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Kings 124, Raptors 123: Kings escape with a gritty road win

Domantas and De'Aaron carried the Kings to their 15th win on the season in one of the more gritty and physical games of the early season.
By | 106 Comments | Dec 14, 2022

Dec 14, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Sacramento Kings guard De'Aaron Fox (5) drives to the basket as Toronto Raptors guard Gary Trent Jr. (33) tries to defend during the second quarter at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Less than 24 hours removed from a disastrous performance in Philadelphia and facing the second night of a back-to-back, the Sacramento Kings flipped the script and pulled out a 124-123 victory against the Toronto Raptors in one of their more gritty wins of the early season.

It was a wild and crazy night in Toronto that featured physical basketball and two teams taking turns exploiting matchups against each other. Fred VanVleet (39 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 steals) carved up any King who tried to guard him, while Domantas Sabonis (21 points, 20 rebounds, and 7 assists) routinely took advantage of Toronto’s lack of a true center. While the Raptors tall lineup continually bested the Kings in the paint – Toronto had just two players, VanVleet and Gary Trent Jr., standing under 6’5 in size – Sacramento continued to attack with drives to the rim that helped keep their offense varied and their three point looks more open.

De’Aaron Fox finished with 27 points, 10 assists, and 6 rebounds in 41 minutes, and hit some late clutch buckets to keep the Raptors at bay. Malik Monk had 24 points off the bench, and Terence Davis – who started the game in place of the injured Kevin Huerter – added 19.

Toronto’s combination of Scottie Barnes (27 points, 10 assists, and 7 boards) and Pascal Siakam (19 points, 6 assists, and 4 rebounds)  attacked the basket relentlessly and helped the Raptors take a 68-50 advantage on points in the paint. But the undersized Kings won the battle on the boards (50-39), hit 37% of their shots from deep, and dominated in transition with a 31-16 advantage in fastbreak points. In a game that featured two teams routinely forcing advantages against the other, the Kings came out on top.

Tensions erupted in the 3rd when back-to-back questionable calls in favor of VanVleet ended with Fox earning a technical foul. Mike Brown was incensed, and ran onto the court to make his feelings clear to the reffing crew. He quickly earned his own pair of technical fouls, and was tossed from the game. While the Kings frustrations with the officials throughout the whole season have been well chronicled, the whistles were exceptionally inconsistent tonight; Sacramento went the whole of the 1st and 3rd quarters and most of the 4th without any trips to the free throw line. When Fox hit a layup to put the Kings up 118-113 with 1:40 to go, he came down with a cut above his eye and no foul called – and, ironically, a few possessions later when the Raptors were desperately trying to intentionally foul Fox to stop the clock, the whistles stayed silent for a long time.

With the win, the Kings improved to 15-12 on the season and 2-3 on their six game East Coast road trip. They finish up the trip on Friday in Detroit against the Pistons.

Game Notes:

  • After Brown exited the game, Jordi Fernández took over as acting coach and did a great job of keeping the Kings on track and focused.
  • The Raptors went 9-10 from the free throw line in the first quarter, while the Kings got no attempts in the period; in the second quarter, the Kings went 9-10 from the line, and Toronto got no attempts. The Raptors finished the game 23 of 27 from the line, while Sacramento went 17 of 19.
  • Harrison Barnes was key down the stretch, finishing with 3 big boards and 4-4 from the free throw line in the 4th quarter. As our buddy Omer Kahn noted on Twitter, Barnes is somehow significantly more effective at getting to the line than either Fox or Sabonis.
  • Raptors forward OG Anunoby, who is Toronto’s second leading scorer on the season (19 PPG), sat out the contest with a bum hip.

 

 

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106 Comments
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andy_sims
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December 14, 2022 7:41 pm

De’Aaron Fox could name each of the three officials for this game in a lawsuit based on failure to act, and he’d become slightly richer.

Name a better player who is as routinely disrespected by refs as our kid Fox.

AnybodyButBagley
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December 14, 2022 8:01 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

His reward for being on the softest team in the NBA for his entire career. They have a whole bunch of shit reputation to overcome.

Not fair but that is the reality of it.

BeTheBall
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December 14, 2022 8:14 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

I’d say Sabonis has a slight lead in the department, averaging 5 elbows to the face per game. But this team definitely has zero respect from the refs.

