fbpx

Season Review: Domantas Sabonis

In an otherwise up and down season for the Sacramento Kings, Domantas Sabonis was Mr. Consistent.
By | 64 Comments | Apr 29, 2024

Apr 7, 2024; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Sacramento Kings forward Domantas Sabonis (10) dribbles up court during the first half against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

It’s time once again for our Season Review series, in which we look back at how the season went for each Sacramento Kings player. We begin with Domantas Sabonis.

The Sacramento Kings and skilled big men seem to go hand in hand.  Throughout our nearly 40 year history, the Kings have had quite a few big men who were highly skilled not just as scorers and rebounders, but also as passers: Chris Webber, Vlade Divac, Brad Miller, DeMarcus Cousins and now Domantas Sabonis.  But Sabonis’ 2023-24 campaign was exemplary for a myriad of reasons and stacks up among the all-time seasons in Sacramento history. Let’s just take a quick look at the numbers:

  • 13.7 rebounds per game and 1,120 rebounds total (both 1st in the NBA and 1st in Sacramento-era history)
  • 8.2 assists per game (6th in the NBA and 4th in Sacramento-era history) and 673 assists total (4th in the NBA and 4th in Sacramento-era history)
  • 26 triple-doubles (1st in the NBA, 1st in Sacramento-era history. With 58 career triple-doubles, Sabonis now ranks 11th all time in NBA history, one fewer than Larry Bird at 10)
  • 77 double-doubles, including 62 consecutive (Post-Merger NBA records)
  • 19.6 points per game on 59.4% from the field and career-high 37.9% from three.
  • All 82 games played

It seems incredible that someone who put up these numbers wasn’t named an NBA All-Star and might not make an All-NBA team, but I have a feeling that for Domantas Sabonis the biggest disappointment was simply the fact that the Kings ultimately didn’t make the playoffs.

Sabonis’ second full season with the Kings was much like his first, just one step above.  He was a better rebounder, a better passer, and a better defender.  Unlike last year, he didn’t have to play with a broken thumb and was able to muscle through an entire 82 game season and two Play-In games without missing a beat.

In a Kings season that was marred by inconsistency, Domantas Sabonis stood out with how consistent he was.  Nearly every night you could expect the same thing from Domas: a double-double and leading the team in assists.  Rarely was he going to be the team’s leading scorer but also rarely could you point to Domas as the reason the Kings lost the game.

Defensively, Domas will never be known as a stopper or true rim protector but his shortcomings on that end of the floor hardly ever have to do with effort, and he made some nice strides this year to provide a positive impact defensively.  Last season, players guarded by Sabonis shot about 2.7% better than average and he also fouled too much, leading the league in total Personal Fouls.  This season, opponents actually shot 2.0% worse than average when guarded by Sabonis, and he posted the lowest foul rate of his entire career.  Sabonis doesn’t have the necessary length to truly be a game changing defensive player, but he also isn’t the complete sieve that some make him out to be.

If there are any true shortcomings in Domas’ game it may be in the fact that despite arguably being the Kings best overall player, he’s not the kind of guy that will simply take over a game.  When the Kings needed a bucket this season, it was usually up to De’Aaron Fox or Malik Monk to create some offense.  You can see this in the Kings scoring by quarter as Sabonis led the team in scoring in the 1st quarter (6.1) and then the drop-off in each subsequent quarter as defenses tighten up (5.2 in the 2nd, 4.8 in the 3rd and then just 3.6 in the 4th).

Sabonis doesn’t have the same skillset to become instant offense when needed, and you could see his efficiency drop significantly during the last stretch of the season without Malik Monk.  In those final 10 games without Monk as another option to draw attention from the defense, Sabonis averaged 17.2 points on just 51.5% from the field with 7.4 assists and 3.6 turnovers a game.  Monk in particular had excellent rapport with Sabonis in the Pick and Roll game, and allowed the Kings to keep Sabonis on the floor with one of Fox or Monk at all times.  No player may feel Monk’s absence more than Sabonis should he leave in Free Agency this summer.

