The Game Thread Dude
Seven of our last eight! 12 of our last 23! The Young Superteam is alive and well, baby, and all it took was a bunch of teams being dumb in the draft ahead of us for it to happen! Actually not a bunch of teams, mostly just the Suns. (Thanks for De'Aaron and Tyrese!)
The nation was enthralled on Sunday, gathered around their TVs in rapt attention, as the Kings beat the Clippers twenty hours after beating the Nuggets. Then, they got drunk and fell asleep as they watched an old guy who doesn't eat fruit pummel a bunch of guys half his age on national TV! #SPOARTS
Tonight the Kings face their toughest test yet in the Sixers. Dave Joerger makes his triumphant return to Golden 1 Center as an assistant coach for Doc Rivers! Two rookie Tyreses clash! De'Aaron versus Embiid! Ben Simmons versus jump shots!
Tony Delk Memorial Award - Ivica Zubac. Considering the fact that three Kings rebounded in double figures and Buddy Hield pulled down nine, the fact Zubac pulled down 14 boards might not seem all that impressive but I'm pretty sure every one of those boards came surrounded by four Kings and directly under the hoop. The dude was simply everywhere on the night.
Cory Joseph Award - Cory "Canadian Orien Green" Joseph. To CoJo's credit, he only took three shots and of course nailed the toughest shot of them all while cutting his usage rate to 10%. Unfortunately, he still got cooked on defense in his twelve minutes on the floor.
Mikki Moore- Serge Ibaka. On the plus side, Serge had a massive block on a potential block. On the other hand, thanks to Mark Jones's food fetish, I now know more about Ibaka's YouTube channel than I should, like this episode where he feeds Kawhi a bull's "udders"
WTF Moment of the Game- The start time. I realize the league doesn't want to compete directly with the biggest sporting event of the American year but as the second game of a back to back, a noon start time is a little excessive to say the least.
Gotta keep this short because it's late and I'm stuck chasing deadline rabbits for my "real" job and really need to fit in some time to sleep.
Unlike the other teams we've faced during this stretch, the Sixers are pretty much completely healthy coming in to tonight's game and they are good. With Elton Brand getting unceremoniously demoted/shoved to the kiddie table by Daryl Morey, the Sixers front office has done a good job of quickly re-rebuilding the roster around Embiid (and to a lesser degree, Ben Simmons), now sporting a starting lineup that actually makes sense with Embiid/Harris/Green/Curry/Simmons. Seth Curry is having another great year shooting the ball (I'm pretty sure Dell would disown either of his children if their three point percentage dipped bellowed .400 for the season). Tobias Harris is flirting with the 50/40/90 club and has thrived playing for Doc Rivers again. Danny Green remains Danny Green, that is a 3-and-D dude who occasionally goes ice cold from beyond the arc but is generally super solid in that role. Ben Simmons is an elite defender but pretty much tall Lonzo on offense aside from his complete refusal to shoot three pointers. Shake Milton is a contender for sixth man of the year.
Joel Embiid is right up at the top of the MVP race ladder with Jokic and Lebron and is having another generally great season. He's also the anti-Shaq is that he is an elite shooter from almost every level including the free throw line but also super duper strong and capable of destroying pretty much anyone in the paint. The Sixers supporting cast is better/more productive than Denver's at this point so the "let the star big scored 50 and defend everyone else" strategy might not "work" like it did against Jokic.
Thybulle and Maxey are the best young prospects on the Sixers. Thybulle is a bullish defender while Maxey is a good scorer with strong instincts for the game. Morey thinks highly enough of them that he was unwilling to part with either of them in a James Harden trade, whether that was a smart move or not is up to you.
Also Dave Joerger is their head assistant after Alvin Gentry turned Doc down to be the assistant to Luke Walton instead. Joerger, of course, is just biding his time until his dream job in Minnesota opens up in the summer (it probably will unless Minnesota is really so committed to Flip Saunder's legacy that they'll his son waste another season for them). I wonder if he'll yet at Buddy at halfcourt tonight.
Final Prediction: Kings 117, Sixers 115
The streak's gotta end sometime but I'm gonna talk a walk on the wild side and say the Kings pull a tight victory off against the Sixers to keep their streak alive. GO Kings!