OpenCourt-Basketball The Dallas Mavericks began the season with expectations of making a playoff push in Dirk Nowitzki’s final season. Free agent signee (4 years too late) DeAndre Jordan and draftee Luka Doncic were supposed to bolster a lower-tier roster and propel them into contention. And then the Mavs shocked the NBA world and traded for an injured Kristaps Porzingis. This announced that the tank was officially on and the keys to the team were being handed over to phenom,
NBC Sports The young Kings in Sacramento are riding the ninth playoff spot in the Western Conference as of just after the All-Star break. They haven’t won more than 33 games in the past 10 years and currently have 31 wins against 28 losses. The Kings are 3 games out of the five spot and 1.5 games behind the Spurs and Clippers who are tied in the seven and eight hole. The prognosticators at 538 project the Kings finishing the season with a 40-42 record and missing the playoffs
The Independent Thunderous dunks and implausible three point assassins keep NBA Twitter abuzz but passing is my favorite part of basketball. The first basketball team that I really and truly loved was the 1999-2000 Sacramento Kings because it was comprised of brilliant passers up and down the roster. Precocious and mercurial lead guard Jason Williams inspired an all-out assault on the preconceptions of what passing could look like in the modern NBA. This Kings team was basket
Sports Illustrated At 8-6, the Sacramento Kings are finally a team to be excited about and are led by 2nd year guard, De’Aaron Fox. They already have a 5-game win streak in this early season and are fresh off beating the San Antonio Spurs. These are good times as a long-suffering Kings fan. The Sacramento Kings haven’t finished a basketball season with a winning record in 13 years. And after those 13 years of lottery selections producing exactly one All-Star in DeMarcus "Boog
Chatsports Justise Winslow is primed for a breakout season. Sure, we’ve been saying this for three summers in a row but this is the year...probably. Entering his fourth season, @iamjustise still embodies talent unfulfilled. Defensively, he is already a plus-plus lockdown menace. On the offensive end he struggles as a creator but has fashioned himself into a consistent three point shooter, increasing his 3pt shooting percentage from 27% as a rookie to 38% last season. Way back
NBA.com On a recent podcast with Bill Simmons, Jayson Tatum said that the only player better than him in high school was Harry Giles III. Coming out of the class of 2016, Giles was the consensus #1 player in the country and a destroyer of all things high school basketball and AAU. As a freshman at Duke in 2016 he played a very underwhelming 11 minutes a game in only 26 contests before being shelved with a knee injury. The injury theme keeps coming up with Giles. A knee injury
Holy Mother of Houston Tex-Mex! Takeaways from Game 5? I think I need another shower after that Thursday night thriller in H-Town. The Toyota Center was bedlam and every Rockets player except James Harden laid their life on the line for this win. “I’ve Been Ready for this My Whole Life”: Chris Paul wants to beat the Warriors more than anyone has ever wanted anything. CP3 owned the 3rd quarter and single-handedly slayed the almighty Warriors with a barrage of uppercut three po
As of this writing the Houston Rockets are the best team in the NBA. They have a better record than the vaunted Championship belt holding Golden State Warriors, NBA darlings Boston Celtics and their historical defense and rampaging Cleveland LeBrons. Houston is rated 2nd in Offense and 5th in Defense so they are dismantling teams on both ends of the floor. They are also 8th in pace which means after an opponent miss they are getting shots up fast on the other end. The Rockets
While George Hill will forever be remembered as the guy whom the Spurs fleeced the Pacers for the rights to Kawhi Leonard, he has been a solid player throughout his NBA career. Serving the role as a capable shooter, willing defender and solid floor general he is a perfectly acceptable NBA starting point guard. For the first 30 games in Utah last season, he was a bona fide All-Star absolutely balling out. Hill has also shot over 40% from 3 point range the past three campaigns.
