Well, we’ve got two more preseason games to go. For better or for worse, the season is at hand and as this is the last Kings preseason game that is being televised, you best soak it all in! The Kings have flown to Los Angeles for a Thursday night match up and the chance to take on the only team in the area with a smooth passing, star rookie point guard with a chance at winning Rookie of the Year; the Clippers! Blake Griffin vs. Skal Labbissiere, DeAndre Jordan vs. Willie Cauley-Stein, Doc River’s blank stares vs. Dave Joerger’s annoyed gaze! Let’s talk Kings basketball!
When: Thursday, October 12th; 7:30pm PST
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
Radio: KHTK Sports 1140 AM
Questions of the Game
Will the Kings score in the triple digits tonight? If there is anything Kings fans should have expected but are still disappointed in seeing, it’s that the Kings offense is not a finished product. With nearly the entire roster consisting of either young guys or newbies, and compound by the fact that Coach Joerger is using this preseason to evaluate his young talent and get their feet wet playing at an NBA pace much more than he is honing his starter’s understanding of the offense, the Kings have not broken the 100 point mark since they scored 106 against the Spurs in the very first preseason game. Sacramento is currently averaging just 88 points in preseason, and is dead last in the league in points per game, almost six points less than the 29th best, the Memphis Grizzlies.
So, do the Kings crack 100 tonight? There’s a chance with two games to go, Coach Joerger decides to start tightening up the rotation and give his starters some real time together on the floor to gel before the season starts. Golden State looms on Friday and we all know how that game is likely to go, so is Thursday night in Los Angeles where the Kings start settling on a final rotation? And that being said, does whatever group you can imagine in your head playing the most minutes for the Kings have enough fire power to get over the hump? This is the Clipper’s were talking about; not exactly the defensive juggernaut of the league. Patrick Beverley, Austin Rivers, Danilo Galinari are all injured and probably won’t play. So we’re looking at DeAndre Jordan and bench players like Willie Reed and maybe Wes Johnson as players with a semblance of defensive ability. Obviously the game of basketball isn’t played to 100 and this is really just an arbitrary number meant more to see if the Kings are progressing towards some cohesion and familiarity with each other before the regular season starts, but it would be nice to see, wouldn’t it?
Matchup of the Game
“I Would Watch 500 Milos” vs. “Heart Shaped Fox”: I guess I probably should have picked songs that were popular in 1993 to include George Hill and Frank Mason III in the chance that De’Aaron doesn’t play, but really this was just my excuse to gush about international basketball star, and rookie point guard for the Clippers, Milos Teodosic. At 30 years old, Teodosic is by far the oldest ( or “most experienced” for those who just cringed at seeing “30 years old” and “the oldest” near each other) of the 2017 rookie class, and while his NBA flame might not burn for nearly as long as these young guys, it’ll sure as heck burn just as bright at times. Teodosic is a passing wizard; a certifiable Ricky Rubio type that replaces the Jazz point guard’s defense with a reliable jumper, and replaces the boyish charm with dead-on impressions of Eeyore anytime a camera comes out. If you haven’t seen or heard much about Milos, tonight will be a pleasant surprise for you; he might be a long shot to win Rookie of the Year, but I honestly can’t think of any one outside of the Kings camp that I’m more excited to see this year than him.
Prediction: Willie Cauley-Stein finally gets that poster dunk he’s been hunting for this whole preseason and Doc River’s is so astounded by it that his face gets stuck like... well, like the way his face seems to be stuck like a lot of the time anyways. Milos Teodosic shows out and Lavar Ball quickly moves to adopt him. The Milos Teo-So-Sick shoes come out Friday; they cost $4900, or exactly $4900 more than what Lavar’s middle son will make in the NBA.
Kings: 105, Clippers: 94