I’m gonna keep my DeMarcus legacy discussion to a minimum. I was happy to have him on our team, I’m happy with our team now that he isn’t. I wish a lot of things were different, but that goes for just about everything involving the Kings, my life and the world in general. Far better writers have given far better responses on the subject; I’m just here to torture you with bad puns and worse 82 times a year. So, without further ado... The New Orleans Pelicans come into Sacramento for a Thursday night, nationally televised game to pit every Kentucky center to ever play in the NBA against each other. With Buddy Heild shooting with his off hand this season, George Hill really doing his best to get De’Aaron Fox a Rookie of the Year trophy, and every New Orleans player under 6’10 unable to hit sand with a grenade in the desert, three pointers are now basically the snitch from the Harry Potter books; first player to hit on will end the game and give their team 150 points. Come to cheer the DeMarcus Cousins hype video, stay to boo DeMarcus Cousins in the fourth quarter! Let’s talk Kings basketball.
When: 7:30 pm PST, Thursday, October 26th
Where: Golden 1 Center; Sacramento, CA
Radio: KHTK Sports 1140 AM
For Your Consideration
Pelican or Pelicant?: Possibly the biggest factor in this game isn’t going to be attitude, or revenge or any thing ethereal or intangible. There is nothing more important to the Kings’ chances in this game than the status of Anthony Davis’ left knee. A collision in Tuesday night’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers left Anthony Davis hobbled and down for the count, and while the MRI returned no structural damage, Davis is still doubtful for Thursday night’s game at the Golden 1 Center. Make no mistake, Davis is the most important member of this Pelicans team and his loss would be a huge boon for Sacramento’s chances. Without Davis, a New Orleans offense that leans heavily on their dynamic front court, becomes DeMarcus and... and who exactly? Newly signed, near-Kings-miss Josh Smith? Cheick Diallo? Literally every other forward on their team is injured: Omer Asik, Alexis Ajinca, Solomon Hill: they’re all injured. If Davis misses time, we’ll be seeing DeMarcus playing the role of Sisyphus rolling his team towards the finish line as Kings fans have witnessed so many times before, and as Kings fans have witnessed so many times before, that’s a game that’s quite winnable.
(Sidenote: “Pelicant” looks awfully similar to Replicant. Imagine BLADE RUNNER 2049 advertising with every character being a large water bird instead of a sexy Hollywood actor or actress. Now imagine the only human in the movie is Harrison Ford. Would you have gone to see the movie then?! Denis Villeneuve; hit me up man. I got ideas.)
Z-Bohhhh NO! : I’m all for Coach Dave Joerger’s merit program, really, I am. I think it did have a great hand in the success that we saw in the later parts of the season from our youngings and I’m all for its continued use when called for. But, Zach Randolph in the starting line-up is a disaster. Yeah, I understand that Skal is playing more minutes Zach but that really isn’t the issue. The issue is that Zach is a matchup nightmare FOR the Kings. With stretch fours, he’s too damn slow. “Switch Willy onto the stretch four!” your terrible Kings fan neighbor screams through the wall during the game. Well, he’s too small, too inactive as a defender to make that a viable move. Either position, Z-Bo is getting his lunch snatched. On the offensive end, the ball movement dies with many of Randolphs touches and while that would be okay with a bench unit where he could be a focal point of the offense, the start of games this season have been a disaster in part because one position is anchoring the rest of the team down. Again, it isn’t the total minutes played but where he’s getting them. If Skal starts over Zach Randolph against Phoenix, do you think the Suns break out to a 22 point lead that early in the game? I don’t. Not attempt to paint Randolph as useless because I do think he has a place on this team; it’s just 15-20 minutes a game, off the bench.
Matchup of the Game
Boogie (and maybe the Brow) vs. The Boys: The combination of speed, athleticism, ballhandling, long range shooting and defense between two men of their size and stature makes the big guy tandem of DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis make them the best front court in the league right now, and one of the most talented and dynamic ever. If the Kings are to have a chance at winning this one, Skal Labissiere and Willie Cauley-Stein will have to find ways to contain their former teammate, DeMarcus Cousins. Yes, I know Kosta Koufos and Zach Randolph will have their cracks at them. Hell, Randolph might even start Thursday night’s game. But what fans are looking for isn’t that Boogie gets contained, its that the future frontcourt of the Kings franchise are the one’s to do it. How good would it feel to see Cousins bite on one of a tizzy of moves that Skal puts on him to draw an and-one. Imagine a Magic Cousins fast break that ends with a Willie chase down block off the glass. These moments might not come Thursday night, but we all want them to.
Prediction: DeMarcus gets thrown out of this game in the fourth after a return-the-favor crotch crunch on Buddy Hield. High point man is Bogi Bogdanovic, who just smiles and shoots the whole night away, blissfully unaware of the drama around him. Kings win and I don’t have to think about Boogie for awhile.
Kings: 111, Pelicants: 104