Go Kings! Sacramento Kings Weekly Recap 12/16-12/22
This article will cover game recaps, and notable stats and thoughts on the games! Go Kings!
Sacramento vs. Charlotte Game Recap
Recently Sacramento has been…. something. They have looked like world beaters. A team that any #1 seed in the playoffs would not want to have to face in the first round of the playoffs.
Sacramento also looks like a team that can’t hold a lead, or even get a lead against some of the bottom feeders of the league. A team that is scared of stepping in the paint, a team that goes scoreless for long stretches, and is just plain inconsistent. And quite frustrating for Kings fans.
Sacramento started their road trip last Sunday against the Warriors. After suffering after a horrible loss to the New York Knicks. They beat the Warriors by 21. Though the Kings did have 23 turnovers versus the Warriors, who had 20 turnovers themselves.
Would the Kings be able to take some of that momentum they gained in the Warriors game on their road trip? So far… nope.
Sacramento continued their 4 game road trip in Charlotte against the 12-17 Hornets, and came out sloppy. Charlotte went on a 10-0 run at one point in the first quarter to go up 24-10. The Kings seemed to have no answers defensively, while also having their classic lengthy struggles on offense.
The Return of Fox Force 5
With Fox returning to the lineup the Kings finally have their creator back. A guy who can drive to the basket when the offense breaks down and create scoring opportunities at the rim. Fox had 11 points and 6 assists in the first half. The Kings battled back, though they were getting out-manned in the paint all night. Specifically by the duo of Cody Zeller and Marvin Williams who had 10 points a piece at half.
The Kings trailed 53-47 going into the locker room.
Bjelica had a positive stretch in the 3rd quarter, scoring 8 points in a few minute stretch . Though the theme of the night was the Kings getting out-manned down low. Zeller and Williams combining for 31 points through 3 quarters. With all that offensive ineptness and softness in the post the Kings went into the 4th quarter only trailing by 1 point, 79-80.
Kings 4th Quarter Woes
The 4th quarter was another disappointing one for the Kings. Bogi hit a 2 pointer to put Sacramento up 81-80, but the Hornets answered with a 13-3 run, with Malik Monk scoring 8 points during that run.
Sacramento couldn’t mount a comeback, though they had the opportunities. They could not score or defend late when they needed to and lost 110-102. (It should have been 99 but a last second Hield 3 pointer made it look like less of a dredging).
Notable Stats and Thoughts
The Kings shot well from the free throw line, 12-13 but did not get there enough, as per usual this season. That was countered by the Hornets going 19-27 from the free throw stripe.
Sacramento was also outrebounded by the Hornets 62-42, a common theme for Sacramento over these last few losses.
Sacramento did only commit 10 turnovers, and forced 19 turnovers. But the Kings did not capitalize on those turnovers, losing the points off turnover battle 20-6, unacceptable really.
Fox played well and was the only bright spot on offense for the Kings, going 6-13 from the field for 19 points, 8 assists, and 2 steals.
Hield had an off night, going 5-13 from the field, for 14 points, (3 of those coming at the 4th quarter buzzer, so Buddy effectively had 11 points…)
Link to game stats: https://www.espn.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=401161043
But in the end it’s always… Go Kings!
Sacramento vs. Indiana
The Kings traveled to Indiana, the home state of Sacramento legend Jerry Reynolds (French Lick to be exact), to play their 3rd game on their 4 game road trip, and the first of a back to back.
Sacramento came out of the gates and looked good against the 19-9 Pacers. Nemanja Bjelica was looking good early, with the Kings taking the lead at the end of the 1st quarter 32-30.
That’s where the positivity stopped for Sacramento.
Indiana asserted their dominance in the 2nd quarter and never looked back. Sacramento was outscored in the 2nd quarter 38-25. The Kings made it close with a couple minutes left in the 2nd quarter at 62-57 but the Pacers went on a 6-0 run to end the half at 68-57.
And in the End…
The closest the Kings got in the 2nd half was spurred by a couple minute hot streak marked by a Justin James half court make to end the 3rd quarter to 92-79.
Indiana continued playing tough defense, which was made to look better by Sacramento’s offensive ineptness, softness and confusing-ness. While also getting whatever they wanted from inside and outside on offense. The Kings couldn’t mount a comeback and lost the game 119-105 to fall to 12-16 and 9th place in the western conference.
I Want My Buddy Back
Buddy continued his offensive slump, going 3-15 rom the field an 1-9 from 3 point range. He did add in 8 rebounds and 6 assists. When will our Buddy be back? That’s the 100 million dollar question all Kings fans are asking themselves…
Holmes Sweet Holmes
Richaun Holmes continued his stellar season, with another almost perfect performance from the field, going 9-10 from the field for 20 points, 2-2 from the free throw line, adding in 9 rebounds and 1 block.
Holmes changes the game on the offensive and defensive ends, he can switch on any screen and guard pretty much any player on the floor. He brings the energy each play, and is one of the only reasons the Kings still have hope, and sanity left.
Kings Notable Stats and Thoughts
The Kings did not shoot well from the 3 point line, going 10-32 for 31%, compared to the Pacers who shot 45% from 3 point range gong 14-31.
Sacramento shot well from the free throw line again, going 13-15 for 86%.
Sacramento also improved on their abysmal rebounding from the previous few games, winning that battle 50-46 in total rebounds. And they only gave up 7 offensive rebounds, though that may have been influenced by the lack of missed shots by the Pacers.