AnybodyButBagley
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December 14, 2022 8:24 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

Sabonis definitely wins this.

Convoy
December 15, 2022 12:44 am
Reply to  BeTheBall

Adam Silver is a punk ass bitch for not addressing this. The Kings are clearly way better this year and deserve some respect. I truly believe if David Sterling were still commissioner he would have stepped in by now and done something about this.

Last edited 1 year ago by Convoy
RobHessing
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December 15, 2022 11:58 am
Reply to  Convoy

David Sterling?
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Klam
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December 15, 2022 12:30 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

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RobHessing
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December 15, 2022 2:17 pm
Reply to  Klam

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Last edited 1 year ago by RobHessing
deltarich
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December 14, 2022 8:39 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

I think NBA officials heads would explode trying to decide what to call if Fox was attacking Domas in the paint. One guy can’t buy a whistle no matter how much he’s being thrown around like a pinball in a crowd, and the other gets called for fouls for just breathing on opposing players or having the audacity of having his face make contact with their elbows

kgdobter
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December 15, 2022 10:39 am
Reply to  andy_sims

The NBA needs to start fining and suspending refs for bad calls. These bad calls often determine the outcome of many games. It’s a league wide problem that has been left without any regulating for years now.

Jman1949
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December 14, 2022 7:43 pm

After grabbing that early lead, the Raptors just spiraled downward!

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Yakshi
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Nostradumbass 21
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December 14, 2022 7:48 pm
Reply to  Jman1949

How many games have the Kings won after being down by double digits on the road? Charlotte, Orlando, Toronto. To me, this fourth quarter comeback win felt more likely than not.

Klam
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December 14, 2022 9:27 pm
Reply to  Yakshi

And today’s win was done on the third game in four nights!

Marty
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December 15, 2022 5:03 am
Reply to  Yakshi

Agreed. I do trip on the game thread when people want to pack it in when they’re down by 12 in the 3rd. This team never feels like they’re out of it.

There is comfort knowing your team has their shit together enough to have a relevant run at any time. Maybe it’s the opposite of the doom and gloom we’ve had in the past, knowing nothing was going to hold up.

Daydreamer
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December 15, 2022 6:36 am
Reply to  Jman1949

Question: aren’t raptors birds? Eagles, hawks, falcons, etc. are raptors.

Jman1949
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December 15, 2022 7:30 am
Reply to  Daydreamer

As you note, there is a class of birds that is known as “raptors”. However there was also a class of dinosaurs known as “raptors”, perhaps most notably the velociraptors as represented in the Jurassic Park movies.

If you want more info, look here https://study.com/learn/lesson/raptor-dinosaur-facts-types.html

Kingsguru21
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December 15, 2022 7:56 am
Reply to  Jman1949

Roses are red…
Violets are blue…
Jman’s poems are dope…
….and his history lessons are, too.

Jman1949
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December 15, 2022 8:12 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

It’s easy when you actually lived through the Jurassic Era!

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andy_sims
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December 15, 2022 9:48 am
Reply to  Jman1949

UfCL FTW

Daydreamer
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December 15, 2022 8:10 am
Reply to  Jman1949

Thanks. Now I know.

HoustonJP
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December 15, 2022 11:11 am
Reply to  Daydreamer

They are one and the same, separated by millions and millions of years of evolution. Third cousins many times removed, if you will.

UpgradedToQuestionable
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December 15, 2022 1:16 pm
Reply to  HoustonJP

Birds = Dinosaurs

https://www.nature.com/articles/news980702-8

(/mike drop)

HoustonJP
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December 15, 2022 5:56 pm

Good article by Gee, now 25 years old. Thanks for the good read, much appreciated.

Klam
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December 14, 2022 7:49 pm

BEAM TEAM!!!!! WE DESERVED AND EARNED THAT WIN!!!!!!!!!
https://twitter.com/SacramentoKings/status/1603231302136008704

RobHessing
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December 14, 2022 8:19 pm
Reply to  Klam

This team. They make me happy.

TerzoM
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December 14, 2022 8:38 pm
Reply to  Klam

Congrats DPOG HB40. Contained Siakam at 37%

Adamsite
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December 14, 2022 9:47 pm
Reply to  Klam

Wait, do I see Keegan smiling?

