Articles | Game Recap

Warriors 130, Kings 125: No Defense for this performance

Sacramento gave up a franchise record 89 points in the first half on their way to their third straight loss.

Sacramento's first two games were disappointing losses to be sure, but it wasn't until Sunday's game against the Warriors that we've seen our first embarrassing performance from the Kings. Despite what the final score may indicate, this was not a close back and forth game.  The Kings gave up a franchise record 89 points in the first half (yes, you read that right) with 50 of those coming in the 2nd quarter alone.

Yes, the Kings were able to put up a lot of points themselves, but it didn't matter when Golden State was able to get anything and everything they wanted.  Sacramento made a bit of a run in the 4th quarter when they went to a small ball lineup against the Warriors bench, but it was too little, too late.

Stephen Curry led the way for Golden State with 33 points in 31 minutes, including 7-12 from beyond the arc.  Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins had 24 points each as well. The Warriors as a team shot 51.7% from the field and 42.4% from three.

The Kings were once again led by De'Aaron Fox, who scored 26 points to go with 10 assists and 5 rebounds.  However the hot outside shooting from both him and Kevin Huerter from the first two games cooled off a ton, as both players combined to shoot just 2-14 from three.  The Kings as a team were very disappointing from distance, making just 11 of their 43 attempts. Only Keegan Murray and Malik Monk (both 4-10) were able to find any success.

Speaking of Keegan Murray, he had another solid game, scoring 16 points on 6-14 from the field, and played a game-high 38 minutes.  K.Z. Okpala, the starting Small Forward, played just 4 minutes for the entire game and was a -10 in that time. It would not surprise me if this was the last time we saw Keegan Murray come off the bench.

Domantas Sabonis had a better scoring night tonight with 19 points, 14 rebounds and 4 assists in just 22 minutes, but he struggled defensively dealing with Golden State's smaller lineups as Mike Brown ended up relying more on Richaun Holmes and Chimezie Metu down the stretch.  Harrison Barnes had his third poor game in a row, this time scoring just 4 points and only attempting one shot in his 21 minutes. The Kings need a lot more from both Sabonis and Barnes than we've seen so far if they hope to be playoff contenders.

This was the most discouraging performance yet, but the season is still early and the Kings have plenty of time to turn the ship around.  They've got a few days to rest, watch film and practice before their next game on Thursday, back at home to face the Memphis Grizzlies.

Random Observations

  • It was nice to see Richaun Holmes get some offense going for once. Holmes scored 15 points on 6-8 from the field and looked far more like his old self tonight. We even got a few of his push shots.
  • Better free throw performance tonight, going 20-25 overall. Sabonis particularly improved in that regard, hitting 7-8.
  • It's very annoying that the Warriors got to be bad for like one and a half years because of injuries and all these good young players like Wiseman, Poole, Kuminga and Moody as a result.
  • I do like the resolve the Kings showed in getting back into the game down the stretch. I just wish they hadn't dug such a large deficit in the first place.
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aplumley
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October 23, 2022 10:04 pm

Fox seemed ready. The rest of the team was underwhelming. I went into this season thinking the bench was a strength, but it has been anything but.

Kings-Rebuild
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October 23, 2022 10:06 pm

Did anyone really believe a new coach was going to drastically change the defense for the positive. This team will have its moments, but overall we’re looking at 11th place or worse.

SneakerKing
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October 25, 2022 10:25 am
Reply to  Kings-Rebuild

Early tanking for Wemby/Scoot,

Ialmostmissthemaloofs
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October 23, 2022 10:10 pm

Well, hurray for the preseason and summer league. We look great there.

AnybodyButBagley
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October 23, 2022 10:20 pm

No reason to play 82 more games after total dominance against on NBA rosters.

AnybodyButBagley
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October 23, 2022 10:22 pm

Defense requires thinking and moving for an entire game. This team is not into that.

RikSmits
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October 23, 2022 11:02 pm

Allowing 50 points ina quarter to his former team must be a slap in the face for Brown. It should be a slap in the face.

I want to copy-paste from Carls’excellent comment in the other post-game thread:

Some too early praise for both Brown and McNair, which is going to turn into too early condemning the same guys. Example: How much of a genius McNair is for acquiring Huerter, based on a two game sample. Then he drops a 1 for 8. If a 38% shooter goes 11 for 17, a 1 for 8 is coming. Law of averages. Huerter is fine, but he’s in his fourth season and he’s never hit 40% on threes. There’s nothing wrong with that. He’s a quality NBA player, but he’s an above average (not elite) three point shooter and not a ton else. Probably a good value trade, but we should expect Huerter more or less to be what he’s been over his career. And same for Fox, Sabonis, etc.

