The Kings have dropped eight games in a row, but in doing so have started to secure their spot in the bottom of the draft pecking order. The young guys are playing more and the Kings are keeping the games exciting if nothing else. I know there’s a large contingent of fans frustrated by the losing, but at this point, it’s probably better for the long-term health of the franchise to get as good a pick as they can this year.
The High Post
For a team that’s lost eight games in a row, there sure have been some fun games. Just this week alone we saw the Kings go up by 28 points on the San Antonio Spurs in their own building and also accumulate a double-digit lead against Washington. The Kings never led against the Nuggets, but they kept it close enough to at least make a game out of it in the fourth quarter.
Tanking, for lack of a better term, can often be a joyless experience, where fan expectations are inverted to the point where some grimace when the team wins and pump their fist when they lose. But these games have not been joyless. The team has actually managed to remain competitive, even in the face of losing. Sacramento’s players are giving their all, and we also get to see flashes of brilliance from guys like Buddy Hield and Skal Labissiere, potential lynchpins of our future.
As far as a tanking experience goes, these last eight games have been an ideal result: fun games where the Kings ultimately lose. As long as they keep it competitive night in and night out, I’m good with that.
The Low Post
The silence from the Kings regarding Ty Lawson’s recent reported violation of his probation has been deafening. According to the Denver Post and TMZ, Lawson tested positive for alcohol at least three separate times since becoming a Sacramento King, and also failed to do his community service. Yet the only statement we’ve gotten at all comes from Lawson’s attorney saying that reports that “a warrant has been issued” are completely false, which it might well be but is not the issue that anyone’s really concerned with. If Lawson has actually violated his probation on the Kings watch, and the Kings know about it and are choosing to do nothing about it, that smacks of the worst hypocrisy.
When the Kings traded DeMarcus Cousins and cut Matt Barnes, Vlade Divac made a big deal of saying how much character matters. That was a dumb thing to say for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that Vlade has now backed himself into a corner where he looks bad if he doesn’t follow through (see another completely unnecessary declaration when he told ESPN the Kings weren’t trading Cousins).
It really bothers me that the Kings haven’t done anything or said anything since these reports have come out, and the fact that Lawson continues to play as if nothing has happened is a bit ridiculous if these reports are true (and given the specificity of the dates on which Lawson was tested positive, with the source being court docs, I hardly doubt their veracity). It looks like the next time we’ll know anything for sure is March 22nd, when Lawson’s probation hearing is set. We’ll see how the Kings react then, if at all.
Kimani’s Photo of the Week
Gonna have to give it to these two shots of Garrett Temple playing amazing defense.
Highlight of the Week
Player of the Week
15.3 PTS, .515 FG%, .556 3P%, 4.3 REB, 1.7 AST in 28.4 MPG
Can I just say how refreshing it is that the Kings acquired someone who is supposedly a good shooter and they actually, you know, can shoot as a Sacramento King? Buddy Hield has lived up to his reputation as a shooter and then some. In the nine games since the trade, Buddy is shooting an absurd 51.2% from three point range on 43 attempts. He’s at 52.3% for his overall FG%. His True Shooting Percentage is a ridiculous 67.5%. These numbers are astounding, and especially welcome as he’s a rookie and should only be getting better as his career goes along. We saw what Buddy was capable of when he dropped 18 points on the Wizards in the first half alone, but we also saw how much he still needed to learn when Washington was able to hold him scoreless in the second half. Buddy’s deadly when he has space to operate, but he struggles to create his own shot when opponents guard him with length or double teams. His turnover rate (21.3%) is way too high for a guard who doesn’t provide much in the way of assists, and he’ll need to cut that down. All that being said, I’m excited about Buddy’s future.
All Times Pacific
Mar. 13th vs. Orlando Magic at 7:30 p.m.
Mar. 15th at Phoenix Suns at 7:00 p.m.
Mar. 18th at Oklahoma City Thunder at 12:00 p.m.
Mar. 19th at San Antonio Spurs at 4:00 p.m.