After loss to Nuggets, it's clear Kings need to fix problem on the glass

After loss to Nuggets, it's clear Kings need to fix problem on the glass

SACRAMENTO -- Light in the rear. It’s a term the Sacramento Kings coaching staff has used since the beginning of training camp to describe the bigs on the roster. On Monday night at Golden 1 Center, the team’s lack of strength inside was on full display as the Denver Nuggets crushed them on the glass.

“I think we’re 29th in the league for rebounding, so that’s a little bit of our makeup of how our team is made,” Dave Joerger said following the Kings’ 114-98 loss.

Joerger is close in his assessment, but off by a few spots. His roster ranks 26th in the league in rebounding overall and 28th on the defensive side of the ball. It’s become an achilles heel for a team that has a few glaring weaknesses.

“When Willie (Cauley-Stein) and Kosta (Koufos) aren’t in there to snag every rebound, we have to get in there and help Zach (Randolph) and help Skal (Labissiere),” veteran Garrett Temple said. “Skal’s a little undersized in terms of weight and Z-Bo will put his body on people, but some people might be able to out jump him.”

On a normal night, Temple is right. Randolph and Labissiere struggle to put up big numbers on the glass. But against the Nuggets, it was Koufos and Cauley-Stein that combined to grab nine rebounds in 51 total minutes of action.

Randolph and Labissiere didn’t fair much better, finishing with 10 boards between the two of them in 38 minutes with the starters. Between the Kings’ four bigs, they were out rebounded by the Nuggets bigs by a final of 34-19.

The Nuggets came into the night a top 10 rebounding team overall and the second best offensive rebounding team in the NBA at 11.8 per game.

It’s not just the bigs that struggled to grab boards for Sacramento. Without Buddy Hield, the club’s best rebounding wing, the Kings’ were dominated 49-34 overall in rebounding, including 14-5 on the offensive glass.

“The first shot, it’s a good contest, we did everything right, except get the rebound,” rookie point guard De’Aaron Fox said. “And then they get an open shot off a second chance shot. If we can complete a lot of plays with the rebound, we’ll be okay.”

To Fox’s point, the defensive possession doesn’t end until the rebound is secured. Sacramento was outscored 19-6 on second chance points. In a 16-point game, those numbers loom large.

“Us guards, we know we have to help our bigs,” Fox said. “We know our bigs are athletic. We know they do what they do, at the end of the day, other team’s guards are helping their bigs rebound and their bigs aren’t alone.”

Outside of the four bigs, none of the other seven players to see action had more than three rebounds. It’s an issue that has to be addressed as the Kings move forward.

“There are some instances that really bothered me,” Joerger said. “We had some guys leaking out, standing at half court and that I won’t have.”

The Kings have a day of practice on Tuesday to try and sure up some of their issues. Some of the problems stem from inexperience, but some of the issue comes down to energy and effort.

It doesn’t even get easier on Wednesday. The Los Angeles Lakers rank second in the league in rebounding at 47.5 boards per game. On the plus side, they also give up the 28th most rebounds in the league.

De'Aaron Fox and the Kings seek revenge on the Hawks in Sacramento


De'Aaron Fox and the Kings seek revenge on the Hawks in Sacramento

SACRAMENTO -- The countdown has begun. The Sacramento Kings host the Atlanta Hawks Thursday evening in game 73 of the regular season. With just 10 games remaining on the schedule, the Kings are in full evaluation mode.

Sacramento is coming off a sub-par showing against the Detroit Pistons. Buddy Hield posted his fourth straight 20-point game and De’Aaron Fox added 16 points on 8-of-11 shooting, but the Kings lost by 16.

The Hawks sit at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, but they are coming off a shocking win over the Utah Jazz on Tuesday. Dennis Schroder dropped in a season-high 41 points to help Atlanta snap their six-game losing streak.


Kings by 1.5


De’Aaron Fox vs. Dennis Schroder --  Fox is one of the fastest players in the league, but Schroder is no slouch. The Kings’ rookie point guard played sparingly the last time these two teams faced off, but it’s his show now in Sacramento. Schroder is coming off a big performance in the Hawks win over the Jazz on Tuesday. He plays with a force that Fox hasn’t quite figured out yet. It’s speed vs. speed. 


