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Kings vs Jazz Preview: Gobert or Go Home!

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The Kings find themselves thrown right into the fire for the first game of the 2018-19 season as they take on one of the NBA’s premiere defensive teams in the Utah Jazz.

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Kimani Okearah

It’s another season of NBA “basketball” and “your” Sacramento Kings are young, hungry and ready to lose upwards of 50 plus games without the reward of a draft pick! But don’t worry; if there is one thing that developing teams need more than high caliber young players with star potential, its a goddamn bucket full of moral victories and a roster spot or two for retreads! Are you ready for headlines like “Which comes first: 10 Wins or 30 losses?” or “Is Dave Joerger Trying to Get Fired?” or the old classic “NBA General Playoff Thread Day 1” because if you’re hoping for some sunnier reading about a young, up-and-coming, forward thinking team, I heard Mavs Moneyball puts out incredible content sometimes!

To speak plainly, this season is more than likely going to be ass. It’s bound to be filled with far more downs than ups, far more arguments than ... than whatever Kings fans used to do when the team was good enough to just nitpick second round draft picks and not plan detailed corporate coups for billionaires that might actually know how to pick people in a room that are smarter than themselves. Yet, despite all the frustration that lies just over the horizon, I’m excited for this season. The Kings are the eighth youngest squad in the league, they’re stock full of young, budding talent and most importantly, I work two jobs right now so I only have time to watch highlight reels of this otherwise screaming, teething toddler of a superteam! Catch you in Sanjesh’s recaps, ye tortured masses!

Now without further ado, and for the first time this season, let’s talk Kings basketball!

When: Wednesday, October 17th; 7:00 pm PST

Where: Golden 1 Center; Sacramento, CA

TV: NBCSCA

Radio: KHTK Sports 1140 AM

For Your Consideration

Superteam, Just Young: Was I too harsh up there? Because, this team is theoretically going to be extremely interesting to watch when they’re clicking on all cylinders. Let’s just list some random, water cooler worthy stuff out:

De’Aaron Fox is the fastest player in the NBA and has shown in the preseason a growing ability to get hot from downtown.

Marvin Bagley III is going to be the most talented garbageman in the league this season, and while my issues with Marvin the player are pretty well documented on other sites, I cannot wait for this kid to make me look like a horse’s ass. He’s gonna be great, or I’m gonna look smart. I’m betting on Marv.

Harry Giles is a budding star. The guy is Kevin Garnett with human empathy and knees that his fans refuse to look at for fear of cursing him. He’s got a mean streak, an expanding offensive arsenal and a penchant for fouling while hunting down big blocks. I’ve got my first class ticket on the Harry Giles Hype train. If you aren’t on already, there’s room in the mail car, you bum.

Buddy and Bogi (when he’s healthy) are going to both find ways to break out this year.

Justin Jackson has the greatest floater in the NBA for a power forward.

Willie Cauley-Stein got new face tattoos.

Wenyen Gabriel is going to play himself into the rotation by New Years Day.

There’s a ton to hate about the Kings. We will cover all of those things in due time. For now though, this is going to be the most fun 23 win team in league history.

All That Jazz: We should talk about the other side of the opening night coin for a second. The Utah Jazz have found themselves in the position to be the most San Antonio Spurs team of the next half decade or so, probably even more so than the Spurs themselves. Led by NBA stars in Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, surrounded by superb role players like Ricky Rubio, Joe Ingles and Jae Crowder, and coached by a top five coach in the NBA in Quin Snyder, the Jazz bring one of the most well rounded teams in the NBA to Sacramento on opening night. I know what you’re thinking: “The Kings just played the Jazz last week!”. I know. It ain’t fair. Being down something like 45-7 is something no fan should ever have to endure, even in preseason. But, if you look at last year’s 47 point loss to the Hawks as a benchmark, at least the Kings are losing by less to better, right? That’s gotta be worth something.

Wednesday night could very well be another drubbing. Many of the Kings main pieces are young guys, with longer memories than veteran’s who have had their keisters enough times to just move on from it, and seeing Rudy Gobert looming in the paint all night would be an absolute nightmare for any player dependent on scoring in the paint COUGH WILLIEANDMARVINANDUSUALLYJUSTINANDPROBABLYDEAARON COUGH. Here’s hoping someone can get a real nice rim rattling dunk or two on Gobert early, setting the tone that the young guys aren’t afraid to get up in his space. It’ll also be interesting to see just how fast the Kings play, and how many threes they’re looking to hoist, especially with the Stifle Tower roaming near the rim.

To Those Who Missed It: Here’s two Kings related items you need to watch before Wednesday night’s game to grant you a little frisson for your decision to root for the basketball equivalent of Jack-in-the-Box tacos for dinner. Do we root for one of the worst teams in the league? Yes, but a team comprised of Fox, Giles, Bogdanovic, Hield, Bagley (and well, everyone else too) is just so damn easy to root for. Each of these quick little bits are a reminder of the caliber of men these guys are growing into, and I’m here for it.

(PS: I’m really hoping that “Naw, f*ck that” becomes the rallying cry of the next great Kings run)

S(acramento) T(heater) R(eview)

The season is long and the opportunities for you to turn off the game after a quarter will be plentiful. So I’m going to drop a movie suggestion themed to the individual team the Kings are playing against as an alternative to bad basketball. On a bad enough night, you might even end up seeing a review of the movie instead of the game on the back end of the game.

Tonight’s movie: Whiplash

What IMBD Says: A promising young drummer enrolls at a cut-throat music conservatory where his dreams of greatness are mentored by an instructor who will stop at nothing to realize a student’s potential.

What I Say: I love everything that Damien Chazelle has done, but a couple of years ago, I wouldn’t have given Whiplash a second thought until my younger brother absolutely begged me to watch. Its a gorgeous movie, Miles Teller is at his least annoying self and JK Simmons gives one of my favorite performances EVER.

Trailer:

For Rent: On Amazon ($3.99) and Youtube ($2.99)

Prediction

The Kings come out at a break neck pace, wearing Gobert and Derrick Favors down early. Threes are flying like a Houston Rockets practice, Marvin and Harry bounce the big men between them like a couple of bullies and DeAaron Fox gives Ricky Rubio some ice skating lessons before its even snowing in Utah.

Kings 113, Jazz 107