Your resource for Sacramento Kings game recaps, stats, analysis and ‘witty’ thoughts. GO KINGS!
Written by: Tom Witt – ‘SpikeballTom’
Instagram – @tomtoowitty_sports_blog
Trying to Rein in the Bucks
The Kings vs Bucks matchup starts off a 3 game home-stand for the Kings. The Bucks come in at 33-6, and are ‘ticked off for greatness’ after a bad loss to the Spurs and an underwhelming performance vs the Warriors.
The Kings fans will be graced with the velvety vernacular variety of Kings legend Jerry Reynolds. Reynolds will be announcing the 3 games on this home-stand with the voice of the Sacramento Kings, Grant Napear. *The broadcast did show Doug Christie wearing a nice powder blue turtle neck, sport coat and striped beanie while dishing out some analysis. Christie is one of the best dressed announcers in the league with his signature bowtie*
READER POLL QUESTION: Who do YOU like more as the color commentator next to Napear, Reynolds, Doug Christie, or the author’s dream guest announcer? VOTE BELOW!
The Kings are still riddled with injuries coming into this game. Richaun Holmes is out with a shoulder injury. Bogdan Bogdanovich is out with an apparent ankle injury. Marvin Bagley is due to come back any game now, but would sit out the Bucks game. Nemanja Bjelica was questionable coming into the game, but did end up playing at less than 100%.
Keys to the Game
The Kings will need to play great transition defense to stop this Bucks team who like to push the pace and spread the ball around to a myriad of 3 point shooters.
The Kings need to try and force Giannis Antetokounmpo outside of the paint. You can live with a big night from Giannis if he’s making 3’s, but not if he’s making dunks. Giannis is the best player EVER in terms of Player Efficiency Rating for this season, ahead of James Harden and Wilt Chamberlain on the all-time list.
The Kings also need to push the pace themselves. Sacramento plays a lot better when they are getting the ball across half court and into the offense with 18 seconds on the shot clock, not 14 or less.
Would the Bucks continue their recent off character play? Or would the Bucks assert their dominance and look to right the ship against the Kings? Read ahead and find out!
1st Half Recap – Kings vs Bucks
The Bucks won the tip off and got out to a 2-0 lead right off the bat. The Bucks play at a fast but controlled pace, and move the ball well on offense.
Harry Giles received the starting nod for the 2nd game in a row for the injured Holmes.
The Kings were able to get out to a 10-5 lead. This was sparked by a De’Aaron Fox steal and crafty layup.
Then the Bucks started humming. Milwaukee went on an 11-0 run at one point in the second to build up an 18 point lead at one point in the first half.
The Kings were 0/9 from three point range in the 1st quarter. Some of those were not great looks, but most of them were make-able, and within the offense.
Bjelica ended the Kings 0-12 streak from deep with a 3 ball at 8:15 in the 2nd quarter.
Sacramento made a little run of their own to get back into the game in the middle of the 2nd quarter. The 14-2 run brought the Kings to within 9 points of the lead at 49-43.
Sacramento won the 2nd quarter 25-19. The Bucks would take the lead into the half 53-44.
2nd Half Recap – Kings vs Bucks
Harry Giles hit a nice elbow jumper early in the 3rd quarter followed by a crafty Fox layup.
The Bucks decided to leave Harry Giles open when he had the ball by never extending his defender outside of the paint. In the first half Giles was hesitant and passed up a couple wide open 15 footers the defense was giving him. Giles looked much more confident and comfortable early in the 2nd half.
A nice Bjelica layup, Kings stop on defense and FLYING PUT-BACK by Buddy Hield brought the Kings to within 3 at 55-52!
A few defensive stands and a nice lefty hook shot by Giles gives the Kings the lead at 61-60! The Kings erased an 18 point lead!
Giles had another TOUGH finish down-low but then committed a bad foul on Eric Bledsoe for his 3rd foul. This foul essentially stopped all the Kings momentum. Giles never saw the floor again after this.
Giles looked good, and is improving each minute he plays. He still needs to work on his foul problems on defensive shot fakes and when setting screens on offense.
Bjelica was a big leader during the Kings 3rd quarter surge. He was making smart passes, grabbing rebounds, spacing the floor, driving into the lane. The Kings seem to play better when Bjelica is flowing.
After a late 3rd quarter surge the Bucks would take the lead into the 4th quarter 90-75.
4th Quarter Recap
The Kings came out in a zone defense to start the 4th quarter. That will help you against Giannis driving and dominating the paint. Though, the Bucks 3 point shooters spread the floor well and if hot will decimate a zone defense.
The Kings would put together a little streak sparked by their defensive play, to get within 12 at 108-96 with 4:10 left in the 4th.
Harrison Barnes went to the bench with an apparent knee injury after going knee to knee with a Bucks defender on a drive to the basket. Barnes did make the shot.
Kings vs Bucks went the way that most prognosticators predicted, with a Bucks win. The injury riddled Kings did fight back, but in the end it was too much to overcome. The Kings lose the first game of their 3 game home stand, 127-106 to go to 15-24 overall.
Individual Stats and Thoughts
Fox had another solid game on offense, especially with the top notch Bucks guards defending him. He was one rebound away from a triple double! Fox scored 19 points, 10 assists, 9 rebounds, 4 steals but did commit 6 turnovers.
Barnes was solid on offense and defense in this game. He had 19 points and was a smart, veteran leader when the Kings needed him. Hopefully his injury isn’t too severe.
Bjelica had another solid game, doing the little things and using his basketball IQ well. He scored 12 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and dished out 4 assists.
Kyle Guy made his NBA debut! The Pizza Guy is still looking for his first NBA point after going 0-1 shooting in 3 minutes.
The Kings did a good job on Giannis, holding him to 13 points, 4-8 free throws, 9 rebounds, and forced him to commit 3 turnovers. Khris Middleton had a nice game 27 points on 9-12 shooting. Donte DiVencenzo had a great game off the bench, bringing energy while scoring 18 points, on 4-6 from 3 point range.
Team Stats and Thoughts – Kings vs Bucks
The Kings shot an abysmal 10-28 from 3 point range, 28%. That was a little bit better than the Bucks who shot 25% from deep.
The Bucks dominated the free throw line. From the charity stripe the Bucks went 23-30, compared to the Kings who went 8-10.
The Bucks only committed 12 fouls, compared to the Kings 24. The Bucks are BIG and STRONG across the board from point guard to center, which makes it hard to drive the lane and draw fouls.
The Kings need to continue to look to get into the lane, draw fouls, and create outside shots from inside penetration!
The Kings committed 16 turnovers compared to the Bucks 11. The Bucks converted those turnovers into 13 points off turnover while the Kings were able to score 16 points off of turnovers.
CLICK HERE for ESPN Stat Link
The Kings next game is Monday in Sac-Town against the Orlando Magic. Hopefully a few days off will afford the Kings injured team some time to recover.
Marvin Bagley is slated to come back for the Magic game on Monday.
I predict a Kings…. WIN on Monday vs the Magic!
I’m also going to slip this in on NFL Playoff Divisional Round Saturday… GO NINERS!
It ALWAYS has been, and ALWAYS will be…. GO KINGS!
-SpikeballTom – Instagram: @tomtoowitty_sports_blog
Follow us @OTHeroics1 for more great content!
Come discuss this and much more at the Overtime Heroics forums!
Visit our shop and check out the latest Overtime Heroics merch drops!Be sure to check out our partners at Repp Sports! They offer the first-ever crowd-sourced, no carb, no sugar, energy drink called RAZE and much more! Use the link above or add the promo code OTH1 at checkout to get 15% off your order!