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Kings Pulse: Sacramento’s blowout loss in San Antonio could be an outlier

Will Griffith joins the show to talk about why we are waiting to freak out after the Kings' big loss in San Antonio. Also, a Spurs cover comes on to give his insight and perspective.

The Sacramento Kings had their biggest margin of loss of the season on Wednesday. It came against the San Antonio Spurs at the beginning of a favorable four-game road trip for the Kings while Tyrese Haliburton and Terence Davis were sidelined.

Will Griffith joins the shows for the first segment to explain what we saw as the issues in the discouraging loss. There was plenty of unacceptable and self-inflicted errors from Sacramento, but it's also worth noting the outlier shooting in each direction.

The Spurs averaged just over nine made threes per game headed into the night and finished having converted 18/32 (56.3%). Meanwhile, Buddy Hield was 0/7 from three until the 2:59 mark in the closing quarter when the team was already down more than 20 points. Harrison Barnes finished with a season-low nine points while shooting 3/8 from the field, 1/4 from three, and 2/2 from the line.

Down nights like that from both Buddy and Barnes should be an extreme rarity this season. On the bright side, De'Aaron Fox finally displayed his ability to take over games with an impressive final stat line of 37 points and six assists while shooting 14/24 from the field, 2/5 from three, and 7/8 from the charity stripe.

We share our thoughts on how much that performance from Fox really matters, considering that it came in a blowout loss. Will and I also dive into our thoughts on how Luke Walton and the coaching staff have been throughout the early season.

We expand on our noted potential areas of improvement and where we still have some question marks:

  • The underwhelming half-court offense
  • The confusing decision to only play Richaun Holmes for 19 minutes
  • The variety of defensive coverages

The closing moments with Will focus on Marvin Bagley refusing to check into the game against the Phoenix Suns and then being the only player to not log minutes in San Antonio.

The second segment of this episode features Bruno Passos (@bouncepassos), who covers the San Antonio Spurs for Pounding the Rock. He joined me on his way home from the game last night to give his perspective on the night

  • How much of San Antonio's season-best shooting night was poor defense from Sacramento compared to shots simply falling?
  • His thoughts on the Kings basic half-court offense
  • The Kings never forced the Spurs to face their clear weaknesses

Moving past the single-game notes, I wanted to pick Bruno's brain on how the Spurs' season has been going since they are a team that is rubbing shoulders with Sacramento while both attempt to make the play-in.

The Spurs are a well-run organization with stellar coaching and a culture that is highly praised around the association - they also have fully embraced a youth movement. That combination sounds like an ideal environment for Bagley, so I was sure to ask Bruno his thoughts on the former number two pick as an outsider.

Is swapping Marvin Bagley for Thaddeus Young a possibility? Would more draft assets need to be included?

Towards the end of our conversation, I ask if he could see the Spurs could be involved in a win-now trade conversation for Ben Simmons or any other "star" talent that could become available.

We closed with a conversation on where in the Western Conference he thinks the San Antonio Spurs could find themselves by the end of the regular season? Does it seem likely they are in the same tier as the Sacramento Kings?

Overtime Question: Uhhhhhh I forgot... forgive me. The two different segments format is new to me and I completely spaced on it. Ask me any OT-type question in the comments to make up for it.

The Kings Pulse podcast is available on all major listening platforms.

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Carl
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November 11, 2021 10:01 am

We’re not really far enough yet into the season to determine what kind of team this is. Right now, they’re on a pace for 34 wins, which was in the neighborhood of the preseason consensus. The sample size is pretty small though, so it’s tough to make any good season long predictions based on either the Spurs game or the game where they beat the Suns.

I think we’ll have a pretty good idea of where this team is a quarter of the way through the season. Game 20 is November 26 against the Lakers. With eight or nine wins by that point, it will be tough to say this team is better than the last couple of years. 10+ wins and maybe they’ve actually found ways to win. We’ll see.

Last edited 26 days ago by Carl
BobbyFresh
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November 11, 2021 4:04 pm
Reply to  Carl

This is essentially the same team as last year, so I don’t know why we’d expect a significant improvement. I don’t buy the “any other season” narrative.

oshima9
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November 11, 2021 11:32 am

Worth listening to the Bagley discussion because it reinforces the fact that he has marginal trade value at best.

scatshot
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November 11, 2021 12:08 pm

Maybe it is an inlier

RobHessing
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November 11, 2021 12:11 pm
Reply to  scatshot

Your Sacramento Kings: Turning pessimists into realists since 2007!

eddie41
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November 11, 2021 12:33 pm

i didn’t watch the Spurs game but the previous two were bad losses also. The matinee game where the entire starting five was sleepwalking. And the Phoenix game where the starting 5 got demolished in the 1st and 3rd quarters, and only became close with Fox desperation ball. Feels like it could be a nine-game losing streak. And Walton does not learn from the past, including two years ago when the team climbed from the cellar when they finally put playmakers on the court.

SelecaoKOJ
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November 11, 2021 12:55 pm
Reply to  eddie41

Kings are catching OKC at a bad time.
Thunder on a 3 game winning streak.
Minny is hit or miss. Detroit should be a win. With this team, that’s not a
given.

After that 22 of 29
games are teams over .500
or Playoff teams from last year.

Could
get ugly fast.

SelecaoKOJ
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November 11, 2021 12:47 pm

Outlier?? Lol! I didn’t think anyone could top James Ham. That’s a Riot.

SelecaoKOJ
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November 11, 2021 12:49 pm

The way the team has handled the Bagley situation is ridiculous. Would this team be any better/worse, If Bagley played 10-15 min a night. Doubtful. He now has close to zero value. A former Number 2 pick. The front office is clueless. Let’s pay a guy 11 mil to sit on the bench the entire season. We’ll show him. Who do you think is getting the last laugh here.

oshima9
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November 11, 2021 12:56 pm
Reply to  SelecaoKOJ

But Bagley has to be willing to play the 10-15 minutes.

As to getting the last laugh, the answer is . . . . the rest of the league.

Maximus
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November 11, 2021 1:49 pm
Reply to  oshima9

Well there is one good thing in this. We get to see more Metu.

RobHessing
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November 11, 2021 12:57 pm
Reply to  SelecaoKOJ

What’s laughable to me is the thought that Bagley has not gotten a fair chance. He has played minutes beyond his shown talent whenever he has been healthy leading up to this year. The Kings have no intention of extending him, so there is no reason to play him in that regard. And his talent just hasn’t justified any special treatment on his behalf.

He’s a middling big with a five figure expiring contract. Play him or don’t play him, it’s not going to change his value very much. He’s a sunk cost at this point. I don’t think that he is being punished, he’s just got nothing that the Kings need on the court right now. And when they asked him to play, he declined, so there is that.

This organization has a myriad of issues. I don’t see Marvin Bagley as being one of the more important ones at this point, unless we are looking in the rear view mirror and assessing just how badly this organization fucked that pick up.

KingOfTheMonsters
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November 11, 2021 3:13 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Bagley is the rear view mirror. Every time we see him, we see the fucked up past.
It’s not his fault he was the pick, but he personifies the fanbase trauma of that pick.

Ccc
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Ccc
November 11, 2021 1:42 pm

LOL

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