Spring has sprung! The air is fresh, the birds are chipper and for the thirteenth straight season, someone has to come out and say in a matter-of-fact tone: Sacramento isn’t going to the post-season. Yeah, I know we could wait until the Kings are mathematically eliminated and sure hope springs eternal in the human breast, but I’m going to spoil you all to it early, so if you miss a game or two to sit outside outside and enjoy the swarm of mosquitoes trying to fill your nostrils like a still-warm moose corpse, you can! Usually the fact that the Kings aren’t making the playoffs gets solidified in November so, I’m asking that we all agree to be happy its mid-March and the jello is just getting jiggly.
Tonight’s game features a young and energetic squad with a young stud backcourt and some promising big men, the Brooklyn Nets! They will be making the playoffs, and have done so in basically half the time of the Kings and with the worst trade in the history of the NBA tying their hands behind their backs to boot! Let’s talk Kings (regular season) basketball!
When: Tuesday, March 19th; 7:00 pm PST
Where: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, CA
Radio: KHTK Sports 1140 AM
For Your Consideration
Nothing But Nets: We’ve all seen this team play now, and if not you’ve seen them flipping through the sports channels or highlights from a pop-up at whatever sports website you look up at work when your TPS reports all get filed early. In many ways, the Nets and Kings are sharing similar paths in their conferences; young plucky underdogs who made an unexpected leap into the middle of the pack. The difference between the two is solely the conference they play in. I’m not here to complain about it. Coach Kenny Atkinson has his team playing smart and playing hard and I’m excited to see what the Nets can do now that they’re out from under a franchise defining terrible trade that crippled everything they do for half a decade. New York needs a team to root for and if the Knicks continue to be Dolan’d, maybe the Nets make themselves a little foothold there. We’ve seen this team so I only need to bring out a couple of reminder stats for you. The Nets are fourth in the NBA in three point attempts, they’re third in free throw attempts and they’re sixth in total rebounding. Those are the three things that the Kings need to take care of to win the game tonight. Brooklyn is going to jack a bunch of shots from deep and if the Kings aren’t up in their grill when they do, the night could turn sour quick. If the Kings do get up in their grill, or better yet, chase them off the three point line, they’re going to have to do it without giving open lanes to the hoop. Keeping those guys from earning free points at the line and slowing the game down is going to be big for a Kings squad that seems to really play well when they have stretches to work in the flow of a game. Lastly is the boards: the Kings have got to keep the rebounding in this one close, if not outright win the battle on the board. Willie Cauley-Stein checked out as soon as Iman Shumpert was traded, and would have given up far more minutes to Marvin Bagley III and Harry Giles had the former not tweaked his knee. If Dave Joerger finds the flute and plays the melody that gets Cauley-Stein awake and off his sleepy ass, consider the Kings in great position. If not, Giles and Bagley will need help from Buddy and Barnes outrebounding their positions.
This game is winnable, you saw that last time around. Sacramento has to limit three point attempts, avoid sending them to the foul line early and find the motivation to rebound the basketball.
The Kings are to go from media darlings of the season to disappointing, their SG is about to lose a bet that will net him negative one house and Marvin Bagley isn’t winning the MVP award as he predicted so the Kings are about to play pissed off. Real pissed off. One backboard is broken on a dunk, the Nets are literally set aflame and the sonic boom left in De’Aaron Fox’s wake during a fast break is going to shatter someones wrist and throw popcorn from the first few rows everywhere.
Kings: 127, Nets: 114