Offensively, Sabonis still has room to grow if he continues to dedicate time to developing his jump shot.  It’s not that Domas is even a bad shooter, more that he is very selective about when he shoots a jumper, and it’s usually only when he’s completely wide open.  By percentage, Domas is extremely efficient from any range shooting 72.1% from 0-3 feet, 52.1% from 3-10 feet, 45.9% from 10-16 feet, 47.1% from 16 feet to the three point line and 37.9% from three.  But 80.5% of his total attempts come from just 10 feet or closer, making him fairly predictable.  I’d like to see him open it up a little bit more and get more confident with his jumper as his career progresses, even if it means decreased overall efficiency, because a Sabonis that you have to guard outside of just the paint would open tons of options for everyone else on the Kings.

Domas also needs to become more consistent from the line.  The Free throw line was a problem for the Kings all year as they finished dead last in the league in percentage, and Domas’ decreased efficiency was a big reason.  Last season he shot 74.2% from the line while this year he shot just 70.4%, his worst effort since his rookie campaign.  As one of only two players who consistently got to the line for the Kings, these can’t be wasted opportunities.

For Sabonis though, the biggest questions coming into this season were how he’d do in the Playoffs after having a poor series against the Warriors the prior year.  Unfortunately he never got to fully answer those questions but he did at least get a chance at redemption against the very same Warriors squad in the first Play-In game and he answered the call, scoring 16 points to go with 12 rebounds and 7 assists. Those numbers aren’t far off from what he averaged in that series a year ago (16.4 points, 11 rebounds and 4.7 assists) but it was the way he carried himself on the court that stood out.  He was aggressive when he needed to be, first on the glass and boxing out, and as always setting up his teammates for success.  He came in ready from the start and unafraid of the moment.

For his part, Domantas Sabonis is never satisfied, despite the numbers and accolades that come his way.  He told the Athletic shortly before the All-Star break:

There’s a lot to get to work on. I know the numbers may show otherwise, but I feel like there’s so much left where I can help my teammates on the court and win games. That’s exciting as a player. Like, if I work on this, and I can do this in this situation, then that’s going to help the team. I’m always thinking of that.

With that kind of mentality, the best is hopefully yet to come for Domantas Sabonis and the Sacramento Kings.

 

 

Patreon Membership
* indicates required


To prevent spam, our system flags comments that include too many hyperlinks. If you would like to share a comment with multiple links, make sure you email [email protected] for it to be approved.

Subscribe
Notify of
64 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
RikSmits
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
April 29, 2024 11:20 am

Before Domas came here, the Kings so often looked like a bunch of guys wearing the same uniform, but rarely looked like a team.

I think that Domas is the main reason for changing that. Coach Brown also deserved kudo’s, but in my view Domas is the cement holding it all together. He’s an All-Star level glue guy who is an elite rebounder and passer for his size, who also does all the little things. If not cement, then he’s surely a superglue guy. And absurdly durable.

The funny thing is that one of his greatest qualities (apart from his non-stop motor), his totally unselfish, team-oriented style of play, is by some also viewed as one of his biggest weaknesses: he should shoot more. And I guess both can be true. But I can also see how that could totally backfire.

I think that Domas and the team are best served by creating more quality shots for him in the flow of the offense. He is not a selfcreator in the mold of Embiid, and I doubt he’ll ever be. But here is the rub; whereas Monk is very good creating for Domas in p&r, Fox somehow just isn’t. And if Monk leaves, we need someone who can help setting up Domas for better (and more) shots.

Amonk81
Original Member
Vote Up
Comments
Original Member
Vote Up
Comments
April 29, 2024 6:21 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

I really like Sabonis but this all boils down to him becoming a consistent mid range shooter. Hard stop.

It’s 1/2 court in playoffs where he has underperformed, though I thought this year he tried to shoot the middy more in play in.

It would help if Brown got his head out of his ass and helped use Sabs better in 1-2 court. As we’ve discussed Ad naseum -spray 3 shit ain’t gonna cut it.

