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Davion Mitchell is proving his three-point shot is for real

Good shooters have certain mechanics, and Mitchell is displaying them.
By | 83 Comments | Oct 13, 2021

Oct 4, 2021; Sacramento, California, USA; Sacramento Kings guard Davion Mitchell (15) prepares to shoot the ball against the Phoenix Suns in the second quarter at the Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

One of the big question marks about Davion Mitchell coming into draft day was his shooting. He shot 44% from three in his last year at Baylor, but 32% and 28% the previous two seasons. He also shot 64% from the line in his final college season.

So, the question remained if that 44% three-point percentage was an accurate read on his capabilities. Well, we saw the shot translate in the NBA Summer League, and it is continuing in preseason. On Tuesday, Mitchell knocked down 6 of his 9 threes on his way to 20 points. (He went 3-3 from three in the Kings previous game against the Los Angeles Clippers.)

Aside from these performances there is plenty of reason to believe the shot will continue to translate, specifically because of his form.

There are some key components to what makes a player a good three-point shooter and Mitchell is displaying a lot of them. Let’s take a look.

Balance

Mitchell is on the shorter side for a guard, but he is built like a running back and his strength allows him to do a lot on the court. His core and leg strength gives him really great balance, which helps with his incredible defensive acumen. You rarely see him stumble or take unnecessary steps, and he is able to hold his ground in almost any situation.

It also helps his shot.

If a player does not have good balance and core strength their legs can get tired, their shots begin to fall short and defenders can push them off their spots. Mitchell consistently gets to his spots beyond the arc with his feet planted and pointed at the basket. His knees are bent and his torso is straight using a smooth vertical motion.

 

Here, you see him use a crafty jab step to get the defender to back off. He then firmly plants his feet, knees bent, feet squared at the basket with verticality on the release

 

Again, feet planted and pointed at the basket, knees bent, verticality all in one motion. Splash.

 

Here, he really has to rely on that balance because he is moving to his right and has a defender coming at him from his left. Yet he is still able to completely stop on a dime, plant his feet and get his verticality again.

Repetitive Motion

You probably saw in the above clips how consistent Mitchell is with his feet and movement during his shot. Good shooters try to shoot exactly the same way every time. Mitchell’s release is very consistent.

Here, we get a good look at it. Mitchell instinctively moves to the corner once Moe Harkless commits to the drive and the defense collapses on him. Mitchell finds himself wide open, sets his feet and on the release you see the quick flick of the wrist, and nice follow through. (Shoutout to Harkless for knowing that one was in and running back once Mitchell caught the ball.)

Below, you see the verticality, the follow through with the wrist and the consistency.

Quick Release

Good shooters are decisive when they shoot. There isn’t second-guessing and their shots are usually one seamless movement, and quick. If your shot isn’t quick, the more chances you have for wasted motion and throwing off the needed repetition.

Once Mitchell sees Holmes screen the defender, the decision is made. He is planted before the defender can get around and back to him. The shot is out before the defender can extend his hand. Using his strength, he springs straight up on the shot quickly.

 

Here, the defender helps out a little by getting completely fooled on the drive by Harkless. By the time he turns his head back around Mitchell is already planted and the shot is up. Bucket.

Following the win over the Blazers, Walton commented on how well the rookie is adjusting.

“The amount of work he has put in to understanding the offense and adjusting to the size of the NBA has been great and it’s been quick,” Walton said.

We probably shouldn’t get too carried away since we are still in preseason and Mitchell did this against second- and third-string Blazers players. We also don’t have much of a read on his free throw shooting yet as he has yet to attempt one (something to keep an eye on). If Mitchell keeps this shooting from three up, coupled with his defense, basketball IQ, and work ethic, it is going to be really difficult for Luke Walton to keep him off the floor for very long this season.

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83 Comments
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TerzoM
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October 13, 2021 8:13 am

Hey Monte, it’s me again..comment image

Kosta
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October 13, 2021 11:01 am
Reply to  TerzoM

You had a better deal two days ago, Morey!

