By Charlie O. Mallonee
There are three tiers of teams in the NBA. Tier One is comprised of teams that are shoo-ins for the playoffs and one of those teams will eventually be the NBA Champion. Tier Two is made up teams that will make slots 6-8 in the playoffs and teams that will “just miss the playoffs by a game or two.” Tier Three is populated by teams that will participate in next year’s Draft Lottery without a doubt.
On Sunday in Milwaukee, the Kings faced an Eastern Conference Tier One team in the Bucks. The Kings are trying to become a Western Conference Tier Two team and are off to a good start having won five games in a row.
The Bucks did not take the Kings lightly
The Kings jumped out to an early 14-7 lead, but the Bucks were not going to have it. With 6:03 remaining in the first quarter, Milwaukee took a 17-15 lead and they would never trail again in the contest.
At the end of the first quarter, Milwaukee held a 39-30 lead. The Kings would not win a quarter in the game.
The Kings simply ran into a team with more talent than they have on Sunday. That is going often this season. This edition of the Sacramento Kings (6-4) is more talented than they have been in many seasons. They are fast, enthusiastic and positive. All indications are that this will be a very enjoyable season, but the Kings are still a Tier Three team that is trying to make the jump into Tier Two.
Kings have a surprise leading scorer
Justin Jackson came off the bench to score 22 points in just under 25 minutes of playing time on Sunday. Jackson who has been having trouble shooting from the floor shot 9-for-12 overall for the game. He made 4-of-7 from 3-point land. The Kings have been struggling at small forward and Jackson’s performance versus the Bucks had to make coach Dave Joerger very happy.
Top SAC performers
- Buddy Hield: 19 points, 4 rebounds, 8-for-15 shooting (2/5 3-pointers)
- De’Aaron Fox: 15 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 6-for-14 shooting
- Two-way player Troy Williams: 11 points in 15-plus minutes on the floor
- Marvin Bagley III: 11 points, 6 rebounds, 1 blocked shot
- Also seen on the floor for Sacramento: Harry Giles III (4 points) and Skal Labissiere (2 points)
Kings Team Numbers
- Field Goal Shooting: 44.2% (42/95)
- 3-pt Shooting: 38.9% (14/36)
- Free Throw Shooting: 50.0% (11/22)
- Rebounds: 44 (8 offense)
- Assists: 24
- Turnovers: 15 (21 points)
- Steals: 6
- Blocked Shots: 4
Key Milwaukee (8-1) Performances
- “The Greek Freak” Antetokounmpo: Triple-double: 26 pts/15 reb/11 ast
- Eric Bledsoe: 17 points, 6 rebounds
- Ersan IIyasova: 15 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists
- Nine players in double-figures
- 56 team rebounds
- 30 assists
- 7 blocked shots
- 6 steals
It’s back home for the Kings
The Kings returned to Sacramento after the game and will be off until Wednesday night when they will host the powerful Toronto Raptors (8-1) at the Golden 1 Center. The Kings next four games will be played on their home court.