Jman1949
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December 14, 2022 9:53 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Are you sure that’s not Kris?

Bluejohn
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December 15, 2022 1:22 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I think I’ve seen him grinning sitting on the bench a couple of times. A slight grin def not a full smile but a grin none the less

CastlePeak
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December 15, 2022 5:57 am
Reply to  Klam

A great road win! Capped it off by taking my dog for a walk on a brisk night and saw the bright and glorious beam from the levee in west sac!

MaybeNextYear
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December 14, 2022 7:54 pm

Fuck it, we deserve this win.

Jman1949
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December 14, 2022 8:13 pm
Reply to  MaybeNextYear

Literally had to scratch and claw our way to a win over a very physical Raptors team!

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L-Train3.1
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December 14, 2022 7:55 pm

It was 8v5 again. The disrespect towards Fox is criminal.

ManilaBayCleanerCrew
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December 14, 2022 7:57 pm
Reply to  L-Train3.1

This was downright obvious on the refs.

AnybodyButBagley
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December 14, 2022 7:58 pm

Realistically using “gritty” to describe this team is something that is a victory in many ways.

Honestly thought that Mars would be a lay over for a trip into the next galaxy before that happened.

MichaelMack
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December 14, 2022 9:57 pm

My 77 year old Mom texted me the minute the game was over with “God this team has grit!”

Damn that was fun to watch.

RikSmits
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December 14, 2022 10:15 pm
Reply to  MichaelMack

Hah. Great.

AnybodyButBagley
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December 14, 2022 10:20 pm
Reply to  MichaelMack

That is awesome.

TerzoM
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December 14, 2022 7:59 pm

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Jman1949
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December 14, 2022 8:06 pm
Reply to  TerzoM

Fox definitely contributed tonight!

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Daydreamer
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December 14, 2022 8:10 pm

Could anyone show the video of VanVleet’s last Shot where he shoved Fox?

eddie41
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December 14, 2022 8:20 pm
Reply to  Daydreamer

more of a hockey check

Adamsite
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December 14, 2022 9:50 pm
Reply to  Daydreamer

I almost tipped over my couch as I jumped when they didn’t call an offensive foul on FVV.

MichaelMack
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December 14, 2022 9:58 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Horrible non-call. I don’t understand how Fox is on the wrong end of so many iffy calls/non-calls.

Kingsguru21
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December 15, 2022 7:55 am
Reply to  MichaelMack

He’s on the Sacramento Kings and he’s De’Aaron Fox. Simple.

TerzoM
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December 14, 2022 10:49 pm
Reply to  Daydreamer
Last edited 1 year ago by TerzoM
Daydreamer
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December 15, 2022 6:33 am
Reply to  TerzoM

How did I miss that? Incredible! And no foul!!!

Kosta
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December 15, 2022 8:00 am
Reply to  Daydreamer

How did I miss that

Are you an NBA official??

😛

KingsSince85
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December 15, 2022 10:04 am
Reply to  TerzoM

The refs were waiting to see whether the Fred’s shot fell. If it had gone in, perhaps they would blown the whistle then… There have been a number of absurdly late calls this season.

RobHessing
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December 14, 2022 8:18 pm

.

17C70FFC-F960-4DA4-A43A-124F34C4D312.gif
Klam
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December 14, 2022 8:20 pm
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Jman1949
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December 14, 2022 8:23 pm
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ZillersCat
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December 14, 2022 8:26 pm
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December 14, 2022 10:04 pm
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UpgradedToQuestionable
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December 14, 2022 8:22 pm

Two minute report time again – FVV is a heckuva player, but that was a huge non-call.

overall, the NBA officiating has been below average this season.

oh well – Kings Win! Fox, Sabonis, HB with the return of Malik Monk and Davis and even a Richaun Holmes sighting the day before trade season begins.

Does Jordi Fernandez get credit too? I think he should.

Dino Dance Time
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LIGHT THE BEAM!

Jman1949
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December 14, 2022 8:25 pm

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Hobby916
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December 14, 2022 8:30 pm

Missed this one as we took the kids to some holiday stuff on a rainy day in Tennessee. Going to go back and check it out. Sounds like it was a good one.