Sabonis and coaching staff just need to get him to keep shooting the midrange and he’ll blossom into a part of championship contender.

interestingly, making Fox focus on his mid range Game is also how they are going to move forward.

somehow, Brown and the coaching staff and the players overlooked the need to fix the half court offense in the off-season. Bizarre.

Adamsite
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
April 29, 2024 9:22 pm
Reply to  Amonk81

What’s interesting is that Sabonis is actually a better mid-range shooter than Fox, it’s just that he doesn’t shoot enough from there.

Fox: from 10-16ft is at .423, 16ft-3pt is at.349

Sabonis: from 10-16ft is at.459, 16ft-3pt is at .471

Fox is known for having a clutch mid range game, yet Sabonis shoots better from there. Even weirder, Fox has a better percentage within 10 ft of the rim than Sabonis!

So here is the problem, IMO. Fox shots more from mid range are 3 are barely average, yet he shoots the most from there. On the flip side, Sabonis shoots quite well from the midrange, and even three, yet he hardly shoots from there.

Their shot selection is ass backwards.

SmallBallReject
Comments
Comments
April 30, 2024 6:10 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Let me speculate that Sabonis is more judicious in which mid-range shots he takes, e.g. contested v uncontested, so the question might still be are there more “good” shots for him to take from midrange.

Last edited 20 days ago by SmallBallReject
Adamsite
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
April 30, 2024 7:57 am

I also definitely notice a hesitancy in his jumper from midrange. He takes a full second to size up his shot before beginning his motion. It’s almost like he’s overthinking it and if anyone even hints at challenging his shot he defers to his teammates. I’d like him to shoot more in rhythm without the noticeable pause.

Hobby916
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
April 30, 2024 8:32 am
Reply to  Adamsite

It’s almost like he looks for a teammate, realizes he nobody is open except for him, and then laces the ball and shoots. I hope he spends much more time on being more fluid with his shooting stroke, and keep working on that right hand.

Those things will unlock his game, and the team offense so much more.

Adamsite
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
April 30, 2024 8:42 am
Reply to  Hobby916

He reminds me of a 6’10” Jason Kidd at times. He’s standing with the ball, feet set, facing the basket, 15′ out, but takes a second or two to survey the floor before he finally decides to take the open jumper out of rhythm. Just pull the trigger big fella.

Amonk81
Original Member
Vote Up
Comments
Original Member
Vote Up
Comments
April 30, 2024 9:05 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Interesting. Certainly o trust Fox midrange game in clutch. And he sure as hell better get back to that, along with his floater and drives. Only shooting good 3s.

My feeling has been if Sabonis would just commit to shooting midrange a ton, he’ll become good/confident.

for the life of me, I don’t understand why the coaching staff, and Sabs haven’t already fully committed to him becoming an excellent midrange player. The way that Chris Webber developed that shot.

Adamsite
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
April 29, 2024 9:27 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

I totally agree that Sabonis needs to shoot more, even be a bit selfish at times. Not only is he efficient, it will also open up the game for others. The issue, however, is there are only so many average shots in a game. Who a part of the rotation should shoot less?

discocricket
Comments
Comments
April 30, 2024 5:27 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Fox, Huerter, Monk

jwalker1395
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
April 30, 2024 11:59 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Kings have averaged about 90 FGA/game the past two seasons. I’d like to see it breakdown something like this (difference from 2023-24 FGA):

Fox: 18 (-2)
Keegan: 15 (+3)
Sabonis: 15 (+3)
Monk: 12 (0)
Barnes: 10 (+1)
Ellis: 6 (+2)
Lyles: 6 (0)
Huerter: 6 (-3)
Len: 2 (0)

Davion/Duarte/Jones/Edwards: 0 (-8)

Keep in mind, I’m using their average FGA in games played which doesn’t account for the fact that guys like Davion or Jones would take DNPs in games when the full roster was available, but you get the idea. There are some guys that I think deserve more shots, and other guys they should take them from. In terms of rotation, I’d suggest the following:

