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Kings 127, Pacers 122: Back on Track

Sacramento ended their two game skid with an impressive win over the Indiana Pacers, led by Harrison Barnes' season-high 30 points.

After two straight blowout losses at home, the Kings got back on track with a total team effort to beat the Indiana Pacers 127-122.  Harrison Barnes led the way for the Kings with a season-high 30 points, but it was a total team effort with every player seemingly having their own moment.

Sacramento's defense still wasn't great, allowing Indiana to shoot 48% from the field, but it was a far cry from the matador impersonation the team was doing in the last two games.  Richaun Holmes in particular was a force in the paint, reaching a career-high 6 blocked shots, with 3 of them coming in the crucial fourth quarter.  Holmes also chipped in 16 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal and led the Kings in +/- at 12.  I don't usually think single-game +/- tells the whole story, but in Holmes case tonight it did.  It's important to note that he was playing the entire fourth quarter with 5 fouls, and still managed to come up with those huge blocks at the end.

It was a back and forth game for the most part, with the Pacers jumping out to an early lead and both teams trading leads throughout the first half.  In a surprising turn, it was the 3rd quarter which saw the Kings take the reins of the game, jumping out to a 12 point lead, although Indiana would come back and get it within 4 points heading into the 4th quarter.

Sacramento managed to keep the Pacers at bay for most of the period, but the game had an unmistakable air about it that Indiana was going to come back at some point, and they eventually did take the lead at 115-113 on a Victor Oladipo layup with 3:34 left.  The Kings would take the lead back after a Richaun Holmes block led to a Buddy Hield three on the other end, and Oladipo came right back to score at the rim and give Indiana a 117-116 lead.  The Kings gave the ball to Harrison Barnes, who had made a living attacking the paint all night, and Barnes was able to get to the line and give the Kings the lead back.

What followed was perhaps the weirdest possession of the game.  Oladipo again tried to attack the rim, but Buddy was able to strip the ball away from him and it looked very clear on both replay and in game action that the ball hit Oladipo's foot and went out of bounds off the Pacers, and the initial call by officials was Kings ball.  After a lengthy review however, the referees overturned the call and awarded possession to Indiana.  The Pacers got the ball quickly inside to Domantas Sabonis, who had been killing the Kings all night with 28 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Pacers, but Holmes was there to block the shot.

That block was initially called goaltending, but after yet another review, that call was also overturned and the Kings got the ball back.

The Kings ran a set play after the review that got De'Aaron Fox a good look at the rim, but it missed and Richaun Holmes snatched the ball away from three Pacers to find Buddy Hield in the corner for an open three to put the Kings up by 4.

Oladipo missed a three pointer on the other end, and De'Aaron Fox decided to put the cap on the game in a big way.

After that it was pretty much the foul game, and the Kings made their free throws and came away with the victory against a very good Pacers squad.  It wasn't the prettiest of victories, but you could tell this team wanted to get a win after two lousy performances and it says a lot about them that they were able to pull it off.

Sacramento finished the evening shooting 56% from the field and totaled 29 assists as a team, although they did have 18 turnovers which led to 26 Pacers points, a key difference in why Sacramento couldn't put Indiana away earlier.  Fox alone had 5 of them with some uncharacteristic shaky ball handling and decision making, but he also scored 21 points to go with a team-high 9 assists.

The Kings have a day off before they welcome back the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday for a rematch.  Hopefully the taste of Saturday's defeat is still in their mouth and they play with a similar intensity as we saw today.

Random Observations

  • Marvin Bagley III had a decent game with 8 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks.  It wasn't the flashiest of his performances, but those blocks were huge and came at opportune moments, and he was also playing within the offense for the most part.  One thing I would really like to see him focus on is to stop doing the unnecessary gather dribble and just go up with the ball when he gets it around the rim.  Tyrese Haliburton found him for what should have been an easy dunk in transition, but the gather allowed Indiana an extra second to come over and contest it and force the miss.
  • Speaking of Haliburton, this kid just knows how to play.  He showcased his range early, hitting a couple of deep threes on back to back possessions.  He's still shooting 50% from three after 9 games.
  • Buddy Hield has to be the most frustrating King right now.  Tonight was finally a good shooting performance from him as he went 6 for 11 from three (all his attempts came from beyond the arc) but he also had a couple boneheaded turnovers and was clearly a target the Pacers were seeking out when it was their turn to attack.
  • I don't think I heaped enough praise on Harrison Barnes in the recap for how well he did tonight or how well he has been playing all season.  Barnes has been as reliable as anyone for the Kings this year, averaging career-highs across the board aside from points per game.  When the Kings needed points tonight, they gave the ball to Harrison and Harrison delivered.
  • Hassan Whiteside is slow, and can't guard the perimeter, but there's definitely a shift in how opposing teams react when he's in the game.  Despite registering no blocks in his 9 minutes of action, he bothered several shots at the rim, and it was enough to signal that the layup line wasn't going to be so easy anymore.
  • Bjelica was a healthy scratch in this game in what seems like the first DNP-CD he's had since coming to Sacramento.  It was frankly about time, as he has been struggling on both ends of the court.  Bjelica's value lies in being able to hit his outside shot, and if he isn't doing that (currently at 23.8% from three through 10 games), he's a liability.

