
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February 1, 2021 10:06 pm

Fox still isn’t an all star but this version that we’ve seen the last couple weeks might be next year if he keeps this up. To be totally honest the last few games are the first time I’ve ever really seen anything that might make me consider that his ceilings is higher than I think. That’s a positive development.

Also, when did Harris Barnes start passing? His playmaking is such an outlier this year I really don’t know what to do with it. We’re getting to the point though where I’m not sure it can just be chalked up to small sample size fluctuation. I guess we’ll see.

Last edited 1 year ago by ForKingsandCountry
Ellis5
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February 1, 2021 11:33 pm

Fox was an all star last year…. You know how I know? James Khristian Middleton.

ImJoeKing
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February 2, 2021 12:36 am
Reply to  Ellis5

I was thinking a similar thing but about Ingram. Fox looked much more like an All-Star than he did. It’s just one game but still. Hopefully Fox can keep this going when we get back to Sac, we might be a decent team if he keeps playing this way.

ForKingsandCountry
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February 2, 2021 8:24 am
Reply to  Ellis5

I don’t know, IMO Middleton has been a much better player and was last year as well. He’s very efficient and plays good defense. Fox really hasn’t done either of those things yet. I do think Fox has the higher potential upside though.

ImJoeKing
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February 2, 2021 12:32 am

Seems like guys are starting to respect Fox’s outside game just a little bit more which gives him a little more space to drive to the bucket.

ForKingsandCountry
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February 2, 2021 8:21 am
Reply to  ImJoeKing

Yeah I just hope that trend continues. If he can at least be respectable from 3 on decent volume it’ll open up the rest of his game. It does seem like he’s starting to make teams pay for going under on the pick and roll.

Otis
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February 2, 2021 8:33 am
Reply to  ImJoeKing

Maybe the mid-range jumper? Not from three, he’s still just 35% this season (33% for his career).

aplumley
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February 2, 2021 8:38 am
Reply to  Otis

He was 29% on 3.6 per game last year and 35% on 5 per game this year. That is a significant improvement. He’s taking 39% more and hitting at a much higher rate. This is absolutely opening up the lanes.

Otis
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February 2, 2021 8:53 am
Reply to  aplumley

35% ain’t scaring anyone, but I agree the volume makes the improvement somewhat more impressive. But comparing it to last year makes less sense than comparing it to his career, IMO. I mean, he shot 37% from three two seasons ago.

But even if he never becomes a deadeye from three, last night was the template for success as an efficient scorer – by getting to the line consistently and making free throws at a high rate.

soFreaKINGStupidHoops
February 2, 2021 10:28 am
Reply to  aplumley

Without pulling up the actual statistics,

Just based on the eye test, it seems like Fox is now a decent to pretty good 3 pt shooter based on catch and shoot situations.

The pull-up and off dribble 3’s probably drags his percentages down quite a bit.

If the Kings can find another player that can dribble against man to man press defense and get in the paint more consistently, Fox really might not be a liability as a shooter in the future.

ImJoeKing
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February 2, 2021 4:02 pm
Reply to  Otis

Otis doesn’t respect his outside game. Fine.

But I’m talking about how much defenders are pressing him on the perimeter, how they are guarding him in the pnr, how much they hesitate on shot fakes, etc. That’s what seems to be changing a little.

Or maybe it’s just that Bledsoe and Hart can’t guard him one on one.

Otis
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February 2, 2021 8:32 am

The last few weeks have been ok, but nothing really special (at least not All-Star level). Last night was different – if he throws out these performances more often and raises his baseline play, he could get there.

38 points on 24 shots, along with a high assist rate/relatively low turnover rate (considering his usage), perfect from the line and ok defense? Yeah, that will work.

Marty
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February 1, 2021 10:20 pm

Fox makes incredible spin move…

Doug: €œGoh boy. In his nuttin. Symphony number five an he’s doin it all playing it big.€

Ellis5
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February 1, 2021 11:52 pm
Reply to  Marty

Fox made a three point shot from an assist from Barnes going to the basket and Doug said “nothing but string music from the symphony number five”…. of course referencing Beethoven’s fifth and Fox’s number.

TheGrantNapear
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February 2, 2021 4:32 am
Reply to  Ellis5

DC gets more and more annoying.

