The Sacramento Kings were handed,in my opinion,their worst loss in I’d say a decade Wednesday night to the Philadelphia 76ers 110-105 in front of a disappointed and salty crowd at Sleep Train Arena with yours truly in attendance. Philadelphia netted its third win on the year.
If it wasn’t bad enough that this team is up and down as far as their play and their attitudes, they seemed to lack any intensity when it came to their performance on the court. They looked flat,sloppy,and soft and honestly took a 76ers team who was hungry for an upset lightly.
“We’ve taken a lot of hits, and if there is such a thing as deserving to win, they deserve to win,” 76ers coach Brett Brown said. “They put in the work, they don’t blink. They stay together. I’m proud of them.”
Brown’s right,they did put in the work. Philadelphia shot 42.6 percent from the floor and made nine three-point shots and had 53 rebounds. The Kings weren’t as great, they shot 61-percent from the free throw line and had 22 turnovers and it was one of your reserves leading the team in scoring that night (Marco Belinelli,28 points). They also showed a lack of defense when they needed to and had to play it,specifically at the arc. If there’s one skill they’ve lacked all season,it’s playing defense there. The 76ers played very good defense at the three-point line in that game,the Kings were basically spectators whenever a 76er was open for a three.
“I feel we dropped the ball tonight,” Kings center DeMarcus Cousins said. “Turnovers killed us, paint points killed us. I don’t think the defense was where it needed to be. That’s a young, hungry team, man. They just outplayed us, straight up.”
Following the game’s end, the team was showered with boos from Kings fans,including me. I thought about exiting early,but I thought I’d let these guys know how I felt about the way they played that night and honestly,you can’t blame me or anyone else in attendance for doing so. They honestly didn’t get their money’s worth when it came to seeing a competitive,passionate product on the floor.
I don’t know whether it’s George Karl not getting through to the team or if the team is picking up on the vibe that Karl doesn’t really have to be here or if there’s a continuous losing culture that the organization has yet to shake, but this team isn’t playing with a lot of passion to win. The 76ers,they showed that, a lot of that. I’m not saying the Kings need to look to a 3-31 team to see what kind of passion a team plays with, but I’d like to see the hunger and fervor that the 76ers have. When you have that, you’re going to start believing in yourselves and each other and the wins will come and the belief that you can win any game anywhere will be following alongside that.
The loss to Philadelphia needs to serve as a wake-up call to the team. Up next is a Phoenix team who is not playing well and has turmoil in the organization. This is a game they need to jump on and will maybe unite them and finally get them on the right track.