[Game] Kings @ Spurs, 11/10/21 5:30pm Pacific, 8:30pm Eastern

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The Game Thread Dude
[Note: I've got IRL stuff going on over the next five or so days so the next couple of game threads are probably going to be super short]

Well, at least it was a fun two weeks of not being terrible, amirite folks?

If posting on this forum over the past *checks notes and does a double-take* fifteen plus years has taught me anything, it's that the Kings will lose and when they lose, some people will take it harder than others in weirdly impulsive, self-destructive ways. Being patient is harder than ever in an era of same-day one-click online delivery, social media, and the constant hot take machine spin culture but it would probably behoove us to remember that prior to being 5-4 like the Kings were before they lost the last two games and ruined everyone's lives, they were 3-4 and also ruining peoples' lives. Two wins later (one against a team missing its two best players and another against a team that never learned how to rebound) and you'd assume the Kings were championship bound.

I get it, this is a fan forum and, as fans of one of the last remaining endearingly awful franchises in pro sports, we're perhaps more emotional than some. But it's an 82 game season and we're barely even an eighth of the way through it and, as has been pointed out in another thread, have had one hell of a schedule to start with. All I'm saying is you better keep the same energy when the Kings wind up above .500 again only to lose a couple of games to dip back below it. You know it's gonna happen.

Tony Delk Memorial Award-
Cameron Payne. In hindsight, I was kinda asking for this when I wrote that I'd rather see him play than Elfrid Payton. I don't know if the fact that our guards couldn't even slow him down for most of the game or the fact that when they did manage to stop him from driving to the hoop, he still managed to make 4/6 of his threes, but everything about his performance came completely in the spirit of the great Tony Delk smiting the Kings as a Sun after we cast him out to sign Bobby Jackson. The dude kept running circles around Davion Mitchell for Pete's sake!

Cory Joseph Memorial Award- De'Aaron Fox- just kidding, it's Moe Harkless. The good(?): He grabbed a single rebound. The bad: That was quite literally the only thing he did. The good: He was so bad it forced Luke Walton to actually use more bench guys and they helped us stage an improbable comeback in the fourth quarter.

Mikki Moore- Richaun Holmes. Look, I'm happy you got your 20-20 game but I would very much appreciate it if you didn't precede to play your two worst games as a Kings immediately after it. Wound up benched in the fourth quarter for what I imagine is the first time in his career as a King.

WTF Moment of the Night - Kings come out of halftime flat after hitting Luke's dad's heirloom bong in the locker room and proceed to play the most excruciating 12 minutes of basketball possible.

+++Game 12+++
Kings @ Spurs
@AT&T Center

The bad news: The Kings start another long-ish roadtrip. The good news: the Kings finally get to play team that weren't in the playoffs last season.

First up comes the San Antonio Spurs or at least, a bunch of guys wearing their jerseys. Gregg Popovich is still there, Becky Hammond is still at his side waiting for him to retire or for a team somewhere to back up the Brinks truck and lure her away because there's a good chance Pop coaches the Spurs until he dies. The Spurs roster on the other hand, is in a strange state of flux.

The first thing you'll notice about this Spurs group is that they're kinda young. The next thing you'll notice is that they're kinda not. The Spurs have Josh Primo, who won't turn 19 until Christmas Eve, Devin Vassell, and Keldon Johnson as nice young wings to develop. They also have Thad Young and Doug McBuckets for some reason and too many guards and yet not enough. This is just a really, really weird roster.

One thing in the Kings' favor in this game: Jakob Poetl will miss the game with COVID, leaving the Spurs thin at center since Zack Collins is always hurt. Unfortunately, Drew Eubanks, who seemed to absolutely steamroll the Kings whenever he played last season, is still active.

On the Kings injury front, Tyrese Haliburton (back) and Terence Davis (ankle) are both questionable, which only leaves the Kings with De'Aaron Fox, Davion Mitchell, Buddy Hield, and Jahmi'us Ramsey to fill their guard slots and means that we might get to see Chimezie Metu get his revenge against the Spurs for cutting him.

