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BBNBA: The Sacramento Kings are Officially Good


(Photo via NBA.com)

Good afternoon, folks. The Sacramento Kings are now my favorite basketball team of all time. Let’s talk NBA.

RECAP

Thunder – 95 @ Cavaliers – 86

  • In the absence of Russell Westbrook, Hamidou Diallo filled in with 13 minutes and contributed eight points on 3-7 shooting. He was everywhere on the court, doing his best to bust up plays on defense and sprint down the court on fastbreak scenarios which led to a couple of nice buckets for himself.

  • Diallo did miss a couple of corner threes that could have given his Thunder team a much-needed cushion between the Cavaliers and their fourth-quarter comeback, but overall he did everything that was asked of him.
  • Nerlens Noel went without a point, but as you saw in the clip above, made an impact on the defensive end. He clobbered up four shots in only 13 minutes. Patrick Patterson had a forgetful night, however, scoring only three points on 1-5 shooting.
  • I will admit that – so far – my prediction of Patterson having a revival year with the departure of Carmelo Anthony is not going according to plan. He’s playing more minutes than last season and most of his numbers are up (although only slightly in most areas), but his production on a nightly basis hasn’t been consistent.

Knicks – 112 @ Hawks – 107

  • Kevin Knox couldn’t find the bucket in only his second game back from an ankle injury that sidelined him for seven games as he played nine minutes for the Knicks. He’s still in the process of flowing back into the offense and his minutes will be scattered for a couple games before he returns to top form.
  • Enes Kanter recorded his eighth double-double of the season – and third straight – after scoring 17 points and pulling in 11 rebounds.

Nuggets – 87 @ Grizzlies – 89

  • Jamal Murray couldn’t quite match his masterful 48-point performance from Monday night. He followed it up with 15 points on a dreary 6-21 shooting (2-9 from deep) but also pulled down four rebounds and dished out seven assists. He hit the game-tieing shot with 17 seconds left before the Grizzlies ending up winning the game in regulation.

  • On the other hand, Trey Lyles had his best outing of the season. He contributed 16 points (6-9 shooting) and nine rebounds in 36 minutes. Lyles continues to impress me as a scorer this season and has clearly made some leaps in that area from last year.

Bulls – 98 @ Pelicans – 107

  • Anthony Davis led the way for the Pelicans, finally looking a bit more comfortable after missing a few games over the last couple weeks. Davis dropped 32 points on 13-21 shooting (2-4 from deep) and stuffed the stat sheet with 15 rebounds, seven assists, and four blocks.

  • Julius Randle added 12 points, five rebounds, and five assists of his own while Darius Miller went 3-4 from deep for 11 points.

Raptors – 114 @ Kings – 105

  • What more can I say about these Sacramento Kings? They are good. Like, they might be actually good. I believed coming into the season that De’Aaron Fox and Willie Cauley-Stein would both take leaps, but this more than a leap. This is them being shot out of a loaded cannon and landing on the freaking sun. They may have lost to the Raptors – who are now 11-1 and look like the best team in the NBA not named the Warriors – but they did not look overmatched. While they couldn’t manage to ever get Toronto’s lead under seven or eight points, they were within striking distance the entire game and kept the Raptors on their toes. They were never not in this game. Their cohesion as a team is so strikingly impressive for such a young group. They have a roster that knows their job and executes it to perfection. They’ve dropped two straight now – albeit to the first and second best teams in the Eastern Conference – and have a hellacious schedule waiting for them. The Timberwolves, Lakers, Spurs, Grizzlies, Rockets, Thunder, Jazz, Warriors, the Jazz again, Clippers, and the Pacers is their forthcoming schedule… *Gulps* They lose most of these games, but won’t get blown out consistently and might even steal a few of them. But don’t get discouraged if this team has a losing record over the coming weeks because it won’t be an accurate indicator of just how good they look right now. I’ll have much more on these two coming soon…
  • As for the stats, Fox had 20 on 8-15 shooting (2-4 from deep) while WCS added 14 points (10-15 shooting), eight rebounds, and four assists.

