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Kings 81, Rockets 116: Not with a bang, but a whimper

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The season finally comes to a close

Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

And that's a wrap. The Sacramento Kings (or whatever was left of them anyways) ended the season going gentle into the night, getting dismantled by a Houston Rockets team motivated to make the Playoffs. The Kings held out nearly as many players as they dressed, one of the most blatant tanking jobs I can remember. Sucks for Utah Jazz fans, but that's just the kind of behavior that the system in its current form incentivizes.

Seth Curry' came crashing back down to earth as the NBA-level talent around him dwindled. Curry was alone on an island handling the ball against Patrick Beverley and his pesky defense and Curry cracked under the pressure. The Rockets didn't even pretend to care about the other Kings for the most part, doubling Curry off of screens and riding him 94 feet up the court. Seth turned the ball over 3 times in the first quarter, and 5 times in total for the game. Willie Cauley-Stein, Quincy Acy, and Kosta Koufos (all guys who project to be roleplaying finishers) were all forced to be playmakers and all fell flat.

On the other hand, all of the attention Curry was getting opened up Ben McLemore to have himself a game. McLemore has been wildly inconsistent all year, but thank god the good Ben showed up last night, because otherwise the Kings were going to lose by 50. McLemore scored 24 points, shooting 50% from the field and hit 4/9 three pointers.

The Kings had to give their holdovers from the Summer League minutes, and got uneventful results. James Anderson still tries to make passes that have no business being attempted while failing to make the simple but necessary play. Duje Dukan made his NBA debut, showing off his three point stroke and nothing else, airballing several attempts and hitting nothing inside the arc. Eric Moreland only played three minutes before yet another injury derailed his chance to show what he could do.

The Kings now go into the offseason at 33-49, and anxiously await the results of the lottery to see if they keep their first round or convey it to Chicago.

Random Observations

  • Pretty boring night in the NBA. Nothing else of note really happened.
  • Cauley-Stein was not an offensive dynamo by any means, but continues to impress with his court vision. There is some nice passing talent there that can be harnessed.
  • By losing and forcing the Rockets to be the Warriors' sacrificial lambs in the Playoffs, the Kings now have the chance to jump on coaching candidates before the Rockets hit the market. When an organization's reputation is as bad as the Kings' is, any slight advantage is welcome
  • It should be more of a big deal that the Kings rested so many players on the last game of the season. The NBA isn't going to do anything about it though, and I think Kings fans are too weary to bother. Make no mistake about it though, this game was a travesty
  • And finally, I want to give a shoutout to the Sactown Royalty community who has stuck around to this point. Regardless of your opinion of the front office, coaching staff, or players, all of you left are united by a desire to see the Kings play good basketball again. And as we debate the best way for the organization to get there, never forget that you guys are the best online community of sports fans around. Nobody else deals with the kind of crap that we do, and for you to fight through it and continue to put your frustration into words time and time again is nothing short of remarkable. Here's to you, the community, and here's to the franchise rewarding your love with good basketball sooner rather than later. I look forward to seeing you all next season.
For the opponent's perspective, visit The Dream Shake