What’s the Worst Way to Lose an NBA Game?

The Stockton Kings, G-League affiliate of Sacramento’s NBA team, posed an interesting question on Twitter on Tuesday. This is tough. A or B? 👀 pic.twitter.com/PvJcfB0dEA — Stockton Kings (@StocktonKings) November 11, 2020 Would you rather get crossed over on the game winning play and lose, or miss the game winning free throws? In the red corner, you have guys like Bryon Russell and Craig Ehlo, who will forever be known for getting shook by Michael Jordan on two of His Airness’ most famous plays from a whole career of famous plays. In the blue corner, you have Nick Anderson, a …

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Collin Sexton and De’Aaron Fox: Don’t Judge A Rook By His Cover

Collin Sexton and De’Aaron Fox had two of the worst rookie seasons it’s possible to imagine NBA players having, especially if they’re lottery picks and potential franchise cornerstones in Cleveland and Sacramento, respectively. Indeed, Sexton’s rookie year was so awful—under Basketball Reference’s revised version of VORP, Sexton had the seventh-worst rookie season in the 3-point era, and it was second-worst behind only fellow 2018 draftee Kevin Knox—that to instantly call him a bust would be an entirely understandable reaction. Fox’s rookie year in 2017-18 wasn’t much better—he ranks 45th in the 3-point era for worst VORP by a rookie—and yet …

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Mitch Richmond: Was He Any Good?

The early-90s “Run TMC” combination of Tim Hardaway, Mitch Richmond, and Chris Mullin was supposed to be the Next Big Thing in the NBA as the sun set on the era of Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and Isiah Thomas. Michael Jordan inherited the mantle of Eastern Conference dominance that Boston and Detroit vacated, while the new power in the West was supposed to include the Warriors alongside the Gary Payton/Shawn Kemp Sonics, the John Stockton/Karl Malone Jazz, Hakeem Olajuwon‘s Rockets, and the Charles Barkley Show in Phoenix once the 76ers finally got rid of the disgruntled Round Mound of Rebound. …

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Are the 2019-20 Sacramento Kings Good?

As this goes to press, rumors are flying all around NBA Twitter of Buddy Hield seeking a max extension after his rookie deal expires this year. De’Aaron Fox, meanwhile, will surely be in the same camp if he has another season like his breakout year in 2018-19. So it looks like the Sacramento Kings have big aspirations, but they’re going to have to prove it on the court this year if they’re really going to be able to say—with their wallets as well as their words—that they have the next big superstar backcourt on the West Coast to rival the …

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NBA Best And Worst Contracts Part VI: Pacific Division

As we wrap up our look at NBA contracts, a few things—good and bad—about Wiggins Factor as a stat start to come through in the analysis. In one case, it’s a sins-of-the-father argument… This really should say ‘the Wolves HAD one of the worst front offices in the league’. None of those bad contracts were signed by the current regime. — Jake Paynting (@jakepaynting) August 23, 2019 It’s going to take the new front office awhile to take out the trash. And in another case, it’s an example of Stewart’s Maxim: “It’s not funny anymore when it’s your guy.” @RealFoxD …

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The New Orleans Pelicans Should Hire Dave Joerger

Because the Sacramento Kings are a Roland Emmerich movie of a franchise and because Vlade Divac is as power-hungry as he is incompetent—and why do those things always seem to go together like ketchup and french fries?—Dave Joerger is set to get his walking papers in a face-to-face meeting that was leaked on Twitter way in advance. This leaves Joerger as a free agent a year after taking a Kings team that was languishing in NBA hell and leading them to 39 wins, a legitimate playoff run that ended only when the insane West got away from them (if Sacramento …

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Breakfast Special: Just Let the Playoffs Start Already

Regular-season NBA basketball in April is both the best thing (Denver and Minnesota in what was basically a play-in game on the last day of the season in 2018, tonight’s Pacers-Celtics tilt, and David Robinson and Shaquille O’Neal vying for the scoring title in 1994) and the worst thing (every dull game between two teams already eliminated from the playoffs.) This is especially amplified on nights like Thursday night, where there were three games in the entire league, two of them were meaningless blowouts… …but the third was a closely-contested potential Eastern Conference Finals preview on national television and involved …

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Breakfast Special: Hello Darkness, My Old Friend

The saying goes that “when it rains, it pours”, and one piece of bad news has a nasty habit of spiraling into a cavalcade of horrors, all hope for the future seeming to evaporate in one blow. And if you thought Nate McMillan‘s offense in Indiana was bad before, getting thumped 107-89 in Washington ought to show you just how much any sign of life in that ill-designed Dark Ages system was purely the doing of Victor Oladipo. Without Vic, the Pacers have looked utterly lost trying to score the basketball, and even though the defense isn’t a complete disaster …

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De’Aaron Fox Is Most Improved Player And It’s Not Close

My namesake in Sacramento, De’Aaron Fox, came into the league fifth overall in the 2017 NBA draft, and at the time, I told anyone who would listen that he’d be the steal of the draft class, taking more than a few digs at the Lakers in the process for drafting the guy Fox clowned in college, Lonzo Ball. Well, Ball still sucks (although he’s evolving as a defender, all that makes him is a cross between Russell Westbrook and Tony Allen, but nowhere near as good as either at Westbrook’s stat sheet stuffing or Allen’s ability to lock down his …

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Breakfast Special: LaMarcus Chamberlain

The San Antonio Spurs, using the three-pointer like a sniper rifle, made 16 such baskets on only 19 tries, an 84.2 percent clip. They shot 56.6 percent from the field overall. Made 56 field goals in the game. Scored 130 points in regulation. Even shot 89.7 percent from the free throw line. And LaMarcus Aldridge scored 56 (!) points on 20-of-33 shooting without even so much as attempting a three like he was latter-day Wilt Chamberlain. And yet somehow the Oklahoma City Thunder forced them to play 10 extra minutes of basketball before finally falling against the overwhelming assault of …

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