Inthestarz
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October 13, 2021 12:06 pm
Reply to  TerzoM

“dont call if it isnt Fox or Tyrese”

was what was reported by our own beat writer Jason Anderson

Kings aren’t in the 9 interested teams tidbit of today, primarily because they are offering spare players I assume

eddie41
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October 13, 2021 8:18 am

Yeah, he’s on my team

catterj
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October 13, 2021 8:27 am

Love this breakdown. Video content is the best content. More please. 😀

jwalker1395
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October 13, 2021 8:35 am

This is an interesting point since the eye test has suggested Mitchell has been a good shooter since his last season with Baylor, but the FT numbers and previous 3pt % numbers were worrisome. After watching him continue to knock down with consistency from deep across various levels of competition with really solid form, it seems like a non-issue. Essentially, a fully developed two-way guard was just sitting there in front of everyone on draft night and nobody noticed except for Monte. Not bad!

Daydreamer
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October 13, 2021 9:30 am
Reply to  jwalker1395

On Mitchell’s development and improvement: we should not underestimate how hard he works. Suppose his FT shooting is not good now: I would be confident that it would get a lot better.

Sacto_J
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October 13, 2021 11:05 am
Reply to  jwalker1395

McGenius, indeed…

Last edited 2 years ago by Sacto_J
andy_sims
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October 13, 2021 8:38 am

The first clip, the stepback, was the one that really stood out to me when some highlights were posted yesterday. It’s a shot prefaced on deception, which requires the shooter to move, or at least give the impression of moving, away from the spot where he’d like to take the shot, then snapping back. Being as quick as he is, Mitchell has one of the important tools to mislead the defender.

The really impressive part of that clip, to me, was that even after making two quick moves in rapid succession, by the time he’s starting his shot, he’s got both feet planted, he rises straight up, and his shoulders are level before the ball leaves his hand. He is very nearly perfectly balanced.

The stepback is a hard shot! We’ve all seen (and taken) a few, and it’s very easy for them to devolve into off-balance, one-footed, or fadeaway shots. Sometimes all three! Mitchell gets through the deceptive part of the process lightning-quick, and is still set, balanced, shoulders squared, and ready to put up a shot with a good chance of going in.

I’ve said for years that there are real, potential benefits to taking an older player in the draft, if the circumstances make sense. Davion Mitchell is ready to play NBA basketball.

Adamsite
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October 13, 2021 9:17 am
Reply to  andy_sims

Great point on the step back. It’s very hard to remain balanced with that kind of shot.

Kosta
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October 13, 2021 11:07 am
Reply to  andy_sims

Dude had GREAT footwork and quickness. Helps him on defense and offense.

That stepback three was really nice. 😀

Last edited 2 years ago by Kosta
RikSmits
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October 13, 2021 9:04 am

Got to admit, his shot looks very promising. Still want to withhold judgment until he played a dozen real games, but hard not to have high hopes.

Hobby916
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October 13, 2021 9:27 am

His speed and ability to stop quickly greatly contribute to his ability to create space. Being a smaller guard, he needs that. Defenses have to respect his speed to get to the rim, so he often has defenders on their heels. Great stuff here.

1951
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October 13, 2021 10:57 am

Wow. Tim with the shade on Blake’s analysis!

https://twitter.com/TimMaxwell22/status/1448311941651337218

andy_sims
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October 13, 2021 11:00 am
Reply to  1951

Translation: I refuse to admit that Monte McNair may actually be good at his job.

1951
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October 13, 2021 11:02 am
Reply to  andy_sims

Or it’s just a reasonable conclusion based on objective data that pretty much everyone in the basketball universe agrees with!

https://twitter.com/TimMaxwell22/status/1448314184924426242

But you do you! 😉

(And shame on you for making me defend that raisin loving foolio!)

