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  • NBA MVP LeBron finally hits LA After years of wooing King James the Lakers got their man. Now can they build a team around him. Photo by Eric Taylor/1st String Magazine
  • The good life GSW repeated as NBA champs. Now it is time for some fun in the sun enjoying their summer vacations. Photo by Eric Taylor/1st String Magazine
  • NBA What's up with Khawi He does not want to stay in San Antonio and just about everybody wants him, but will the Spurs let him go ? Photo by Greg Ashmen
  • 3pt ace out with sore back Harden looking more James harden has his MVP now he wants players that can help him win a NBA title. Photo by Eric Taylor/1st String Magazine
  • The NBA is truly a globial game OKC is hitting heir stride The Thunder are starting to show teams just how good they can be after a slow start to the 2017-18 NBA season. Photo by Eric Taylor/1st String Magazine

 

 

Now it's down to business

 

You can feel it while watching a game on TV. Thanks to cable you don't have to travel around the country attending games. Just pay your cable bill and pick up the remote to watch your favorite team or player.

Who has not overlooked the Toronto Raptors. They boost the best record in the Eastern Conference, not Boston or Cleveland.

Are DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowery championship worthy ? Of course they think so and they are willing to let their record speak for itself.

Has Cleveland gotten back to elite status in the NBA. The Cav's are just third in the Eastern Conference behind Toronto and Boston. All seems well in the "Land".

Cleveland blew out the C's shortly after remaking their team with a couple of draft day deals and they followed that up by beating a hot Oklahoma City team.

In the three games since the All Star break the Cav's are a ho hum 2-3, but LeBron is happy he has a young team capable of running up and down the court all game.

It remains to be seen if that will translate into winning playoff series and playing for a NBA Title for the 4th year in a row.

 

Sacramento Kings give home fans a holiday treat, beat Cav's move outta last place

Photo by Genome Wright

Photo by Gerome Wright/1st String Magazine

Vince Carter turned back the hands of time. Maybe it was King James and Cleveland hitting town or Christmas or what ever, but the 40-yer old Carter played like he was 25.

Well sort of. A 25-yeasr old Vince would have posterized a couple of Cav's with high flying dunks.

The 40-year old Vince Carter came off the bench to score a season high 24pts in the win.

That helped off set a triple double (16pts, 10-boards & 14-assits) from LeBron James.

Sacramento has played almost .500 basketball (6-7) in December after a horrific start to the season (5-15). The Kings are winning a game here. Losing two in a row there but come back and win a pair again.

Forward Zach Randolph has been a big reason. He can score just enough to take the heat off the younger players who can go find their shots as the game goes on.

Up next are two teams with similar records to the Kings (12-22). Phoenix (13-23) Dec 29th and Memphis (11-24) Dec. 31st are winnable games and Sacramento would love to close out 2017 on a winning note.

If Sac can beat the Suns hey would move ahead of Phoenix in the standings. Just a small step, but a step in the right direction.

 

Golden St is getting better game by game

Photo by Eric Taylor

Photo by Gerome Wright/1st String Magazine

The Warrior's are filled with so many interchangeable parts it does not matter who is in the line up or not.

The Warrior's have not missed a beat despite their best players missing time to injury this year.

The back ups have gotten so much playing time they feel like starters.

Patrick McCall has continued to improve. Rookie Jordan Bell has stepped right in with scoring and great defense.

Golden St. is quietly turning into a big team. They have a bunch of 6'9" that can play a lot of different roles which makes the Warrior's play bigger then they are.

Yes it is early to watch the standings, but these games count just ass much as games late in the season. Win now and the games come Feb, March and April mean that much more.

It has been a combo of offense and defense that has help GSW stay atop the standings.

GSW is getting along without the services of Steph Curry who is resting a tweaked ankle. Draymond Green missed a bunch of games before returning in time to notch a triple double on Christmas Day in a win over Cleveland.

 

 

Sac returns home after 3 game road trip

The Kings did not get a victory in their thru Indy, Boston and Detroit. After getting blown out in the first two Sacramento kept things close in the Motor City losing 108-99 to the Pistons.

The Kings rank near the bottom in points scored (29th) and rebounding (29th). There are few stats more important then points scored and rebounding.

If the Kings are going to get out of this hole they have dug for themselves these are two of the biggest fires they have to put out.

Offensive rebounding is pretty much non desistance for the Kings. Hitting the offensive glass is hard, but the good teams do it, make a point of crashing the offensive glass.

About the Kings rebounding woes. A typical offensive postseason from the Kings ends up with somebody taking a long jumper and the other four players (usually standing around the 3pt line) leaning backwards and running away from the offensive glass.

