What If?

#1
in april, on the fire walton thread, i concluded that walton will likely start next season as the kings' coach (unless there are massive trades/rebuilding).

as of now, that still looks likely to me.

but riddle me this:

the standings/schedule say that the kings "could" slip in as the 10th seed. the lakers and warriors are currently slotted at 7/8 with memphis at #9, a game behind the warriors..

it is conceivable that the lakers finish 7th and the warriors at 9, with memphis at 8 and the kings at 10.

if that happened, the kings would play the warriors while the lakers played the grizzlies.



let's say memphis upsets the lakers. that leaves the winner of the kings/warriors game playing the lakers for the final seeding..

if the kings somehow defeat first the warriors, then the lakers (even if they then get crushed by the jazz - but's let's say they play semi-competitively and win two games in that series), wouldn't that cause mass hysteria (just in time for a new generation of fans, since this generation has tuned out this year and only a miracle finish will insure sellouts next year)?

having exorcized the twin demons of warriors/lakers, with all the built in inferiority those matchups have always included (well, recently), would it be outrageous for the kings to say, "yep - luke's the man" and extend him back to a five year deal at increased money (and lock in his staff too)?

i don't think that would be surprising.

the surprising thing would be if the final standings made those two play-in games the actual matchups and if the kings won both, but if they did, would you think the kings were wrong to lock up luke and send messages to bagley (and family) as well as fox (whose own five year deal kicks in next season) that luke is here as long as (or longer than) you.

that would be true coaching stability and whether you think luke has what it takes or not (i happen to think not), you would have the chance only to ride the wave or get out of the water.

it's a long shot, but with the spurs facing a brutal finishing schedule and no zion (and questions about lebron/ad), it actually COULD happen.
 
#3
If that happened - and it weren't because the opponents' starting lineups weren't all decimated by a mysterious illness or worse - Luke would deserve to run it back next year. No question.

But it's more likely that the Kings win the lottery. Which ain't at all likely.
 
#4
If we knock the Lakers out of anything, I’ll take it.
I'll take any win against the Lakers disregarding if it was a charity game in Thomas and Mack, NBA 2K tournament, skill challenge, 3 pt shootout... at any point no matter what phase our team is in, rebuilding or contending.
 
#5
Wait... you think we're going to pass both the Pelicans and the Spurs in the last week of the season then beat two teams who have won 95 more playoff games than we have over the last decade and two of the last three NBA championships? And that might get Luke Walton a shot to stick around past this season? I think you're actually making an argument for why Luke Walton needs to be fired tomorrow.
 
#6
i understand that there is a lot of anti-luke sentiment, which is why i phrased it in terms of a question.

however, italics excluded, i did not use the word "might" regarding walton.

while making it clear that i don't think he is a great coach, i posited a situation where the kings might be forced (by circumstances) to extend him back to five years (with a salary bump) and give him the kind of stability that popovich has - meaning that he would clearly become a sacramento fixture, here longer than the players.

that kind of stability matters.

for one thing, it forces the hands of players and their agents.

if holmes likes and trusts walton, he resigns at an amount the kings can live with (high single digits, maybe 4 years at 34 miliion) . i don't KNOW how the players view walton, but at least we'd find out.

bagley and family have a chance to formally request a trade or, if they trust walton, to not do so and entrust him with marvin's future.

but there would be no more "trade marvin" in the twitterverse - either his agent makes a formal request or he doesn't.

but "luke in limbo" serves no one well.

carmichael dave just went on record comparing the kings to the knicks/thunder and saying that this has been the worst season in kings history and that he would rather be in the position of okc/nyc instead of cap city going forward.

it's a longshot that the kings earn the final play-in spot and another longshot that the matchups are with the warriors, then the lakers AND that they win both games, but hey, all it takes is curry stepping on someone's ankle to get by the dubs.

do i think the stars will align in this way?

well, it IS a longshot.

but it COULD line up that way.

and if it did and the kings won those play-in games, it would set them up to actually become a "stable" franchise with a coach who wasn't looking over his shoulder during (inevitable) losing streaks.

monte doesn't get "his" guy, but he certainly looks good for his midseason trades at this point and if davis is for real and wright and harkless are as serviceable as they have been, he looks like the right gm.

again, i'm not saying luke is the best coach for this team or even that he is a "good" coach, but we have made so many coaching mistakes this century (and last) that it would be a positive step to have a coach who is def here for the long term and in time, luke could become the next pop. he's still a young man, in coaching terms and he could grow into the job.

