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Kings Pulse: What to watch for in the second half of the season

We talked about some of the things we are watching for in the second half of Sacramento's season.

The Sacramento Kings have officially begun the second half of the 2020-21 season with a victory over the shorthanded Houston Rockets.

After recapping the game, we took this point as a chance to break down what we are watching for in the remaining schedule.

Anything from specific growth from an individual player, desired rotational changes, or a shift in mindset. Even though the Kings are likely to lose a large majority of their remaining games, there is plenty of reason to tune in.

  • Should Tyrese Haliburton replace Buddy Hield in the starting lineup?
  • Haliburton needs to play more minutes alongside De'Aaron Fox
  • Finding more floor time for DaQuan Jeffries
  • If the Kings sell off some players, which of the young talents will emerge?
  • Has Buddy Hield really improved as a passer?
  • Has Richaun Holmes improved as a passer?
  • Is Kyle Guy an NBA rotation player?

We also let Bryant lead us through the incoming NBA prospects that have likely concluded their collegiate seasons, and which teams to keep in an eye on in the upcoming tourneys.

We recorded this episode live on the Locker Room app and will continue to do that once a week at least, it would be great to have some listeners in there to hear their voices and opinions about the team and its future. You can hear an example of how it works within this episode.

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

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March 12, 2021 12:05 pm

What to watch for in the second half of the season?

Clues as to what the FO is trying to accomplish. Are we playing young guys? Or just letting Luke get as many meaningless wins as he can out of players with no future here?

March 13, 2021 9:16 am
Reply to  1951

It’s clear the Kings have been a conflicted organization this year. I’ve been proposing this to be a rebuilding year since the start of the season. In fairness, they did have a hot streak that provided hope that maybe that could make a playoff run, so for awhile you could make the case the objective should be to win games. It is however clear now as I suspected at the beginning of the year that this team is not a playoff contender. So yes play the young guys but again to be fair I haven’t seen anything from those second tier young guys that gives me hope they can become viable NBA players.

More importantly, it’s time for the Kings to make some moves. I think they lost an opportunity to do something when Harden was moved and now Diallo goes to Detroit, the type of player we need to take a chance on. Clearly the time is past now to abandon the win now strategy and make some moves that position us better for the future. All reports, to the extent they can be believed, indicate Boston wants Barnes and perhaps NB. Also, it appears Orlando is ready to move on from Gordon and with Fornier becoming a free agent they may want that spot filled. So here’s my proposal.

  • Barnes, Bjelica, Holmes, Guy to Boston for Pritchard, Willams, Smart (Nesmith or Langford) and 2021 first round pick.
  • Hield, Ramsey and a second round pick to Orlando for Aaron Gordon and Mo Bamba.
  • Release or trade these players for whatever – James, Parker, Whiteside, Joseph
  • any combination of Woodard, Metu, Jeffries, second round pick or Bamba to OKC for Roby and/or Maledon or Moses Brown.

Going into the offseason we have two 2021 first round picks and some cap space and this roster, I’m going to assume OKC takes Woodard, Bamba and a second round pick for Roby and Moses Brown.

My roster going into the offseason is this.

-Fox, Pritchard, Haliburton, Smart,
-Bagley, Gordon, Langford or Nesmith, Roby, maybe Jeffries
-Williams, Brown and maybe Metu
-2 first round picks

Starting lineup
Fox, Haliburton, Gordon, Roby, Williams

March 12, 2021 1:43 pm

There is conflicting motivations: Luke wants to win. So, playing Barnes 40 min, Cujo 35 min, and Hield is going to be the priority. Luke knows he’s dead man walking. I seriously doubt he’s here next year. If Monte is truly running the show, the next 2 weeks will speak volumes about how much power he really has. The Kings have 7 games between now and the deadline. There are no more G- League matchups left, after the Rockets last night.
Atlanta: Has a real coach now and finally playing like everyone expected coming into the year.
Hornets; Will have Hayward and Devonte back
Washington: Beal and Westbrook can still ball
Celtics: Will be at full strength: Last time the Kings won: Smart, Kemba and Pritchard were out
Sixers: Just pencil this in as a loss on the road.
Cavs: Could be winnable
Hawks: Home

At best case, I think Kings can go 4-3. That would still put them 6 games under .500

March 12, 2021 3:58 pm
Reply to  SelecaoKOJ

Looking at that sched I see a five game losing streak on the horizon which should help push trades to go through.
These next two weeks are very critical for the long term outlook of this franchise. Should be interesting, much more interesting than watching the actual games.

Last edited 1 month ago by TheGrantNapear
March 12, 2021 8:08 pm
Reply to  SelecaoKOJ

Cojo helps the Kings win? One of the many many areas where Luke is wrong.

March 13, 2021 8:29 am
Reply to  SelecaoKOJ

Yet but the irony is a bad coach trying to win games amounts to him making bad decisions that lead to losses. Walton is our pseudo Tank Commander while he tries to save his job.

And I contend he would be in a better position to save his job if he gave Kyle Guy a chance instead of letting his confidence and rhythm wither .

And the coach would be more viewed more favorably along with the fortunes of the team if he took the “bold” step to insert Ty into the lineup over Buddy when Buddy was suffering through his season long struggle.

There is NO conflicting motivations between players and coach and the machinations of this coach do not necessarily undermine our desire to get a high draft pick.

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March 12, 2021 2:03 pm

What to watch for in the second half of the season?
comment image

March 12, 2021 2:14 pm
Reply to  Klam

oui, oui, monsieur!

March 13, 2021 8:23 am

Buddy’s assist to TO is up from 1.3 to 1.8 this season, with a career high 3.3 APG . He’s averaging 0.5 more APG and 0.5 less TOV. I don’t know if he has gotten better as a passer but he’s likely more comfortable finding Holmes out of the pick and roll through repetition.

I also do not know if Buddy is consciously trying to lean out or if he may be a little lighter just from the rigors of an NBA schedule. Players can be known to drop 10 pounds not with intention but just the demands of playing 4-5X per week. This may also be coinciding with Buddy uptick in play bc he does seem to be moving a little bit better.

The Buddy we have seen the last 4 games in particular is worth every penny of his 90M deal.

And this includes 20 assists vs 4 TOs, a 5:1 ratio! Not to mention 50% from 3s. (25-51)

I am certain too Buddy bulked up to be able to play minutes at SF, this was before the exile of Bogi. This was a mistake that hopefully in the process of being remedied. Even with Ty set to supplant Buddy as the starter, soon or next year, Buddy needs to be the best player he can be, not bulk up to detract from getting to his spots.

I look forward to the tradeline passing, Buddy and HB remaining Kings, with renewed sign of support from the FO. All bets are off with Marvin, but I suspect he sticks around too.

March 13, 2021 10:10 am

Good podcast. Don’t you think once we pass the trade deadline that the rotations and playing time will change substantially, even if we make no or few moves? Seems the Kings are showcasing Cojo, Belli and Buddy as moveable pieces. Noted this was not mentioned on the podcast as the reason that in particular Cojo and Belli are playing as much as they are.

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