Around the Association: Kings Blast Nets, Surprise, Surprise; Ben Simmons' Passion in Question, Hollinger's Panic Meter, More

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Around the Association: Kings Blast Nets, Surprise, Surprise; Ben Simmons’ Passion in Question, Hollinger’s Panic Meter, More

Chicago Bulls

So, TNT — searching for some extra Nets games after Kevin Durant rescinded his trade request — begrudgingly picked the Kings-Nets game in Sacramento … and the Kings blew the doors off the Nets on national television, and I love everything about this story.

TNT Kings?

Folks around here are familiar with the ‘TNT Bulls,’ but how about the ‘TNT Kings?’ Playing in their first home game on the Turner Network’s staple cable channel since 2018, the Kings hosted the dysfunctional Brooklyn Nets and blew them out by 22 points. The Kings only got the TNT home game because the network needed to add more Nets games, but they made the most of it, scoring 153 points and leading the Nets by as many as 39 points.

The Kings are 7-2 in their last nine games — with their last four wins coming against the Nets, Warriors, Lakers, and Cavaliers — and trail only the Celtics in offensive rating this season. Sacramento looks like a team heading in the right direction.

The Kings playing a solid stretch of basketball the last two weeks brings back memories of this memorable era of Kings basketball:

Terrance David led all scorers in this one with 31 points, nine rebounds, four assists, and three steals.

“153 (points). I … I … I’ve never seen this,” Terence Davis said. “I thought that was a record. What’d we have after the third quarter? 112. Is that a record?”

Frustration with Simmons Growing in Brooklyn

The Brooklyn Nets, on the other hand, continue to be the epitome of dysfunction in the NBA, This time, it’s not Kyrie Irving front and center — although I’m sure we’ll be hearing about Kyrie soon with his suspension now at seven games with an eighth likely as the Nets close out a four-game road trip on Thursday night in Portland — but rather Ben Simmons is the subject of ire.

Shams Charania and Sam Amick co-authored a report at The Athletic detailing the internal frustration in Brooklyn surrounding Ben Simmons’ lack of ability and level of play. Shams and Amick even went as far as to say that some of the Nets coaches and players have questioned his passion for the game.

I’ll take “things everyone already knew” for $1,000, Alex. What did the Nets think was going on in Philadelphia with Simmons!? Was this a “we can fix him up” type of Hail Mary by the Nets, or were they just that oblivious? I don’t know, but this team is a waste. It’s one of the most dysfunctional and unlikable teams I’ve ever seen.

More from Shams and Amick:

Hollinger’s Panic Meter

We’re 15-ish games into the season, so there’s still plenty of time, but some teams are off to starts that should have them feeling a little bit nervous, even if they have time to right the ship. John Hollinger put together a list of should-be contenders off to concerning starts, complete with a ‘Panic Meter’ rating.

The levels of panic vary from not very much at all to, ‘oh crap, this ship is sinking,’ levels. Hollinger has the Lakers on the latter end of that spectrum with their 3-10 start and league-worst offense the owners of a 9.8 ‘Panic Meter’ rating.

The Bulls do not make an appearance on the list despite my personal concern for their start having me feel like they should be.

Check it out:

And Ones

  • Ja Morant was at it again last night, and I’m thrilled to be able to get back to regular Ja highlights in this space.
  • Morant and CJ McCollum had quite the back-and-forth last night in New Orleans. Morant scored 36 points, but McCollum scored 30 of his own and nailed seven three-pointers as the Pelicans got the W against the Grizzlies on TNT.
  • What is a Gradey Dick? Admittedly, I haven’t watched as much college hoops this season as I usually do, but I’m surprised that a player named Gradey Dick doesn’t play for Duke.
  • This is a good video by Joe Viray highlighting one of the Warriors’ favorite offensive looks, the lousy shooting big-man stash in the corner:
  • Jalen Brunson put the Knicks on his back last night in Utah:
  • Luka Doncic continues to have an incredible start to the season:
  • I’d say the Chris Paul trade has worked out pretty well for the Phoenix Suns thus far:

Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is a Staff Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.