  • I’m going to show one play in particular that WCS would have never even attempted to execute last season, but played it perfectly here. He receives the ball in the very high post with Serge Ibaka on him. Last season, this is either a forced jump shot or he waits for his teammate coming around the screen. Instead, he pumps and darts down the lane, past Ibaka, for a contested yet beautiful right-handed layup. He knew he had the advantage and he dusted the defender.

  • This play literally made me stand up and applaud.
  • Watch this team any possible way you can. They are the most fun basketball on television right now.

Timberwolves – 110 @ Lakers – 114 

  • Karl-Anthony Towns is broken. He’s either disinterested in the games or is being so far removed from the offense that he simply doesn’t care anymore. KAT had a mere 13 points on 5-16 shooting in a loss to the Lakers. Shockingly, Jimmy Butler also played. This isn’t just a coincidence anymore. Towns was apathetic and seemingly lethargic for the majority of the game. It continues to amaze me how often he prefers outside jump shots over driving to the hoop. He’s one of the most offensively gifted centers the NBA has ever seen, and right now he would rather pull up for a 20-footer than shove the ball down JaVale McGee’s throat. It really just doesn’t make any sense and I have no idea what is going through his head or within that entire organization. Towns’ talent is going to continue to be wasted as long as this Wolves team remains the same. I’m a broken record at this point – only 10 games into the season – but it’s obvious something is bugging Towns. He’s shooting more mid-range/three-pointers than ever before by a considerable margin and his turnovers are up, too. So I’ll say it once again, trade Jimmy Butler.
  • He did have this nice block on LeBron James, though, then proceeded to pound his chest at the Los Angeles crowd.

  • On the other side of the court, Rajon Rondo shot poorly from the field (1-7 for two points) but was still an overall positive, adding six rebounds and 10 assists in 26 minutes.

STATISTICS

PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
Anthony Davis (NOP)107-98 W vs. CHI3213-21 (2-4)157144+837
Willie Cauley-Stein (SAC)105-114 L vs. TOR2410-15 (0-0)84111-133
De'Aaron Fox (SAC)105-114 L vs. TOR208-15 (2-4)14005-535
Enes Kanter (NYK)112-107 W @ ATL175-7 (0-0)110025+329
Trey Lyles (DEN)87-89 L @ MEM166-9 (2-5)91110+528
Jamal Murray (DEN)87-89 L @ MEM156-21 (2-9)47103-636
Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)110-114 L @ LAL135-16 (1-6)91136+138
Julius Randle (NOP)107-98 W vs. CHI125-8 (1-2)55002+423
Darius Miller (NOP)107-98 W vs. CHI114-6 (3-4)11100-419
Hamidou Diallo (OKC)95-86 W @ CLE83-7 (0-2)30101-813
Alex Poythress (ATL)107-112 L vs. NYK42-3 (0-0)10002-58
Patrick Patterson (OKC)95-86 W @ CLE31-5 (1-3)41000016
Bam Adebayo (MIA)95-88 W vs. SAS20-1 (0-0)31010+812
Rajon Rondo (LAL)114-110 W vs. MIN21-7 (0-1)610003+1026
Nerlens Noel (OKC)95-86 W @ CLE00-1 (0-0)01241-1113
Kevin Knox (NYK)112-107 W @ ATL00-6 (0-3)01001-149
Skal Labissiere (SAC)105-114 L vs. TORDNP-CD----------------
Isaiah Briscoe (ORL)96-103 L vs. DETDNP-CD----------------
Wenyen Gabriel (SAC)105-114 L vs. TORDNP- G League----------------
Tyler Ulis (CHI)98-107 L @ NOPDNP-G League----------------
JarredVanderbilt (DEN)87-89 L @ MEMDNP-Foot----------------

TONIGHT IN THE NBA

8:00 (TNT): Rockets (Knight-out) @ Thunder (Diallo, Noel, Patterson)

9:00: Celtics @ Suns (Booker)

10:00: Clippers (Gilgeous-Alexander) @ Trail Blazers

10:30 (TNT): Bucks (Bledsoe) @ Warriors (Cousins-out)


Follow me on Twitter: @ZackGeoghegan

Article written by Zack Geoghegan

Covering all things NBA. Follow me on Twitter: @ZackGeoghegan

One response to “BBNBA: The Sacramento Kings are Officially Good”

  1. catdaddyd

    Looks like Dallas dodged a bullet not giving Noel a max contract.