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Nets look to get into playoffs, keep Kings out

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Sacramento Kings Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

Nothing like a good ole ass whooping to put things in perspective. Fresh off a wonderful win against the Milwaukee Bucks, the Brooklyn Nets went into Wednesday’s game hoping to put another good win on the board. Unfortunately for them, the Boston Celtics didn’t get the memo and promptly proceeded to dismantle the Nets by 34 points. Eek.

The opponent today will be the Sacramento Kings. Sacramento is on the outside looking in of the playoff picture, but with a lot of help, they might be able to sneak into the ninth seed and trigger a play-in game. They helped their cause immensely by beating the New Orleans Pelicans yesterday afternoon, scoring 140 points.

A Nets win over the Kings at 5:00 or a Wizards loss to the Pelicans two hours later and Brooklyn will be in the playoffs for the second straight year and five times in the eight years they’ve been in Brooklyn.

Where to follow the game

This one’s gonna be tricky. If you’ve got DirecTV, YES2 will be where you go. If you don’t, your best bet is the Fox Sports Go app or Hulu Live. Otherwise, here’s the details of where to watch.

WFAN 101.9 FM is on the radio. Tip off after 5 PM.


Jamal Crawford (hamstring) is out. Jarrett Allen (left ankle sprain) and Joe Harris (eft groin contusion) are available.

Marvin Bagley is out for the season with a foot injury.

The game

Y’all wanna feel sad? Let my man Seth Rosenthal walk you through the past few years of misery for the Kings:


Going into the year, a lot of us thought Luke Walton would jumpstart the Kings and help them move up a level in the order of the Western Conference. It hasn’t worked out like that, and it’s fair to wonder what Walton brings to the table. Over at Sactown Royalty, Jas Kang noted one problem with Walton:

One of the things Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was great at was setting up plays that got at least one his players an open look, especially coming out of a timeout. Usually, if their first option was taken away, Kerr had a counter ready. But, Walton just stood there and watched his team’s miserable final possession.

This has been a staple of his head coaching career. His offenses have no creativity or misdirections that require opposing defenders to make a decision.

Through it all, the Kings still have a decent shot of sneaking into the play in game. They’re only 2.5 games behind the injury-riddled eighth seeded Memphis Grizzlies and two games behind ninth seeded Portland. It’s gonna be a fun ride to the finish line in the West.

In the East, the Nets currently hold a half game lead on the Orlando Magic for seventh place. Orlando tips off at 6:30 tonight against the Philadelphia 76ers in a big game for both teams. The two teams will square off next Tuesday and by the end of it, we’ll likely have two playoff matchups set in stone.

In the WNBA, Minnesota Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve talked about the grueling schedule players have in the bubble (or wubble, in the W’s case). It hasn’t gotten as much discussion in the NBA, but the same applies. Granted with COVID-mania running wild all over Florida everyone’s trying to squeeze games in before disaster strikes, but it’s definitely something to keep an eye on the deeper we go.

Speaking of that, after getting the Bucks game off, Jarrett Allen, Caris Levert, and Joe Harris were back in action on Wednesday against Boston. Whether the Nets either draw the Milwaukee Bucks or Toronto Raptors in the first round, Jacque Vaughn will need his guys to be at full strength.


Player to watch: DeAaron Fox

Fox is arguably the best thing about the Kings these days. The former Wildcat is arguably the faster player in basketball and as he’s gained more experience has gained more responsibilities as well. His usage rate has gone up each season he’s been in the league and along with that, his turnovers have gone down at the same time. Since coming into the bubble, he’s stepped his game up a great deal and has averaged 27 points and seven assists a night. He’s most effective penetrating the defense and getting to the basket, which is going to put a lot of pressure on the Nets’ rim protectors.

The Nets point guard collective of Chris Chiozza, Tyler Johnson, and and Jeremih Martin have held things down for the squad. Our guy Matt Brooks has a great breakdown of all three here. As the Nets keep on keeping on, solid PG play will lessen the ballhandling responsibilities of Levert and open things up for everybody else on the team.

From the Vault

Yesterday was David Robinson’s birthday, so let’s watch him pick on the Kings to celebrate!

More reading: Sactown Royalty