After a promising start, the Sacramento Kings managed to drop three games in an underwhelming four-game road trip that included San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Detroit, and Minnesota. Of that group, the Spurs were the only ones to even participate in the play-in games last season.
The Kings have made it clear that they are aiming for the postseason, but the road trip felt all too familiar -- which is almost always a bad thing when talking about this franchise's recent past.
I spend the first segment of this episode talking about how frustrating it is to see the same issues from this team over and over and over again. Those issues are listed by me multiple times throughout this episode.
Also included are some post-game audio clips from head coach Luke Walton and a passionate Tristan Thompson. Thompson's thoughts have been circulating on social media, as he denied the idea of a coach needing to inspire his players. He also explained his view on the team's recent issues and why the outcome of this road trip was so disappointing.
The bit I included from Luke Walton revolves around the rotations. He highlights complications with the Kings lineup variance and explains some of the changes he's made. Dane Moore, who joins the shows in the second segment, is the one that opened my eyes to this idea. This leads me to question if the fluctuation of minutes for guys is causing some growing pains early on.
The primary players are constantly being put on the floor in new lineups with a different surrounding cast. Is it Thompson or Alex Len tonight? Is Terence Davis going to get a shot? Marvin Bagley is playing again, Maurice Harkless went from starting to consecutive DNP-CDs while Chimezie Metu did the opposite. Walton gave some thoughts on what we could see with the lineups moving forward to aid the rebounding issues, which I also debate in this episode.
Dane Moore, who covers the Minnesota Timberwolves for multiple outlets, then joins us for a lengthy conversation. We start with contextualizing the Wolves season as they head into this matchup with the Kings. Had they really been as bad as their 4-9 record would lead you to believe?
As seems to happen every time I speak with Dane, we end up drawing a ridiculous amount of parallels between the Kings and Timberwolves franchises, rosters, weaknesses, and current positions in the Western Conference.
- Working with a roster imbalance
- Finch's approach to poor defensive rebounding compared to Walton's
- Both of these teams could benefit from taking their building process slowly
- His perspective on making win-now trades for to break a postseason drought (Jimmy Butler)
- The similarities between Luke Walton and Ryan Saunders and how the GM's may be using them
I can't express enough how much I enjoy talking with Dane and hearing his perspective on what really is a strikingly similar situation to the Kings. The variance in how the coaches, front offices, and ownership have handled their struggles and turbulence is something that both sides could probably learn from.
We close with our collective thoughts on the current state of the Western Conference play-in competitors. Three teams are identified as "more than likely out of it" while Sacramento and Minnesota fall into a grouping with two others teams for the ninth and tenth seeds.
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