MichaelMack
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December 14, 2022 10:00 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

I hope you watch it, it was a lot of fun. Toronto is a really interesting team with interesting players, and both teams went at it.

satdawg
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December 14, 2022 8:42 pm

This whole coaching staff deserves a ton of credit. they’re pulling all the right strings with the rotations and have gotten the guys to close out games with wins

HoustonJP
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December 15, 2022 3:39 am
Reply to  satdawg

Rec!

RikSmits
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December 14, 2022 9:12 pm

Great win!

Even greater when Guru used about 11,000 of his 23,000 word post yesterday to describe how they would not win on the 2nd night of a SEGABABA and should rest all their starters.

Kingsguru21
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December 14, 2022 9:21 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Even greater when Guru used about 11,000 of his 23,000 word post yesterday to describe how they would not win on the 2nd night of a SEGABABA and should rest all their starters.

Smart ass fake Marist grad.

I’ll stand by what I said, but I’m glad I was wrong at the same time. Getting a W like this one tends to be good for you in the long term. I guess they weren’t as beat up overall as I thought.

I’ll take being wrong about a W over being right about a L every time….

RikSmits
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December 14, 2022 9:59 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Just teasing you.
I know you enjoyed that one as much as everyone else.

Kingsguru21
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December 14, 2022 10:02 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

I know. Me too. No worries.

ForKingsandCountry
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December 14, 2022 9:19 pm

I really don’t like complaining about the officiating but what the hell was that? I’ve seen bad officiating but that was criminal negligence. There were so many missed/blown calls I thought my wife was going to have a stroke. Fox has blood dripping out of his head onto the floor and the refs are just staring into space. FVV could have been called for about 7 offensive fouls and was called for none. What a mess.

All that said, great win! Everyone contributed and with no Huerter, even more impressive. Have to come out strong against the Pistons and get a win Friday and they can pull a 3-3 record on this trip which feels like a borderline miracle. I figured 2-4 was likely and they’ve got a shot to beat that which is a win IMO.

Last edited 1 year ago by ForKingsandCountry
Kingsguru21
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December 14, 2022 9:45 pm

I really don’t like complaining about the officiating but what the hell was that? I’ve seen bad officiating but that was criminal negligence. There were so many missed/blown calls I thought my wife was going to have a stroke. Fox has blood dripping out of his head onto the floor and the refs are just staring into space. FVV could have been called for about 7 offensive fouls and was called for none. What a mess.

I won’t argue the officiating truly stunk and that it tilted the Raptors way. Both are true. It’s also true the Kings don’t do themselves any favors with how they respond to physical contact and that’s what the refs are seeing. I know there are some egregious things folks are pointing to, but when you take so many 3’s and don’t match or exceed the physicality of the opponent these are the types of things that happen.

All that said, great win! Everyone contributed and with no Huerter, even more impressive. Have to out strong against the Pistons and get a win Friday and they can pull a 3-3 record on this trip which feels like a borderline miracle. I figured 2-4 was likely and they’ve got a shot to beat that which is a win IMO.

I said multiple times I was hoping for 3-3 on this trip, and I was more than ready to accept 2-4 before beating the Raptors. I really thought Domas, in particular, needed a night off. I thought it might be wise to give De’Aaron a night off on a SEGABABA and since you already had those two rest Huerter (who didn’t play as we know) and Barnes for the same reason. Wear and tear over the season adds up. Maybe they won’t do load management the way other NBA teams do, I understand that.

That all said, if you beat Detroit and come out 7-6 in this 13 game stretch, I think most people around here would be thrilled by that. During this 12 game stretch, the Kings ORtg is 109.5 (27th) and the DRtg is 109.9 (7th) with a Net Rtg (-0.4) of 16th. As bad as this stretch has been, the Kings have been outscored by a total of 3 points.

The Kings have a legitimate shot at 45 wins, and I personally think 50 wins isn’t beyond the realm of possibility particularly because of the friendly stretch the Kings have coming up. We’re in for some good times, me thinks.

RikSmits
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December 14, 2022 10:02 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

 It’s also true the Kings don’t do themselves any favors with how they respond to physical contact and that’s what the refs are seeing. I know there are some egregious things folks are pointing to, but when you take so many 3’s and don’t match or exceed the physicality of the opponent these are the types of things that happen.