IF the stars align, new orleans and the spurs slide, we get the chance to defeat our demons and win just two almost meaningless play-in games.

except they would not be meaningless to THIS franchise - more like a lifeboat in turbulent waters.

if the three favorites win tonight, we're on our way.
 
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#7
i understand that there is a lot of anti-luke sentiment, which is why i phrased it in terms of a question.

however, italics excluded, i did not use the word "might" regarding walton.

while making it clear that i don't think he is a great coach, i posited a situation where the kings might be forced (by circumstances) to extend him back to five years (with a salary bump) and give him the kind of stability that popovich has - meaning that he would clearly become a sacramento fixture, here longer than the players.

that kind of stability matters.

for one thing, it forces the hands of players and their agents.

if holmes likes and trusts walton, he resigns at an amount the kings can live with (high single digits, maybe 4 years at 34 miliion) . i don't KNOW how the players view walton, but at least we'd find out.

bagley and family have a chance to formally request a trade or, if they trust walton, to not do so and entrust him with marvin's future.

but there would be no more "trade marvin" in the twitterverse - either his agent makes a formal request or he doesn't.

but "luke in limbo" serves no one well.

carmichael dave just went on record comparing the kings to the knicks/thunder and saying that this has been the worst season in kings history and that he would rather be in the position of okc/nyc instead of cap city going forward.

it's a longshot that the kings earn the final play-in spot and another longshot that the matchups are with the warriors, then the lakers AND that they win both games, but hey, all it takes is curry stepping on someone's ankle to get by the dubs.

do i think the stars will align in this way?

well, it IS a longshot.

but it COULD line up that way.

and if it did and the kings won those play-in games, it would set them up to actually become a "stable" franchise with a coach who wasn't looking over his shoulder during (inevitable) losing streaks.

monte doesn't get "his" guy, but he certainly looks good for his midseason trades at this point and if davis is for real and wright and harkless are as serviceable as they have been, he looks like the right gm.

again, i'm not saying luke is the best coach for this team or even that he is a "good" coach, but we have made so many coaching mistakes this century (and last) that it would be a positive step to have a coach who is def here for the long term and in time, luke could become the next pop. he's still a young man, in coaching terms and he could grow into the job.

IF the stars align, new orleans and the spurs slide, we get the chance to defeat our demons and win just two almost meaningless play-in games.

except they would not be meaningless to THIS franchise - more like a lifeboat in turbulent waters.

if the three favorites win tonight, we're on our way.
You make some points but are over looking a huge one. He is under contract for multiple seasons after this one so why in hell do you extend him when it is very likely he only still here because of the current years on his contract. Perhaps you give him another year but don't extend the misery.
 
#8
I agree with your stability assessment.
I feel like it started with hiring someone who has experience in the front office.
I think we should give Monte about 3 seasons. If we aren't solidly in the playoffs by then, blow it up, Fox will be done here.
I would be pretty upset if they resigned him.

Luke is not the one.
Luke is a REALLY BAD coach. Not just, "oh he made a mistake here and there." Like my HS coach was better.
Maybe the players like him, but they don't play for him so...
He will be here next year solely based on $$$. I believe that's his last year.
 