Fox/Monk
Ellis/Huerter
Keegan/Huerter
Barnes/Lyles
Sabonis/Len/Lyles

Huerter gets moved to the bench and plays a versatile role at the 2/3 akin to Lyles at the 4/5, taking an opportunistic 6 shots per game. Monk remains the man on the second unit, taking most of the shots in his minutes. Fox takes on a slightly more selective shot diet to get back to his efficiency from last year. Keegan and Sabonis take a couple more shots that would’ve gone to Fox/Huerter/Davion this season. Barnes was highly efficient this season and proved best when more active as a scorer and I’d like to see him get to the 10 FGA that he’d more or less averaged in seasons prior. Len and Ellis were absolutely perfect in their respective roles down the stretch of the season and should reprise those next season. Davion, Jones, Duarte, and Edwards are the guys who will fill out the rotation based on injuries/rest over the course of the season. That’s of course barring major changes to the roster, which are likely incoming.

cwebb2bibby
April 30, 2024 8:52 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Equating shooting more with selfishness is such an amateur take. When you get open shots in the flow of the offense, shooting more is the correct, team oriented decision. Turning down those shots is what screws up the offense for your other teammates. This is why Brown would pull Keegan and Keon out of the game for turning down good open shots. Sabonis turning down open shots is what results in a clogged paint, making things harder for Fox and taking away cutting opportunities for others. Sabonis being an offensive threat is how he can create better shots for his teammates because one dimensional players get gameplanned around too easily in the NBA.

Ultimately, Sabonis takes up too much of the salary cap to solely be a dominant rebounder and glue guy. When you make a max or near max salary, you need to be capable of taking over a game either offensively or defensively. And Sabonis currently isn’t doing either. Being the best glue guy in the NBA isn’t good enough when you take up $40M of the cap.

eddie41
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
April 30, 2024 9:20 am
Reply to  cwebb2bibby

Domas is worth the salary. there were similar criticisms of Webber, that he wouldn’t take over and get a bucket at will. his jersey is hanging from the rafters.

are there some things he can improve on? sure. that’s true of everyone.

Last edited 20 days ago by eddie41
cwebb2bibby
April 30, 2024 9:29 am
Reply to  eddie41

Let’s not compare the two. Webber’s criticisms were centered around his play in the clutch, not his overall scoring ability.

“things he can improve on” are glaring weaknesses that make it really difficult to build this team into a real contender.

Jack
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
April 30, 2024 9:53 am
Reply to  cwebb2bibby

IMO Sabonis is one of the top 5 centers in the nba right now. Sure he needs to work on things and I think he will. So does James. Donic and all other players in the league. I’ll take Sabonis any day as our starting center.

rockbottom
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
April 30, 2024 1:43 pm
Reply to  cwebb2bibby

Actually. Domas is a more productive scorer than Webber was . 19 points on 12 shots better than 22 points on 18 shots . Just sayin !

RikSmits
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
April 30, 2024 9:29 am
Reply to  cwebb2bibby

Equating shooting more with selfishness is such an amateur take.

Thank God we have professionals like you to set us straight. Much appreciated.

cwebb2bibby
April 30, 2024 10:13 am
Reply to  RikSmits

Happy to give you a link to my Patreon if you’d like to tip me.

UpgradedToQuestionable
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
April 30, 2024 1:20 pm
Reply to  cwebb2bibby

I’m fascinated! Please share your Patreon link, I expect to learn plenty.

Inthestarz
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
April 30, 2024 9:41 pm
Reply to  cwebb2bibby

He doesn’t take up enough cap for being the 20/13/8+ player who makes the team good

the kings became good with his presence

the rest of the team needs to help him out. Barnes/Huerter fizzled, as Fox had a inefficient remarkably up and down season, Keegan needs to improve offensively

jwalker1395
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
April 29, 2024 11:49 am

Look around the league and you can see we are in the middle of a new evolution. Once upon a time, the plodding interior force was King. That changed with Steph, Harden, and the 3 point revolution. And now, it seems that Embiid, Giannis, and Jokic have ushered in a new era – get your hands on the most skilled 6’10+ guys as possible. Guys whose size, length, athleticism and physicality bother opponents on defense and offense alike. Domas is that guy for the Kings.