Word!

aplumley
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December 14, 2022 10:28 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Seriously?!?! This is total BS. If you don’t think Domas, Barnes, and Fox are bringing physicality, we’re watching different games.

Last edited 1 year ago by aplumley
RikSmits
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December 14, 2022 10:36 pm
Reply to  aplumley

I respect your opinion.

AnybodyButBagley
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December 15, 2022 5:07 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Fox is not known as a physical presence.

krswin
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December 15, 2022 9:48 am
Reply to  RikSmits

What are they supposed to do about physical contact? Throw themselves to the floor at the slightest touch from an opposing player like Chris Paul does? Kings (Fox) gets assaulted on nightly basis and simply bitches about it and plays on, no theatrics. I guess he should take a drama class or something.

andy_sims
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December 14, 2022 10:09 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

What would you say is the proper response to being hit so hard in the head that blood is drawn? Considering that whatever hit Fox was a blunt, as opposed to sharp object, the force needed to be considerable. Human skin doesn’t just rip apart without really getting slammed.

They could let Fox call his own fouls, and I’d bet that he’d do a more honest job than NBA refs. The state of officiating is an institutional failure on the NBA’s part.

RikSmits
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December 14, 2022 10:25 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

Good job cutting away all context of what he said and homing in on one little detail.

andy_sims
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December 15, 2022 9:51 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Good job overlooking the one little detail that I wasn’t responding to you.

Kingsguru21
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December 14, 2022 11:08 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

What would you say is the proper response to being hit so hard in the head that blood is drawn? Considering that whatever hit Fox was a blunt, as opposed to sharp object, the force needed to be considerable. Human skin doesn’t just rip apart without really getting slammed.

Cmon Sims, that’s not what I said. Of course that was a foul. It was egregious. And the officiating is a noticeable problem. I’m wont to agree with your comment that this is an institutional failure, too.

That said, I think a big part of what happens is NBA players, and coaches, are working refs to create an advantage for themselves. Refs see this, announcers see it too, although they are of course partisan, and probably anyone paying attention courtside can see it clear as day, too. That’s a big part of the problem.

NBA players need to stop working the refs IMO. Create a hockey style system where only the Captain and Alternate can talk to the refs. Anyone else who does automatically gets a tech. That’ll change a lot of behaviors quick.

I’m not saying the refs are perfect or whatever but for a league that clearly has a lot more parity in the standings than most can remember, every team is looking for every advantage they can get just as they always have. It’s putting more strain on officiating than ever and if you put anything under a microscope as we do with the 3 zebra’s running up and down for 48 minutes, it won’t look especially flawless. I know you’re aware of this. But that’s exactly my point: Saying the refs are an institutional failure isn’t really solving a problem. It’s just simply another way of describing a symptom in an overall ecosystem that truly needs addressing sooner rather than later.

No-one seems to have a solution that is clearly a step up from the status quo, though. That’s what I find troubling if I’m being honest. Not because the ref’s under the current system interpret things their way or make star calls or whatever. I’m used to that. It’s just part of the deal, fair or not.

I’ve never claimed Fox and Sabonis aren’t clearly poorly officiated consistently by a large batch of officials, and that’s clearly a problem that needs to be addressed. I think McNair and Brown are working at it, in their way, but these things take time. And games like tonight in Toronto are a great way to highlight these institutional failures.

ForKingsandCountry
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December 14, 2022 10:16 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

I get it but I feel like Barnes gets every call on any contact and goes flying and gets nothing. Fox goes to the hoop a fair amount and he actually drew a lot more fouls a couple years ago. It’s just odd to me. Tonight’s officiating was awful all the way around though. I thought they missed a few calls the Raptors way as well. As Andy said, the officiating just feels like a larger NBA institutional problem to me.

I agree with everything else though! Kevin O’Connor mentioned on his pod with Chris Vernon a week ago he thought the Kings would win 50 games. As you noted, I this stretch is the Kings hardest of the year and if they go 7-6, that’s a massive win IMO. All the advanced numbers point to the Kings being a top-12 team in the league and I think there’s a decent chance that’s where we end up. This the most optimistic I’ve been since at least the Cousins, IT, Gay team that was immediately broken up because… reasons.

