Every morning, we will give you five things from the night before in the NBA to start your day.
1: Here we stay
The campaign to keep the Kings in Sacramento has been going strong for a few years now.
Fans have seen the movements of the Maloofs and their mismanagement and worried that the day would come that the team would move. Even with the fans rallying to keep the team in Sacramento, showing up en masse at the Sleep Train Arena for specific games, and a large outcry from the NBA community that the Maloofs were screwing a devoted fan base without giving local buyers the chance to save the team should they sell, the Maloofs have filed their request to move the team to Seattle where they are expected to sell it to Chris Hansen and a group from the city.
Sonics fans had the same thing happen to them when a deceitful owner bought the team and went through the motions to save the team before moving them to Oklahoma City. This is not about the fans of Seattle. They deserve a team too.
No, this was about the grassroots effort in Sacramento to bring out fans to petition with their voices. To petition in communal chants of "SAC-RA-MENTO" and "HERE WE STAY." This was about selling out (almost) an admittedly outdated stadium for a 17-win team on a Saturday night.
This was, perhaps, an emotional plea to save the city's one professional sports team and make Sleep Train Arena sound like ARCO once again.
The chants were ever present on this night and the Kings played like the Kings of old in defeating the Jazz 120-109 at Sleep Train Arena on Saturday night. The community effort to buy tickets and donate them if they were not being used was a huge success.
Of course, its goal will not be accomplished unless the Maloofs give Sacramento groups the right to match and keep the team in Northern California. That may be out of their control as the Maloofs are so desperate to sell and get some cash they are simply looking to get out as fast as possible (while still retaining a small piece of the team).
Tonight though, the fans had a lot to feel good about. Their Kings played extremely well, taking control of the game in the first half and then, after letting the Jazz back into the game, racing back ahead for the easy victory in the second. If this was it for the Kings, this night will stand as a shining testament to the fan base in Sacramento.
2: Charlie Victorious
Charlie Villanueva has become somewhat of a punch line after signing a 5-year, $7.7 million deal back in 2009. He has fallen far out of favor in the rotation and has failed to live up to his contract. At times Villanueva was not even playing for Detroit.
The Pistons have worked him back into their rotation of late and Villanueva helped make that decision pay off.
In a back-and-forth fourth quarter that saw Milwaukee and Detroit see-saw into and out of the lead down the stretch. The deciding basket came when Will Bynum whipped the ball back out to Charlie Villanueva. He pump faked and pulled up for three to clinch the victory. Brandon Jennings thought he was fouled and ended up shooting a half-court heave that was no good. Detroit held on for a 105-100 win at the BMO Harris Bradley Center on Saturday.
Villanueva had 18 points and 13 rebounds for the Pistons off the bench. He 7.7 points per game in 16.6 minutes per game. However, he has seen his playing time slowly increase of late with Austin Daye traded to Memphis.
It is hard to say Villanueva will be what the Pistons thought when they signed him. But maybe he can still be a big contributor for them heading down the stretch.
Thomas races the clock
Charlie V for 3 and lead
Tough scoop for Mayo
4: Line of the Night: Lavoy Allen — 14 points, 22 rebounds
There was not a ton notable about an ugly 87-76 win for Phialdelphia over Charlotte on Saturday at Wells Fargo Center. These are two offensively challenged teams. But when you have a lot of missed shots, you have a lot of rebounds. To win these kinds of games, you need a player like Lavoy Allen to step up and secure the glass. He did that with his career high in rebounds and helped Philadelphia hold a 60-40 advantage on the glass.
5: You can quote me on that
It’s been a rough couple of seasons for me, you know. Public Enemy No. 1, that’s me. It feels good. Coach has the confidence to leave me out there and I was just trying to make the right plays.
Any of that kind of stuff, little or big, can contribute, as long as guys understand that the beards are great, but growing a beard is not going to make you play well.