 

 

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HongKongKingsFan
January 11, 2021 10:13 pm

We win the game…mostly because of Holmes……and Barnes
HOLMES for 3……..!!!!comment imagecomment image

It’s all Holmes’ hustle against three Pacers inside the paint, fight for rebound, which resulted in Hield’s 3comment image 

LOVE the Bench reaction……………comment image

p.s. Bagley’s overall is nice tonight, only took 7 shots….played within the flow…not taking contested shot….(and of course, liked Walton benched him in late game situation) 

Kingsguru21
January 12, 2021 10:13 am
Reply to  Aykis16

If you don’t love Richaun Holmes, you’re not a Kings fan.

rc50cal
January 12, 2021 10:29 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Don’t tell me how to fan! Also, I love Holmes.

richie88
January 12, 2021 11:48 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Even non-Kings fans should love Holmes.

Gregoryl
January 12, 2021 8:15 am

Rese Lightning’s reaction to the Holmes 3 was so great, genuine excitement and joy.

NinjaFetus
January 12, 2021 10:25 am
Reply to  Gregoryl

His reactions to Holmes/Buddy’s 3’s and Fox’s massive dunk were fantastic to watch!

TerzoM
January 12, 2021 8:45 am

Everyone at home screaming at the same time

rc50cal
January 12, 2021 10:30 am
Reply to  TerzoM

That was fierce!

Kosta
January 11, 2021 10:14 pm

FOX had the highlight of the game, but damn…Richaun is who I want to be when I grow up.
comment image

LaBradfordsCreditCard
January 11, 2021 10:55 pm
Reply to  Aykis16

They will dump him because they have to keep Bagley, I fear.

9sac8
January 12, 2021 10:13 am

No…NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

DaveCarlsen
January 12, 2021 6:19 am
Reply to  Kosta

That shot totally made my night. Holmes is the easiest guy to root for on the roster because of his energy. I loved Doug’s call on the ‘patent pending’ push shot.

RikSmits
January 12, 2021 9:19 am
Reply to  Kosta

Impossible not to root for this guy.
He’s a warrior.

Migz
January 11, 2021 10:18 pm

I know this is a great season to tank but dammit I’m a sucker for quality basketball viewing experiences.

Bluejohn
January 11, 2021 11:19 pm
Reply to  Aykis16

I’ve said the same thing many times so far this season. Not at as well…….but similar.
It’s difficult for me to truly understand the difference between their good games and their shitty beyond belief play in some of their worst efforts.

I think (can’t prove it with stats) that when they’ve played at their best we are seeing our young vets (and Hali) play at a higher level then we’ve seen before with evidence that they are getting better at playing both some D and team ball.

Good to see, fun to watch.

Otis
January 12, 2021 5:02 am
Reply to  Bluejohn

I suspect it’s mostly just the difference between watching a crappy basketball team and watching an average-to-slightly below average basketball team. There will be bad nights and bad stretches of games, but there will also be nights like Monday night.

unfairweather
January 12, 2021 7:53 am
Reply to  Otis

I don’t think anybody had projected this team to aspire to average.

Last edited 1 day ago by unfairweather
Otis
January 12, 2021 12:08 pm
Reply to  unfairweather

/raises hand

Well, slightly below average anyway.

unfairweather
January 12, 2021 12:34 pm
Reply to  Otis

That wouldn’t be the most common prediction. Vegas had them in the basement in the West.

Otis
January 12, 2021 1:13 pm
Reply to  unfairweather

I was struggling to understand why they’d be substantially worse than last season, and not closer to the season before.

unfairweather
January 12, 2021 1:39 pm
Reply to  Otis

Because Kangz, that’s why. We are supposed to be on track for another front office/coaching turnover and self implosion, which still is probably even odds

There’s also the assumption was that they would be given unseasoned players a lot of time that previously went to vets like Bogi. What is unexpected is that the unseasoned player minutes would be some of our highest IQ ball.