Want2win
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February 2, 2021 4:51 am
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

He laid off on all the Schtick when he did game with Koz…when he does games with what’s his bucket he gets way over the 5op with the schtick to try and match the other guy… who I cannot stand..

keith_kar
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February 2, 2021 6:11 am
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

Try watching the game with the volume turned down, it’s quite refreshing.

Marty
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February 2, 2021 9:47 am
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

Seems like we’re in crisis mode. Last night my wife asked me to turn it off, she was in the other room on her computer and couldn’t take the sound. She’s been around sports and broadcasting long enough to know when something isn’t good. It wasn’t a good night for me to sync the audio with KHTK, so we both suffered I guess. Never again.

wilbur10
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February 2, 2021 11:22 am
Reply to  Marty

Feel like you’re in the minority in not liking Doug, but maybe I’m wrong. I think he’s one of the best color commentators in the game.

Ellis5
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February 1, 2021 11:44 pm

Mr Richaun Holmes FT% this year… 81% … Can we love this man any more?

ajonez81
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February 2, 2021 12:16 am

Love to watch Fox show up the irrelevant Lonzo, I know Fox relishes it. Please do not trade for Ball, dude is trash.
The kings reserves are trash too, outside of Rese, this tanking is not going so well. They need to get better or worse fast with a trade because getting a 10-14 pick again and not making playoffs sounds lame.

ImJoeKing
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February 2, 2021 1:16 am
Reply to  ajonez81

I was just thinking about Lonzo. It’s unclear what his ceiling is right now, doesn’t seem like he’ll make an All-Star team at this rate. But I know he’d be a real upgrade over CoJo as our 4th rotational guard, so it’s not like he’d be totally useless on this roster. Cause putting CoJo and his -15.8 net rating out there for 20 minutes a night, is, well, Cuz can tell you…

blob:https://tenor.com/5edd6093-013e-44d2-bf9e-061ff4aa1d10

Last edited 1 year ago by ImJoeKing
ImJoeKing
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February 2, 2021 1:34 am
Reply to  ImJoeKing

https://tenor.com/view/demarcuscousins-ridiculous-gif-19172329

Ok, I give up on gifing for today… ridiculous

Last edited 1 year ago by ImJoeKing
ZillersCat
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February 2, 2021 9:26 am
Reply to  ImJoeKing

Don’t feel gray, the Kings won!

reydarly
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February 2, 2021 1:27 am

Fox, Barnes, and Holmes get game balls tonight. They showed up BIG. I’m happy with Fox. He needs to embrace the role of the number 1 scoring option and keep these performances coming more frequently. No reason he cant average 24+ mpg IMHO. Just be more consistent with free throws. I still think we need a big time front court talent to go to the next level.

I have been bashing Bagley a lot this season, but his role lately has flowed better within the offense. And he has shown improvement on defense, he is getting less antsy on that end little by little every game. That’s all I can ask for right now. Whether or not he is a part of the future remains to be seen. He definitely needs to bench more though. His chest is none existent. He has strong legs but a weak upper body just glancing at his physique and what’s happening on the court.

Haliburton is just banged up imho and he still finds ways to positively impact the outcome of the game. So I’m not too concerned about his shooting slump.

rockbottom
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February 2, 2021 8:03 am
Reply to  reydarly

Tyrese is being scouted !

9sac8
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February 2, 2021 4:13 am

STAMP IT!!!!!!!!

Great game. I will make the same statements until Monte listens. MONTE, FIRE WALTON. Shorten the rotations to only the dogs. We will fight back now. I see the aggression coming out. I love it.

GO KINGS!!!

Want-to-be-gm
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February 2, 2021 5:51 am

Going into last nights game.
The Kings’ two most-used lineups €” their starters and their closing group (Tyrese Haliburton in Marvin Bagley’s place) €” have outscored their opponents by 10.6 points per 100 possessions in 320 total minutes. But the Kings have been outscored by a remarkable 16.0 per 100 in 597 minutes otherwise. Glenn Robinson III has one of the worst on-off differentials in the league.

