Oh hi, there! It’s Monday, which means catching up at the water cooler about how terrible your March Madness bracket is doing, and how you didn’t get that Annihilation move you went and saw and how the Kings are daring the tank gods NOT to give them the #1 overall pick for fighting tooth and nail, wire to wire every single night for wins at a time where all others are content with some stupid thing like high draft picks. Tonight the Kings take on former playoff hopefuls and now prison for Blake Griffin’s Hollywood hopes and dreams, the Detroit Pistons. After trading for the part-time stand-up comedian in the hopes of pushing themselves to the playoffs, the Pistons have pretty much completely fallen on their faces and are stuck in Sam Hinkie’s hellscape; too few wins for the playoffs, to many for a good draft pick. Here’s to the Kings slow ascent in the standings and all of our descent into Kangz -related mania. Let’s talk Kings basketball.
When: Monday, March 19th; 7:00 pm PST
Where: Golden 1 Center; Sacramento, CA
Radio: KHTK Sports 1140 AM
For Your Consideration
Stan the (Fall) Man? : The Detroit Pistons are in No Man’s Land. With a record sitting at nine games under .500, they’re in the ninth spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs, a team that decided to perform some slapdashery at the deadline, and came away with a roster comprised of an uneven hodgepodge of talented but over-payed players and young guys that never quite made the leap. That swing for the fences, that hope place squarely on the Blake Griffin - Andre Drummond front court pair has resulted in a total of two wins since the All-Star Break. You read that right. The Pistons have beaten the Milwaukee Bucks and a Chicago Bulls team in a full nosedive, and then lost each of the other 10 games. The Kings in that same amount of time have 5 wins.
So what gives? Everyone assumed coming into Stan Van Gundy’s tenure as President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach, that he would utilize Andre Drummond in a similar fashion to how his Orlando Magic team was built around Dwight Howard: a dominant big man and surrounding him with shooters. If we’re being fair, Stan does have the shooters. Currently shooting 37.1% from long distance, the Pistons are 7th in the league in three point shooting, but shooting only the 18th amount of bombs in the league. And that dominant big they’re supposed to build around? Well, Andre Drummond is, not quite that. Averaging 15 points on 53% from the field and 61% from the line is solid, and his 15.8 rebounds per game are absolutely INSANE for a kid who is a total of 8 days older than Willie Cauley-Stein. Far better writers can tell you about how he’s quietly having the greatest rebounding season since Rodman was in the league, but to move closer to my point, on defense, Drummond turns it on and off, and he’s mostly MEH. His impact at the rim amounts to all but 1.6 blocks and the team itself is second to last in the NBA in blocks per game. For all Drummond’s size and strength the team is also the worst team in the league at two point field goal percentage at 48.4% and draw the 4th least amount of free throws in the league.
I’m not sure what exactly has the Pistons misfiring. I know handing Reggie Jackson a massive contract was immediately a shot in the gut. The trade for Blake Griffin screamed of desperation but has also secured a dynamic front court for a good little while. So is it the personnel, the coach, the Kinko’s curse the Kings placed upon Van Gundy after the 11th hour rejection of the head coaching job?
Draft Dreams: This point of the year should have be going over the Top-10 or so picks in the draft and their successes in the NCAA Tourney. But seeing as how nearly all of them have decided to strategically rest before the NBA season starts back up this fall, you get to see this instead.
[This was a DraftExpress breakdown of Ben McLemore’s college career, but the website literally refused to let me put it up so here... have something nice]
Prediction: The Kings continue to make me regret getting my “Luka Doncic, King of Kings” tattoo, and cream a Pistons team ready more ready for summer than Kings fans.
Kings: 109, Pistons 99