We are all aware of his limitations, but Domas is a guy that other teams build their entire gameplans around mitigating. We saw how teams packed the paint towards the end of the season because of him – often throwing 2 or 3 guys at him at once. That is All-NBA level gravity. Unfortunately, shooting woes from the Kings supporting cast prevented the team from being able to fully exploit it. But it is undeniable that he is the engine which makes this team run. And his toughness, work ethic, effort, and availability make him one of the most reliable engines in the league.

I expect more of the same from Domas for the years to come. He is often overlooked by the national media, but being able to bank on 20/12/8 from one of your stars 82 games a season is an absolute gift. We cannot take that for granted. With that said, he needs to start taking and making the 12-15 foot open jumper when they come. If he can force teams to cover him tightly further away from the basket, it opens up things for every King on the floor but most especially himself. It’s exciting to think that this one aspect of his game could potentially open up an entirely new level of excellence from him.

Stoked as always to have him in a Kings jersey and looking forward to more years of record-setting dominance from our big bruiser.

discocricket
Comments
Comments
April 29, 2024 11:51 am

Domas can be the third best player on a Finals team. This is a compliment!

His defensive issues are greatly magnified by poor perimeter defense. He is pretty good moving in space, and pretty bad defending the rim. That said, he did anchor a top half defense this season (we finished 14th in DRTG). Could the team approach top 10 by upgrading Barnes and Huerter’s rotation spots?

The best version of Domas probably scores and rebounds less and takes a few more jumpers. If we can construct a logical roster (again, a defense oriented frontcourt player, actual 2 way wing player, a caretaker backup PG who can run PnR) and get Keegan 4-5 more FGA/game, the team can still get better without getting that 3rd star.

andy_sims
Vote Up
Comments
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Vote Up
Comments
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
April 29, 2024 12:12 pm

Ain’t many guys for which I’d want to trade Sabonis, he gives his teammates the opportunity to become their best selves on the court, and that’s a rare and special quality. He and Fox are both unique talents, but the Kings need at least one more of those, and they don’t come cheap.

Although truly, in drafting Murray and Haliburton, McNair provides exceptions to the rule.

Tough to count on a draftee to make a big difference, but I do think there will be players available at thirteen who will be able to contribute. There are also a couple of intriguing projects (Tidjane Salaune, for example) with humongous upside, but will take time before they’re NBA players, if ever.

But I digress. Sabonis has shown improvement year-over-year, and the only actual roadblock between the Kings and contention is just getting more talent to put around him. Under the extant circumstance, pretty difficult, but not impossible.

Kfan
Original Member
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Comments
Vote Up
April 29, 2024 12:25 pm

Great write up!

Master the foul line Domas! For both FTs and open jumpers!

UpgradedToQuestionable
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
April 29, 2024 3:34 pm
Reply to  Kfan

Be Hal Greer!

career FT 80% – at the charity stripe, he would shoot a jump shot.

rockbottom
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
April 29, 2024 5:11 pm
Reply to  Kfan

It really is that simple for him to be close to Jokic .

RikSmits
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
April 30, 2024 6:11 am
Reply to  rockbottom

I disagree.

The manner in which Jokic reads the court, is able to anticipate and direct plays and his insane passing skills set him apart from Domas and every other big in the game. His size also makes him less perceptible to getting stripped/TO’s. Jokic’ ability to consistently hit big shots and stretch the floor set him apart from Domas even further. Also, given his size and wingspan, his defensive impact near the rim seems much bigger (although Domas is a bit better in space, IMO).