#9
milwaukee, seven point favorites, lose big last night in san antonio, so, now, the kings would have to go 4-0 while the spurs go 0-4 for the kings to finish 10th.

unlikely, but the dubs beat utah last night, so, phoenix still has hopes of finishing 1st in the conference and they finish with two in san antonio (after sa finishes a back to back at brooklyn and new york).

memphis, however, is till looking to finish 8th rather than 9th, so, beating them twice in memphis seems like a long shot.

i don't like these "consecutive home games with conference opponents", especially at the end of the season.

but the kings are not (yet) eliminated.

luke lives to coach another (meaningful) game.
 
#10
milwaukee, seven point favorites, lose big last night in san antonio, so, now, the kings would have to go 4-0 while the spurs go 0-4 for the kings to finish 10th.

unlikely, but the dubs beat utah last night, so, phoenix still has hopes of finishing 1st in the conference and they finish with two in san antonio (after sa finishes a back to back at brooklyn and new york).

memphis, however, is till looking to finish 8th rather than 9th, so, beating them twice in memphis seems like a long shot.

i don't like these "consecutive home games with conference opponents", especially at the end of the season.

but the kings are not (yet) eliminated.

luke lives to coach another (meaningful) game.
That’s why that game against the Spurs was a must win. Now the stars have to all align perfectly for us to sneak in.
 
#11
best scenario tonight (wednesday):

dallas (home) defeats new orleans (giving n.o one more loss than kings)

lakers defeat houston (gimmee, but that means memphis can not catch lakers for 7th)

brooklyn (1 game in front of milwaukee for best record in east) knocks off spurs

portland upsets utah (in utah) - this would keep phoenix more alive for best record in west (suns finish with two at san antonio)

then (of course) the kings need to beat memphis thursday and friday

if warriors defeat new orleans at home on friday, memphis is locked into the 9th slot (so, dallas needs to beat pels tonight)

oddly, warriors are off wednesday AND thursday and finish at home with new orleans, then memphis, so, grizzlies have big incentive to play hard to possibly finish in 8th (ahead of warriors) - otoh, moving into 8th is enough of a long shot, that memphis COULD decide not to show kings all they have thursday-friday, since they will face kings (or spurs) in first play-in game (assuming pels fade, starting tonight)..

so, at this point, memphis cannot finish ahead of the warriors without defeating kings at least once - eliminating the kings, who must win out to play in.

due to warriors getting hot (steph gets the mvp), the kings at 10 would (if they win out) face memphis in the first play-in game and the loser of the warrtiors/lakers play-in game in the second (assuming they win the first).

so, they could only put one demon to rest - but qualifying for the actual playoffs by beating (first memphis, then) the warriors or lakers would be the biggest step this franchise could take.

or they could fold up like a tent tomorrow or friday.

will the stars align?

all i know is, if the kings play the dubs in the final play-in game, they'd better get fox and haliburton back and have one of them (or delon) at the scorer's table at ball times, rotating three different guards onto steph (because, luckily, there is only one of him).
 
#12
best scenario tonight (wednesday):

dallas (home) defeats new orleans (giving n.o one more loss than kings)

lakers defeat houston (gimmee, but that means memphis can not catch lakers for 7th)

brooklyn (1 game in front of milwaukee for best record in east) knocks off spurs

portland upsets utah (in utah) - this would keep phoenix more alive for best record in west (suns finish with two at san antonio)

then (of course) the kings need to beat memphis thursday and friday

if warriors defeat new orleans at home on friday, memphis is locked into the 9th slot (so, dallas needs to beat pels tonight)

oddly, warriors are off wednesday AND thursday and finish at home with new orleans, then memphis, so, grizzlies have big incentive to play hard to possibly finish in 8th (ahead of warriors) - otoh, moving into 8th is enough of a long shot, that memphis COULD decide not to show kings all they have thursday-friday, since they will face kings (or spurs) in first play-in game (assuming pels fade, starting tonight)..

so, at this point, memphis cannot finish ahead of the warriors without defeating kings at least once - eliminating the kings, who must win out to play in.

