Post-Game Notes (11/28): Sacramento Kings Fall To Golden State Warriors


Despite the Sacramento Kings shooting 20 more shot attempts than the Golden State Warriors, it still did not give the purple and white enough points to win last night’s game. In all aspects of the game the Warriors outplayed the Kings, as a result Sacramento losing 120-101. The Kings now fall to a record of 6-12 for the season.

For the Warriors they keep showing the league that their championship from last season was no fluke, as they won their 18th straight (22nd if counting last season) regular season game.

Last night the Warriors continued to do what they have been doing all year long, which is shooting the ball effectively (16/30 from perimeter) and playing stout defense. Notable players for the Warriors were Stephen Curry (of course) with 19 points and 6 assists and Draymond Green recording his second straight triple double (13 points/11 rebounds/12 assists) for the season.

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For Kings however, things were not so sunny and cheerful. Last night’s game was the third consecutive game (8 total) where big man DeMarcus Cousins was sidelined (back injury), and his absence definitely impacted how Sacramento played. Without Cousins, the Kings now fall to 1-7 for the season.

The biggest negative taken from this game is not only that the Kings continue to struggle without Cousins, but more specifically WHO struggles without the All-Star big. In this case, the player is Rudy Gay.

In the 8 games that Cousins has been sidelined Gay has averaged 17 points and has shot 38.6% from the floor (53/137). In most cases when Cousins is unable to play, the level of efficiency for Gay decreases, and if the Kings have their two top scorers either not playing or playing poorly then the Kings chances of winning games are improbable.

Rudy has the talent to be the second option on the Kings, but has not fulfilled the role this season so far. One of the attributes that a good second option must have is being able to step up and play big for his team if their number one option (Cousins) is unable to play. Rudy has shown to be that guy in his performance against the Milwaukee Bucks (scoring 36 points), but in most cases he has struggled without the presence of Cousins.

One of the biggest (only) positive that Kings fans can take away from last night was that Seth Curry excelled when on the court. Although it was garbage time, Curry continues to add on to the campaign of him receiving more and consistent playing time going forward into the season. In last night’s game, Curry was able to tally up 9 points, shooting ¾ from the court and 3/3 from the perimeter.

Curry has shown throughout this season that he is reliable in putting the ball in the bucket from long range consistently, which raises the question why he hasn’t had more playing time prior to last night. Based on intuition, it seems that Curry’s defense is the only part of his game that is holding him back, and if that is the case that’s not a good enough reason.

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Honestly, the Kings are struggling mightily on the defensive end as it is, and specifically the players in Curry’s position aren’t doing well defensively like Ben McLemore with a defensive rating of 108.5 and Marco Belinelli 106.4 (per NBA Stats). So if Curry were to gain more playing, how much worse can the Kings defense get?

This isn’t an argument saying Curry should start, or even play significant time, but having him come in and giving the team a potential spark offensively should be something the team should consider going forward.

Overall the Warriors played well, the Kings played bad, as a result the Kings got blown out in Oracle Arena. Through this game the two main concerns were that Rudy Gay has not been the second option this season that the Kings expect him to be and that Seth Curry (shooting 77.8% from perimeter) has done enough to receive more playing time from George Karl.

Next: What Its Like To Be A Kings Fan

The next game the Sacramento Kings have will be back in Sleep Train Arena against a competitive Dallas Mavericks squad Monday night. It will be the first time Rajon Rondo will face his former squad since departing last offseason.