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Milwaukee Bucks vs. Sacramento Kings Preview: Battle For The Beam

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NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Sacramento Kings Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Bucks have a lot going for them these days. They’re holding steady at second place in the Eastern Conference, behind only the league-leading Boston Celtics. They’re inching towards full strength, now that Khris Middleton has made his return to the lineup and the rest of the roster appears to be on the mend. And yesterday, Giannis Antetokounmpo celebrated his 28th birthday, marking his 10th year as a beloved part of the Wisconsin community. What were the plans this time around, big fella? What are you getting up to before playing the Sacramento Kings?

This dude. I just can’t.

Where We’re At

All goofs aside, the God Emperor Goof is amidst one of the most dominant stretches of his career. Since the ladder thing, Giannis is averaging 36 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists, while shooting over 60% from the field. He can’t be stopped, and the Bucks are nigh unstoppable.

You know what else is tough to stop? Light. Lasers. You know, beams.

The Kings are seemingly undergoing metamorphosis right before our eyes. They are no longer the franchise that can’t get out of its own way and continually bumble along with mediocre seasons and half-hearted efforts to rebuild, over and over again. The KANGZ are dead, long live the KANGZ; now, Sacramento is the proud home of the #BeamTeam. From the Washington Post:

This fall, the Kings unveiled the “Victory Beam,” four massive lasers that shoot purple light high into the sky above Golden 1 Center after every win. Fueled by Sacramento’s best start since 2004, the Beam has been an instant hit in real life and on social media. “Light the Beam!” chants are common at home games, and traveling Kings fans brought the extraterrestrial chorus to Los Angeles during a blowout win over the Clippers on Saturday. Fan-crafted Beam merchandise quickly popped up on Etsy, and rapper 50 Cent participated in a postgame lighting ceremony last week. The Kings players, now known as the “Beam Team,” have embraced the gimmick and the resulting good vibes.

In short, the Kings are fun again. They were so bad for so long that most fans had grown tired of dumping on them, instead feeling sorry for them...and it seems that finally – finally! – that franchise is moving out of the doldrums, stepping off that unsatisfying treadmill of mediocrity. Considering we’re well-acquainted with another franchise that sported purple jerseys and were utterly hopeless, it’s nice to see good things happen to others!

For Milwaukee, Grayson Allen, Serge Ibaka, and MarJon Beauchamp are all listed as day-to-day, while Joe Ingles remains out for the foreseeable future as he continues making progress in his rehab and moving closer to his Bucks debut. For Sacramento, only guard Terence Davis appears on the injury report.

Player To Watch

Kings center Domantas Sabonis was a major swing for the Kings last season, and his presence has solidified the rest of the Sacramento roster because of his all-around game. It’s not just that he is an All Star-level player, but his style of play has connected the Kings in ways that harken back to the last time they were, y’know, actually good, led by guys like Chris Webber and Mike Bibby. From Sactown Royalty:

There are only a handful of players in the NBA that amplify their teammates as much as Sabonis does. The addition of Sabonis alone completely altered Sacramento’s play style the second he put on a Kings jersey in February. The days of your-turn, my-turn basketball in Sacramento were gone once Sabonis put on a purple jersey.

His play style is noticeably infectious with his teammates. When the Kings get into an offensive rhythm, it is often sparked Sabonis’ passing and screening. When you know you are going to be rewarded for good cuts and moving around, it makes you want to return the favor to teammates.


Game 24: Against Sacramento, the Bucks will...

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