Last edited 1 day ago by unfairweather
Kingsguru21
January 12, 2021 9:41 am
Reply to  Otis

Exactly.

DaveCarlsen
January 12, 2021 6:22 am
Reply to  Aykis16

I’m not sure I’ve ever seen more unpredictable night to night performance than this Kings team. You have no idea whether they’ll scrap out an awesome win or mentally never get off the bus. I don’t know what lit that fire last night, but I loved it.

RikSmits
January 12, 2021 9:21 am
Reply to  DaveCarlsen

Hassan’s remarks after last game, obviously.

9sac8
January 12, 2021 10:34 am
Reply to  DaveCarlsen

I totally agree. I don’t want to jinx anything, but I have this slightly eerie feeling that we may have just witnessed their potential and I hope they did too. Play with heart, intensity, and effort consistently…we’d be fucking dangerous!

MillersCornrows
January 12, 2021 1:20 pm
Reply to  DaveCarlsen

I wonder if they could play like they did last night on a more consistent basis with a better coach.

Kosta
January 11, 2021 10:18 pm

Bring back the dance threads here on TKH!
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Last edited 2 days ago by Kosta
Jman1949
January 11, 2021 10:35 pm
Reply to  Kosta

comment image

ZillersCat
January 12, 2021 6:40 am
Reply to  Kosta

comment image

Last edited 1 day ago by ZillersCat
Kingsguru21
January 12, 2021 9:41 am
Reply to  Kosta

Doesn’t matter what thread it is, there’s never a bad time for Snoopy dancing. Actually, given the level of “seemingly” hysteria after bad games, that might be the best time for this IMO.

rc50cal
January 12, 2021 10:32 am
Reply to  Kosta

Happy Black Girl GIF by Nick At Nite - Find & Share on GIPHY

ajon_es
January 11, 2021 10:19 pm

idk what track you’re talking about…

comment image

eddie41
January 12, 2021 7:34 am
Reply to  ajon_es

Turn that sucker over!

reydarly
January 11, 2021 10:21 pm

Holmes is on a bargain deal with us.

Barnes was amazing.

Hield wasn’t useless.

Bagley played team basketball.

Fox taking advantage of a mismatch to seal a game is what we need more of.

Haliburton needs more plays designed for him to score, He is a sniper.

Better rotations, with Haliburton coming of the bench first.

Solid win against a solid team.

Ralph_Furleys_Tailor
January 11, 2021 11:57 pm
Reply to  reydarly

Yes. Well said.

Jman1949
January 11, 2021 10:21 pm

Fox strutted a bit after that huge dunk!

comment image

Kosta
January 11, 2021 10:24 pm
Reply to  Jman1949

Fox it, we deserve this!

Fox-it
January 12, 2021 12:01 am
Reply to  Kosta

You’re damn right we do!

Kosta
January 12, 2021 12:13 am
Reply to  Fox-it

hahaha, nice 😛

Ralph_Furleys_Tailor
January 12, 2021 12:02 am
Reply to  Jman1949

Fox takes a lot of contact without drawing a foul. I’d be ok if he racked up a few technical fouls. No need to go full Boogie, but you he can say something.
Good win.

NinjaFetus
January 12, 2021 10:23 am
Reply to  Jman1949

Dunk posters need to be a thing again. Bring those back!

AlRey
January 11, 2021 10:21 pm

🦊

Kangz_Landing
January 11, 2021 10:24 pm

Definitely a good sign to see the coaches adjusting not having the guys switch EVERY…SINGLE…SCREEN.

Should be a better game vs the Blazers on Wednesday. Good win tonight, fun game!

HongKongKingsFan
January 11, 2021 10:30 pm
Reply to  Kangz_Landing

You are absolutely right about it……..

Not much switch through out the whole game….I really like it…

Also, give some credit to Hield, he fight hard to denying the ball

1951
January 11, 2021 10:31 pm

The thing about a well experienced tease is that they sure know how to make you feel warm fuzzies when they smile your way!

King4life
January 11, 2021 10:36 pm

This kinda feels like a .500 team. Sometimes they’re fun to watch and sometimes they make you want to turn off the game at halftime.

Love watching Holmes on the court. Hope we can resign him in the offseason!

Adamsite
Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
January 12, 2021 7:29 am
Reply to  King4life

You mean it feels like a team that is going to pick around #12 in the lottery again?

aplumley
January 12, 2021 8:18 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Perfect. It seems the team is better at picking #12 than #2.

Kingsguru21
January 12, 2021 9:44 am
Reply to  aplumley

I’d much rather Monte pick at #2 in this draft than #12 if it’s as deep in talent as everyone believes.