Last edited 2 years ago by 1951
andy_sims
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October 13, 2021 11:25 am
Reply to  1951

Yeah, I am truly sorry about that. But what Tim is saying has to do with team stats, and I thought that what we were talking about is that Mitchell is showing very early signs that he may already be a fully-formed NBA player sooner rather than later.

I mean, obviously the team stats are meaningless, since most clubs barely play their starters. That fact also filters down to individual stats, since presumably, they are being built on the backs of lesser defenders.

This article seems to deal specifically with Mitchell’s mechanics as they relate to his shot. Tim’s tweets, which of course weren’t added here by him, are almost entirely beside the point.

1951
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October 13, 2021 11:29 am
Reply to  andy_sims

Yes. I used an out of context tweet to make a joke!
comment image

Rosevillain
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October 13, 2021 11:48 am
Reply to  1951

Still waiting for the joke part. Kosta?

Kosta
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October 13, 2021 11:58 am
Reply to  Rosevillain

comment image

Last edited 2 years ago by Kosta
1951
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October 13, 2021 2:19 pm
Reply to  1951

Wow. Tim out there promoting some other Kings blog site!

https://twitter.com/leo_toch/status/1448396821001244672

(Crap. It doesn’t show the retweeted note when I post it here! 😉 )

Last edited 2 years ago by 1951
AmateurNerd
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October 13, 2021 10:58 am

Nice try, but I’m going to do my own research before deciding if Davion Mitchell plays for the Sacramento Kings.

BeTheBall
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October 13, 2021 11:44 am
Reply to  AmateurNerd

On Facebook, somebody posted a link to a study out of the University of Algeria that shows Davion Mitchell actually plays for the Pacers. The mainstream Kings media is lying to us. WAKE UP SHEEPLE!!

SMF-PDXConnection
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October 13, 2021 12:10 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

I heard all we need to do to make the playoffs is start eating goat antibiotics.

Kings = K(11) I(9) N(14) G(7) S(19) = 60, the playoff streak is at 15, 60/15 = 4, Chris Webber wore #4, so the answer is we need to give Webber goat medicine to break the streak.

My logic is flawless, I ran it by my uncle’s brother in law’s second wife’s “Mothers On Rules Of Nature” Facebook group.

andy_sims
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October 13, 2021 1:01 pm

Ivermectin’t agree more.

Kosta
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October 13, 2021 11:00 am

I like that he doesn’t force anything. I wish Buddy would do the same and not take some of the really tough/rushed three-pointers he attempts.

Last edited 2 years ago by Kosta
Sacto_J
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October 13, 2021 11:09 am
Reply to  Kosta

I heard Buddy shot something along the lines of 27 3s in the first 2 preseason games in like 25 minutes of total PT. He made 4.
Oi vey…

Kosta
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October 13, 2021 11:12 am
Reply to  Sacto_J

Yeah, Buddy could probably switch things up a bit too. It’s almost like he only takes three pointers now. Not really any midrange game.

1951
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October 13, 2021 11:47 am
Reply to  Kosta

And Walton constantly enabling bad Buddy, at least every time he is asked about it.

It’s almost like coaching matters sometimes, but meanwhile is Sacramento …

Kosta
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October 13, 2021 11:56 am
Reply to  1951

Buddy Hield and buddy Walton.

catterj
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October 13, 2021 3:40 pm
Reply to  Kosta

As of now, 83.9% of his FGA are 3PT FGA.

“Show me the incentive, and I’ll show you the outcome.” – Charlie Munger

1951
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October 13, 2021 11:25 am
Reply to  Kosta

I have to admit that I am with Kenny Caraway at this point and would just give all of Buddy’s minutes to TD (barf a little) at this point if you can’t trade him.