Kings: 23-49, fourth place in Pacific

Hawks: 21-50, fifth place in Southeast


Kings: SG Bogdan Bogdanovic (sore hamstring) probable, SG/SF Garrett Temple (ankle sprain) out, PF Zach Randolph (gastroenteritis) questionable, SF Iman Shumpert (knee/plantar fasciitis) out, PF Harry Giles (bilateral knee rehab) out for the season.

Hawks: SG Kent Bazemore (knee) out, SF DeAndre’ Bembry (abdominal strain) out, PF John Collins (ankle) out, G Jaylen Morris (ankle) out, G Antonius Cleveland (ankle) out, G Malcolm Delaney (ankle) out.


Ten Games to Make a Lasting Impression -- The Kings’ young core is getting an opportunity to show what they have. A couple of players are jumping off the page in the post All-Star break schedule and a few are fading. The team is evaluating what they have and what they need for the upcoming summer.  

Play Hard -- Atlanta lacks talent, but they don’t lack heart. Mike Budenholzer teams come to play, which Utah just found out the hard way. The Kings had an active practice on Wednesday. Hopefully that carries over to Thursday night’s game. 

Revenge Game -- Dave Joerger’s group got their lunch money stolen the last time they faced the Hawks. The 46-point drubbing was the worst loss of the year for Sacramento. Atlanta comes in short-handed and with a 21-50 record, but they are still capable. The Kings need show up and get a little payback.  


Atlanta torched the Kings in their early season matchup, running over the Kings for a 126-80 win at Philips Arena. The Hawks hold a 159-154 advantage all-time over the the Kings and lead the series 43-18 during the Sacramento-era.

Vince Carter 'very humbled' to pass Patrick Ewing on all-time scoring list

Vince Carter 'very humbled' to pass Patrick Ewing on all-time scoring list

SACRAMENTO -- Half man, half amazing. Vincanity. Air-Canada. V.C.

Vince Carter has plenty of nicknames on his bio. He also has plenty of achievements over his long NBA career. On Monday night in Sacramento, he added a new one.  

With his seven point performance in the Kings’ 106-90 loss to the Detroit Pistons, the 41-year-old forward surpassed a former teammate on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.

“It means a lot, because in my days in Orlando, I played with Pat Ewing and know him very well,” Carter said following the game.

Carter came into the night needing five points to tie Ewing’s 24,815 mark for 22nd place on the all-time scoring list.

In the early second quarter, Carter stole a pass from Andre Drummond at the top of the key  and flew down for a breakaway jam to move within three points of Ewing.

“It’s fun for everyone, just to show I can still do it,” Carter said of the dunk. “I think I’ve proven I can, but it’s still fun. I told James Ennis on the way, I said, ‘stay back, don’t foul me.’”

Ennis likely couldn’t have caught Carter either way, but the slam got the Kings crowd going.

At the 4:12 mark of the second, Carter drilled a 12-footer to move within one point of Ewing and with 29.5 seconds remaining in the third, Carter knocked down a 26-foot 3-pointer that rattled around and tried to spin out.

That was the last bucket of the evening for Carter, giving him 24,817 for his 20-year career. He now sits alone in 22nd place, two points ahead of the former New York Knicks star center.

“That’s crazy,” 20-year-old De’Aaron Fox said. “That’s a lot of buckets. Top-25, that’s huge - a lot of guys won’t get close to that.”

Carter now sits just 375 points behind legendary Laker, Jerry West for 21st place and 462 shy of Reggie Miller for a spot in the top 20.

“When you talk about (being) in the top 25 in scoring all-time, you just look at the list of the greats and elite players and the best of the best that still play, and to be in that group, I’m very humbled and thankful for it,” Carter told the media scrum surrounding his locker.

Carter was away from the team over the weekend dealing with a death in the family. He returned to Sacramento to play on Monday, but did so with a heavy heart.

For most of his life, the basketball court has been his place to escape. After two decades as a pro, it still has that effect.

“I just still love it, it’s been great to me, it gives me an opportunity to be around the younger generation and still be around the game I love and accomplish things like this,” Carter said.

He’s played sparingly for Sacramento this season, but his impact on the bench, in practice and behind the scenes as a leader and mentor to the young Kings has been immeasurable.

Carter hasn’t committed to retiring following the season. He will weigh his options, but there is a possibly he will look for one last run at an NBA championship.