At some point, the Sacramento Kings are going to show up in the Orlando bubble. Or maybe they won’t.
After a tough loss on Friday to open the eight-game seeding tournament, the Kings were absolutely embarrassed on Sunday by the Orlando Magic by a final of 132-116.
Aaron Gordon cut through the Kings’ defense for easy buckets. Terrence Ross lit Sacramento up from behind the arc. Markelle Fultz caught fire from the mid-range and Nikola Vucevic destroyed the Kings around the rim and then from the outside.
THe Kings looked stunned, disconnected and frustrated throughout the game, but specifically in the first half when they gave up 78 points to the Magic and allowed them to shoot 68.2 percent from the floor.
Here are three takeaways as the Kings drop their second straight game of the restart and fall to 28-38 on the season.
The Kings seem to have left their defense back in Sacramento. Orlando ran circles around the Kings from the opening tip, putting on a clinic.
Coach Luke Walton’s squad has struggled to slow shooters on the perimeter throughout the scrimmage schedule and again in the opener. It was worse after a day of film study.
The Magic’s scorers took turns abusing the Kings. Orlando shot 18-of-36 from 3-point range and 52.4 percent overall.
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30 team audition
Harry Giles is an unrestricted free agent after the season and he has a golden opportunity to show what he can do in the Orlando restart.
With his teammates playing lethargic and completely out of sync, Giles brought energy and showed some pride. He finished the game with a career-high 23 points on 9-of-11 shooting to go with eight rebounds.
Giles was one of the few healthy bigs during training camp. He seems to have a rhythm and at this point, Walton might need to make a change in the starting lineup if he has any chance of snapping his team out of their funk.
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Where is the heart?
Losing is one thing, but not showing up is another. The Kings looked lost early and they allowed one Orlando player after another to get hot. The game was over by halftime and in the third quarter it got even worse.
The Kings talked a lot coming into the seeding tournament about how ready they were for the challenge ahead. They’ve now dropped two of the easiest games on their schedule and it only gets more difficult from here.
Digging out of the hole they’ve created isn’t impossible, but this team looks completely lost and out of sync at this point. The effort and energy have to improve or it’s only going to get worse.