I guess it’s time to start kissing the lottery gods ass on the daily….

Last edited 1 day ago by Kingsguru21
Kui
Kui
January 11, 2021 10:37 pm

Great game all-around, except for the first minute and some overdribbling/gather step turnovers. Hopefully the team can do it consistently!

MidtownMike
January 11, 2021 10:39 pm

I hate to say it because I think he is a GREAT team player, and good basketball player that has taken unfair flak since being here…but, Barnes trade value is peaking for sure. A team like Boston would LOVE LOVE LOVE to slide him into that lineup.

By himself he could probably net us Langford and Nesmith, or one of them and the late Boston 1st.

Otis
January 12, 2021 5:08 am
Reply to  MidtownMike

We hear this every time Barnes has a hot stretch of basketball. Unfortunately, the league knows he’s poor value to his contract, and his contract is massive. Ainge hangs up the phone if you ask for that, IMO.

MidtownMike
January 12, 2021 9:56 am
Reply to  Otis

I checked out the Boston blog and at least the fan base is all over it.

I think this is the year for Boston to pull the plug on the treasure trove of assets and try and push over the top. Barnes fits their roster almost perfectly, I think he tries to lowball but eventually would cave as it doesn’t really hurt them short or long and helps them tremendously in the short.

Otis
January 12, 2021 12:11 pm
Reply to  MidtownMike

You think Barnes is the guy that finally gets Ainge to pull the stick out? Yeah, I’m going to disagree on that – or at least that we’d get anything tangible back. We’ll either get back a similarly bad contract (I’d have to check their roster) and some assets, or we’ll get some cap relief and little else.

Getting a first rounder from Ainge? Good luck.

Kingsguru21
January 12, 2021 12:20 pm
Reply to  Otis

I’ll make it easy for you (to find the salary). But since their guys that are making serious money are Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown, and Jayson Tatum, what are the chances of them doing that?

It would be Boston taking on ALOT of money to acquire Barnes and giving back Nesmith and a late 1st. Doubt that happens on every conceivable level and probably a few we aren’t aware of.

Kingsguru21
January 12, 2021 12:21 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Oh and Otis, on top of that, it would make Boston a tax paying team. I think the odds of me liking the Giants sometime in any lifetime is higher than Boston doing a deal with Sacramento for Harrison Barnes or Buddy Hield.

Otis
January 12, 2021 1:14 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

You’ll like the Giants when the A’s finally move. 🙂

Kingsguru21
January 12, 2021 1:17 pm
Reply to  Otis

I will literally choose the Yankees before the Giants. And to say I despise the Yankees in every conceivable manner is a grandiose understatement.

I will never choose the Giants.

Otis
January 12, 2021 1:22 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

I do believe that most A’s fans hate the Giants more than most Giants fans hate the Dodgers.

Kingsguru21
January 12, 2021 1:35 pm
Reply to  Otis

I would say that’s a fair value bet now. 30 years ago? No. But alot’s changed in that time.

Carl
January 12, 2021 3:15 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

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Last edited 1 day ago by Carl
MidtownMike
January 12, 2021 12:31 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

They have a 28 million TE from Hayward, they can take him easy and fit’s their current roster and needs perfectly. You’d be hard pressed to find a better fit/want for both teams than Barnes to Boston from the Kings

Kingsguru21
January 12, 2021 12:36 pm
Reply to  MidtownMike

I see no way they do a deal unless it’s for a star big that fits long term with their TL. Acquiring Barnes or Hield puts Boston over the tax line without making them a championship team IMO.

Otis
January 12, 2021 2:42 pm
Reply to  MidtownMike

If they are just taking a huge contract to fit that TPE, I doubt it will have three years left on the deal (or two and four-fifths, as it were). Unless we’re talking about an upper-tier talent.

Carl
January 12, 2021 3:17 pm
Reply to  MidtownMike

Barnes is mediocre a player as is he is good a person. Boston knows this.

BestHyperboleEver
January 12, 2021 12:34 pm
Reply to  MidtownMike

They don’t really have a treasure trove of assets anymore. Just a few extra 2nds and, personally, I’m not especially impressed with what they’ve done with all those picks.

BestHyperboleEver
January 12, 2021 12:36 pm

That said, it wouldn’t take much to make me say yes.

eddie41
January 12, 2021 7:27 am
Reply to  MidtownMike

That’s flawed logic, unless you want to remain a farm team.