And yes, I know this is a terrible opinion from an asset management stand point but from a purely basketball one …
comment image

Kosta
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October 13, 2021 11:08 am

I’m sure everyone saw this already, but just wanted to revisit…Davion is getting lots of love from some established players.

https://twitter.com/SacramentoKings/status/1448015687713230851?s=20

Last edited 2 years ago by Kosta
Kosta
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October 13, 2021 11:11 am
Reply to  Kosta

He’s so cool-headed about everything, and you know he’s going to work his ass off no matter what.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0424dP6V5o

Last edited 2 years ago by Kosta
Klam
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October 13, 2021 11:26 am
Reply to  Kosta

Humble and a hard worker. I like it. reminds me of Tyrese.

Amonk81
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October 13, 2021 11:53 am
Reply to  Klam

Totally. And I’m not sure what’s going on with the moron owner and McNair but McNair has nailed 2 picks. Just like Haliburton last year, you can already tell Mitchell is/will be good.

And the guard who needs to learn balance, leg strength and consistency is Fox. Imagine if he actually figured that out. Unstoppable.

Kings have a couple pieces to build around, if they were just smart enough to actually build.

andy_sims
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October 13, 2021 1:02 pm
Reply to  Amonk81

A lot of people would consider drafting to be an important part of a building/rebuilding process.

Amonk81
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October 13, 2021 1:20 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

It is a part but what about the remainder? Still holding onto vets they should have traded. Keeping a coach who’s done a terrible job.

A team rebuilding looks more like OKC etc. I know You love arguing, but give me a break. The Kings are not rebuilding. Even said as much last year when they thought they were a player away and making a run at playin rather than trade vets and get picks, get younger.

Carl
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October 13, 2021 1:42 pm
Reply to  Amonk81

Yeah, I would definitely agree with you Amonk. It can both be true that the Kings front office has made two good draft picks and have done nothing else to improve the team, adding few or no wins to Vlade Divac’s roster.

The Kings are returning 13 players from last season’s roster, second in the NBA behind Denver, with three teams returning 12 players, and the other 25 teams returning fewer than 12. I keep hoping the other shoe is going to drop and they actually do something other than draft guys once a year and tinker with bench vets to improve the roster.

The good news is that if the team doesn’t win significantly more games this year (+5?) the heat is going to increase for them to actually make a meaningful move. And if they do win significantly more moves, good on the front office.

1951
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October 13, 2021 1:56 pm
Reply to  Carl

Correct. Vlade drafted Fox. Vlade signed Holmes.

He was still a shit GM despite these two transactions.

The book on Monty is still: we shall see.

andy_sims
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October 13, 2021 2:23 pm
Reply to  1951

As it is on all of us.

1951
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October 13, 2021 2:26 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

Except me:
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furious.d
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October 13, 2021 3:14 pm
Reply to  1951

It would be completely unreasonable to expect a GM entering his second season to have graduated out of “we shall see” mode. All we can do is judge the information we have right now, which is that he has drafted well and prioritized stability early in his tenure.

Whether it pays off remains to be seen, but the drafting well component (even on a small sample size) is encouraging, given how much we’ve seen bad drafting set the franchise back over the last decade.

1951
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October 13, 2021 3:23 pm
Reply to  furious.d

Yes. And he has kept Luke, Buddy and Bagley. He has changed very little from Vlade’s kings.

that’s also data we have to analyze.

some good, some bad.

furious.d
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October 13, 2021 4:04 pm
Reply to  1951

That’s true, but I don’t afford those decisions equal weight. Luke and Bagley can be gone tomorrow if Monte makes that decision. Tyrese and Davion can be under control for 9 years.

This team wasn’t a season away from contention as McNair inherited it, so the fact that he’s still working out how to improve on Luke and Bagley doesn’t bother me as much as passing on a future HOFer would.

Hobby916
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October 14, 2021 7:20 am
Reply to  1951

To McNair’s credit, he had a deal in place to move Buddy, and Lebron err the Wizards swooped in at the last minute.

Hozr
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October 14, 2021 11:40 am
Reply to  Carl

You’re portraying the situation as worse than it is. The Kings have already done more than just draft guys and sign bench vets. They have acquired and signed up and coming players to contracts like TD and Metu. I’d argue that Jones is somewhere between a bench vet and an up and comer so it’s a judgement call which bucket you want to put him in.

