[Game] Kings vs. Clippers, 1/15/21 7pm PST, 10pm EST

kingsboi

Hall of Famer
Katie being flabbergasted by this is surprising, this is the Kangz we are talking bout here!! We are on a path to obliterate the playoff drought streak in a year that 10 teams from the conference make the playoffs lol
there were a number of teams that went through an entire rebuilding process and still managed to make it into the postseason before the Kings. Who wants to predict whether the Rockets, whenever they do finally decide to start a proper rebuild and unload all their vets to Playoff teams who are looking to make a push, complete their rebuild before the Kings return to the postseason?
 

SLAB

Hall of Famer
“We’re putting ourselves in tough spots.”

“they’re bigger they’re stronger they’re pushing us off our spots.”

Something about not playing good leads to this because of their lack of defensive presence.

Don’t worry guys, “We will figure it out.”

“Not a good night for us, gotta find a way to fix this especially on the defensive end.”
 

kingsboi

Hall of Famer
“We’re putting ourselves in tough spots.”

“they’re bigger they’re stronger they’re pushing us off our spots.”

Something about not playing good leads to this because of their lack of defensive presence.

Don’t worry guys, “We will figure it out.”

“Not a good night for us, gotta find a way to fix this especially on the defensive end.”
He is saying the right things here, I don't disagree with what he is saying but the actions speak louder than the words
 
“We’re putting ourselves in tough spots.”

“they’re bigger they’re stronger they’re pushing us off our spots.”

Something about not playing good leads to this because of their lack of defensive presence.

Don’t worry guys, “We will figure it out.”

“Not a good night for us, gotta find a way to fix this especially on the defensive end.”
If Walton really wanted to fix things, he would start Haliburton over Buddy. The starting unit's offensive and defensive ratings tick up. Buddy gets to play offense 100% of the time.
 
If Walton really wanted to fix things, he would start Haliburton over Buddy. The starting unit's offensive and defensive ratings tick up. Buddy gets to play offense 100% of the time.
This was done as soon as Vlade was pushed out. They didn't know it then and if they don't know it now they are in serious trouble.
 
“We’re putting ourselves in tough spots.”

“they’re bigger they’re stronger they’re pushing us off our spots.”

Something about not playing good leads to this because of their lack of defensive presence.

Don’t worry guys, “We will figure it out.”

“Not a good night for us, gotta find a way to fix this especially on the defensive end.”
Sooooo, you're saying the Kings just have to play better and all the problems will be solved?? Sounds easy! We got this!
 
My two cents, it's the personnel. The Clips weren't doing anything special on defense. Their players just defensively murdered the Kings in the 2h. That's because:

1. Fox has the physical tools to be an elite defender at the 1 spot. But despite the flashy steals and blocks, he's soft. Still doesn't fight over screens...

2. Buddy is probably the worse defending starting two guard in the league. It is the primary reason why he should be a 6th man. Don't have to worry about defending.

3. Barnes is the only Kings player, who can guard the Lebron, Kawahi, George types. But not at an elite level.

4. Bags has the physical tools, but lacks the experience and the mindset. He's improving though. But not enough.

5. Holmes is a more physical, but essentially a center version of Fox. Defensively, he's flashy--at times. But he's not Whiteside who not only produce transparent stats, he freeze's defenders when they enter the paint.

6. Cojo is on his last legs. Outside of Woodard and James, the Kings don't have any other players to come in and defend.

7. Haliburton gets a pass, because he's going to be the Kings best player by this time next year. Someone would say he already is.
If it's personnel though, why are we worse than last season with mostly the same roster? We had Fox, Buddy, Barnes, Holmes, and CoJo all playing big minutes last season. The biggest minutes subtractions have been Bjelica and Bogdanovic and the biggest additions have been Bagley (who was injured most of last year) and Haliburton.

Conventional logic is that defense is largely a matter of effort and it's quite apparent watching the games that we're getting much more effort from Fox and Buddy on defense this season. Barnes, despite always looking solid as a defender, continues to grade poorly with defensive rating because of his low steal and block numbers. I would say in about half the games I've watched this season though he's been more locked in as a defender than at any point since his Golden State days. And yet only Buddy Hield grades worse as a defender. You're calling Fox soft but he's getting up into ballhandlers this year like he was back at Kentucky. The eye test just doesn't match the results.

This is probably selection bias on my part but I've seen a lot of times this season where the team plays very strong defense for 20 seconds and then gives up a back door layup or an offensive rebound and the other team winds up with a basket anyway. The other thing I've seen a lot of is somebody waiving feebly at an outside jumper coming off a missed rotation while they're two steps away with no possibility of actually contesting the shot. If I were to attempt to answer my own question, there's two trends I see happening:

(1) We lack any kind of physical intimidation factor. Holmes tries hard but he's under-sized for a center. Bagley is long and bouncy but he can be blown over with a stiff wind. He does an excellent job of moving his feet but as soon as the offensive player gets into his chest, there's not much he can do. Fox, Buddy, and Haliburton all play defense with their hands. They're solid in iso situations (Haliburton is particularly good at ripping the ball loose) but cutting off ballhandlers in space coming off rotations and communicating on picks have both been problems. Barnes was clearly taught a long time ago to keep his body between the ballhandler and the basket and he's ruthlessly efficient at it but he never forces the issue enough to make the offensive player uncomfortable.

(2) Because we can't intimidate anyone physically, we're trying to outwork them instead. That tactic might be effective against young teams like Chicago who fall apart when you apply pressure but a veteran squad like the Clippers will keep passing the ball until we play ourselves out of position and get either an open jumper or a back door layup out of it. Then the second half starts and we're exhausted from maxing out our effort on all these defensive rotations and suddenly we're both physically inferior and a step behind. That's a lethal combination.
 