It is likely that Fox and Huerter won’t maintain their hot shooting from 3, Monk will settle down and be servicable and Sabonis will (hopefully) start hitting shots and grabbing rebounds.

And that will probably make the Kings one of the better non-tanking teams in the West, with a shot at the play-in (assuming that Utah and Portland also come back down to earth).

How much different is this team from previous versions? Perhaps more individual talent, but can the collective (with some notable holes) be better than the sum of its parts?

And there is my underlying issue; what about the mid- to long term? I find it hard to see the upward trajectory if we achieve the play-in or even the play-offs this season. Some of the tanking teams will be well-positioned to overtake us in a few seasons. What are we building?

ajon_es
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October 23, 2022 11:17 pm

Every year I’m jealous of other teams who pick a rookie that just “gets it” right away. Those players that the NBA game just comes to naturally. I think this year I would feel that way if I was a fan of another team watching Keegan Murray. Feels good to be on the other side of that.

About the only thing that feels good through 3!

alwaysrite23
October 23, 2022 11:19 pm

I’ve got to give it to Fox, he’s been playing harder than I’ve seen him play in years, though he made his usual terrible decisions down the stretch. But his midrange game looked good and he seems like he’s doing all he can to impose his will on the game, even trying on defense some. Our team D is still just woeful … especially our bigs.

Other takeaways: I hope Huerter is not a streaky shooter like Hield. We need another 16-24 point nightly scorer. Also, Monk seems to play WAY better when running the break … just seems like he makes bad decisions when things slow down. Keegan still looks really good, by far the best news of the season so far, should definitely be starting — it’s amazing how comfortable he looks already; Barnes does not look like himself at all; I might even try him coming off the bench in favor of someone who is defensively locked in. Maybe try starting Okpala/Keegan at 3/4, or Keegan/Mehtu/or Lyles. Need to make minutes dependent on defensive intensity, not worry about the offense.

And the Warriors somehow got better; if they stay healthy and Wiseman continues to improve, they should be heavy favorites to repeat.

This schedule is brutal — playing championship contenders almost every night. Brown is going to have to come up w/a lock down defensive unit that can come in and try to slow teams from having huge quarters on us. He seemed slow on the timeouts tonight.

al_lives
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October 24, 2022 12:04 am

Just watched the game live at Chase – the final score belies the gap between the teams. On the Kings side Fox really shone, with good glimpses of play for Keegan, Monk, and sometimes Sabonis. However, to beat the Warriors we need a perfect game, whereas with a hot Curry they can beat us even with Klay being unusually quiet. This Kings team still lacks star talent, but I do think it’s a better team than the one last season.

catterj
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October 24, 2022 12:17 am

The pace in the first half was ridiculously high at 114. For comparison the fastest pace for the year last year was 101.47. That accounts for the Kings 71 in the first half on their 52/30/81 shooting splits. But the Warriors hung 89 shooting 67.4% from the field and 55.6% from 3. Good lord! I know they were on a heater and they have great shooters, but some blame has to go on our defense.

Fox, Davion, and Monk found Holmes tonight, and I loved it. He shot 6 of 8 for 15 points in 16 minutes. Holmes does not get his own offense going. He is assisted by playmakers, and the team’s playmakers found him this game. Keep doing that! 66% FG% is damn good no matter what! (That’s what his FG% was last year in an “off year.”)

Fox was off from three (1 of 6) but 10 of 14 on twos and 3 of 3 from the line. That plus 10 assists. De’Aaron is trying to make it happen, and he is performing well in these 3 games. Our struggles are not on Fox this year. If forced to predict, I think he’ll eventually be traded to a team and be part of a winning system and do really well there. I don’t blame Fox.

Here’s a Tim tweet that is solid.

I hope he’s wrong, but I suspect he’s right. I wanted Mike Brown to level up the defense of every Kings player. So Fox would be alright and Davion would move to great. But there is a Warren Buffett quote: “When a management with a reputation for brilliance tackles a business with a reputation for bad economics, it is the reputation of the business that remains intact.” It may be that when a coach with a reputation for great defense takes on a roster with a reputation for bad defense, it is the reputation of the roster that remains intact.

But on the other hand, Brown chose to play small ball with the rotation and switch everyone. That got them back in the game. I don’t think Walton or Gentry would have made that adjustment. We would have just dragged it out to the 25 point deficit ending.

