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Kings vs Jazz Preview: No Turkeys in Utah

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The Kings will have to go on the road for a game against the Utah Jazz before they can enjoy their Thanksgiving trappings.

Kimani Okearah

Oh look it’s a preview right before Thanksgiving, so what B.S. word play is Will going to recycle this year? Well Rudy Gobert is playing so something about stuffing shots or forcing a joke about birds gobbling sounding like his last name. He’ll probably say something about mashing a dunk on someone like it’s a potato, or the Kings sharing the ball like they’re passing the salt around, or he’ll use the phrase “good gravy” in some really obviously forced context. God I hate that guy. I wish that Giraffe was writing the preview, or even Bryant-well, no. Not Bryant, I’m not that desperate. But Tim, sure. Let’s squawk Kings basketball.

When: Wednesday, November 21st; 6 pm PST

Where: Vivint Home Arena, Salt Lake City UT

TV: NBCSCA

Radio: KHTK Sports 1140 AM

For Your Consideration

A Pil-grim Prospect: Trying to predict who will come out of the Western Conference at this point is, as usual, a effort in futility. For the last few years, the top the West was an easy bet on the Warriors and then Rockets and maybe Spurs, then the rest of the pile was a bloody pile of punched up viscera where discernible teams used to be. This year, that pile has seemingly reached up to the very top and yanked the upper echelon down into the fray, and all out chaos and anarchy now reigns supreme. The top two teams in the West currently are the Portland Trailblazers and the Memphis Grizzlies. The Clippers are the fourth seed. Two lottery teams a year ago in the top four. Playoff locks Houston and Utah are outside of that top eight with nearly a quarter of the season complete. “It’s still too early!”, the heckler in the back yells out. Shut your pumpkin pie hole, bub, we haven’t gotten to the point yet.

So, getting to that aforementioned point, the flipside of this is that the Kings have outperformed expectations, they’ve thrilled us and surprised even in the face of off the court drama or teams with far better roster construction. This season has been the most enjoyable season of the decade, in my honest opinion. And as I say that, they’re only TWO games back from being the second worst team in the West behind the Suns. Yes, for all the winning they’ve done and all the fun fans have had, the West is so goddamn tight that the second worst team in the West right now has a record of 7-10, and has won three of their last four games.

The Kings could once again be near the bottom of the West before the month is over. After playing the Jazz tonight, the Kings are taking on a suddenly maligned Warriors squad, and then on the second night of a back to back, take on this same Jazz squad, and a few days later have to take on that Clippers squad that is out-punching their weight class right now.

This team has been fun, and I really think will remain fun throughout the season. They’ve over-performed any expectation I had for them, and I’d bet the same for most of you too. But in a year of rule changes that have really moved the NBA in an interesting direction, nearly every single “bad” team is looking better than expected and I have this sneaking suspicion that as things settle down the Kings are going to plummet in the standings. They may be just as interesting, just as fun, and win around the same amount of games as we all hoped for, but with the absolute glut of talent in the Western Conference, it still might not be enough.

Giving Thanks: Just want to give a quick thank you to everyone who shows up week in and week out and reads my rants and half baked ideas and decides that it’s worth showing up to the following one. You do it over and over again and I’m so very humbled by your presence here. This includes the editors and staff at Sactown Royalty. They really are as good as they’re hyped up to be, and being in their shadow is a sunnier place than I could have ever imagined.

I’m also and especially thankful for all those who donated money to various causes around the North State in recent weeks. We live in interesting times, and your help keeps the chaos back in a million different little ways. I appreciate you with all I’ve got.

Prediction

Donovan Mitchell gets mad that I didn’t mention his rancid shooting to start the season and tries to go off on the Kings, but he shoots very poorly. Marvin Bagley drops a hammer on Rudy Gobert. Fox eats Ricky Rubio’s lunch.

Kings 121, Jazz 111