Sacramento is very excited for the young man who John Salmons will be stealing shots from


I’m starting to feel like Jimmer Fredette is the NBA equivalent of “Snakes on a Plane.” You either get it and think it’s completely awesome, or you don’t, and think it’s completely stupid.

Sacramento Kings fans? Well, they’re much like the Alamo Drafthouse Theater in Austin where I saw the opening of “Snakes on a Plane” alongside a stacked house of mostly drunk people, Quentin Tarantino, and Rosario Dawson (they were there, not like I was hanging out with them; also they were filming “Grindhouse” so Rosario looked pretty beat up and worn out). Basically, they scream at all the right parts and regardless of what the realities are of the film and its actual content, they could not be happier with what they’re experiencing.

From the Sacramento Bee:

The Jimmer jet officially touched down in Sacramento around 5 p.m. Friday afternoon, carrying Kings rookie Jimmer Fredette, and the scene at Sacramento International Airport was fit for a rock star of Bono’s ilk, not a smiling 22-year-old from upstate New York.

Welcome to the Jimmer Show.

A few hundred people crowded around baggage claim at Terminal A for a glimpse of the former BYU star, who was acquired by the Kings in the first round of Thursday’s NBA draft.

via Sacramento Kings fans turn out as Jimmer Fredette arrives – Sacramento Sports – Kings, 49ers, Raiders, High School Sports | Sacramento Bee.

It’s really great that so many people are backing a 6-2.5 “point guard” described as “more athletic than you think!” which is code for “not really athletic but saying he’s a slug is too far so we’ll say he’s athletic in an overreaction.” It’s also awesome that everyone is excited to see a score-first rookie who’s walking into a hornets nest of shoot-first guards in Marcus Thornton, Tyreke Evans, the newly acquired goldmine ( as in, he costs a fortune and you have to work to get your value back) John Salmons. The thrill is palpable.

In truth, though, maybe the Kings don’t need a playmaking, distributing point guard, and maybe Fredette’s shot-creating talents really will translate. One thing overlooked year after year by everyone, including us humble bloggers, is that there are a number of things in the NBA that happen which make no sense at all. Granted, most of them have to do with Ron Artest or the tattoo stylings of the Denver Nuggets, but the Mavericks won a championship with a 38-year-old point guard, Tyson Chandler who for years was considered a bust, and Shawn Marion who several members of the national media thought was dead. Weird stuff happens in this league.

Jimmermania actually turning out to be worth the price of admission isn’t the craziest idea ever. And for now at least, it’s got Sacramento excited about Kings basketball.

Utah’s Donovan Mitchell with shot of night to force OT with Spurs


One of the factors to consider in the Rookie of the Year race: clutch plays.

Down three with less than 10 seconds to go Friday night, the Utah Jazz put the ball in the hands of their rookie playmaker Donovan Mitchell — and he made the play, draining a three to force overtime. It’s an impressive play.

In the clutch this season (last five minutes of a game, within five points), Mitchell has averaged 3.2 shots per contest (by far the most of any rookie) and has a true shooting percentage of 51 percent. Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons, the other front-runner in the ROY race, averages less than a shot per game in those clutch situations (0.8) and has a true shooting percentage of 66.7 percent.

Mitchell made the big shot, but the Spurs made plenty too, had 45 points on the night from LaMarcus Aldridge, and got the win.


PBT Extra: Who is coming out of the Eastern Conference?

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The Toronto Raptors will finish with the No. 1 seed and all the best metrics in the East, but they have a history of playoff flameouts. The Boston Celtics’ have been hit hard by injuries. And the Cleveland Cavaliers have LeBron James but also a dreadful defense, this is the most vulnerable a LeBron led team has been since he bolted Cleveland seven years ago.

So what team is coming out of the East?

We get into that in this latest PBT Extra. A poll on Twitter found most of you think the Cavaliers, but personally, I think the Raptors — who have been better defensively all season than the Cavs — may finally have their year.

LaMarcus Aldridge drops career-high 45 points, Spurs beat Jazz in OT

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SAN ANTONIO (AP) — LaMarcus Aldridge had a career-high 45 points, helping San Antonio overcome Donovan Mitchell‘s 35-point performance for Utah in the Spurs’ 124-120 overtime victory over the Jazz on Friday night.

The Spurs won their sixth straight and beat the Jazz for the first time in four meetings this season.

Utah’s 12-game road winning streak came to an end, but only after Mitchell had 14 points in the fourth quarter, including three 3-pointers in the final two minutes to force overtime.

San Antonio remained sixth in the Western Conference with the same record as fifth-place New Orleans, a half-game behind Oklahoma City for fourth. Utah remained eighth in the West.

After free throws by Spurs guards Manu Ginobili and Patty Mills and a dunk by Jazz center Rudy Gobert put San Antonio up 114-111, Mitchell drained his third 3-pointer of the fourth with 3.6 seconds remaining to force overtime.

Mills, who finished with 23 points, had six points in overtime as the Spurs capped an undefeated six-game homestand.

Aldridge averaged 32.2 points and 9.0 rebounds during the winning streak, including two double-doubles.

Aldridge scored 28 points in the first half on 12-for-16 shooting, including a 3-pointer.

Utah missed its first six shots and was 4 for 14 as San Antonio grabbed a 19-8 lead midway through the first quarter. Mitchell settled the Jazz, scoring six points to cut the Spurs lead to 29-21 heading into the second quarter.

Mitchell was 14-for-35 shooting while falling six points shy of his season-high.

Derrick Favors added 22 points for Utah and Ricky Rubio had 20.

Ginobili finished with 18 points for the Spurs.


Stephen Curry leaves game with knee injury


In his first night back from an ankle injury that forced him to miss six games, Stephen Curry limped off the court not to return after in third quarter Friday night after JaVale McGee fell into his knee.

He limped to the bench then eventually to the locker room after the injury.

The severity of the injury is not yet known and should become clear on Saturday after an MRI.

Curry scored 29 points and grabbed seven rebounds before being forced to leave the game, and the Warriors held on to win the game.

Obviously, if Curry is out heading into the playoffs, that changes the dynamic in the West, where the Houston Rockets were already right on the heels of the Warriors.