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Wolves 116, Kings 106: Minnesota Musical Chairs

DISCLAIMER: This summary has been brought to you in part with our friends, Kings Herald (For those who do not know, they were pushed out of their former SBNation home). Will Griffith provides excellent content for the Sacramento Kings, hosts a podcast with former Kings head coach / GM / Broadcaster Jerry Reynolds, and is my best friend who constantly motivates me in life. I can assure you that he will be one of the best followers for you on social media! @WillofThaPeople

Will will throw me a helping hand by helping with recaps of this trio of April Kings-Timberwolves games. He provides insight from Sacramento’s perspective, with Game 1 being our collective pessimistic angles at our franchises, Game 2 as optimistic tilts and Game 3 as our most realistic expectations going forward. Enjoy!

Timberwolves Pessimistic Outlook @ TheKingsHerald

Kings Pessimistic Outlook by Will Griffith:

Every motivational YouTube video made to pump 21-year-olds who go to the gym 3 days a week for the first time in their lives, one proverb has fallen in at some point, either in an illegally cut voiceover or at the end of a badly photoshopped poster:

“Good is the enemy of the great”.

For a team that has missed the playoffs the previous 14 seasons, it is much, much closer to “mediocre is decent enemy”. The Kangzars are stuck in the worst spot in the league – not talented enough to make noise in the Western Conference, but not so prone to injury or devoid of talent to really find themselves in a position for an elite ’21 Draft prospect. I do not mean to say that they are absolute waste. De’Aaron Fox shows longer and longer flashes with 1A scoring capabilities. Tyrese Haliburton is ready much faster than expected and much better than many had predicted when he slipped to 12th in last year’s draft. These two are in themselves the core elements of any future success that kings have. Nor will they be enough if the kings want lasting success in the Western Conference.

Many had hoped, and some had even expected, that the kings would finally join a youth movement by the deadline and deal with one or both Buddy Loved or Harrison Barnes. But first year GM Monte McNair did not find anything worthwhile or the mini-tank, and so now the kings are here: begging the basketball gods and their new bench pieces to get them to a 10th seed while their fans fight a civil war over the benefits of a tank with a player of Fox’s caliber (and contract) pushing an endgame. Neither side is right or wrong, but hell they will try to argue for it until the other side is destroyed. All the while, Richaun Holmes has ceased to be the best kept secret in the NBA and is in danger of leaving the Kings at the end of the season – Kings limited in what they can pay at this point and Holmes is an unlimited free agent. It’s the same ol ‘season, different Kangz and damn it we’re all tired of it. Some are still hoping for a playoff running down the stretch, others had hoped before the trade deadline that it was not too late to fall into a Top-5 pick. We’re just hoping for a direction that includes a long-running playoff series – something that can’t quite be achieved with the current group. I would bet a lot of money that the Kings will break Minnesota’s playoff series and have very little to show for it.

Game recap by Will Griffith:

This game is stereotypical Kangz performance. On paper, they should have run in this game. They are far healthier, far more practiced with each other and said just more talented. Still, they allowed this Timberwolves team to hang around and even take the lead a quarter of the way through the second quarter. That Timberwolves just hesitated these kings at times, and it is quite surprising that Sacramento let this happen. Average 114.6 points per. Match, they did not pass the 40-point until 4:30 left in the half. For the worst defensive rating in NBA history, which is heading toward the fourth worst in the NBA this season, the question of “good defense or bad offense“Was a pretty damn easy answer. Normally the kings go as Fox goes – he was almost 40% of their offense in the first half with 20 points and the Kings mustered only 55-55 draw.

The only thing to be said for the third is that the team again for all the ugly sounding and heavy breathing in the third, ended up at 82.