Just more shooting (as welcome as it is) won’t bridge these gaps. I love Domas, but when we call him Jokic Lite, the emphasis should be very much on the Lite part.

jwalker1395
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
April 30, 2024 9:38 am
Reply to  RikSmits

I’m with you. Jokic is on a trajectory to end up one of the 10-15 best players to ever play the game. It’s really quite alright if Domas isn’t that good. He’s still pretty damn good!

rockbottom
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
April 30, 2024 1:47 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Close to Jokic not Jokic . Otherwise agree that Jokic is the standard that he can’t reach .

Hobby916
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
April 29, 2024 1:46 pm

I really enjoy that he isn’t flashy. He just makes the right play most of the time, and moves on like he has done it thousands of times. He rarely engages with the other team, and focuses his attention on his teammates during the games. He truly is joyful to watch.

Moving forward, I would like for him to take advantage of bad defenders and mismatches more frequently because those are often easy buckets for the team. That will force opponents to have to game plan for him even more, which should translate to more open shots for his teammates.

Also, excellent write-up, and the video breakdown just drove the point home.

UpgradedToQuestionable
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
April 29, 2024 2:28 pm

How to describe Domantas Sabonis?
He is grit and gristle, effort and energy. He is consistency. He is intensity. He is tough as nail, ask his face. He is a total team first player.

The Doma-nator. The Ox. And of course – Lithuanian Lasagna.

Of all the beauty to his statistics, and the descriptors above – too many too often highlight his faults. What he isn’t.

He isn’t graceful. I don’t see the gazelle-like Giannis in his step.
Does he exude finesse? That soccer like footwork and Benihana like handwork of Jokic and Doncic aren’t there – he isn’t Saboncic [sic].
He isn’t emotionally self-aggrandizing, vulgar and ranting, like Draymond.
He is not a self creating bucket getter – like Fox, or Dame, or Ja or Embiid or Jokic
And in reference to those last two – he is not a hulking giant of a man: Embiid, Jokic, Valanciunas, Brook Lopez, .

His biggest flaw to more and better recognition, besides the lack of what’s listed above? He plays in Sacramento.

He will likely be the Best big man ever to don the purple and grey. I would be willing to bet that his number 10 will hang in the Golden1 Center rafters when he retires. Deservedly so.

He follows a Sacramento tradition in many respects: Who could jump the highest of these SacTown Centers: Rich Kelly, Joe Kleine, Vlade Divac, Brad Miller, Zach Randolph, Boogie Cousins or Domas? Of more highly considerd bigs: Divac, Miller had the most similar skill sets.

On a separate note: With his high post/low post game his lack of success with Myles Turner in Indiana seems oddly discordant (much like De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Halliburton, I suppose).

delusionsofmediocrity
April 29, 2024 2:36 pm

I agree with all of the comments. I like Sabonis a lot and every team in the league would love to have him. I just wish his salary did not take up so much cap space. Operating in the premise that he needs to be the third best player on a championship team, it is going to be challenging to pay 2 other super stars and comply with cap limitations.

Inthestarz
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
April 30, 2024 9:39 pm

There is no 20/13/8+ third best anything

he is 6th on nba.com mvp ladder and a very large reason the Kings are even good

delusionsofmediocrity
May 1, 2024 8:07 am
Reply to  Inthestarz

Are you saying he can be the first or second best player on a contender?

Inthestarz
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
May 1, 2024 8:15 am

He’s the best player on the Kings by a wide margin

He’s 6th on the NBA.com mvp ladder because its understood he is central to making the Kings good

He is getting not enough help from the rest of the roster now

How would the Kings in any world get two better players than him?

outrider
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
April 29, 2024 4:12 pm

For me, I wish he’d shoot more of the open FT/elbow area jumpers as I think he can be successful there. I’m still of the opinion that he’s too lefty dominant around the rim, so I’d like to see him be as comfortable with the right as he is with the left.

Post/back to the bucket play seems to be a lost art these days, but I think he could do damage down there with his size and strength. Doesn’t have to be a Kevin McHale on the block with umpteen moves and counters, although that would be great, but if he could master big man 101 (drop step and jump hooks with both hands), I think he could be really effective, especially with his passing skills and ability to find open teammates.