League rank in pace €“ 11th
Offensive ranking €“ 13th
Defensive ranking €“ 30th
Net ranking €“ 28th

The Kings have seen the league’s second biggest jump in ball movement (passes per 24 minutes of possession) from last season, and they have a lot of guys willing to make the extra pass. They rode those first-quarter leads to wins in Orlando and Tampa, recording assists on 69% of their buckets.
the Kings are 5-2 against the Eastern Conference. They have two of the best teams in the West on the schedule this week, but still have 11 more games against the East on the pre-break schedule.
Bottom line -1. Moved the ball on offense, 2. Play the right guys and 3. Play defense

Forget about traditional positioning and play your best players. This lineup has a positive 14 net rating
Fox
Buddy
Hali
Barnes
Holmes

kings4ever
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February 2, 2021 6:20 am

Akis knows whats up with CoJoSlo! The team was dying a slow death with Joseph sucking the life out of the team. He’s a big zero! We play 4-on-5 with him on the floor. Whiteside wasn’t much better with his second poor defensive outing in a row. Ingram and Butler are tough covers but he has to be more active.

Buddy regressed with the poor shot selection again. I counted at least 3-4 bad (forced) attempts in the first half that set the tone. He was trying to show up his old team, a little extra motivation likely, but it was not happening. What is disconcerting about Buddy is every one knows he wants to launch that 3. Now you are telling me that you can only get ONE quality look inside the arch out of 16 shots while using the 3-ball as a decoy?!

This game was teetering on a blowout but Holmes, Barnes and Fox magnificently saved the day. Haliburton also has the steadying influence of a seasoned vet. I also think losing Bagley consolidated our efforts. I do not have confidence Bagley can make winning plays, though his defense has ticked up nicely.

We are seeing more and more of the 3 guard lineup, Barnes at 4 and Holmes in the middle. This is what I have been advocating for. It opens up the middle, allows us to get our best players on the floor.

Bagley and Joseph are our weak links, but more to the point the coach is the weak link for not benching Joseph for Guy 6 weeks ago!

If Whiteside does not pick it up, we can look to Metu, but I think Whiteside will bounce back. Even though he played like crap on D, he did keep about 5 possessions alive by pounding the glass. While Metu and Whiteside may be equal in terms of pick and roll presence to catch and finish Metu does not have the ability to crash the boards like Whiteside.

What PG can take over a game like Fox, a 3D magician? These players came to mind :

> peak Isaiah Thomas (which lasted only about 18 months, sadly)
> Donovan Mitchell
> peak Russell Westbrook (Fox will be the much better shooter)

Then if you want to go back further I guess you could add a guy like Allen Iverson, but he was smaller in stature and did not have the long ball.

Can Harrison Barnes sustain his play? He’s playing near All-Star level! Do NOT trade HB! Hell no! Too good, too valuable, too much of a pro!

Barnes is setting career highs in:

> TS% 64%!
> Assist Rate 14%! (well over his average of 8%)
> Free Throw Rate 38%! (well over his average of 26%)
> Free Throw Accuracy 86% (over his career of 80%)

His rebounding is aligned with career avgs, but he is passing better, drawing more fouls and making those shots. Barnes has been the anti-thesis of Buddy as a player. Barnes discerns well the difference between a quality 3 and a force. He refuses to let the defense dicate him into a bad shot. He is so much better than Buddy at counter moves when the long ball is not there, whether that is drive and kick, drive and finish.

The question is whether it is sustainable or we should “sell high”. It was apparent to me that Barnes was more spry and lively in the first preseason game. He’s extremely fit and not hindered by nagging injury like he was last year. He also has the benefit now of playing with Fox and Haliburton , and their chemistry is clicking nicely. Barnes is also are 2nd best player in net rating behind Holmes. His sustainability is likely and even if he cools off from deep, he is still so good and consistent!

Trading Barnes would be crazy (unless another team backed up the truck) and I don’t think our GM is crazy!

Widowwolf
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February 2, 2021 7:55 am
Reply to  kings4ever

28 years years old, can be a part of the big three (With Fox, Barnes, and Haliburton), and is a declining money contract. Unless someone offers something really sweet for him, you don’t budge IMO. the biggest issue is Fox’s salary jump next year of 20 million.

With 4 draft picks, 6 spots opening (Not bringing back Cojo), and about 17-20 million in cap space, we should be in the very good territory with a starting 5 of

Fox,
Hield (If we dont get a decent deal for him / Bejilica by 3/25))
Barnes
Haliburton
Bagley

Then we need BPA in 1st rd and some Centers/PG’s in the 2nd rd

rockbottom
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February 2, 2021 8:07 am
Reply to  Widowwolf

Holmes is 2nd most valuable and not likely replaced via draft or trade !

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
February 2, 2021 8:32 am

I think Fox just increased the chances of Ball getting traded by 100%

ArsLegendi
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