I’m curious what impartial fans think of the Kings team they watched tonight. Would you believe it when I say that Kings won 7 out of 8 games two different times this season? They followed up the first race with 9 losses in a row and had lost three just before tonight’s loss to your team. A better writer than I could probably frame this story as two upcoming teams battling it in the basement before ending up as future providers, but I think we all know that does not happen to either of us, and if I were to guess, Minnesota is actually closer to that goal than the Kings at this point. They are a few games out of making play-in ?! How could the wolves be in – Listen. The best way I can express this is for the kings to wait for theirs Jimmy Butler to show up and prove they are finally ready for playoff battle. It has to go as well and impact the future of the Sacramento Kings franchise in similar or worse ways than it did Minnesota. With our mutual friend:

Nemanja Bjelica: f *** it, they deserve it.

Play Highlights

Game Notes

  • The most important talk in tonight’s match is the constant musical chairs that the Timberwolves continue to play. First it was CAT x2 (Wrist, COVID). Then there was D’Lo (Knee). So Ricky (Back). Then Malik x2 (Suspension, hoarding). These four players have hardly shared the field together, and at this point you have to wonder if they ever will for an expanded range of games moving forward. All that was said was tonight Angelo Russelltonight and I can not say how great he was in his first game left. He was absolutely clutch tonight and ran a personal 8-0 run to really put the Wolves in the driver’s seat to end the game. I loved how Finch drove (Waiting for it …) 2-point guard line-up. He ran off-ball wrinkles to get D’Lo more like a catch-and-shoot SG, which was absolutely beautiful. D’Angelo appears to be locked and loaded for the final stretch of play.
  • Karl-Anthony Byer once again a lovely evening stroll and returned with a 23/13/5 line. Kings were able to come back within 4 with only approx. 2 minutes left until KAT scored 5 in a row to really finish it. That is what we have and continue to expect from our leader.
  • We looked at what the remaining season might look like Anthony Edwards as the 3rd scoring opportunity. He had his moments tonight when he hit a pair of 3s early and a big basket in the 4th, but he aimed his way to 19 points on 15 shots (.333 FG%) supplemented with 8 boards, 5 dimes and steals . Not too shabby at all, Ant.
  • Dave Benz said “Ants can swim !!!“Tonight. I want to do the Timberwolves community a favor and work out all the Benzsies’ Ant facts at the end of the season.
  • Jordan McLaughlin looked the best he’s had in a while tonight, and ordered Hassan Whiteside on a series of smart finishes in the paint that kept the Wolves afloat during a 2nd half stretch. And just like that we have out of nowhere 3 healthy and skilled point guards healthy!
  • Juancho Hernangomez, despite all his mistakes, had a net positive effect on tonight’s match with a series of intoxicating games. Finch’s steadfast trust in Juancho remains one of the more surprising stories lately. He finished with 17 points, 9 (!) Rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal.

  • Big Mac fought again tonight and looked a little better than one of the few times this season. Harrison Barnes forced him to 5 offenses and only 20 minutes of action. Better days are ahead Jaden McDaniels.
  • There was a moment today when Coach Finch stepped in Jarrett Culver to try to help slow down a Kings race, but he was immediately turned into grilled chicken on a spin-off from Barnes and gave up a duck-1. He would fun unfortunately get bench just seconds later.
  • Great shout to Naz Reid there was a team-high +21 and posted 10 points, 7 boards and 2 shares. Nazreon made 2 out of 3 three points tonight, which is an important development. Finch has tried the KAT-Naz combo and has been pretty much free for it.
  • Buddy Loved launched 16 three points tonight and made 6 of them. He missed the only non-3PA he took tonight.
  • Harrison Barnes “Only” had 21 points in 37 minutes, but shot .643 off the field tonight. It was criminal against Luke Walton to limit his attempts as much as he did.
  • De’Aaron Fox has quickly turned into the Karl-Anthony Towns of the Sacramento Kings, though the former plays more defense (I think). KAT is usually more dominant in the offense, but today Fox looked absolutely unstoppable. He had a game-high 31 points on just 16 shots. That’s ridiculous. I’m not looking forward to ”Get Fox out of the Sac“Headlines coming soon.

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