September 30, 2017, 6:10 pm
Hoop Ball Kings’ brand new series that we are rolling out in the lead up to the 2017-18 NBA season has reached it’s final chapter. We now predict how many games we think the Kings will win this season.
Missed the previous installments of Hoop Ball Kings’ Roundtable Series? Click HERE to read them.
Sacramento were somewhat in the hunt for a playoff spot as the All-Star break neared last season, they were at least in the conversation. Despite that, it was going to be an uphill battle for the DeMarcus Cousins led Kings, a battle Vlade Divac and the front office chose not to take part in.
The trade of Cousins to New Orleans signalled the beginning of a full scale rebuild in Sacramento. The team would produce an 8-17 record post-trade which wasn’t too bad with everything considered.
Now, armed with more young talent and some well-respected veterans, the Kings continue their rebuild as they look towards the future of Kings basketball.
The Western Conference is loaded with talent. Sacramento are easily on the outside looking in this season, so how will the fair? Will they shock us all and win over 40 games? Or will wins be hard to come by for the young Kings roster?
Record Prediction: 30-52
The West is far too stacked this season and it will be hard for the Kings to gain any traction.
The veteran additions were solid, but they weren’t added in an attempt to push for the playoffs. Guys like George Hill and Zach Randolph genuinely make this team better but unfortunately it won’t be enough to match up with teams like the Warriors, Rockets, Spurs, Clippers and so forth.
If everyone plays at their peak, this team could add another 5-10 wins but things would have to go tremendously well, and pretty bad for one or two powerhouses in the West.
The health of the veterans is another factor that could sway the win-loss record either way. The loss of a few key players for an extended period of time could sink the ship fairly quickly as the stability would be lost; lets hope that doesn’t happen.
With the recent changes to the NBA Lottery, the incentive to tank has reduced drastically. I don’t see the Kings attempting it anyway especially under Dave Joerger, but you can certainly expect them to play hard each night.
By my prediction, I see the Kings finishing 13th in the West, but they could very easily finish last. The Lakers and Suns will be bad too but will they be worse than Sacramento? As of now, I think they are.
Building a winning culture takes time, so this season may be a long, ambiguous one. At the very least it should be entertaining and fun watching the youngsters grow.
Record Prediction: 33-49
Many experts have predicted the Kings to be one of the worst teams in the league, with some even expecting the them to end up with the worst record when it’s all said and done.
Sacramento certainly took a step back last February when they traded DeMarcus Cousins to New Orleans, but the team still won eight of their last 25 games which would shake out to around 26 wins over a full 82-game season.
There is plenty of reason to think that this year’s roster is much better than the one that Sacramento finished last season with. Zach Randolph and Vince Carter give the Kings some stability, something that the team evidently lacked during the second half last season, and George Hill instantly became the best player on the team when he was signed in July.
Sacramento also struggled with a crippling lack of depth at times last season, which forced them to give significant minutes to players like Tyreke Evans, Ty Lawson and Arron Afflalo. The team will now enter the season with more players than they know what to do with at both guard spots, and the competition at those positions should give Dave Joerger a good opportunity to find valuable contributors.
The Kings will have a wide range of outcomes next season with much of their success or failure dependent on the readiness of their younger players, particularly Skal Labissiere and Buddy Hield. Both took big steps forward to close out last season, and further development from the two of them this offseason could vault this team to 35-plus wins.
With that said, many second-year players don’t build on the success that they have in their first season, so it will be tough to predict how effective either will be with much certainty.
Health will also be a factor adding to the uncertainty involved in projecting the team’s record. Hill has struggled with injuries throughout his career, and Malachi Richardson and Garrett Temple both dealt with hamstring issues last season that forced them to miss significant time.
The Kings’ lack of experience will likely cause them to lose a few games that they should be able to win, but overall the talent on this roster should give the team a fighting chance in 40-45 games next season.
There’s a case to be made for a higher win total, but much of that depends on the development of the team’s young players and the health of George Hill.
Record Prediction: 35-47
With the veteran additions, as well as the highly touted rookie class, this season will be a growing experience.
The Kings and coach Dave Joerger don’t have the highest of expectations on them, but will look to make strides to relevancy. The West added a ton of talent to rosters this year with teams like the Rockets and Wolves adding All-Stars, so winning won’t be easy.
However, if the Kings can compete with some of the stacked rosters, the fan base and front office should feel comforted.
If the team can create a defensive presence this year, they’ll have a decent shot at competing – and upsetting – some teams and that’s all anyone can ask for out of a young group.
Joerger’s history of getting the most out of his teams and the addition of veterans like George Hill and Zach Randolph, who still have plenty to offer, should help in the development of the young roster.
Still, with all the additions it’ll take time for Sacramento to get on the same page and a month of training camp can only do so much. Expect the Kings to start the season slow and progressively improve as the year goes on.