MidtownMike
January 12, 2021 9:57 am
Reply to  eddie41

Trading Barnes for a top 20 drafted player from a couple weeks ago and a 1st next year is flawed logic? Enlighten me…

eddie41
January 12, 2021 10:25 am
Reply to  MidtownMike

First of all, your starting point is off. You begin by trying to please the Celtics, talking about how great he’d be for them. If you had started off by saying you really want a particular player, we could discuss that player, but you didn’t. What you did is talk in the alternate: Romeo and/or Nesmith and/or a pick, meaning there isn’t even one asset on the Celtics you are after. Instead you’re proposing trades for the sake of proposing trades, seeing what rises to the top in Sacramento so that you can move it for some mystery bag of discarded assets from the Celtics so we can repeat the process a couple years later. Farm team.

MidtownMike
January 12, 2021 11:41 am
Reply to  eddie41

I started with what would Boston would like because from a Kings fan perspective we see absurd trades that are unrealistic because what the other team wants isn’t considered.

I said I was after a combination of 2 of those 3 assets because I think Boston would part with that, so at that point it would be up to McNair and staff to decide.

Kingsguru21
January 12, 2021 9:58 am
Reply to  MidtownMike

Here’s my question: As valuable as Barnes seems to be these days, how much do the Kings lose by trading him? Especially when he has a stretch where he is doing exceptional things for 12 minute stretches.

I know it’s popular these days to question the value of contract w/r/t Barnes, but I don’t really see the need to move him unless you’re getting a better player back. I don’t think cap space at this point is more valuable than Barnes, and I don’t see stacks of 1st round picks being that much more valuable than a NBA player averaging 18 7 & 6 right now (SSS caveats obviously apply).

Moving Barnes to open cap space to put the Kings where they were basically at in 2017 is entirely a bad idea IMO. So is moving Buddy Hield.

I’m generally not a fan of the way this franchise has changed coaches, but I think another element of instability is this desire to collect perfect assets at every step of the way instead of accepting you have quality even if it’s not to the desired affect at this very moment in time. I would like to see a coach with long term stability that can’t be fired just because there are frustrating moments in the season. Do you think Pacers fans aren’t talking shit about Nate Bjorkgren last night right now? But I think an important element of the Pacers’ success is that they aren’t constantly turning over the top of their roster as the Kings have.

But we shall see on this one. The trade deadline and this off-season could be very interesting.

Kingsguru21
January 12, 2021 10:15 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Sorry. Should have said Barnes is averaging 18 7 & 3. I misread the rebounding column wrong. My bad.

RORDOG
January 12, 2021 10:18 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

your commenting privileges have been revoked

Kingsguru21
January 12, 2021 10:25 am
Reply to  RORDOG

Better than your food privileges, I suppose.

RORDOG
January 12, 2021 10:34 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

I’m making some coconut curry soup with chicken, chickpeas and kale today. I’m a soup kick these days.

Kingsguru21
January 12, 2021 10:36 am
Reply to  RORDOG

It’s that time of year. But that soup sounds tasty, ain’t gonna lie.

RORDOG
January 12, 2021 10:39 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

I’m pretty excited. Now I’m just preying the instacart guy can find everything.

Kingsguru21
January 12, 2021 10:41 am
Reply to  RORDOG

I do my own shopping for food. I never trust anyone else for that under any circumstance.

9sac8
January 12, 2021 10:40 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

I was with you until you said keep Buddy.

Last edited 1 day ago by 9sac8
January 12, 2021 10:23 am
Reply to  MidtownMike

A deal centered around Nesmith and a first would get it done for me. I would love to keep Harrison but if we’re aiming to get younger and build around Fox and Haliburton, that’s a pretty damn solid return.

Especially if you think Nesmith has the ability to become a Buddy-like shooter. I think it all depends if we’re taking the patient route to try and build something special OR if we are looking to get into the playoffs as soon as possible. Probably all depends what our record looks like around the trade deadline.

BestHyperboleEver
January 12, 2021 12:50 pm
Reply to  LLcoolRay

I’m not even much of a fan of Nesmith, but that’s still plenty for me. Then again, my opinions on players don’t tend to swing wildly based on a handful of games.

LaBradfordsCreditCard
January 11, 2021 10:53 pm

Gotta gotta gotta find a way to keep Holmes.

Adamsite
Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
January 12, 2021 7:42 am

This is going to be a real dilemma. If the Kings feel they cannot afford him in the offseason, they pretty much have to move him by the deadline. The bottom line is the other 29 teams can pay Holmes more.

Kingsguru21
January 12, 2021 10:04 am
Reply to  Adamsite

This is hyperbole Adam. 29 other teams cannot pay Richaun Holmes more. Any tax paying team can’t, for instance.

About 20 teams could pay Holmes more, probably. That’s a lot. But that’s not the entire league, and there’s a lot that could happen between now and then.