The only player who has a concept of getting an offensive rebound is Willie Cauley-Stein. Nobody else on the Kings roster makes much of an effort on the offensive at all.

Offensive boards give you more chances to score which Sac needs to have happen. Sac has been out rebounded in every game so far this season and their 1-8 record reflects that.

Yes they have a young roster with no set scoring threat. It is hard to win games in the NBA unless you know where you are going to get at least 30 to 50 points from night in and night out.

Sacramento has players who can score a little bit, but we never know who that person is going to be from game to game.

One night it could be Buddy Hield, the next ?. The only consistent scorer has been rookie guard Bogdan Bogdanovic who has shown a nice little offensive game but he is not going to put the Kings on his back and lead team to multiple victories and the playoffs.

Well not yet anyway's.

A brief home stand has Oklahoma City and Philly coming thru Sac Town before the Kings head back on the road for a three game trip that takes them thru New York Washington and Atlanta. More click here

 

Kings fail to produce against Washington

By E Taylor

Photo by Genome Wright

Photo by Eric Taylor/1st String Magazine

Coming into their Sunday match up with Washington the Kings knew they would have the Wizards full attention.

It was evident early that Washington meant business jumping out to a 13-0 lead and they never looked back winning 110-83.

A big day for a pair of rookies soured quickly as John Wall and Co took control defensively allowing the KIngs to score 16pts in the first and second quarters as Washington bolted out to a 63-32 lead at the half.

Bogdan Bogdanovic and De' Aaron Fox got the start in a line up shake up that many have wanted to see because of slow starts by Sacramento. The Kings were also without starting point guard George Hill and Zach Randolph who were rested just six games into the season.

Sacramento won the second half on the score board 51-47 but it was all garbage time in the 3rd and 4th quarters. Bogdanovic had the best game of anybody wearing a Sac uniform going 7 of 9 from the field (15pts) with 4-steals.

Fox had 2pts and five assists making just one of the eight shots he took in the game.

Now 1-5 the Kings have got to start finding ways to win. They have a few close losses this season, but moral victories don't hold much weight in the association.

The Kings allowed the Wizards to make 17 of the 34 three pointers they took while Sac went 6 of 22 from behind the arc and Sacramento has yet to out rebound anybody in a game this year.

You gotta hit the boards to win in the NBA.

John Wall (19pts, 5 of 6 from 3) and Otto Porter (16pts, 3 of 5 from 3) led the way for Washington now 4-2.

Things are not going to get any easier for the Kings who are now off on a quick three game road trip that will take them thru Indy, Boston and Detroit before returning home to face Oklahoma City (Nov. 7th) and Philly (Nov. 9th).

 

Golden St gets their act together in Dallas

By Eric Taylor

It has not been pretty so far in the 2017-18 NBA season for the Warrior's, but at least at times they have looked like the team that has played in the last three NBA Finals.

It is early and they are trying to get the rust out while bring new teammates into the fold.

The Warrior's pulled away from Dallas to win 133-103 Monday night. GSW started out strong against the Mav's putting up 40pts in the first quarter (40-24). Dallas did make a game of it in the second quarter and it was 65-62 at the half.

Steph Curry had 29pts, Kevin Durant scored 25 and Klay Thompson had 21pts. Golden St evened their record at 2-2 while Dallas fell to 0-4.

Thompson sank a pair of 3's that helped Golden St turn a two point game into a 83-68 lead midway thru the 3rd and the Warrior's coasted from there.

Wesley Matthews had 19pts for the Mav's and former Warrior Harrison Barnes scored 13.

 

The Kings fall just short out in the Desert

By Eric Taylor

Sacramento fell to 1-3, 1-2 on their 3-game road trip with a 117-115 loss at Phoenix Monday night. Sac quickly went down 11-2 to start the game and the Suns had as mush as a 22pt first quarter lead before the Kings bench came to the rescue.

Almost.

The marked the debut of guard Bogdan Bogdanovic. He did not let Kings fans down with an entertaining first game in a Sacramento uniform. Bogdanovic finished with 12pts, 2-assists, 2-steals, 3-rebounds and no turnovers.

They did make a game of it with defense, Sac forced 21-to's to just 6 of their own and they had 13-steals against the Suns. Phoenix did out rebound Sac (45-37).

Seven players scored in double figures for Sac with Garret Temple's 23pts leading the way. Temple almost help Sac pull this one out hitting two three's that made it 112-110 Suns with 1:20 to play.