Chippy23152
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October 24, 2022 4:54 am

These 3 games definitely showed a lot of glaring weaknesses. 1) Sabonis is a poor defender and being exposed on a nightly basis in the PnR.
2) We have no rim protectors. 3) This team has no concept of team defense. 4) Barnes is too slow to guard opposing wings. 5) Sabonis is too small to guard larger 5’s.

Hopefully Monte can address some of those issues via trade by unloading Barnes’ expiring contract but the way he’s playing, it’s a stretch.

Inthestarz
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October 24, 2022 5:02 am
Reply to  Chippy23152

1 and 5 is reconciled to you how? He’s either too big to move or too small to bang?

Chippy23152
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October 24, 2022 1:53 pm
Reply to  Inthestarz

Sabonis is too slow to cover wings on a switch and he’s getting bullied in the post by the opposing 5’s. For Christ sake, he attempted back Wiggins down in the post and couldn’t do it.

keith_kar
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October 24, 2022 5:50 am

I think 16 years of an ingrained losing culture is going to be hard to turn around in a season or two. How this drought effects the players, I really couldn’t tell. Starting out 0-3 doesn’t help after a couple of promising off season moves and first round pick in Murray.

It’s still early though, and I do hope they keep coach Brown and Monte around for a few more seasons to see this through.

The Kings need to quickly start inching their way back to at least close to a .500 record with a couple of scrappy wins before that ‘here we go again feeling’ sets in again. No need to panic yet, but the Kings need to get that first win for Brown under their belt.

BlessedEdward
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October 24, 2022 5:54 am

Just as a interesting point of reference Haliburton is scoring about 26 pts with 10 assits and almost 4 boards at 50/42/95 shooting percentages…ouch…bonafide superstar….and playing on the rookie contract for 3 more years….Sabonis was expensive…ouch

Amonk81
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October 24, 2022 11:49 am
Reply to  BlessedEdward

If it turns out Sabonis is not good in D, what a fucking waste trading Haliburton. I hated it then and don’t like Vivek’s idiocy hanging over the team, forcing a Hali trade.

HongKongKingsFan
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October 24, 2022 6:05 am

I don’t mind losing…..but those referees really sucks and affecting the game…………
(And I hate the popular teams always get the favourite call)

1) Poole definitely fouled Fox on that last possession 3 at 2nd Qtr…but get no call

2) How’s that not a travel by Poole (shown in below gif)….
comment image

p.s. Nice try by Mike Brown to play Metu, I just think we need more alethic lineup

Marty
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October 24, 2022 6:25 am

Domantas Sabonis…he struggled defensively dealing with Golden State’s smaller lineups 

And so it begins.

Raise your hand if you knew that was a backwards-thinking trade.

KANGZ

Last edited 1 month ago by Marty Marty
Adamsite
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October 24, 2022 7:22 am
Reply to  Marty

comment image

RPO
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RPO
October 24, 2022 7:24 am
Reply to  Marty

I think it was a “win now” kind of trade, attempting to grab a coveted (sarcasm) play-in spot. And I suspect it was driven by Ranadimwit, not something that Monte wanted to do. Mortgage the future for quick immediate gratification.

Marty
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October 24, 2022 7:30 am
Reply to  RPO

When does that start?

it was a “win now” kind of trade

Last edited 1 month ago by Marty Marty
SelecaoKOJ
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October 24, 2022 7:38 am
Reply to  RPO

I don’t think this team wins until they face the Hornets. Teams like the Grizz and Heat will not overlook the Kings. The first 20 games are brutal. They really have to steal a couple from some good teams. If not, they are looking at 6-14. A big hole to climb out early.

Esp, teams like the Jazz and Blazers keep winning.

Heat 2x, Grizz 2x, Celtics, Nets, Hawks, Suns, Dubs 2x, Cavs 2x. Clips, Bucks.

That’s 13 of their next 20.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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October 24, 2022 7:53 am
Reply to  SelecaoKOJ

And that’s 25% of the season. If the plan is to shrug off 1/4 of the season to “better teams” then the fact is, the Kings just aren’t very good.

Amonk81
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October 24, 2022 11:54 am
Reply to  RPO

Yes it’s Vivek. Little shit infects everything. His ego is too big and blocks out reasonable thought.

RandyBreuersNeckHair
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October 24, 2022 9:01 am
Reply to  Marty

(Raises hand)
Turns out Max contract-worthy point guards playing on rookie-scale contracts ARE more valuable than non-shooting slow footed bigs. (And I really like Sabonis)
Who knew!