Richaun Holmes vs. Drew Eubanks-
Normally, I'd easily tip this as going in Holmes's favor. Unfortunately, he's been dog doodoo for the last couple of games and Eubanks seems to always give him fits for some reason so I'm not quite sure. If Holmes can even provide 70% of what he normally does, he can win this matchup. I hope he does. Advantage: Holmes
Harrison Barnes vs. Doug McDermott- The biggest free agent contract the Spurs have given out in years, McBuckets's 3-year, 41 million dollar contract with the Spurs was one of the more ponderous moves of the offseason. After a contract year big season off the bench in Indiana, the 6'8" forward hasn't exactly lit the world on fire as a Spur. While he's not exactly a traffic cone out there on defense, McDermott is the sort of piece that a contender brings in to build shooting depth for a postseason run and not really the sort of guy you drop a huge check on to hand around for a couple of years as you try to develop a bunch of young guys and search for a new star to build around. Meanwhile, Harrison Barnes continues to be among the most efficient players in basketball to start this season. Advantage: Barnes
Maurice Harkless vs. Keldon Johnson- Keldon is, in my mind, the closest thing to a future star the Spurs have on their roster. At 6'5", Keldon is small for a forward and currently shoots perimeter shots at splits that would make some men cry (13% from three!!!) but he also is an absolute battering ram when he gets downhill. Also, like almost anyone who goes through Gregg Popovich's system, he's a solid team defender. Hopefully Moe does more than rebound once tonight. Advantage: Johnson
Buddy Hield vs. Derrick White- Derrick White is already 27-years-old? Infamous for being the dude who randomly got minutes for Team USA instead of Fox, White is having an absolutely great defensive season, challenging shots at a league-leading rate and pulling down a block and steal a game. On offense, he's taken over more of the playmaking role with DeRozan leaving but is much more of a natural off-ball player than he is an efficient on-ball playmaker. I'm not sure who's starting for the Kings but ebbing on the side of caution, I'll assume it's Buddy. I think we'll see Keldon on Fox more than on Buddy so I do think he has a chance of getting hot on offense. Advantage: Buddy
De'Aaron Fox vs. Dejounte Murray- Murray is having a really good year as he finally starts to realize the potential that got him drafted by the Spurs in the first round of the 2016 draft. An athletic 6'4" guard, Murray is stuffing the box score this year with averages of 17.6/8.1/8.3 and 2 steals a night. Murray's really good and one of the guys I wanted the Kings to draft in his class (it was the Papagiannis season and with Dejounte still on the board, the Kings took Skal. Pop took him a pick later.). This is going to be a tough game for Fox to get going in but he also seemed to finally find a rhythm in the fourth quarter of that Suns game so who know? Advantage: Draw.
Kings Bench vs. Spurs Bench- While the Spurs might be lacking in the frontline talent department, they do a solid amount of bench depth. Devin Vassell is a good young wing (in all honesty, he was the guy I wanted the Kings to draft when it looked like he was going to fall to us, only for the Spurs to pick him one pick before us and the Kings to take Tyrese Haliburton instead) who can shoot and defend and Lonnie Walker is another longer guard who looks good but not great. Thad Young and Bryn Forbes are also in their rotation as old dudes who don't quite fit the timeline of what the Spurs are going for, I think. Without Tyrese and potentially TD, the Kings' depth takes a bit of a hit. Davion is going to contribute one way or another but after him, it might be slim pickings as nothing aside from Tristan or Len taking the big back up minutes is decided. If Tyrese is playing and Buddy gets moved back to the bench though? I'm going Kings. Advantage: Spurs (unless Buddy is coming off the bench)

Final Predictions
Well, this is a game that the Kings should be favored to win. But that doesn't mean the Spurs are to be taken lightly. They've still got Gregg Popovich and a collection of players who don't suck. The Spurs are a strong defensive team but if (and this is a huge if) the Kings attack them the right way, they can be defeated. I think the Kings are a better team than they were last year. I think they would let these losses snowball into a big streak. I think the Kings win.
Kings 108, Spurs 102


Hall of Famer
I’ll be interested to see if Walton gives Metu some run in this game…..besides the fact that he earned some time, if TD and Hali are out then there is every reason to include him in the rotation for this game. I don’t think Jones gets any run with the other 3 centers ahead of him but there’s an opportunity for Jahmius to play more than the 2 minutes he got against Phoenix. Louis King? Walton probably doesn’t even know he exists.
Really good barometer game. Spurs aren't good, but they have pieces (Murray has taken another leap, Derrick White is good) that can torch anyone if we aren't careful. Thankfully, without Poeltl, their rim protection is an utter disaster so this would be as good a time as any for Fox to get his at the rim dominance back. Especially if we're without Hali.

Really need to key in on the Holmes PnR when Eubanks is in there because Thad is playing extremely well backing him up, but they haven't been willing to start or extend his minutes very much.
I said before if we 5-7 in the first 12 games I’d take a break for my sanity. 6-6 ok I’ll stick around. Lol we not even favored against this squad Go Kangz~
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Hall of Famer
I'm more interested in Jones getting more pt, not Metu. I keep looking at Metu hoping to seem something, but I haven't seen it. He sure looks like he should be good, but doesn't show up in impact. I give Jones credit for making an Indy big guy hit the floor. This team desperately needs some nasty. It is far, far too nice to the point where it makes me gag. At the beginning of the Suns game Paul gave Mitchell a shot to the head with an elbow as Paul was driving to the basket. I want to see that kind of aggression from the Kings. As a rookie, Mitchell shouldn't have to be an enforcer and the best defensive player on the team. I'm totally sick of the nice guy Kings. I'd really like to see Fox show it, but as of now he's opting for nice guy of the year award. Everything just rolls of his back. Maybe that's why he's so cavalier with his defense at times.
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