There comes a point during every Sacramento Kings season where the attention of the fans turns away from the Western Conference standings and redirects itself more appropriately towards mock drafts.
It has been that way for the past ten years and the legacy will continue on. Tonight was that turning point.
And rightfully so.
With the Cleveland Cavaliers in town, the Kings took another L on what feels like the longest three-game losing streak that this franchise has ever seen. While it’s only stretched over four days, Sacramento is slowly becoming unglued.
It has been exemplified the entire season with the recurring storylines from George Karl, DeMarcus Cousins, and the toxicity within the organization. Tonight, it was rookie Willie Cauley-Stein who spoke up about his lack of playtime.
“We’re watching the same game. If I am doing something wrong, I have been doing it wrong all year. I can guard five people, I can guard five positions. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be here. There should be no match up problems ever. So that’s an excuse I think.”
Regardless of the rhyme or reason behind one of Sacramento’s most talented defensive players only getting 11 minutes, the words of Willie truly personify what it feels like to be in the frustrated Kings locker room.
It is open season between the coaches and the players with no filters. More importantly, another season of the most dominant center in the NBA’s prime is gone to waste.
The most frustrating part? The differences between a championship contender and lottery ball regular can be visualized on the court tonight.
The Kings held an 11 point lead midway through the third. Cleveland continued to battle back and remained stable through it all. Make no mistake, this wasn’t a game where the Cavaliers outplayed Sacramento. Sacramento simply isn’t a good team and lost it for themselves.
The starters for Cleveland took the game into complete control the entire way through. Perfectly encapsulating what it means to be a great team. Attacking offensive rebounds, closing out shooters, and providing a stable defense this was a “huge team win” for Cleveland according to head coach Tyronn Lue.
Playing in complete cohesion, the starters for the Cavaliers combined for a total of 105 points. Kyrie Irving caught fire in the third and finished with a game-high 30 points. LeBron tallied 25 points and Tristan Thompson finished with 18 points and 15 rebounds.
For the Kings, well you know this already. DeMarcus Cousins lead all scorers in points and rebounds. Finishing with 29 and 11 respectively.
As the wheels being to fall off, there are still 19 games ahead. Arguably, nine of the easiest within the 82 are next and will really be a fascinating storyline to follow on how this Kings team feels about the season.
While it may be worth it for fans to cash in, who knows what happens next.
|CLEVELAND CAVALIERS (45-18)|
|J. Jones||DNP – COACH’S DECISION|
|S. Kaun||DNP – COACH’S DECISION|
|J. McRae||DNP – COACH’S DECISION|
|T. Mozgov||NWT – ILLNESS|
|43.3%||29.5%||82.9%||TEAM REBS: 7||TOTAL TO: 14|
|SACRAMENTO KINGS (25-38)|
|M. Belinelli||DND – BACK SPASMS|
|S. Curry||DND – RIGHT FOOT SPRAIN|
|B. McLemore||DND – RIGHT RING FINGER TIP NON-DISPLACE|
|47.6%||36.4%||71.9%||TEAM REBS: 14||TOTAL TO: 10|
- Cavaliers: Williams
- Kings: Dukan, Moreland
- Cavaliers: Lue
- Kings: Cousins, Koufos
- Lead Changes: 8
- Times Tied: 8
- Arena: Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, CA
- Officials: #15 Zach Zarba, #60 James Williams, #50 Gediminas Petraitis
- Attendance: 17317
- Duration: 2:22