Kingsguru21
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December 14, 2022 11:40 pm

All the advanced numbers point to the Kings being a top-12 team in the league and I think there’s a decent chance that’s where we end up. 

Yep. The Kings, even now, are now 10th in Net Rtg on the season at 1.9. Beat Detroit by 10, that goes up by a half point and puts you around 8. Top 1/3 in the NBA in Net Rtg seems right for this team. I mean, there are a lot of people who think this team is doing good things.

I’m not saying I enjoyed the games against the Knicks or Sixers, but they are just 2 games out of a slate of 82. I’m amazed, and thrilled, that the Kings won tonight. As far as I’m concerned, this is the type of win that balances out the loss you had to Portland opening night. 15-12 seems right for this team under the circumstances.

What’s interesting is how you project this team from here to the ASB. What kind of record would you think the Kings are capable of pulling off?

Tonight’s win is just a single win but it’s the first time all season the Kings have won a SEGABABA on the road at a rest disadvantage. This was a schedule loss all the way.

HoustonJP
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December 15, 2022 3:46 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Schedule win, my friend. Kings had it all the way….

Much better on my eyes than the Knicks and Sixers game as you say! I think it may be more than a single win in terms of effect, really great to see HB contributing in so many ways. I love seeing his emotions in the locker room the last two wins.

ForKingsandCountry
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December 15, 2022 9:08 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Starting in Detroit but particularly once they get back home, there are a LOT of winnable games on the schedule. They’ll be favored in most so if they can win Friday and get home they’ll have a great shot to put a little cushion on the teams behind them. I saw one metric that by strength of schedule the Kings have played around 4th hardest schedule thus far and have like the 23rd hardest going forward.

aplumley
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December 14, 2022 10:22 pm

The lack of a foul call on FVV at the end of the game was complete bs.

RPO
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RPO
December 14, 2022 10:51 pm

Kings win yet 8 out of 12 video highlights of the game on nba.com are of the Raptors. Bias against this team extends beyond just officiating.

HongKongKingsFan
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December 14, 2022 10:58 pm

The officiating is just bad….

Not to mention last game agains the 76ers………the female officials are just even worse…
Slow to react…always late late late whistle…..

But for this game….it is a huge win for us…….
Lyles hit some big shot, and dive onto the ground, great play

PretendGhost
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December 14, 2022 11:38 pm

the female officials are just even worse…

Slow to react…always late late late whistle…..

Would love to see some of the evidence to back up this statement! Otherwise it appears to be gross misogyny 🙂

andy_sims
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December 15, 2022 9:53 am
Reply to  PretendGhost

People always tell on themselves, don’t they?

Besides, the female officials have worked very hard to rise to the same level of incompetence as the men,

Hippity_Hop_Barbershop
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December 15, 2022 9:57 am
Reply to  andy_sims

“BUT HER L2MS!”

/s

FlorenceLunderburke
December 16, 2022 6:02 am
Reply to  PretendGhost

Surely the possession of certain hormones and or genitals shapes how you see, interpret and ultimately officiate basketball. And who needs evidence? Post fact has gotta mean post-evidence, right?

irony aside, it would be interesting to know if there is some official data bank on errors in officiating that can be disaggregated for gender – from my perspective the guiding assumption of having such data would actually be that men and women officiate differently, which i must say is a deeply problematic assumption.

ArcoThunder
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December 15, 2022 10:16 am

Sorry Hong Kong Kings Fan, I normally love your commentary but this is just dumb.

HoustonJP
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December 15, 2022 3:36 am

Beam highly visible from the Gulf Coast with what looks like a small trickle of red badge of courage stuff off on one side.

This team….as MichaelMack said…God damn!

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December 15, 2022 2:21 pm
Reply to  HoustonJP

Nice to see you posting regularly JP.

When I saw how the Kings came back in the second quarter, I thought if Toronto doesn’t bury them in the 3rd, there was no way they could beat the Kings in the 4th quarter. It just seemed inevitable that the Kings were going to keep executing and keep playing hard.

I love this team, and I think there is plenty of room for growth within this season.

HoustonJP
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December 15, 2022 5:37 pm
Reply to  MichaelMack

Well stated. It’s fun watching and waiting for their run, even expecting it. I am trying to remember the last time I expected the Kings to beat the top teams in the NBA.