Amonk81
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October 24, 2022 11:52 am
Reply to  Marty

Exactly what I’ve been thinking. Vivek’s idiotic playoff mandate and trading Hali. for a non-shooter goes against logic and reason.

Building around 2 non shooters. Hopefully, this is just about learning a new system but if Sabonis can’t defend well and they’re not even gonna use him on offense correctly, what’s the point?

Adamsite
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October 24, 2022 7:36 am

Christ, Barnes turned 30 and overnight became the Utah Jazz’s version of Rudy Gay. He’s taken a total of 5 three point attempts over 3 games and has made ZERO. He’s also shooting just 54% from the line. He’s fallen off a cliff in terms of production on both ends of the floor.

This may the biggest problem right now for the Kings and few are really talking about it. Last year’s 3rd best player is damn near unplayable right now. I don’t care how good Keegan may be or what the additions of Huerter or Monk may bring. Losing Barnes’ production is an end game in term of playoff aspirations. Something has to change.

Klam
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October 24, 2022 8:45 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Yeah, crazy stats. I know it’s only three games, but still pretty concerning to see.

eddie41
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October 24, 2022 8:46 am
Reply to  Adamsite

What would you think of Keegan replacing Barnes in the starting lineup? And Davion replacing KZ?

Adamsite
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October 24, 2022 9:09 am
Reply to  eddie41

The idea of making the playoffs included Barnes playing alongside Murray, not replacing him. Murray looks like he will produce like Barnes has done the last few seasons. That would be a net zero gain if Barnes gives you nothing.

Replacing KZ with Davion is a wash to me. Neither can hit the side of a barn right now and then you don’t have a ball handler coming off the bench.

HongKongKingsFan
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October 24, 2022 9:25 am
Reply to  Adamsite

I still think DELLAVEDOVA can give you solid 10-13 mintues….

He can defend, and make smart play………

eddie41
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October 24, 2022 9:39 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Offensively, I think KZ and Davion are opposites. KZ is a bit of a spaz who lacks confidence whereas Davion has game. Check out the article on BasketballNews.com from about three weeks ago. Explains how he is good at drawing double teams and finding the open man. Also shows how he scores when teams leave him wide open by taking a couple steps in and hitting 47% on long two’s. Plus he leads by example. I mean, one is a baller – the other is not.

keith_kar
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October 24, 2022 8:56 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Totally agree. I’ve been talking about this Barnes problem for quite a while, since they traded for him actually, but now the mistake of picking him in the first place is obvious for all to see.

Adamsite
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October 24, 2022 9:06 am
Reply to  keith_kar

Up until now, I felt he was a perfectly fine 3rd to 4th option on a good team. He was reliably consistent, could give you 15 PPG, hit near 40% from 3, hold his own on defense, and could get you a bucket in a pinch.

Now? I just don’t know. I figured his production and usage would take a hit playing along someone like Murray, but man, he has cratered.

Gregoryl
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October 24, 2022 9:26 am
Reply to  Adamsite

As unlikely as I thought it would be, it appears Barnes has become that guy who just doesn’t want to be here anymore. I’m sure he and his agent heard the chatter for the last couple seasons about the championship contenders who value him, and yet here he is, still stuck in Basketball Hell.

Klam
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October 24, 2022 8:06 am

Crap, I totally forgot there was a game yesterday and forgot to put in my Nostradumbass predictions. 🙁 But it sounded like a pretty ugly game to watch from what I’ve read…

Amonk81
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October 24, 2022 11:57 am
Reply to  Klam

It was gross. D was non existent and I hope they simply haven’t learned the O because there’s no ball and man movement and almost no high post O w Sabs distributing. Guys cutting.

eddie41
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October 24, 2022 8:39 am

Defense? How about starting Davion?

Falconsfury
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October 24, 2022 8:43 am

Since this defense is one big joke, they should just play zone defense the rest of the season. Traditional NBA man defense, rotating, positioning, boxing out, and helping and fighting through screens are clearly too hard for this team.

Hobby916
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October 24, 2022 9:30 am

If a 3 game stretch like this occurred in, let’s say January, would the reaction be different? Are we overreacting/underreacting because they are the first 3 games of the season so expectations are high?

Gregoryl
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October 24, 2022 9:31 am
Reply to  Hobby916

The season is usually over in January. Players playing great in meaningless games, is meaningless.

keith_kar
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October 24, 2022 9:39 am
Reply to  Hobby916

I don’t think it’s an overreaction, considering all the offseason moves and expectations.