due to warriors getting hot (steph gets the mvp), the kings at 10 would (if they win out) face memphis in the first play-in game and the loser of the warrtiors/lakers play-in game in the second (assuming they win the first).

so, they could only put one demon to rest - but qualifying for the actual playoffs by beating (first memphis, then) the warriors or lakers would be the biggest step this franchise could take.

or they could fold up like a tent tomorrow or friday.

will the stars align?

all i know is, if the kings play the dubs in the final play-in game, they'd better get fox and haliburton back and have one of them (or delon) at the scorer's table at ball times, rotating three different guards onto steph (because, luckily, there is only one of him).
Your best case scenario looking good so far.
 
#14
WIth that Jazz loss, Suns are also just 1.5 back of the 1 seed and remain 2 games up on the Clippers. So it seems fairly likely they're going to keep trying in at least one of those 2 final games against the Spurs to try and get out of playing the Lakers.
 
#16
I may be jaded after 15 years of losing, but there is almost no chance that the Kings make the play in, not to mention win a playoff spot. And I certainly hope it wouldn't affect retaining Walton.

If the Kings make the play in, would Fox, Barnes, and Haliburton be reinserted into the lineup?
 
#17
it is conceivable that the lakers finish 7th and the warriors at 9, with memphis at 8 and the kings at 10.

if that happened, the kings would play the warriors while the lakers played the grizzlies.
My understanding is that for the play-in format, 7 plays 8 and winner gets the 7 seed. 9 plays 10 and loser is out. Loser of 7/8 then plays winner of 9/10 for the 8 seed.

So the bottom two teams have to win twice to get in whereas the 7/8 seeds have to win once. Seems fair.

Since we were intent to go for it, I'm going to cross my fingers that we get into that 10 slot, we'd have a shot at sneaking in. If we don't make it in, then you have to fire Luke. We went for it, missed. He has failed to improve the team in two seasons. Bye.
 
#18
I may be jaded after 15 years of losing, but there is almost no chance that the Kings make the play in, not to mention win a playoff spot. And I certainly hope it wouldn't affect retaining Walton.

If the Kings make the play in, would Fox, Barnes, and Haliburton be reinserted into the lineup?
i think they will be. Possibly for the Utah game if there is a chance.

what irks me is that they are all being sat down like it’s tank time but the Kings are still winning and going for the play in while not really experimenting with youth. So, if we’re going for it with these Memphis games it looks pretty ridiculous that you wouldnt play Fox and Barnes. Haliburton may be nursing a legit thing.
 
#19
i think they will be. Possibly for the Utah game if there is a chance.

what irks me is that they are all being sat down like it’s tank time but the Kings are still winning and going for the play in while not really experimenting with youth. So, if we’re going for it with these Memphis games it looks pretty ridiculous that you wouldnt play Fox and Barnes. Haliburton may be nursing a legit thing.
Well McNair said they were doing a soft tank and if it seems like it doesn't make sense and they have no plan, that basically aligns with what you'd think "soft tank" means.
 
#21
I may be jaded after 15 years of losing, but there is almost no chance that the Kings make the play in, not to mention win a playoff spot. And I certainly hope it wouldn't affect retaining Walton.

If the Kings make the play in, would Fox, Barnes, and Haliburton be reinserted into the lineup?
The Grizz games are the biggies. And Utah, they may need to win that last game. There would basically be no point otherwise if they didn't play. Man, this artificial bar of the last two seasons is really putting this franchise in a position of utter stagnation. Just like the bubble last year how do they really hold their head high riding on the wave of other teams bad luck and tankage? Not to mention on the backs of players that may not be or really shouldn't be a major part of the franchise moving forward related to potential costs and position duplication.
 
#23
well, we had a chance, but luke coached us right out of it.