I loved your comment about your Mom calling you up after the game talking up the Kings win.

LLTKings
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December 15, 2022 6:06 am

“Mike Brown was incensed, and ran onto the court to make his feelings clear to the reffing crew”

Fixed it.

Hobby916
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December 15, 2022 6:55 am

After watching the condensed game, I saw the grit being talked about.

When Keegan is either asked to/feels confident to start doing more with the ball on offense, I think he will blow up in a positive way. He shows he can get by defenders to the mid range, he just doesn’t do that much right now. Some added strength and he will be a force in a couple years.

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Nostradumbass 14
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December 15, 2022 9:56 am
Reply to  Hobby916

I can kind of see the confidence slowly growing in him. I also notice his teammates coaching/talking to him going into timeouts or between plays. One thing I’ve really noticed is his improvement on defense. He’s not getting burned back door or taken off the dribble as much as was earlier in the season. He is still learning but is coming along nicely.

Hobby916
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December 15, 2022 10:52 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Someone with more knowledge than about the systems that are run at Iowa can weigh, but I wonder how different Iowa and Sacramento’s styles are, and how long would it take to “get” the new system for Keegan. So long as the improvement and understanding continues to increase, things should be looking good for the future.

Bluejohn
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December 15, 2022 1:43 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I’ve noticed that as well. Team work……team mates….Domas seems to be establishing a special relation with Keegan…….great to see

eddie41
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December 15, 2022 7:49 am

Fox looks like he’s back

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December 15, 2022 2:58 pm
Reply to  eddie41

Was awesome to see him create and hit the mid-range shot in the last minute when the team needed it. Late game comfort food.

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December 15, 2022 9:07 am

I hope those Refs from last night go extinct. Great win on the road against the Dinos and Zebras!

RobHessing
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December 15, 2022 10:17 am

Fun with numbers –

Kings are shooting 39% from 3 (15 makes) in wins and 31% (12 makes) in losses.

FT% is surprisingly close at 79% vs. 78%, though 3 more makes in the wins.

While the Cleveland game was spectacular, the at Memphis win on 11/22 may be their best win of the season. In that won, they shot only 33.3% from 3 and 74% from the line but still pulled out the win.

The losses that stand out:
10/22 vs. LAC – 72% from the line wins that game.
10/23 @GS – 30% from 3 wins that game.
12/11 @ NY – 36% from 3 and 74% from the line wins that game.

Of course, you also have the ref games of 11/2 @ MIa and 11/7 @ GS. While the Mia game would have gone to OT and given the Kings a 50/50 chance at the win, the non-call on the Curry travel five nights later very likely turned a W into a L.

15-12 is an amazing start for this team, but with some added luck it could be even better. As this team continues to gel, one could argue that the best is yet to come as long as Sabonis stays healthy.

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December 15, 2022 12:23 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

as long as Sabonis stays healthy.

This is everything.

UpgradedToQuestionable
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December 15, 2022 1:34 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Agree – I am looking forward to the second half of the season for the first time in a long time.

Of course, the current record makes that possible. I expect the team to learn each other better (which we are seeing – the Monk and Heurter dishes to Domas, for example), and on the other side of the coin, we should expect opponents to prepare for the Kings better, making the improvements more difficult. What I am most hoping to see is the improvement on the defensive side of the ledger as opposing 3FG% goes down and opponent scoring also decrease. Likely, the Kings won’t be averaging 120 ppg either (we are seeing that come down to around 117 or so already).

We’ll see what the trade of Richaun Holmes has to bring (that has to happen, doesn’t it?) and the health of the team overall, Sabonis in particular. To not have to discuss the top lottery picks in January will be a huge change. 55 games to go – lots can happen!

Kingsguru21
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December 15, 2022 1:42 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

15-12 is an amazing start for this team, but with some added luck it could be even better. As this team continues to gel, one could argue that the best is yet to come as long as Sabonis stays healthy.

I like fun with numbers (alot actually) but the schedule also gets a lot more favorable once the Kings head home. That’s why, if you’re 16-12, despite everything that’s happened, you’re in a damn good position to be in the high 40’s win total by the time it’s all said and done. Maybe even 50 wins.