Darron Fox (19pts) scored a bucket to tie the game at 112 with about a minute left.

Phoenix guard Devin Booker answered Temple with a three of his own and hit two late free throws to help salt away the game for the Suns who were playing their first game since head coach Earl Watson was fired three games into the season.

In comes Jay Triano to guide the Suns to their first win of the season. Both teams are 1-3.

The Kings return to the court Thursday when New Orleans comes calling for a prime time match up.

 

Sac opens the 2017-18 season with hard fought loss to Houston

Photo by Genome Wright

Photo by Eric Taylor/1st String Magazine

Sacramento is back at it, this time it was the Houston Rockets and the bearded one, James Harden, who came thru to open up yet another NBA season in Sacramento.

The Rockets were fresh off beating Golden St. the night before.

Sacramento's new look line up was able to keep up with the Rockets and almost come away with a win. Point guard George Hill (16pts) and rookie guard Darron Fox (14pts) played well.

Kings fans were excited to see Fox play and he did not disappoint hitting 7 of the 15-shots he took to go along with 4-rebounds (2-offensive) and 5-assists. Fox (just 19) looked every bit of the high drafted pick that the Kings used on him.

At times it looked like Houston was going to have a easy win, but the new look Kings stayed in the game until the end when a ref's call allowed Houston to keep a buffer between them a Sac coming away with a 105-100 win.

Harden (27pts) tried his best to take over the game midway thru thru 3rd.

He made a trio of deep 3's turning a close game into a 89-79 contest, but Sac battled back to make a game of it. Houston played the game without starting point guard Chris Paul.

The Kings got back to within 3 (98-95) with 25-seconds left in the game and they looked like they forced a turnover off an inbounds pass, but after the ref's went to video replay a foul was called on Hill sending Eric Gordan to the free throw line and the Rockets salted the game away from there.

It was the second home opener in two days that the Rockets wrecked. Not a bad way to start a season, sweeping a back to back set on the road.

Sacramento might have found a few things that can lead to a playoff berth at the end of the season.

Buddy Hield, the main piece of the DeMarcus Cousins deal from a year ago, looks every bit like the scorer that can be consist ant and something the Kings have been lacking for some years now.

A rebounder.

To be more precise, an offensive rebounder. Willie Cauley-Stein looked like he enjoyed rebounding against the Rockets. He had several offensive rebounds finishing the game with 21pts (10 of 15 from the floor), 10-rebounds (4-offensive) and 3-blocks.

When the Kings had the ball it moved around a lot more then in the past and that led to some good looks, but one thing from the past reared it's ugly head. Sac was still taking shots with the other four players hanging around the three point line.

IE, no offensive rebounding presence. Sacramento did win the battle of the boards 33-32 despite giving up 17-boards to Rockets center Clint Capela, but they were out rebounded on the offensive glass 12-9.

Capela had five of those.

New comers Zach Randolph (did not play) but Vince Carter did scoring 6pts with 2-assists in 14-minutes.

Sacramento will now embark on a three game road trip before returning to Sac for a date with hirer old pal DeMarcus Cousin's and his running mate Anthony Davis plus the rest of New Orleans Oct. 26th. More click here

 

New look Kings off and running in the Capitol City

Photo by Eric Taylor

Photo by Eric Taylor/1st String Magazine

The Sacramento Kings opened their pre season schedule beating the San Antonio Spurs 106-100 at home.

Rookie point guard Darron Fox looked good bring a lot of energy to the team when he hit the floor.

The Kings broke out a starting lineup that featured George Hill at the point with Vince Carter and Zach Randolph on the floor, defensive and under rated Garrett Temple at the 2 and Kosta Koufos at center.

Sac has plenty of young players on it's roster. They can be the future of the team if coached right.

Head coach ..... knows these youngsters need some kind of veteran guidance. Sac can put a very fast lineup on the court if they want to. They showed that in the second half against the Spurs..

Buddy Hield (12pts), Skal Labissiere (15pts), Willie Cauley-Stein (7pts) and Fox (16pts) pushed the pace against San Antonio creating good scoring opportunities while they were on the court.

If the Kings are going to get back into the playoff mix they have to get tougher on D and hit the boards harder. The Kings ranked 28th in rebounding in the NBA last year.

Zach should help that and if Sacramento can get some production out of their young guard, Bogdan Bogdanovic the Kings could climb up into a playoff spot.

As bad as they Kings have been the bottom half the Western Conference has been almost as bad. Sac has stayed in the playoff race the past few years way longer then they should have.

A couple of wins here and there and the 8th and even 7th spots could be in reach for the Kings. More click here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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