The guy was so consistently good the above seems like nitpicking, but I do believe he can be even better with a few wrinkles added to his game.

andy_sims
Vote Up
Comments
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Vote Up
Comments
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
April 29, 2024 4:47 pm

Kind of wondering what Sabonis’ numbers would look like with anything resembling an equitable whistle. The black eye he sported for the play-in was from a typically uncalled blow to the head, if memory serves.

Hobby916
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
April 29, 2024 5:01 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

It was, as we’re many of his bumps and bruises during the season.

Adamsite
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
April 29, 2024 9:28 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

It was actually an elbow from Murray in practice, from what I recall.

andy_sims
Vote Up
Comments
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Vote Up
Comments
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
April 30, 2024 10:10 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Well, maybe. But uncalled!

rockbottom
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
April 29, 2024 5:07 pm

Fantastic column and using actual facts to show the value and talent of this amazing competitor . He is a huge part of any consistent winner and as a longtime Kings fan will never take him for granted . The hardest working player I have ever seen !

Adamsite
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
April 29, 2024 9:36 pm
Reply to  rockbottom

What’s pretty wild, in his 8 years as a pro, he’s only been on two teams that have finished below .500. The Indy squad the year before he was traded (in which he got his 2nd all-star selection), and the year he split between Indy and the Kings. The dude just helps you win games.

eddie41
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Patreon Supporter
April 29, 2024 9:13 pm

“A” grade for the season. really enjoy watching him play. and the chant from Sacramento fans is pretty cool.

Yakshi
Comments
Nostradumbass 21
Vote Up
Comments
Nostradumbass 21
Vote Up
April 29, 2024 9:27 pm

LeBron was checking his sky miles before leaving the floor.

Adamsite
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
April 29, 2024 9:59 pm

In 03-04 Peja had the best year of his career and finished 4th in MVP voting. Sabonis just put in the best season a Kings player has had in 20 years with the numbers he put up. No King over the last two decades has come close.

Webber still firmly holds the best Sac King ever, with Richmond in second, but if Sabonis puts up another 3-4 seasons like this one, the title may be his.

Adamsite
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
April 29, 2024 10:05 pm

OT: Thunder completely owned the Pels in a sweep. Kings couldn’t touch the Pels this year going 0 for 6. OKC and Kings split their season series. NBA matchups are weird, man.

RikSmits
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
April 30, 2024 4:18 am
Reply to  Adamsite

I believe that the Suns matched up well against the Twolves in the regular season, too.

I don’t think it is just a matter of matchups being weird, but also of postseason basketball being quite different than in-season basketball.

I haven’t seen the stats but I would expect offensive numbers to drop for many teams in the playoffs (not all teams). When teams get crazy hot, especially from outside (Clips last game, Miami in Boston) they are difficult to stop, but overall, the defensive intensity in the play-offs makes scoring harder.

TheGrantNapear
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
April 30, 2024 7:37 am
Reply to  Adamsite

OKC is way ahead of schedule and is really good. Let’s not forget, it was a 1/8 matchup. We should expect a sweep or a five game series.
Pels getting slammed by OKc whilst slamming us all season suggests to me that we are far off from being one of the top teams in the West.

Adamsite
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
April 30, 2024 8:02 am
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

Agreed, and OKC is going to be scary in the coming years. They still have a treasure trove of picks. They are just swimming in assets. They are doing the complete opposite build of the teams in Pacific Division, sans the Kings, who have leveraged their futures on aging talent.

BuffaloDiaspora
Original Member
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Comments
Vote Up
April 29, 2024 10:45 pm

In this, the darkest of off-seasons, we can rejoice – the Lakers have been eliminated in humiliating fashion.

