Well folks, the 2016-2017 season is officially over and another disappointing campaign is in the books. I’m sure we’ll have many more thoughts about the odd season that we just endured, but tonight the visiting Kings managed to help their lottery position by losing to the Clippers while Los Angeles guaranteed themselves home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
Due to Utah’s win against the Spurs, Doc Rivers was forced to play his full compliment of players to try and gain positioning against the Jazz on Saturday. Los Angeles was led by the perpetually-great Chris Paul (17 points, 5 rebounds, 9 assists) DeAndre Jordan (18 points and 17 boards). Sacramento got another great game from Willie Cauley-Stein (19 points, 14 rebounds, 6 assists, and 1 block) while Buddy Hield put in a solid 16 points, 6 rebounds, and dished out 4 assists himself.
Player of the Game:
19 points (9/18 FG), 14 boards, 6 assists, 1 block and only 2 turnovers
This has been a different Willie in the last third of the season. Tonight, he once again dominated the boards and matched up right alongside DeAndre Jordan. His energy is off the charts, and while there are still holes in his game on both ends of the court, his exponential growth over the past few months has been nothing short of incredible. The future of the Kings center position is certainly bright.
More impactful than that actual on-court play this evening, the Kings asset cupboard got a nice boost tonight as well. If things had gone poorly, Sacramento would have been in danger of ending the season tied for 10th and possibly losing their pick to Chicago. Thankfully, Dallas won and Sacramento was defeated by the Clippers in a huge night for the Kings future prospects.
Final Lottery Positioning:
10. SAC (from NOP, 4% chance of not conveying)
- The only active player from Game 1 that is under contract for next season and active tonight was Willie Cauley-Stein.
- Georgios Papagiannis continues to be too reliant on his dribble in the post. In the offseason he must learn to just take the ball from the pass to the rim without wasting time.
- Langston Galloway was the only point guard in uniform tonight and played almost 42 minutes. He finished with 11 points, 4 rebounds, and 6 assists.
- Sacramento ended the season 1 game under their win total from last year.