The injury bug has been ever-present for the Sacramento Kings this season, and the frustration with it is starting to boil over.
The Sacramento Kings lost to the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night, their 10th defeat in their last 13 games. But Sacramento is no longer losing because of their ineptitude. Well, maybe they are. But the laundry list of players on the injury report before and after the game has undoubtedly played a part in the team’s lack of success this season.
During the locker room interviews after the game, Buddy Hield expressed his and the team’s chagrin regarding all of the ailments.
The names on the pre-game injury report would likely make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference if they were a starting lineup: Richaun Holmes, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Cory Joseph, Nemanja Bjelica, and Marvin Bagley were all questionable at one point.
Only Joseph and Bjelica would play against the Bucks, and the list would grow during the game.
With about three minutes left in the fourth quarter and the Kings down by 14, Harrison Barnes‘ leg collided with that of Khris Middleton, apparently banging knees together. Barnes hobbled off of the court and on to the bench, clutching at his left leg the entire way. If Barnes is to miss any time, especially at a position that is arguably their thinnest, you can essentially write this Kings’ season off. This team is not going to the playoffs in the Western Conference with Trevor Ariza starting at small forward.
Behind The Numbers
The injury numbers are simply staggering for Sacramento. The only time that they have started a game completely healthy was the season opener. Marvin Bagley was injured in the waning minutes of that contest and missed the following 23 games. After his current foot injury, Bagley’s games played total for this season is 9.
Bogdanovic has now missed 9 games on the year, and the Kings are 2-7 when he is out of the lineup. Richaun Holmes has been the team MVP for the first half of the season, and is now dealing with a shoulder issue that has caused him to miss the last two games. And we haven’t even gotten to the franchise centerpiece yet.
De’Aaron Fox has played in just 21 of a possible 39 games after dealing with various injuries, which has been the roughest on the Kings. Yes, they were playing well while he was out and have struggled since his return. But much of those struggles have to do with re-integrating Fox’s speed and pace into an offense that got used to playing without him.
While no NBA teams will be mathematically eliminated in the near future, the Kings might be one of the first ones there if injuries persist as they have over the first half of the season.