Adamsite
Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
January 12, 2021 10:14 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

This is true, I guess I should clarify. The other 29 teams can either pay him more under their cap or the over the cap teams can free up space to pay him more than the Kings can. Either way, the Kings are stuck at a ceiling at what they can pay him, regardless of their cap situations, or at least that is how I understand it.

Kingsguru21
January 12, 2021 10:18 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Either way, the Kings are stuck at a ceiling at what they can pay him, regardless of their cap situations, or at least that is how I understand it.

The Kings are stuck if the status remains quo and maybe depending on where their draft pick ends up. But so much can change between now and then. I’m going with the position, as of now, the Kings aren’t in that tough a position to be able to retain Richaun Holmes if they are so inclined.

RORDOG
January 12, 2021 11:57 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

yeah one thing that’s hard to remember (at least for me) is that the Kings can sign Holmes up to a max contract amount if they have the cap space to do so.

rockbottom
January 12, 2021 7:01 am

Holmes and Harrison were co-mvp’s ! Holmes may be the most under rated player in the NBA ! Clearly one of the top 15 starting centers !

kings4ever
January 12, 2021 7:11 am

Great win guys! We needed it.

Bagley with three defensive plays last night – two blocks and charge drawn – which brings his season total by my count to, um, three!

Fox has had vicious “parting of the sea” jams like that before, but usually he gets more of a running start. This time there was less runway and more traffic, and yet ka-BOOM! I believe the techical phrase for that dunk is “exclamation point b*tches”.

As an aside, Sabonis is a beast averaging 22 PPG 12 RPG and 6 APG on 56% FGs! He has a similar physical profile, a lefty too, as Bagley. Bagley needs to emulate Sabonis, though he will never be the assist man. Sabonis has developed into a top line performer partly bc he trains like a beast. Sabonis has put in the work, Bagley has not!

If Bagley spent as much time during his downtime trying to perfect his three point shot as doing squats, deadlifts, running sprints, lateral mobility drill, the real grunt work with real intensity and form instead of pseudo effort while pondering his next rhyme or “sick bars”, then maybe his 8 point 7 rebound effort, including crunch time from the bench, would not qualify as “progress”.

And yet Team Bagley wants to shift the blame? GTFO. Hire a better trainer!

This coach gave post ups to Barnes over Bagley. This is the way it should be. Barnes is more creative, strong, and versatile out of the post. Let Bagley get his opportunistic points, he has not earned the right to have plays called for him!

Bjelica with the DNP-CD, say what, do my eyes deceive me?! I have been calling for his permanent exile, since before the season began. Is this a precursor or anomaly? We’ll see.

I am not even excited about Glenn Robinson III, but he gives you more motion and movement and execution than the perpetual slug that is Bjelica. Memo to Jerry Reynolds, who I love, but if you cannot move, you cannot play, I do not care how “heady of a player” you are.

I have seen these players countless times. The best fringe players can do is help you lose respectfully. For every two good things, you get three to four bad things, even if they do not show in the stats. Bjelica helps you lose respectably. And that is at his best. At his worst, we get what we got the two games prior.

If Bjelica gets his normal 15 MPG last night, we lose that game, thats just my opinion. An apathetic slug translates into collective synergy how again, explain that one to me! It took this coach 10 games more to maybe figure it out than this keyboard warrior, that does not bode well for him, but better late than before the pink slip gets delivered to the inbox! And Bjelica is another guy with very very dubious training regimen. Soft as pie.

You canot play Whiteside, CoJoSlo and Bjelica. I don’t even think you can play two of them. It is ridiculous to have to make this observation since any astute observer can see this. But our coach needs the obvious called to his attention with a figurative 2 x 4 to the dome. If you are going to choose one, choose Whiteside, the guy is friggen good and his teammates like having him on the floor.

CoJoSlo is still weaving his deception, feigning competency with charitable plays through a disinterested opponent. In other words, this little slug is not a threat, let him flutter about as he will. And in this disdain and rightful assessment, he makes a layup or an open shot. Joseph lulls the opposition to sleep than strikes when disregarded. Meanwhile Kyle Guy rots on the bench!!

Buddy Hield is suffering through the worst shooting slump of his career, much through his own making using terrible discernment over shot selection, we lose Bogi and we lose effectively Bjelica, and this coach fails to employ the services of the first or second best pure shooter on the team?? I will keep beating this drum all season long if I have to!

I was happy to see Buddy make two big shots. I am not going to elevate Haliburton to the Top 1-2 shooters on the team until we get more of a sample size, but his range and focus is incredible. He does have a slight tweak on his release but still the shot comes off pretty smooth.

