After a brutal day courtesy of our lovely owners, the Kings still had one chance to provide a small saving grace: a night game against the Western Conference-leading Thunder. But just like the rest of the day’s events, the game provided no joy and ended in depression.
Oklahoma City took it to the Kings in every way, shape and form, treating the game like a glorified scrimmage. The same careless mistakes that have plagued Sacramento over the past couple weeks were as present as ever. It seems the team more or less hit a wall after the thrilling one-point victory in Utah on March 30. Since that game, the Kings have won just once in nine tries, and they haven’t really been in the games at all.
Aside from Isaiah Thomas, Terrence Williams and Marcus Thornton (in spots), the rest of the Kings took a vacation against the Thunder. DeMarcus Cousins kept beating his head against a wall, continually challenging the Oklahoma City’s stout interior defense with no results. Tyreke Evans was taken out of the game with two fouls early on, and his return became unnecessary. OKC led by 19 at the half, and Sacramento seemed content to ride out the game without making a run at the lead.
The two bright spots, Thomas and Williams, have proven that they’ll bring the effort regardless of the outcome. Thomas scored a team-high 21 points, finding his perimeter stroke while committing no turnovers. Williams was the only player worth watching in the second half. T-Will continues to shine, contributing across the board and even showcasing a midrange game that could make him a viable candidate for an extension this summer. His tenacity on the boards and willingness to pass was again on display against the Thunder.
So where do the Kings go from here? Six games remain with the team sitting at 19-41. Sacramento has already started giving more minutes to its younger players — even Tyler Honeycutt got 18 minutes against OKC, posting two points, four boards and three dimes.
But aside from watching young players get run, it is becoming a somewhat depressing time for Kings fans. The future is suddenly a mystery, yet again. (If you missed Bryan’s pieces about the Maloofs today, do yourself a favor and check them out here and here.) Good feelings surrounding the team, created by a motivated young roster and secure future in a shiny new arena, have been quickly erased, leaving just an all-around crappy feeling for us Kings fans. And results like the one seen in OKC could be the norm for the rest of the year — outside of a home matchup with Charlotte, the Kings remaining schedule is peppered with tough opponents.
I guess we’ll just count our ping pong balls and pray the Maloofs get run out of town. And they can take that hack Jim Gray with them, too.