(dillon brooks - kings killer)

up eight with only a few minutes left and metu hoists up ANOTHER trey?

and buddy disappears again.

king in the FOURTH quarter? (like luke just remembered, "hey - didn't monte sign someone else?").

meanwhile, holmes goes out with an injury, valentunis (or however it's spelled) is KILLING us inside with his size and hassan whiteside never sees the floor?

did hassan hit on luke's wife or something?

i enjoyed starting a positive thread and i really thought we had a chance of hitting that 10-1 shot (making the play-in) since it was easy to imagine the spurs losing their last four (still might) and memphis isn't really that good (yet).

but now i guess it's back to the "fire walton" thread - although i think he has until at least the 2022 all-star break to completely and utterly fail.

fun fact:

valuable players CAN be found in then second round.

these second round picks were traded several times before eventually being used (houstonj retained neither pick), but i think you will be surprised to find who they were initially traded for:

--------------------------------------------------------------------

July 10, 2013: Traded by the Houston Rockets to the Portland Trail Blazers for Kostas Papanikolaou, Marko Todorović, a 2015 2nd round draft pick (Richaun Holmes was later selected) and a 2017 2nd round draft pick (Dillon Brooks was later selected).

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
i guess the best second rounder was nokic. but holmes and brooks are two who made a difference, as did norman powell and goran dragic. jimmy butler was the last pick (#30) in the first round, so, good players are out there (and we need some).
 
#25
well, we had a chance, but luke coached us right out of it.

(dillon brooks - kings killer)

up eight with only a few minutes left and metu hoists up ANOTHER trey?

and buddy disappears again.

king in the FOURTH quarter? (like luke just remembered, "hey - didn't monte sign someone else?").

meanwhile, holmes goes out with an injury, valentunis (or however it's spelled) is KILLING us inside with his size and hassan whiteside never sees the floor?

did hassan hit on luke's wife or something?

i enjoyed starting a positive thread and i really thought we had a chance of hitting that 10-1 shot (making the play-in) since it was easy to imagine the spurs losing their last four (still might) and memphis isn't really that good (yet).

but now i guess it's back to the "fire walton" thread - although i think he has until at least the 2022 all-star break to completely and utterly fail.

fun fact:

valuable players CAN be found in then second round.

these second round picks were traded several times before eventually being used (houstonj retained neither pick), but i think you will be surprised to find who they were initially traded for:

--------------------------------------------------------------------

July 10, 2013: Traded by the Houston Rockets to the Portland Trail Blazers for Kostas Papanikolaou, Marko Todorović, a 2015 2nd round draft pick (Richaun Holmes was later selected) and a 2017 2nd round draft pick (Dillon Brooks was later selected).

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
i guess the best second rounder was nokic. but holmes and brooks are two who made a difference, as did norman powell and goran dragic. jimmy butler was the last pick (#30) in the first round, so, good players are out there (and we need some).
yeah not to mention the one we sold who became Gary Trent Jr.
 
#26
Bogi since becoming an Atlanta starter.....

In the last 23 games, he made 105 out of 212 three point attempts, which is good for 49.5%, on 9.2 attempts per game.

since becoming a starter he has averaged 21.1 ppg, 4.2 assists and 1.4 turnovers. Buddy has averaged 16.3 ppg, 4.0 assists and 2.0 turnovers.

if we had kept Bogi and passed to him when open on the weak side we might have made the play-in game. Too often Fox ignored him when standing alone.
 
#27
I had little hope after last seasons bubble demise. Vlade/Peja were let go after that.

Now we have this seasons Play In demise. Someone has to go and it should be Walton.
 
#28
Bogi since becoming an Atlanta starter.....

In the last 23 games, he made 105 out of 212 three point attempts, which is good for 49.5%, on 9.2 attempts per game.

since becoming a starter he has averaged 21.1 ppg, 4.2 assists and 1.4 turnovers. Buddy has averaged 16.3 ppg, 4.0 assists and 2.0 turnovers.

if we had kept Bogi and passed to him when open on the weak side we might have made the play-in game. Too often Fox ignored him when standing alone.
“Might?”........Walton would have found a way to lose.