But I still have more confidence in Kyle Guy as a long range bomber than either Buddy or Hali. With these three shooters in the rotation, selective makes and hot streaks with Fox and Barnes, and the interior defense with Whiteside and Holmes for 48 minutes, we have the makings of a very good team…..

The problem is our coach is intellectually challenged, but last night with the (permanent?) benching of Bjelica all hope is not lost!

OakieNiner
January 12, 2021 8:25 am
Reply to  kings4ever

Yeah, Robinson got the burn last night but Bjelly will be back.

Kyle Guy is easy to like but I still think he gets a little overmatched against good competition although we just have not seen much of him in those situations.

If Bagley could just play within the offense he would be easily be a double double machine. There appeared to be some improvement on defense last night but the kid still has a long way to go. Maybe Whiteside can be the voice that pushes Bagley to do the little things.

I think, at times, we are forcing the Barnes iso too much…during the two game “shit show” there was a lot of iso for Barnes…well, actually, it appeared everyone thought they had the matchup they wanted.

Buddy is making poor decisions leading to missed shots and easy transition baskets. He, just like Bagley, needs to play within the offense. His shots will be there…he doesn’t need to force it or take a heat check shot when he’s not hot. Buddy shot will start falling but I just don’t see how he becomes a better defender…it’s just not in his DNA.

WizsSox
January 12, 2021 8:41 am
Reply to  kings4ever

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krswin
January 12, 2021 9:04 am
Reply to  kings4ever

Bjelica has been one of the few players the last administration got their money’s worth on. He has won us some games with his sharpshooting. Nobody is saying he has been good this year, but I would rather watch him play BB than read what you wrote again.

Hippity_Hop_Barbershop
January 12, 2021 7:33 am

It’s settled. I’m the bad luck charm. I watched the last two games and skipped last night’s.

I guess I’ve lived long enough to see myself become the villain.

Gregoryl
January 12, 2021 8:18 am

I did not go into this season thinking Barnes would likely be the top trade candidate at the deadline, but I think any team looking to make a run in the playoffs would be crazy to not take a serious look at him.

Adamsite
Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
January 12, 2021 8:30 am
Reply to  Gregoryl

I think Holmes is the top trade candidate. He’s an expiring, plays way above his contract, and can really help a contender.

Ralph_Furleys_Tailor
January 12, 2021 8:51 am
Reply to  Adamsite

You’re both right. Both are playing great basketball. I think Barnes contract is harder to trade, but it’s a need dependent coin flip.

jwalker1395
January 12, 2021 8:58 am

I honestly think Barnes is making his contract look like great value at the moment. He’s looking like a 25+ mil/yr type player at the moment and having him locked up in his prime for two more years on a declining deal is not a bad position for the Kings to be in.

Gregoryl
January 12, 2021 9:14 am
Reply to  jwalker1395

And for those team’s looking to make a run in the post-season, Barnes has that championship moxey that teams need.

WizsSox
January 12, 2021 9:22 am
Reply to  jwalker1395

Agreed. The fact the Barnes contract declines and has only two years remaining after this is not terrible. If he even plays at about 75-80% of what he has the first few weeks, its not a bad contract.

That said, I don’t know how eager I would be to trade him. Are the Kings hopeful to be good in the next 2-3 years? If so, then why trade him? Combo 3/4’s that can shoot and do a bit of everything like he has shown are true commodities. Are we finding another of those in free agency?

If there is no hope to be good the next 2-3 years and just full tear down, then fine trade him. If someone knocks your socks off with an offer, fine trade him. But I am not sure I would be eager to trade him for a middling/late first or wild swing on an unproven player.

Last edited 1 day ago by WizsSox
January 12, 2021 10:25 am
Reply to  WizsSox

Agreed, I think this is the big question. Do we think we’ll be a playoff team in the next couple years? Or do we think that’s unrealistic and just need to build for the future?

If we can get a young player and a first, like people have talked about with the Celtics, that makes it a very difficult decision.

richie88
January 12, 2021 12:08 pm
Reply to  WizsSox

To me, a mid-1st rounder in a strong draft seems like appropriate compensation for Barnes if the Kings want to trade him.

Otis
January 12, 2021 12:13 pm
Reply to  richie88

Y’all are cracking me up.

richie88
January 12, 2021 12:18 pm
Reply to  Otis

I don’t necessarily think anyone would offer that, but it’s a scenario where I’d easily be comfortable w/pulling the trigger.

Kingsguru21
January 12, 2021 12:14 pm
Reply to  richie88

Especially if I think that player has a chance at being a starter within a year.