The Kings lost the turnover battle committing 12 while forcing 9, but they did outscore the Pacers on points off turnovers 16-11.
Sacramento also bested the Pacers in points in the paint, 48-42. Though, the Kings still have not lived up their ‘run and gun’ persona, getting outscored 14-11 on fast break points.
Kings Upcoming Action
The Kings have a short turnaround and play Memphis in a back to back. Hopefully with some key players for the Kings being able to rest due to the blowout loss to the Pacers, we will see some heavy minutes, and ‘a pissed off for greatness’ attitude by these slumping Kings.
In my opinion, the Kings need to be more aggressive, get to the basket, draw fouls and create outside shots from inside penetration.
It will be fun to watch the De’Aaron Fox/Ja Morant matchup, with two of the league’s most talented young point guards going head to head on a Saturday night in Memphis.
Sacramento Kings vs. Memphis
Sacramento vs. Memphis Saturday 12/21/19
Sacramento capped off their 4 game road trip in Memphis, the second game of a back to back, for both squads.
Sacramento have been in an offensive slump the last few games, especially sharp shooter Buddy Hield. Would the Kings be able to turn it around, will Buddy get back on track, or would someone else heat up and pick up the slack?
Richaun Holmes had some nice early buckets, stemming from penetration and passing by his teammates. Buddy Hield hit his first shot, a 3 pointer, with a few minutes left in the first quarter. The Kings ended the first quarter down 21-23.
The 2nd quarter was a dismal one for the Kings, they were down 30-31 with about 8 minutes left and then they went cold. The Grizzlies went on a 12-4 run and were able to build up to a 16 point lead at one point.
Sacramento were outscored in the 2nd quarter 37-29. The Kings were down 50-60 going into the half.
Kings 2nd Half
Sacramento came out in the 2nd half looking to get back into the game. They have shown improved play in the 3rd quarter as the season has gone on, compared to early season post-halftime woes.
The slumping Harrison Barnes re-awakened and had 10 points in a 7 minute stretch to bring Sacramento to within 3 points. Then the Grizzlies ended the 3rd quarter on a 16-6 run to finish the 3rd quarter up 91-78.
Sacramento faced their largest deficit of the night, 17 points, early in the 4th quarter. Barnes, Holmes and Fox tried their best to will the Kings back to a victory.
Fox looked confident, and STRONG, with multiple tough finishes in the paint and very confident 3 pointer with a defender in his grill. Fox also had two big steals with under 3:30 left in the 4th to help try and mount a Kings come back.
Fox’s added 3 point confidence, and his bigger arms, should be a welcome sight for Kings fans, who don’t have many positives to talk about, besides Richaun Holmes.
Sacramento did their best to mount a late comeback but ultimately fell to the Grizzlies 115-119.
Sacramento falls to 12-17, having lost 3 in a row.
Notable Stats and Thoughts
The Kings took 100 shots! And made 43, 43% from the field. I don’t look at many box scores besides the Kings, but 100 shots is a lot! Whatever that means…
Sacramento was atrocious again from 3 point range, shooting 30.6 percent.
The Kings were able to get to the foul line more than most games this season, going 18-24 for 75%.
Sacramento did out-rebound the Grizzlies, 62-48, grabbing 18 offensive boards compared to the Grizzlies 8.
Sacramento also bested the Grizzlies in points in the paint, 60-40.
The assist battle went to the Grizzlies, 32-22.
Sacramento committed 13 turnovers, which the Grizzlies were able to score 22 points off of those turnovers while the Kings only turned the 14 Grizzlies turnovers into 13 points off turnovers.
Individual Player Breakdown
Harrison Barnes had a resurgence from his recent offensive slump. He scored 27 points on 4-9 from 3 point range, grabbing 4 rebounds, committing 0 tunrovers and 1 personal foul.
The consistent Holmes had another stellar game, with 18 points and 12 rebounds, and his normal 5 fouls.
Fox had his best game back from injury, with 22 points, 4 assists and 3 steals. His improved 3 point shot and added strength paired with his finishing ability around the rim is a welcome re-addition for the Kings.
Buddy Hield continued his ice cold slump. Hield had 8 points on 3-18 shooting, 2-11 from 3 point range, and 4 turnovers.
One reason the Kings lost this game was because the Grizzlies bench severely outplayed the Kings bench. Ariza went 5-11 for 13 points, not bad but why is Trevor Ariza taking 11 shots in this Kings offense… ? Bagley has been struggling to find his place in Sacrmamento’s offense in his return, scoring 11 points on 4-11 shooting, but did add in 11 rebounds and 2 steals. Corey Joseph was 1-7 shooting, but did have 5 assists.
Lack of Depth…
Sacramento only played 8 players this game, compared to the Grizzlies 11. With Bogdan Bogdanovich being out the last couple of games the Kings bench play has suffered. That has forced Coach Walton to piece-meal together lineups, in hopes of cohesion and production. Especially with not being able to rely on the scoring of Buddy Hield these last few games.
Sacramento head back home for a 3 game home stand versus the Rockets, Timberwolves and Suns.
The Kings seem to be playing ‘down’ to their opponent, especially recently. Though have mostly played ‘up’ to most of their better opponents, besides Indiana a few nights ago. The Kings need some consistency!
I predict Sacramento will go 2-1 on this 3 game homestand. (Maybe I’m just trying to make myself feel better as a Kings fan because I think they will go 0-3… but I digress…)
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