HELLO, AND WELCOME ANOTHER SEASON OF SACRAMENTO KINGS BASKETBALL!!
After changing course at the All-Star Break last season and sending away superstar and team leader * checks notes from last season * Bougie Coopins to New Orleans for Buddy Hield and a top 10 draft pick, the Kings have gone full in on their youth movement. With ten players currently on their rookie deal, and 5 rookies vying for playing time this season to boot, Coach Dave Joerger will have his hands full in a way unlike any other during his time in the NBA. To help with this, the Kings sought out the likes of wily veterans who specifically didn’t care about Derek Fisher’s love life. This season’s band of merry geriatrics include: George Hill, the only point guard Greg Popovich has ever truly loved; Zach Randolph, a living breathing stick-in-the-mud, and Vince Carter, Half-Man-Half-Praying-The-Kings-Acquire-A-True-Small-Forward-So-He-Doesn’t-Have-to-Play-Thirty-Five-Minutes-A-Night. If you suddenly had visions of a crunch time with Kosta Koufos kicking it to Z-Bo on the block while Garrett Temple gets ready to spot up in the corner, if that sensation of mixing youth with long-in-the-tooth feels familiar to you, cast your glazed gaze back at the final 25 or so games of last season and realize; you got 82 games of this, baby.
Welcome to the 2017-2018 season, where the more the Kings lose, the closer they get to winning, and the points don’t matter. Here’s to a million moral victories and between 17 and 20 actual ones!
Let’s talk Kings basketball!
When: Monday, October 2nd, 2017; 7:00 pm PST
Where: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, CA
Television: Not available (No yeah, I know. It’s 2017. Crazy.)
Radio: KHTK Sports 1140
Questions of the Game
What’s the Approach, Coach?: What’s the over-under on Coach Joerger starting the first preseason game with a lineup of Hill-Temple-Carter-Randolph-Koufos? Maybe sprinkle in some youth at the end if the game is close, but, he’s definitely going to troll the entire city of Sacramento by giving the vets the starter’s nod right? (Sidenote: this particular group needs a Goon Squad style nickname: my vote is for The Jerry-atrics... no? Well, it’s preseason for me too alright?) This whole season is going to be a masterclass in time management of an NBA roster. Chock-full of young talent to be developed, the Kings have committed time and time again to saying that each and every one of the young guys needs to earn their minutes. Each vet will need to be leapfrogged through the effort and energy given during the season and while that might be fine and dandy for a team like last years with Willy, Skal, Papa G, Malachi and Buddy working for their time, throwing in another 5 guys with various expectations attached to them; things are gonna get mighty tight on the bench. As much as Sacramento used the D-League last year, the G-League this year might be seeing as many as 7 Kings players utilized by the Reno Bighorns.
So, we know that Coach Joeger says that he plans on playing everyone for the very first preseason game, but how do you think he staggers his line-ups? Who’s the first young guy in the game? How much burn do the rooks get?
Matchup of the Game
Rudy Gay vs. The Reception: You know, I’m actually very curious about how Rudy is handled after his up and down time here in Sacramento. He had his best statistical seasons with the Kings and then suffered a devastating Achilles tear right before what should have been his last big payday. I’ve written before about my feelings towards Rudy and I hope that he gets more than some lukewarm tennis claps for the effort he put out during his brief tenure. Also, this is a preseason game and you ain’t watching it if you ain’t got tickets to it, so expect actual analysis here when the Kings decide that it’s 2017 again.
Greg Popovich is going to rest his starters tonight. Is this joke old yet? Not as old as the Spurs core. BudumTISSSS.
Kings 105, Spurs 97.