But I doubt anyone does that.

Carl
January 12, 2021 3:22 pm
Reply to  jwalker1395

As well has Barnes has played, I see no reason to believe he won’t revert to the mean nine seasons in. I’m enjoying watching him play, and he’s really been good. But it won’t last.

Ralph_Furleys_Tailor
January 13, 2021 3:49 am
Reply to  jwalker1395

100% HB is ballin. It’s just that Holmes is dollar for dollar one of the most desirable players in the league right now and that’s no shade on Harrison.

eddie41
January 12, 2021 9:43 am
Reply to  Gregoryl

Farm team mentality right there. Same with most of the responses.

RORDOG
January 12, 2021 10:24 am
Reply to  eddie41

the Kings didn’t develop Barnes though. He was already a veteran before he got here. You need to come up with a different analogy for when a team sells high-ish on a mature asset they traded for.

Kingsguru21
January 12, 2021 10:38 am
Reply to  RORDOG

Here’s a question I’m coming back to as I think about the conundrum of trading Barnes: Why do the Kings need to trade for Nesmith and a late 1st round pick (or that kind of package)? How does that help them really?

unfairweather
January 12, 2021 10:57 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

This is a better analysis. What is a versatile, steady vet on a fairly short, but large declining contract worth as an asset?

I mean, my guess is Barnes’ value as a playoff ringer rises in the final year of his contract, and if a deal like that is available for that reason now, it should be then.

So the primary reason you do a deal like that is if you really like Nesmith (or whichever player is being dangled).

Last edited 1 day ago by unfairweather
RORDOG
January 12, 2021 11:04 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

To me, it just comes to what your goals are. I would assume the people that want to trade Barnes want to do whatever they can to ensure the Kings get a top 5 pick this season while continuing to develop and acquire young assets on cost controlled contracts.

To me, it all comes down to his actual value. We can all say “the Kings should trade Barnes for X to team Y.” The problem is that we don’t know if a trade like that is even an option. If they have to take back a big multiyear contract, and some fringe asset, then it’s probably best to just keep him. If they can trade him for an expiring contract, and a player like Neismith, then I think you have to consider the trade.

Otis
January 12, 2021 12:14 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

Yep, this.

rc50cal
January 12, 2021 10:46 am
Reply to  RORDOG

Smart asset management and long-term thinking. Not analogies, but that’s what I would call it.

Kingsguru21
January 12, 2021 10:47 am
Reply to  rc50cal

More than 1 kind of asset management and long-term thinking, isn’t there?

rc50cal
January 12, 2021 1:17 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Certainly. The Kings haven’t employed any of them in a long time though.

Kingsguru21
January 12, 2021 1:20 pm
Reply to  rc50cal

I would suspect Monte McNair is further along this tract than where the Kings have been in a long, long time since Petrie in his heyday.

9sac8
January 12, 2021 10:47 am
Reply to  eddie41

I’ve read your statements and responses. I think I’ve found a friend. Fuck that hypothetical shit. Let’s win.

I don’t know anything…

Last edited 1 day ago by 9sac8
9sac8
January 12, 2021 10:11 am

Let’s just go ahead and say Barnes is now the heart and soul of this time. This is the Barnes I thought was coming out of NC. We have to keep him. He’s TOO valuable.

Now, the first of a slump, then Barnes your ass is off to Milwaukee!!!

Seriously though. Great team effort. I was waiting on a Fox signature dunk. I got it tonight.

Go FUCKING KINGS!

PretendGhost
January 12, 2021 11:55 am
Reply to  9sac8

Barnes is playing himself into having good trade value, if he’s still doing this at the deadline then the Kings might take advantage of a win-now team willing to part with draft capital and youth.

That said, big wings who can hit from outside, defend 4 positions, and make good decisions on offense are among the most valuable in the NBA and can be hard to find, so retaining him wouldn’t upset me either. The fact that he’s able to play such big minutes, makes few mistakes, and is a clear leader for this team are all wins in my book.

Otis
January 12, 2021 1:20 pm
Reply to  PretendGhost

We’ll need a Vlade-level GM out there that would see Barnes as “playing himself into having good trade value”.

Why would a GM talk himself into three years, $60 million for Barnes based on 381 minutes that are a clear outlier to the 19,074 that came before it?

And his numbers this year aren’t just an outlier to his career numbers, they are significantly higher. Does anyone really believe he made a leap 9 years and 19,000 minutes in?

But hell, if we find a team that would just take him for longer term cap relief and a second rounder, I’d be down. Anything above that is a huge win for McNair.

Carl
January 12, 2021 3:23 pm
Reply to  Otis

This.