Carl
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October 14, 2021 12:28 pm
Reply to  Hozr

Yeah, those guys haven’t accomplished anything. Davis is a rotation player, which is fine. The trade was a positive on the floor, Davis’s domestic violence accusation notwithstanding. But I’m not going to give the team a huge amount of credit for the bare minimum task of acquiring an NBA rotation player.

Last edited 2 years ago by Carl
AnybodyButBagley
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October 13, 2021 11:20 am

Drafting talented athletes instead of specific position players based on the current losing roster might work?

The rest of the NBA does it but, the Kangz have been trying to disrupt basketball….

AmateurNerd
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October 13, 2021 12:30 pm

I’ve been on the pro-Simmons-trade train for a while now, but seeing Davion so far has me rethinking that, considering we’d almost certainly have to give up him and/or Tyrese. Fox, Haliburton, and Mitchell could be a 3-headed backcourt monster. At this point, I might be more inclined to look for a solid starter-quality wing that won’t cost the team any of those three. I’m usually a “take the sure thing, not the maybe-thing” type of thinker, but this could really (maybe) be something. Color me intrigued.

Hobby916
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October 14, 2021 7:25 am
Reply to  AmateurNerd

Which “solid starter-quality wing that won’t cost the team any of those three” do you think could be had at that price? Like Dillon Brooks level, or James Ennis? Those are just examples I could quickly come up with.

AmateurNerd
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October 14, 2021 11:58 am
Reply to  Hobby916

Anybody better than “n/a,” which is the current identity of our small forward.

Hobby916
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October 14, 2021 1:04 pm
Reply to  AmateurNerd

Thanks for the well thought out answer.

1951
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October 13, 2021 12:47 pm
Kosta
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October 13, 2021 1:01 pm
Reply to  1951

“I’ll pick a winner out of the correct responses”

So someone could just copy/paste someone else’s answer, without doing any research, and get selected to sit next to the GM? May be better if he picks the first correct answer?

Last edited 2 years ago by Kosta
Kosta
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October 13, 2021 1:03 pm
Reply to  1951

Anyway, whoever wins…let us know what he says about Walton as his choice to continue coaching this team! 😛

…and that we know he can’t answer but: “blink twice if Vivek is holding you hostage, Monte.” 🙂

Last edited 2 years ago by Kosta
1951
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October 13, 2021 1:06 pm
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Kosta
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October 13, 2021 1:07 pm
Reply to  1951

I recall he answered with this gif:comment image

Minja25
October 13, 2021 1:12 pm

Curious to see where his percentages wind up at by the end of the year. Could be the type where his 3 point percentages are higher than his 2 point percentages.

andy_sims
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October 14, 2021 7:14 am
Reply to  Minja25

Mitchell will have some problems at the rim, based on his height, and also the fact that rookies get hammered down there, and don’t get calls. I do think that his midrange game will keep his percentage respectable on two-pointers.

SMF-PDXConnection
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October 13, 2021 2:50 pm
Kosta
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October 13, 2021 3:07 pm

comment image

Kosta
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October 13, 2021 3:07 pm
Reply to  Kosta

…………….comment image

Last edited 2 years ago by Kosta
TerzoM
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October 13, 2021 3:11 pm

Goin’ fishin’comment image

ScottyPop
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October 13, 2021 9:12 pm

LOL

What an idiot.

Last edited 2 years ago by ScottyPop
andy_sims
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October 14, 2021 7:15 am

Does anyone find the word “anymore” do be an odd choice? There are no longer any circumstances where he’d stay in Brooklyn?

SMF-PDXConnection
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October 14, 2021 8:28 am
Reply to  andy_sims

Don’t know, but his Instagram tirade last night sure didn’t help.

Sacto_J
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October 14, 2021 10:42 am

I wanted to see, but it appears he has since deleted it.
#sadface

Gabriel_Bonito
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October 13, 2021 8:35 pm

Honestly, if Davison can really shoot, he’s a monster. Totally untradable. Would rather swap Fox tbh.

