I don’t know how much stock we should put into the Sacramento Kings 112-85 loss to the San Antonio spurs from Wednesday night. It was a blowout, but as we’ve mentioned a few times this week, it was on the second night of a brutal back-to-back. Can we chalk it up to tired legs against the defending champions on their home court? Maybe? It’s certainly less depressing to look at it that way.
Kareem Gantt has your full recap here.
You can only learn so much from a loss like that, but I thought one solid takeaway was that for the second straight game, Nik Stauskas was part of George Karl’s regular rotation. He wasn’t as effective in this game as he was in the Knick win, but he wasn’t bad; 7 points in 18 minutes on .500 shooting. That’s passable. That’s enough to keep you in the mix.
I hope Karl sticks with him. The sooner the Kings find out what they have in Stauskas, the better off they’ll be. It’s extremely hard to track a player’s progress when they don’t see any in-game action.
My one piece of advice for Stauskas, and it’s something that you could have said at any point this season, is to shoot the ball. Despite his poor shooting numbers, I know he can shoot. He knows he can shoot. The team knows he can shoot. And yet, he’s still passing up too many open jumpers. I can appreciate why he’s passing them up. He’s trying to make the best possible play, and he isn’t a selfish player, but shooting when you’re open is the best way you can help the team in that scenario.
The Kings are in Orlando tonight to take on the James Borrego-led Magic.
There was a small stretch of games earlier it the season where I thought the Magic had a legitimate shot at making the playoffs in the incredibly weak Eastern Conference. That ship has probably sailed at this point, but I still love the core of that team.
The Magic defeated the Kings 105-96 in early December when Jacque Vaughn was still the head coach. They Magic fired Vaughn a few weeks ago, and named James Borrego the head coach for the rest of the season. Sound familiar?
The Magic are 4-6 under Borrego, and that sounds kind of respectable considering their record under Vaughn, but a closer look at that 4-6 record shows wins over the Lakers, Knicks, and 76ers. Not exactly murderers’ row.
I probably respect the talent on this Magic roster more than most. I love Elfrid Payton and Aaron Gordon. Those were two of the players on my short list of guys I thought the Kings should consider in last years draft. Victor Oladipo, Nikola Vucevic, and Tobias Harris are all developing wonderfully, and none of them are older than 24. Did I mention how much I like the young talent in Orlando yet?
Is this a game the Kings should win? That’s tough. I’m leaning towards ‘probably’. But at the very least, they should be able to keep this one competitive.
Sacramento Kings vs. Orlando Magic
Where: Amway Center – Orlando, FL
When: 4:00 PM Pacific, 7:00 PM Eastern
Broadcast: Comcast Sportsnet California
Radio: KHTK Sports 1140 AM
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