After getting rocked in the kiss by the cold fist of reality on Saturday night, the Kings will have to pick up where their winning basketball ways left off if they want to have any hope staving off a San Antonio Spurs squad that somehow found more souls to sell to Satan himself in return for playoff caliber basketball. Sacramento’s run-and-gun style has started to show negative effects with the legs of these young guys flashing hints of tiring, but the boys in purple can make yet another statement to the their fans and the entire NBA community if they can push through and beat this 7-4 Spurs team Monday night. Davis Bertans hero game incoming in 3... 2... 1...
Let’s talk Kings basketball.
When: Monday, November 12th; 7 pm PST
Where: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, CA
Radio: KHTK Sports 1140 AM
For Your Consideration
Spurious Claims: It was an uncharacteristically dramatic spring and summer for the Spurs. After refusing his assignment to EXECUTE: PLAY GAME, the Spurs found themselves shipping out a malfunctioning Kawhi Leonard and lead programmer Danny Green for DeMar DeRozan and pieces. If RC Buford and Pops trading their T-1000 for Johnny-5 wasn’t enough, the Spurs have also found themselves with a slew of injuries. Their fantastic young point guard, Dejounte Murray, tore his ACL and will be out for the season. Talented rookie guard Lonnie Walker IV will miss considerable time with a torn miniscus, Jakob Poetl has a sprained right ankle, Rudy Gay is having issues with his heel, and Pau Gasol has a sore right foot that will probably cost him tonight’s game. If you’re keeping count: that’s one former Raptor and two actual dinosaurs that are bound to miss tonight’s game for the Spurs. All of this and they’re sitting at a completely predictable 7-4. The Spurs are timeless, and fantasic and so goddamn frustrating in their consistency. If you aren’t jealous of them, you’re lying to yourself.
This might surprise you if you look at their roster of aging forwards and mid-range savants, but the Spurs aren’t playing with any sort of speed on the court, managing to be the sixth slowest team in terms of pace in the entire NBA. Their 18th in the NBA in points per game at 109.8 a contest, they attempt the least amount of threes in the NBA and the third least amount of free throws. Also oddly enough, they’re the second worst team in the league in two point percentage as well. So, what is it that the Spurs are doing to win games, other than sacrificing goats and marketing interns every full moon?
(people). The Spurs turn the ball over less than 12 times a contest. They’re running their sets, not giving away extra possessions to their opponents and hitting when they need to. In a very Kingsy move, the three point allergic Spurs are also third in the league in three point percentage, shooting 39.1% as a team from deep. On the other end of the ball, the Spurs are playing conservative defense, where they’ve gotten they average the second least amount of steals and the fourth least amount of blocks, BUT, they’re also not letting their opponents get to the free throw line for free points. Yeah, unfortunately for the Kings, the Spurs also foul teams at the lowest rate in the NBA.
Staring long and deep into these numbers, this Spurs team doesn’t feel sustainable. DeMar DeRozan is a fine player, far better than the joke I made up top about him. He’s averaging a fantasic 25.2 points, 6.8 rebounds and 6.5 assists and should absolutely be an All-Star in a Western Conference with an absolute glut of All-Stars. LaMarcus Aldridge has played well too at a hair under 20 points, a hair under 10 boards and a hair under 3 assists a game. But past those two, we’re looking at Rudy Gay, Bryn Forbes and Kings great Marco Belinelli as the next three guys up for the Spurs. Yes, in five less minutes per game, Marco Belinelli is averaging more points than the unmentioned Patty Mills, and doing so while also shooting a scorching 39% from the field. Every talking head and every hot-take blog boys has called every Spurs team done for like, eight years. Most years, I’d shake my head slightly and go “yeah... probably... I guess” and every year the Spurs keep trucking to playoff berths and 45+ win seasons. Staring long and deep into these numbers these Spurs don’t feel sustainable, but I’ll be damned if I EVER bet against the Spurs doing what they need to do to get it done as long as RC Buford and Greg Popovich are around.
I bet against the Spurs doing what they need to do to get it done.
Kings: 117, Spurs: 109
Also, infinite thanks are in order for the many veterans our country has, and while we celebrate you and your sacrifices everyday, we want to wish a Happy Veterans Day to all those who served.