Photo: Darren Hauck AP Photo
by Charlie O. Mallonee
Kings still without a win on road trip
The Sacramento Kings were never in the game on Saturday night in Milwaukee as the Bucks turned the game into a “laugher” by leading by as many as 31 points in the contest and never allowing Sacramento to have the lead in the game.
The Bucks were led by the play of “the Greek Freak” Giannis Antetokounmpo who scored 17 points, grabbed eight rebounds, dished out eight assists, made four steals and added one blocked shot in just 25 minutes on the floor against Sacramento. Antetokounmpo seized control from the beginning of the game and the Kings seemed powerless to stop him.
The other unstoppable Milwaukee player on Saturday night was 3-point shooting specialist Mirza Teletovic who scored 22 points going 7-for-9 from 3-point range. He did not attempt a two-point shot in the game. The Kings seemed unable to find a way to put a body on Teletovic to shut him down from long range.
Garrett Temple was the Kings leading scorer coming off the bench to put up 19 points in 28 minutes on the floor. He went 7-for-10 from the floor including going 5-for-6 from 3-point range to lead the Kings attack.
Milwaukee shoots 50-percent from the floor
It is almost impossible to win a NBA game when you let your opponent shoot 50-percent from the field. The Kings allowed the Bucks to shoot 50-percent (41-for-82) from the floor on Saturday night. The Bucks were able to connect on 14-of-33 (42.4-percent) 3-point shots. There is no way to sugarcoat the analysis of those results. The Kings played very poor defense on Saturday night.
The Bucks played aggressive defense and the Kings shot poorly. Sacramento shot just 39.3-percent (33-for-84) in the game. A NBA team is not going to win a game shooting under 40-percent in a contest. The one bright spot for the Kings shooting game was their 3-point shooting percentage which was 35.7 (10-for-28). They would take that 3-point percentage as an average every night if they could.
Fast break points killed the Kings
The Milwaukee Bucks scored 26 points off the fast break on Saturday night. The Kings scored one point off the fast break. No that is not a typographical error. Sacramento only scored one point off the fast break in the game. That is a concern because that is a symptom of a team that is giving up.
Young Kings get a chance to play in garbage time
Rookie forward Skal Labissiere out of Kentucky got the opportunity play his first minutes in a NBA regular season game on Saturday night. He played 15 minutes and scored eight points and hauled three rebounds in his NBA debut.
Rookie guard Malachi Richardso also made his NBA debut on Saturday night. He played six minutes and scored three points shooting 1-for-3 from the floor.
Not to be outdone, the Kings had their own Greek professional player make an appearance on Saturday night. Georgios Papgiannis made his NBA debut playing six minutes, scoring two points and picking up three personal fouls.
For all three young men, they are minutes in their lives that will never be forgotten.
What Joerger had to say after the game
Kings head coach Dave Joerger looked tired and frustrated after the game. He talked about:
- the need to stay positive
- the team has to stay together
- the team knows they are better than this
- it’s a tough time that they just have to work through
- the players cannot put their heads down
- using the rookies was nothing more than giving a rest to the vets in a blowout game
It does not get easier on Sunday
The Kings left Milwaukee after the game for Toronto where they will play the Raptors on Sunday at 3:00 PM PST/6:00 PM EST in Toronto. The Raptors are 4-1 on the season and are led by the red hot guard DeMar Rozan who has scored 30 or more points in each of his team’s first five games.
Toronto has won three consecutive games. The Kings have lost four games in a row and are 0-4 on their five-game road trip which ends in Ontario on Sunday.
The Kings were without forward Rudy Gay on Saturday in Milwaukee due to a rib cartilage strain. There is no word on his status for Sunday in Toronto. Forward Antony Tolliver also missed the Bucks game due to a knee problem.
Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight.com projects the Kings have a 13-percent chance to win the game on Sunday. They say take the Raptors minus 11.5 points.