FTL
FTL
FTL

TheGrantNapear
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
April 30, 2024 7:41 am

Isn’t it lovely seeing the old guard in the West get destroyed whilst ushering in the new?
LeCryBaby, KD, Steph ousted whilst Joker, Ant and Shai move on.
Now we need Luka to handle those entitled Clip’s stars and we should have a very entertaining 2nd round in the West.
The icing on the cake would be Jimmy coming back and beating the C’s but the C’s look like they have a cake walk to the Finals.

Kfan
Original Member
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Comments
Vote Up
April 30, 2024 8:13 am

Maybe we should draft Bronnie and sign his dad to the MLE?

Adamsite
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 14
April 30, 2024 8:37 am
Reply to  Kfan

I love seeing the Lakers in turmoil. Bronnie foolishly staying in the draft, LBJ is opting out to test free agency, and they are about to fire their coach.

Unfortunately, it’s all we are going to hear about from now until free agency. The top 4 stories on ESPN’s NBA page are all Lakers, at the moment.

Klam
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
Patreon Supporter
Comments
Vote Up
Original Member
Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
April 30, 2024 8:54 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Phoenix is also in a pretty bad situation. They went all in at the 2023 trade deadline for Durant and now they’re hamstrung on their ability to move pieces.

HongKongKingsFan
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
April 30, 2024 9:05 am
Reply to  Klam

How can we take advantage of those team in bad situation like the Suns or the Fakers ?

Hobby916
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
April 30, 2024 9:05 am
Reply to  Klam

They made a host of poor decisions and are now dealing with the ramifications. Injured and old, very few picks, salary cap hell.

TheGrantNapear
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
April 30, 2024 10:08 am
Reply to  Klam

LAL, PHX and GSW are all royally fk’d.
Most likely LAC as well.

andy_sims
Vote Up
Comments
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Vote Up
Comments
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
April 30, 2024 10:15 am
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

Officially forecasting Sacramento winning the Pacific Division five years in a row, beginning at a time to be determined.

andy_sims
Vote Up
Comments
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Vote Up
Comments
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
April 30, 2024 10:14 am
Reply to  Klam

Phoenix is legit fucked, and the clock is already ticking ahead of Durant forcing his way out.

Maximus
Comments
Comments
April 30, 2024 9:52 am
Reply to  Adamsite

The Lakers are ok. Their salary cap is managed pretty well. The Phoenix Suns though is very bad.

TheGrantNapear
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
April 30, 2024 10:07 am
Reply to  Adamsite

It’s called BSPN for a reason.

CorlissWinlesson
April 30, 2024 9:05 am

Great post! I think you said it best “In a Kings season that was marred by inconsistency, Domantas Sabonis stood out with how consistent he was.”

I believe Monte and Fox let Sabonis down this season. He came ready revamped and focused and never for one game that I saw lacked in effort or energy. We needed more size next to him, and Monte failed to deliver on acquiring that for the Kings this year. He’s a Center in every aspect except for the unavoidable fact that he’s undersized. Despite this, his physical play style was a breath of fresh air and something our team lacks outside of him.

Hoping he commits to the off season like he did last year. Super grateful to have him on the squad. Go Kings!

andy_sims
Vote Up
Comments
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
Vote Up
Comments
Original Member
Patreon Supporter
April 30, 2024 10:19 am

What would you have done, and who would you have sent away last summer to get this mythical big man next to Sabonis? Presumably you’re talking about either a rim protector or a stretch four (why not both?), so what are the names that McNair should have pursued?

And to paraphrase McNulty, what the fuck did Fox do?

Inthestarz
Comments
Vote Up
Comments
Vote Up
April 30, 2024 9:38 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

Fox had a inconsistently motored (dire difference between first two months and rest of the year), inefficient season where he didn’t replicate his clutch play of last year at all.

he wasn’t good

Badge Legend

Patreon Supporter Patreon Supporter   Registered On Day 1 Registered On Day 1   Published Post Published Post  Published Post Nostradumbass
Comment Up Votes 200 Up Votes   Comment Up Votes 500 Up Votes    1,000 Up Votes    3,000+ Up Votes

Comments 50 Comments   Comments 100 Comments    250 Comments    500 Comments    1000+ Comments