Do you believe in karmic comeuppance? The Sacramento Kings got a pretty classic, instant taste of it when they tried to get in the heads of the lowly Detroit Pistons before taking the court on Wednesday night.
That single play swung the NFC Championship Game and might’ve saved Brock Purdy’s job. Only half-kidding about that second part. Look at Purdy’s playoff passing stats. They pale in comparison to the regular season (passer rating is 25.3 points lower; completion percentage down 8%), and would’ve been considerably worse had Vildor squeezed that interception.
Mind you, the last time the Pistons won a game going into this matchup in Sacramento, it was a 120-104 victory over the Thunder that happened to be on the very day the Lions fell just short of Super Bowl LVIII. A lot of people made jokes about how Detroit sold its soul for a Pistons regular-season win, only to watch the Same Old Lions stage an epic collapse. PS, just found out yesterday that’s what “SOL” stood for in Lions lore. Thought it was the classic, “Sh*t Out of Luck.” I wasn’t born yesterday but you’d think so.
OK so back to business. The Kings are right in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race, with only two games separating the Nos. 5 through 8 seeds. Instead of moving to fifth with a win last night, they got whacked by the Pistons 133-120.
The whole don’t throw stones in glass houses metaphor sure does apply here. When was the last time the Kings won anything of consequence in the NBA? They hadn’t been to the playoffs since 2006 before last year. The three seasons before then, Detroit had made it to the Conference Finals, lost the NBA Finals and won a championship respectively. Sure, the Pistons are a laughingstock now, but I wouldn’t be slinging mud like this if I were in Sacramento.
Not that this young Detroit nucleus has inspired much confidence amid a historically bad season — they’re 7-43 overall now — but at least they’re banding together when their alleged best player Cade Cunningham is out.
That’s one of the weirder NBA stats I recall seeing. Cunningham is a former No. 1 overall pick. While he hasn’t exactly lived up to that billing, you can infer from the Pistons’ record that he isn’t getting much help in the Motor City.
On top of all this, some bettor with a ridiculous bankroll caught on to the bad pregame vibes the Kings put out and capitalized to the tune of over $1 million.
Let’s hope for Detroit’s sake that this Pistons squad sort of parallels the Dan Campbell-led Lions, who started 0-10-1 in the coach’s first season, and could’ve easily gone off the rails by losing six of seven to start Year 2. Look how far the Lions have come since then. They surged down the stretch of 2022 to finish 9-8, then claimed the NFC North title with a 12-5 mark, and if not for Campbell’s hyper-aggressive game management, would be playing this Super Bowl Sunday.
So put that in your pipe and smoke it, Sacramento! At least Detroit has an NFL franchise?
JK, love you Mike Brown… the Kings are a good story in their own right. Nice to see them doing better. Here are some Jason Williams highlights to soothe the feelings of the Sacramento faithful.