Currently, the Houston Rockets are in 1st place in the Western Conference. This puts them ahead of the Avengers like superhero lineup of the Golden State Warriors who were expected to challenge their own record of 73 wins. The Rockets have done this even with Chris Paul missing most of this early regular season due to his balky left knee. They are near the top of every offensive category and even playing top 5 defense. Most importantly, they are having fun playing basketball
The 2017-18 NBA season was supposed to be one of hope and optimism in Sacramento. Every writer, blogger and podcaster predicted the Kings would be out of the playoff race early but would be League Pass worthy with a mix of spry veterans and springy young players. Even Vegas pegged them to finish with only 28.5 wins this season, the 3rd worst predicted record in the league. 12 games into this young season and Sacramento is downright awful at NBA basketball leaving fans feeling
Daryl Morey is looked at as an advanced statistics savant who views basketball with ones and zeroes. This mindset is well documented in that his preferred style of play eschews the twos (point shots, that is) for threes, frees and EZ’s (layups and dunks). His particular genius hired Mike D’Antoni and unleashed James Harden as a point guard en route to an offensively historic 2016-17 season. This summer Morey added a hall of famer in Chris Paul for spare parts and a pit bull.
Last summer the Atlanta Hawks signed Dwight Howard to a 3 year $70 million contract and practically nobody cared. The previous contract he signed, with the Houston Rockets, was when he was the marquee free agent in what was considered a coup for Daryl Morey. Flash forward to 2017 and Howard is traded to the hinterlands of the NBA, Charlotte, North Carolina, to join the flailing Hornets franchise. In what looks like a mutual salary dump of two horrendous contracts, the Hawks a
The upcoming NBA season is pivotal for the Sacramento Kings and their ascension up the Western Conference standings in years to come. No one rightfully expects the Kings to make the playoffs or really even push for a .500 record with so much young talent on board. Despite the anticipated losses coming over the next 82 games, the team looks as exciting as any squad suiting up for the Purple and Black over the past 10 years. A busy offseason in the capital city of California br
For the past decade the Sacramento Kings have been in the running for most dysfunctional NBA franchise. The New York Knicks have probably been their biggest competition for continually messing things up season after season and this offseason they conspired, in a way, to cross-contaminate their franchises. The 2016-17 NBA season was certainly one of transition for the Kings with the departure of Boogie Cousins and a full-fledged roster rebuild around young draft picks. Finishi
The Houston Rockets traded for Chris Paul last week and only gave up two experienced NBA players. Sending a smattering of end of the bench guys and a back-end 1st round pick is a pittance for a top 3 point guard. In the NBA, any chance to acquire a superstar has to be taken but this particular pairing doesn’t seem like a perfect fit at all. Both CP3 and James Harden are ball dominant players used to being the alpha on their respective teams and will now share the floor and on
Armed with their own #5 pick and the #10 acquired in the Boogie Cousins deal, the Sacramento Kings were prepared to add two lottery talents to a roster teeming with young talent. Lacking a legitimate starting point guard since Mike Bibby was traded to the Atlanta Hawks in 2008, nearly a decade ago, the entire NBA draft punditry assumed a top-shelf lead guard was a lock at #5. The Kings predictably took the University of Kentucky speedster De’Aaron Fox, a 6’5 playmaking dynamo
Lonzo Ball told Stephen A. Smith that he would rather be a Los Angeles Laker than the #1 overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft. Lonzo is from Los Angeles, went to UCLA and his brothers are all committed to UCLA. His father, Lavar Ball, has been particularly outspoken about Lonzo being drafted by the Lakers. With the draft lottery in the books, the Lakers have the #2 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. In short, Lonzo Ball is all about Los Angeles and Los Angeles should be all about L
Tuesday night in San Antonio was an iminently winnable game for the Houston Rockets. Mike D’Antoni’s squad was humming on offense in the first half, led by James Harden. Harden was a revelation in the first half, repeatedly getting to the rim and facilitating an offense that scored 60 points in the first two quarters. The first half defense was lacking, though, for both teams, as they combined for 118 points by intermission. The Rockets led by 2 at the break after Danny Green
For the sake of full-disclosure, Paul Pierce is and always has been my favorite player. I own one jersey, a black Celtics #34 with “Pierce” stitched on the back. I watched him be a star for three years at Kansas and got to see him live during his rookie year in 1998. Never the fastest, the flashiest or the most skilled, The Truth has simply gotten it done for the past 19 years in the NBA. 1 minute of playing time and 0-2 from the field was the stat line of his final game. 11.