I feel like the Portland game is the only truly regrettable loss (and that was game 1 for chrissake), everything else happens during the course of a season for better or worse. And, well, I didn’t think the Toronto game was winnable either and they won that one.

15-12 feels like about where this team should be even when you factor in good/bad luck, officiating, etc etc. You caught Phoenix on a night Devin Booker really was cooking, and you’ve caught 4 b2b’s where all 4 teams had the rest advantage on you.

As this team continues to gel, one could argue that the best is yet to come as long as Sabonis stays healthy.

That’s true of every team though. Are the Warriors better without Steph Curry? Are the Clippers better without Kawhi Leonard? Are the Suns better not playing Devin Booker and/or Chris Paul like they just did this past weekend at New Orleans?

Domas is the most important player on this team, no doubt, but he’s also not the guy who gives you 50 wins by himself either. Domas gives you a great floor but a much lower ceiling for a core piece. That’s the beauty of De’Aaron Fox (regardless of how you feel). In so many ways, those two truly complement each other in all the important ways.

Here’s something that I keep thinking about with this team. Just looking at the splits, you find things like this:

Record (8-4)
Home ORtg (this season): 120
Home DRtg (this season): 113.4
Home Net Rtg (this season): 6.6

Record (7-8)
Road ORtg (this season): 110
Road DRtg (this season): 112
Road Net Rtg this season: -2.0

Record (15-12)
Overall ORtg: 114.5
Overall DRtg: 112.6
Overall Net Rtg: 1.9

Then compare this to last season.

Record (16-25)
Home ORtg (this season): 110.2
Home DRtg (this season): 114.1
Home Net Rtg (this season): -3.9

Record (14-27)
Road ORtg (this season): 109
Road DRtg (this season): 115.5
Road Net Rtg this season: -6.5

Record (30-52)
Overall ORtg: 109.6
Overall DRtg: 114.8
Overall Net Rtg: -5.2

If you consider that the Net Rtg for the NBA this year is about 112.1 (using the NBA.com scale), the Kings are actually league average defensively on the road. They are simply about a point and a half below league average AT HOME. But….if you take out the 0-4 start? They are league average defensively at home and about a half point better than that on the road.

The difference? This team really explodes at home offensively. In the 9 home games since the 0-4 start, the Kings are at 123.3 ORtg (and a 112.1 DRtg) which is probably why they also have an 8-1 home record in this stretch of home games.

Last but not least, I agree with your thought on the @Memphis game. I thought that was the best game of the year until that meltdown with 3 mins to go. That’s papered over the reality the Kings kicked the living bayjeezbus outta Memphis (particularly in the 3rd) and De’Aaron Fox was a better player (that night) than Ja Morant. Then…Ja hit that 3. And we know what happened from there.

It’s amazing how much an 0-4 start and a really terrible couple of minutes in a road game at Memphis clouds people’s minds and perception of a team.

RobHessing
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December 15, 2022 2:21 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Rec’d.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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December 15, 2022 2:35 pm

OT: Wowzers. Steph could be out for month. Clips and Suns just a half game up on the Kings. Could our team be on top of the Pacific to start the new year?

https://twitter.com/ShamsCharania/status/1603516214151618573

FlorenceLunderburke
December 16, 2022 6:06 am
Reply to  Adamsite

I saw this as well, my first thought was great J. Poole will get more touches (he’s on my yahoo fantasy basketball team). I swear, playing fantasy basketball makes me a really awful fan – following single players and having such a nakedly self interested interest in them. Then again, i am in second place –

And second thought was, oh that is gunna hurt their fight back in the standings.

a third thought came later, oof the league just aint the same without that kid.

ManilaBayCleanerCrew
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December 15, 2022 10:38 pm

Played a little with the ESPN trade machine and it gave me a possible way to get Siakam: Barnes + Holmes + Mitchell for Siakam, possibly with a 2nd round pick thrown in there.

By doing this trade, it gave us +6 wins plus an All-Star to complement Fox, Sabonis, Murray and Huerter. We can also sign Keon Ellis to a contract to take Davion’s spot in the bench.

Would this be a possibility? Would Monte do this especially if he’s dealing with Ujiri who’s notorious in doing deals like this.

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