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Kings vs. Clippers Preview: And so it ends

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Another season ends in early April.

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Los Angeles Clippers Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

What a long season it’s been. It’s almost really felt like two seasons, one with Boogie and one without, because we’ve essentially watched two different teams, even if the majority of the personnel have been the same.

Tonight it comes to an end, and I’m kinda disappointed to be honest. It felt a little bit like we only got a sneak preview of what this team is really going to be. The first half of the season now feels even more like it was a waste of time, especially with the about face the franchise did at the All-Star break.

But the glimpses we have gotten have been enough to rekindle a little hope and optimism for me. I was seriously down in the dumps about this team, and I still don’t think we’ll be good any time soon, but I do think that at least now there seems to be a semblance of a plan and perhaps in time this could become something.

I think Dave Joerger has done an admirable job under the circumstances, and the players both before and after the trade have played hard for him. The youth weren’t simply handed minutes but given opportunities to earn them.

Tonight, with the Clippers set on trying to secure the #4 seed and homecourt advantage, the Kings will probably lose, ending their season at 32 wins. But this team won’t go down without a fight, lottery odds be damned. It was only about two and a half weeks ago that this same team rallied from 18 points down with five minutes to go to beat this same Clippers team on a Willie Cauley-Stein putback.

I’m looking forward to seeing what this team can do with a truly focused rebuild, and I hope that they’ve finally learned from the mistakes of the past. There are also some good vets in place, guys like Anthony Tolliver and Garrett Temple, who can show the young guys the right way to play. With potentially two first round picks coming up, a high second rounder and a European import in Bogdan Bogdanovic, this will be a very different and much younger team next year. But if they can play with the same “never give up” mentality that they’ve showcased over these last couple months, that’ll be enough for me.

I’d also like to take a moment and thank my staff for all of the hard work they’ve done this season.

Greg’s been a steady right hand man all year long, and that’s despite dealing with two young children with another on the way! Greg also doesn’t have a problem sharing unpopular opinions or writing about difficult topics.

Tony’s the Garrett Temple of StR. He can write about anything and he’s always looking for the next topic of conversation. He does this all from Boston, and yet he lives and breathes Sacramento Kings basketball (and Chipotle).

Omer, aka Professor Oak. This is the guy that should be working in an NBA organization. You want smart analysis? He’ll give it to you. You want recaps that add to your understanding of the game? He’s on it. The first (and to date only) time I met him was at this year’s home opener, and he had a notepad in hand to write notes for that night’s recap. That’s how dedicated he is.

Rob (section214) is our wise old sage. I wish he would write more, but I’m glad to have him help me on this year’s Yetisburg Address posts. He’s the voice of reason in the comments, but also always ready with a witty retort or more likely a Simpsons .GIF now that he’s found out about Frinkiac.

Blake is our beat reporter. Not many blogs can say they have a guy like Blake who is essentially our voice in the locker room. He asks great questions and I love his unfiltered and unedited approach to interviews.

We also have a beat photographer, how cool is that! Kimani joined the staff last season and since then has been providing us with some of the best photographs of the season. Just check out this masterpiece.

Kimani Okearah

If you’ve ever interacted with the site’s twitter account, you know Kevin has created a unique voice on our social media which makes twitter almost feel like an extension of our site’s comment section.

I’d be remiss not to mention Will. He may have taken a break from the site (DNP - Planned Rest) but his work on the previews for most of the season went above and beyond what even I was able to do in his stead. I’m looking forward to his future contributions.

Bryant is just getting started on his work for the season. He’s our draft expert, and you’ll be seeing a lot of him over the next two months as the Kings head into what could be one of the most important drafts in team history.

Tim might just be a baby Giraffe and the newest contributor to the site but he hit the ground running and is already one of our most proactive writers. I know he won’t miss my urgent messages an hour before the game asking him if he can get the recap (by the way can you get tonight’s Kings-Clippers recap Tim?).

Brad’s taken his talents to Facebook for the most part, starting a new postgame show of his own volition and it’s been great. Brad’s never one to keep his humor to just one medium and I’m looking forward to seeing “The Vivexpendables 3: the Vivekoning” drop in my e-mail inbox some time this summer.

Adam’s a full-time student at the University of Virginia and he doesn’t write often but when he does it’s incredibly salient and cogent. I don’t even know what those words mean, but Adam does and that’s all that matters.

And then there’s Biegler. Nobody makes me laugh more in our e-mail threads. He’s got the highest True Shooting Percentage of anyone on this staff, but it’s also because he only writes one article a year. You can’t rush art.

And most of all I’d like to thank you guys, the readers. Without you guys commenting, this wouldn’t be the site that it is. If this was just writing about the Kings and I couldn’t interact with you guys, I would have quit a long time ago. You guys are what makes this all worth it.

Thank you all, we’ve got plenty of more good stuff coming this offseason. Enjoy the final game, win or lose. Tip-off’s at 7:30 p.m.