Why he randomly getting minutes now over whiteside. Has whiteside even put up 11 shot in any game he’s played for us this season lol.
He's become the anti-CoJo for whatever reason. Luke hates seeing Whiteside out on the floor almost as much as he loves having Cory Joseph out there taking up space. It's baffling to outside observers but somehow in the Walton brain, that's what makes the world go round.
 
If it's personnel though, why are we worse than last season with mostly the same roster? We had Fox, Buddy, Barnes, Holmes, and CoJo all playing big minutes last season. The biggest minutes subtractions have been Bjelica and Bogdanovic and the biggest additions have been Bagley (who was injured most of last year) and Haliburton.

Conventional logic is that defense is largely a matter of effort and it's quite apparent watching the games that we're getting much more effort from Fox and Buddy on defense this season. Barnes, despite always looking solid as a defender, continues to grade poorly with defensive rating because of his low steal and block numbers. I would say in about half the games I've watched this season though he's been more locked in as a defender than at any point since his Golden State days. And yet only Buddy Hield grades worse as a defender. You're calling Fox soft but he's getting up into ballhandlers this year like he was back at Kentucky. The eye test just doesn't match the results.

This is probably selection bias on my part but I've seen a lot of times this season where the team plays very strong defense for 20 seconds and then gives up a back door layup or an offensive rebound and the other team winds up with a basket anyway. The other thing I've seen a lot of is somebody waiving feebly at an outside jumper coming off a missed rotation while they're two steps away with no possibility of actually contesting the shot. If I were to attempt to answer my own question, there's two trends I see happening:

(1) We lack any kind of physical intimidation factor. Holmes tries hard but he's under-sized for a center. Bagley is long and bouncy but he can be blown over with a stiff wind. He does an excellent job of moving his feet but as soon as the offensive player gets into his chest, there's not much he can do. Fox, Buddy, and Haliburton all play defense with their hands. They're solid in iso situations (Haliburton is particularly good at ripping the ball loose) but cutting off ballhandlers in space coming off rotations and communicating on picks have both been problems. Barnes was clearly taught a long time ago to keep his body between the ballhandler and the basket and he's ruthlessly efficient at it but he never forces the issue enough to make the offensive player uncomfortable.

(2) Because we can't intimidate anyone physically, we're trying to outwork them instead. That tactic might be effective against young teams like Chicago who fall apart when you apply pressure but a veteran squad like the Clippers will keep passing the ball until we play ourselves out of position and get either an open jumper or a back door layup out of it. Then the second half starts and we're exhausted from maxing out our effort on all these defensive rotations and suddenly we're both physically inferior and a step behind. That's a lethal combination.
The Kings are playing at a much higher pace than they did last year, which is accounting for why the same players are grading worse on defense. As for your comment about the Kings out working opponents, the shortest answer is don’t mistake activity for production. The production is just not there, so the activity is just noise.

As for physicality, I agree. Been screaming it for a few weeks now. This team needs a Ron Artest. There is one player, who I won’t name that could play that role right now for the Kings. His play would be contagious on the defensive end.
 
The Kings are playing at a much higher pace than they did last year, which is accounting for why the same players are grading worse on defense. As for your comment about the Kings out working opponents, the shortest answer is don’t mistake activity for production. The production is just not there, so the activity is just noise.

As for physicality, I agree. Been screaming it for a few weeks now. This team needs a Ron Artest. There is one player, who I won’t name that could play that role right now for the Kings. His play would be contagious on the defensive end.
Who, Giles? He’s been averaging less than 8 mins a game on his new team so his defense can’t be all that special.

And hope it isn’t Ariza that you were hinting at either.
 
Metu had his coming out party. 10/8 and the leading rebounder.
The Kings now rank last in defense in the League. 118 points given up per 100 possessions.
They lost every quarter last night.
Are they playing too fast to make it through the second half of games?
 

bajaden

Hall of Famer
My two cents, it's the personnel. The Clips weren't doing anything special on defense. Their players just defensively murdered the Kings in the 2h. That's because:

1. Fox has the physical tools to be an elite defender at the 1 spot. But despite the flashy steals and blocks, he's soft. Still doesn't fight over screens...

2. Buddy is probably the worse defending starting two guard in the league. It is the primary reason why he should be a 6th man. Don't have to worry about defending.

3. Barnes is the only Kings player, who can guard the Lebron, Kawahi, George types. But not at an elite level.

4. Bags has the physical tools, but lacks the experience and the mindset. He's improving though. But not enough.

5. Holmes is a more physical, but essentially a center version of Fox. Defensively, he's flashy--at times. But he's not Whiteside who not only produce transparent stats, he freeze's defenders when they enter the paint.

6. Cojo is on his last legs. Outside of Woodard and James, the Kings don't have any other players to come in and defend.

7. Haliburton gets a pass, because he's going to be the Kings best player by this time next year. Someone would say he already is.
This will be Haliburton's team by next year. He's a true leader. No disrespect to Fox, but it is what it is. Doesn't mean they can't cohabitate. Joseph is downright terrible and needs to sit on the bench or be traded. Buddy is trying harder, but is still a poor defender, especially off the ball, where he makes mistake after mistake. Bagley is improving, but still has a long way to go.

I see nothing out of James that makes me believe he's an NBA player. We could really use Jefferies right now. Why didn't Guy get any minutes last night, and why didn't Woodard get into the game sooner? In the first half, when the game was still close, I turned to my grandson and said, the Clippers are just coasting right now. They're not even breaking a sweat. What happens when they decide to play? Well, we found out!!!!