Missed the previous installments of Hoop Ball Kings’ Roundtable Series? Click HERE to read them.
February 22, 2019, 1:13 amHarrison Barnes - F - Sacramento Kings
Harrison Barnes scored 13 points on 5-of-12 shooting with seven rebounds, an assist and a 3-pointer on Thursday.
Barnes had an empty scoring line and the volume is going to be lowered on the Kings. He's joining a team with more mouths to feed than the Mavs so his value is going to take a dip.
February 21, 2019, 10:42 pmGiannis Antetokounmpo - F - Milwaukee Bucks
Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks in their 98-97 win on Thursday against the Celtics with 30 points on 11-of-19 shooting while adding 13 rebounds, six assists, a steal, two blocks and a 3-pointer.
Antetokuonmpo started off the game slow and neither team could buy a bucket in the first quarter, but he was able to finish the game strong and lead his team to another win. While other players are tearing up the box scores in streaks, the Freak has consistently carried the Bucks to the best record in the league with averages of 27.2 points, 12.7 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.4 blocks on .581 shooting. If we're going by the best player on the best team then Antetokounmpo is without a doubt the MVP.
February 21, 2019, 10:41 pmMalcolm Brogdon - G - Milwaukee Bucks
Malcolm Brogdon continued chugging along with 15 points, six boards and four assists against the Celtics on Thursday.
Brogdon is consistent and consistently good for fantasy owners. His workman-like numbers night in and night out have put him on the fringes of the top-50 which was not really in the picture at the start of the year. Keep him in your lineups. This should be a smooth ride.
February 21, 2019, 10:38 pmNikola Mirotic - F - Milwaukee Bucks
Nikola Mirotic made his Bucks debut on Thursday and scored eight points on 3-of-7 shooting with two 3-pointers and three rebounds.
Mirotic only logged 14 minutes and it was his first game in action with a new team after missing the prior 11 contests. He's still a bit rusty and needs to get his conditioning back to speed, but the fact that he launched six shots from deep is great and the fit is perfect for him to continue his mid-round value. If there's a panicking owner you can sneak a buy-low and reap the rewards come playoff time.
February 21, 2019, 10:37 pmKhris Middleton - F - Milwaukee Bucks
Khris Middleton scored 15 points (5-of-14 shooting) and pulled down 13 boards as the Bucks beat the Celtics on Thursday night.
It wasn't an efficient night for Middleton, who also turned the ball over five times. He has stretches of brilliance where he approaches top-20 value, but this Bucks roster is deep and talented, meaning Middleton just doesn't have to be incredibly good every night.
February 21, 2019, 10:36 pmBrook Lopez - C - Milwaukee Bucks
Brook Lopez scored 10 points on 4-of-11 shooting while adding eight rebounds, an assist, two blocks and two 3-pointers on Thursday.
Lopez does not care what the matchup is and will continue to launch from deep. Al Horford was able to keep up with him on the perimeter which is what limited him to 2-for-7 shooting from range, but the blocks and boards were still there.
February 21, 2019, 10:34 pmAl Horford - F/C - Boston Celtics
Al Horford dropped a monstrous 21-17-5 line to go with three blocks, two steals and two 3-pointers on Thursday against the Bucks.
Big Al is as consistent as they come and he upped his production tonight against a stingy Bucks defense. Tonight's line was an all-around gem and after several consistent lines you'll get an eruption like this from Horford. He might seem like a boring player to own in fantasy, but nights like this remind you otherwise. Horford is the engine that keeps the Celtics running and always turns it up against elite competition.
February 21, 2019, 10:32 pmKyrie Irving - G - Boston Celtics
Kyrie Irving scored 22 points on 9-of-27 shooting with five assists, a rebound, four 3-pointers, two steals and two blocks on Thursday.
Irving hadn't topped 20 points since the game against the Lakers on February 7th which was a bit concerning considering he was dealing with a knee strain prior to the All-Star Break but he finally broke through tonight. He missed a tough floater at the end which would have won the game and there definitely could have been a foul called, but overall he'd rather forget tonight.
February 21, 2019, 10:31 pmJayson Tatum - F - Boston Celtics
Jayson Tatum scored 17 points on 7-of-13 shooting with a 3-pointer, 10 rebounds, an assist, two steals and a block on Thursday.
It was a solid line for Tatum, who started off the game slow, and it doesn't really matter whether or not Gordon Hayward plays as Tatum's value remains constant. He's a low ceiling and high floor type of player who delivers on a consistent basis.
February 21, 2019, 10:12 pmHassan Whiteside - C - Miami Heat
Hassan Whiteside struggled again in Thursday's 106-102 loss to the Sixers, with four points, five rebounds and two blocks in 21 minutes.
Whiteside is an annoying player to own in fantasy. The rebounds and blocks make him a must-own player, but he just isn't an exciting name when silent games like this become too frequent.