HoustonJP
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October 13, 2021 9:42 pm

At some point this season, in Dallas, Davion will be on the floor at the same time as Luka. I’ll be in the stands watching Davion take him on straight up. Should be interesting and telling about Davion’s skill level.

Carl
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October 14, 2021 8:34 am
Reply to  HoustonJP

I’m not expecting the guy to check someone 8″ taller than he is that (almost?) no one in the NBA can effectively guard. If Davion can guard two positions at a high level, that’s a huge win, Doncic aside.

Last edited 2 years ago by Carl
Hobby916
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October 14, 2021 10:14 am
Reply to  Carl

They would just shoot over him like they did to IT.

SneakerKing
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October 14, 2021 11:22 am
Reply to  Hobby916

Yeah, Doncic torched Patrick Beverly last season just simply shooting over the top of him. Although I do think DM can make his life hell pressuring him fullcourt, but once he’s set up in the half, I don’t like DM’s chances in the matchup. Luka is too good and will figure that out pretty fast. DM (and Fox as well) can maybe wear Luka down pressuring him fullcourt and maybe getting Luka to have weak legs going into the 4th though.

Hobby916
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October 14, 2021 1:07 pm
Reply to  SneakerKing

That might need to be Mitchell’s thing against bigger guards. Wear there asses down with full court pressure for the several minutes he is in the game. Might make Fox and Haliburton’s job easier throughout the game.

HoustonJP
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October 15, 2021 7:10 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

Two entirely different players with entirely different compass points on the floor. They won’t just shoot over him, he will body players no matter who they are or how tall or short they are. You might as well ask him to change the color of his eyes to ask him to do otherwise.

HoustonJP
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October 15, 2021 7:11 pm
Reply to  Carl

I expect him to do exactly that.

SelecaoKOJ
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October 13, 2021 11:19 pm

Call me crazy. But, Davion has the highest upside of every player on this team. Including Fox and Hali. Davion has a quiet Alpha personality that reminds me Dame/Curry. But, with Defense. I Know it’s early. But, If we can trade Hali/Fox for a second star, I am ok with it. Build this team around Davion. Davion is a natural point. Who would you rather trade is this was the scenario? Keep Fox and move him to the 2 guard or Keep Hali? I think a package of Hali, Hield, Barnes and a couple picks can get a nice wing or stretch four. Not sure if any team is interested in Bagley. I understand he’s injured again. Bagley is about to enter All Time bust list of Top 2 picks.

andy_sims
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October 14, 2021 7:17 am
Reply to  SelecaoKOJ

I’d like to see him play in one actual NBA game before committing to building my team around him for the next few years.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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October 14, 2021 7:44 am
Reply to  andy_sims

Yup, or even guard an actual NBA star. So far he’s had a few possessions against Paul George and the rest were against backups. I want to see him guard the likes of Curry, Paul and Westbrook (just the guards in the Pacific) before I hitch up the bandwagon.

Carl
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October 14, 2021 8:37 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Yeah, seems a little premature to start re-orienting the entire team at this point. Everything we’ve seen from Davion is beyond encouraging, but I’m not sure the Kings have played an actual NBA basketball team in an actual NBA game yet.

Last edited 2 years ago by Carl
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October 14, 2021 7:57 am
Reply to  andy_sims

What?

Come on. Replace Piglet with a Davion statue RIGHT NOW!

WizsSox
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October 14, 2021 12:22 pm
Reply to  SelecaoKOJ

Davion has the highest upside of every player on this team

Considering Fox is only 9 months older than Mitchell and Hali 1.5 years younger than Mitchell, I guess you are expecting a hell of an age 23 season from Mitchell…

Last edited 2 years ago by WizsSox
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October 14, 2021 1:27 pm

At least the Kings are consistent with their support of domestic violence!

https://twitter.com/NBCSKings/status/1448745940190380034

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