That aside, a win on our next game would do wonders, and maybe turn this board around.

All’s I want right now is for the Kings to at least get Coach Brown’s first win ASAP.

Amonk81
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October 24, 2022 12:01 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

For me, opening like this brings up the fear that the way they chose to build the team is wrong. The Vivek win now mandate and losing Hali. It makes me feel nauseous.

it is an overreaction because we have to see what happens when guys learn Brown system.

But the Kangz are going against what is smart. And you watch the Spurs winning despite having no one….what’s Kings excuse

Gregoryl
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October 24, 2022 9:30 am

Last season’s team appeared to be filled with low BBIQ players who couldn’t play the game the right way. This season looks like a culture problem more than anything else, which has been an issue for years. What needs to change? Is it Vivek, is it the perception of this team when players come here, is it lack of talent? Brown has his work cut out for him.

Hobby916
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October 24, 2022 9:31 am
Reply to  Gregoryl

Elaborate on the culture problem.

Gregoryl
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October 24, 2022 9:43 am
Reply to  Hobby916

Its tough to truly describe, but its been OK’d for players to come here and play/act the wrong way for years: players yucking it up with opponents after getting embarrassed, Buddy complaining to the media and being rewarded with a new contract, Vivek (although appearing to be more hands-off now) getting his hands into basketball decisions; as much as I bash on Buddy, he has been a different player in IND in regards to playing smart and efficiently. Bellinelli is the classic example right? Came here playing well, played terribly here, and played well after he left. DMC being an absolute cancer to the team and allowed to continue for far too long, no repercussions for not playing defense etc..
These things don’t happen with great organizations. I think Brown can change it, but it will take more time than I expected.

delusionsofmediocrity
October 24, 2022 10:27 am

I agree with the comments concerning the mid to long term prospects of this team. The probably make the play in by default as there is a lot of incentive to tank this year. However, I just don’t see this team being anything better than 7th seed whether that’s this year or 3 years from now. How can that be the goal? As both a life long kings fan and 49er fan, the 49er fan in me finds that to be simply unacceptable. Who cares about making the playoffs in a league where half the teams make the playoffs? Let’s rebuild. Please. Sorry, I just had to vent.

GFunkClassic
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October 24, 2022 1:14 pm

This game went as exactly as I thought it would. I knew the Warriors would be locked in this game: they were coming off a loss, and they’re playing a former coach. The refs helped aide it by calling ticky tack on ball fouls. Davion and TD had 8 fouls within just a few minutes playing. Almost impossible to guard Curry, Klay, Poole if the refs won’t let you play aggressive on ball defense.

This team is better defensively. BUT a team like the Warriors is impossible to stop when they’re in a rhythm offensively. The way they move the ball, there’s not much a good defensive team can do. Even with good rotations, switches and help they get the defense chasing and get open looks by constantly moving the ball.

vestxpress
October 24, 2022 3:04 pm

My biggest take away from the first 3 games is that our big guys play below the rim while the opponents play above it. I feel like I am watching a WNBA game when I watch Sabonis and Barnes try to rebound or protect the paint.

NorCalKingsFan
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October 24, 2022 3:40 pm

Not too concerned just yet, we lost to the best team in the league and we’re in a rough stretch of games to start the season.

Barnes and Sabonis really need to step it up, IMO they are the main reason for the poor start so far. I expect they’ll right the ship on their own within the next few games. Barnes has been the more disappointing of the two as he’s mostly been invisible on offense and he hasn’t been very good on defense to make up for it. Sabonis is who he is and while he’s missing open shots at the rim much too frequently, I don’t think it’ll continue. His defense needs to improve though since he’ll be getting so many minutes as the starting Center.

The lack of athleticism in the front-court is evident, it might not be such a problem if it weren’t for the lack of size as well, maybe we should see a bit more of a Sabonis/Holmes pairing with Murry at SF…or if not Holmes, maybe Metu or Moneke.

Kingsguru21
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October 24, 2022 4:11 pm
Reply to  NorCalKingsFan

I’d feel alot better if the Kings won the PDX game. Losing to the Clippers and Warriors isn’t all that surprising given the Clipps are really good without Kawhi and the Warriors had all the advantages last night.

That said, Sabonis’ poor start is the biggest problem at this point. And the way teams are attacking him 1v1 is a problem since he’s not a rim protector. I have a feeling we’ll see adjustments.

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