Str Archive

Sacramento Kings vs Maccabi Haifa Preview: The Kings Come Home

The Kings are set for their first ever game at the Golden 1 Center in Monday night’s preseason match-up against Israel-based Maccabi Haifa

After what the grapevine has told Kings fans was a very close game on Thursday night between the Kings and Warriors, Sacramento comes home for their very first game in the Golden 1 Center, with Maccabi Haifa set to be the very first to face off against them. With the game once again not being broadcast on television, most Kings fans will have to resort to radio and hearsay from Twitter once again to take in the 2016-17 iteration of their favorite team, but this doesn’t mean that there is nothing to discuss! Point guard worries! Struggling rookies! Did I see a Sim Bhullar reference down there near the bottom? I did! So dust off your keyboard, click the little red “X” at the top of that letter to the editor titled “Why The Hell Can’t I Watch the Kings Tonight” and instead... Let’s talk Kings basketball!

When: Monday, October 9th at 7:30pm PST

Where: Golden 1 Center

Television: Nope

Radio: KHTK Sports 1140 am

A Few Things to Listen For:

Rotation Innovation: After Sacramento sat the starters in the second half of their first preseason game against the Los Angeles Lakers and then Thursday night’s game saw Coach Dave Joerger tighten up his rotation until the final portion of the game against the Warriors, expect the Kings to try something new against Maccabi Haifa. With this game a seemingly easier affair than that of the Warriors or the Lakers games, the starters may once again see limited action in favor of time for the role and bench players. Allowing the likes of Malachi Richardson, Skal Labissière, and Georgios Papagiannis to play extended minutes against a team that are a step below NBA level talent is an easy way for them to build confidence in the offensive and defensive schemes they’ve been thrown into, as well as giving them a better chance to showcase in front of a home crowd what they can do against defenders that are, at best, fringe NBA players. Expect this game to follow more in the footsteps of Sacramento’s first preseason game against the Lakers, where the starters played heavily in the first half and then rested in the second half.

The Barnes Effect: One of the things to come out of Thursday’s game against the Warriors is the way Matt Barnes performed in his first game back as a member of the Sacramento Kings. While Matt Barnes shot only 4-12 from the field, he lead the team with eight rebounds, while also dishing out four assists with four steals. Word from those inside the arena seemed to indicate that with Matt Barnes on the floor, the intensity of the game picked up: fouls were a bit harder, laughs between teams were fewer and further between and Barnes was at center of it all. This is a brand of basketball that was something rarely seen last year, and it will be interesting to see moving forward just how willing the current players on the Kings are to playing a chippy, tough, defensive centered 48 minutes of ball, and the difference Matt Barnes may make on the supposed toughness that the team wants to bring every night. His personal life aside, Barnes has always seemed to have a good reputation amongst his teammates and is already leaving his stamp on a team looking for an identity. For better or worse, Matt Barnes may be one of the most important members of the Sacramento Kings this season. Take that as you will.

In Comparison:

This isn’t the first time the Sacramento Kings have played Maccabi Haifa. In fact, they squared off against each other only two years ago in a preseason game on October 19th, 2014. Now, that isn’t that long ago, but tell me, without cheating: how many players from the start of the 2014-15 season can you name? You got the easy ones, I’m sure: DeMarcus, Rudy, Darren, Ben McLemore. But what about Reggie Evans? or Ramon Sessions? If I told you this was the “Viral Meningitis” Year, would you suddenly have flashbacks to Ryan Hollins tipping a ball in the closing seconds of a game against the Grizzlies? Some fun things that happened in this previous match-up against Maccabi Haifa: Derrick Williams scored 12 points on 1-2 shooting! Nik Stauskas hit two threes! Jason Thompson collected 5 rebounds and 4 fouls in 15 minutes, and well, didn’t score. But, by far my favorite thought about this game was that Sim Bhullar came in for just over two minutes, rumbled his way to the bucket for two points, and then the next day was released by the organization. Anyone feeling nostalgic for that team yet? Anyone? Anyone? Bhullar? Bueller?

Prediction: Omri Casspi still feels the burn of rivalry that his old team of Maccabi Tel Aviv put in him in regards to Maccabi Haifa and scores 30 in the first half. The Kings lend Matt Barnes to the opposing team and Omri scores 52 in the second half, because dammit, that’s how good a teammate Matt Barnes is, right? DeMarcus scores 12.

Kings: 94, Maccabi Haifa: 75.

Support Us On Patreon