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Five Takeaways: Preseason Game One vs. Lakers

Always good to start a season by beating the Lakers!
By | 76 Comments | Oct 4, 2022

Oct 3, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Sacramento Kings forward KZ Okpala (30) is guarded by Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) in the first quarter at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Preseason game one under new head coach Mike Brown is a wrap! The Sacramento Kings came out on top against the Los Angeles Lakers 105-75.

Wins and losses are far from important in the preseason and it’s difficult to draw substantial conclusions from a one-game sample size. But, what else are we supposed to do??

Be sure to take all of this with a grain of salt, it is preseason, and keep the ridiculously limited sample size in mind before you overreact. With all that being said, here are five takeaways from preseason game one.

1. KZ Okpala in the starting lineup

Prior to leaving for LA, Mike Brown said he was going to “probably start the five that have a chance to start, but that group may not start at the end of the day.” He acknowledged that with De’Aaron Fox, Domantas Sabonis and Harrison Barnes being locked in the two and four spots were still up in the air.

Kevin Huerter starting at the two came as no surprise, but KZ Okapala being Coach Brown’s preference at the four caught people off-guard. Brown has had high praise for Okpala in the past, saying he could be a “Defensive Player of the Year candidate” in the future.

Well, with Anthony Davis and LeBron James on the other side, Brown elected to start the game with Okpala covering James. His 6’8″ height and 7’2″ wingspan makes him one of Sacramento’s best options for that daunting task and he held his own in the preseason opener.

The question for Okpala has always revolved around his offense and if he can hit open triples at a respectable enough rate to play consistent minutes alongside Fox and Sabonis. That is still to be determined and there’s another strong candidate for that starting spot.

2. Keegan Murray is NBA ready

The Summer League MVP and recent fourth overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft had a stellar game. His offense is just a seamless fit in the NBA. Murray finished the game with a game-high 16 points on 7/11 shooting, including 2/4 from three, six assists, one assist, and two steals in 21 minutes.

Brown spoke glowingly of the rookie after the game. “For a young guy, he has a poise about him,” Brown said. “He’s about as competitive as you can be. He’s got a great feel for the game. He’s versatile. He can play multiple positions. He’s got a chance to be good in this league for a long long long time.”

At some point, the asterisks of “it’s just summer league” or “it’s only preseason” will no longer be necessary when talking about Keegan Murray. As was expected, he looks as NBA-ready as any rookie could.

3. No staggering of Fox & Sabonis

I really should know better than to read too much into the rotations in the preseason debut, but I can’t help myself. It feels worth noting how separate the bench and starters felt in this game. Davion Mitchell and Murray got their chance alongside Fox, Sabonis, and Barnes but Fox and Sabonis played nearly every minute of the game together.

Last season, Alvin Gentry often talked about wanting to stagger Fox and Sabonis — although how often that actually happened was a different story. It will be interesting to see Mike Brown’s philosophy when it comes to staggering Fox and Sabonis.

Again, it’s preseason game one and the logic could simply be that they want to get those two guys as comfortable with one another going into the season. Since the plan was always to only play the starters in the first half, maybe it made the most sense to play them together and it means nothing moving forward? We’ll have to wait and see.

4. The first five off the bench

You know how I said I shouldn’t read too much into the rotations? Well, I’m going to just this one more time.

After the aforementioned starting five of Fox, Huerter, Barnes, Okpala, and Sabonis we saw a full bench unit play some heavy minutes together.

The first five off the bench were Davion Mitchell, Malik Monk, Keegan Murray, Trey Lyles, and Richaun Holmes.

My quick thoughts regarding that are Lyles might be favored over Chimezie Metu, Mitchell and Monk seemed to share initiation responsibilities, and that Lyles/Sabonis was a horrific defensive pairing.

It’ll be interesting to keep tabs on how this fluctuates moving forward to see if any of Lyles, Terence Davis, Chima Moneke, or Kent Bazemore can play their way into more minutes.

5. Quick timeouts from Mike Brown

Only one defensive possession had passed since the start of the second quarter and Mike Brown had seen enough. Wenyen Gabriel getting an easy dunk due to easy dribble penetration and poor help rotations got Coach Brown to called for a timeout in a hurry.

That wasn’t the only time that Sacramento’s new head coach had a quick trigger with his timeouts — and the few I noticed all seemed to revolve around correcting defensive miscues.

Brown has repeated the words “competitive spirit” countless times throughout training camp leading into the game tonight and all it would take is one possession of lackadaisical effort for him to take some time to recalibrate his team.

Other Notes

  • Sabonis and Holmes played ZERO minutes together
  • Davion Mitchell was his usual disruptive self on defense and very aggressive in getting to the rim on offense
  • All 20 players on the roster played minutes
  • Keon Ellis is averaging 10.3 blocks and 5.1 steals per 36 minutes
  • De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk shot a combined 7/23 from the field and 1/8 from three
  • The Lakers got booed off their home floor
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76 Comments
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HongKongKingsFan
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October 4, 2022 9:01 am

Small sample size, but I think the 3rd sting group played much better than the starter and the 2nd unit.

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Look at the above Gif, and see how everyone knows their role, and know what they need to do in that certain play…

Lots of ball movement and lots of players movement…

p.s. Queta need more playing time, as he can “set real screen”…….

RobHessing
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October 4, 2022 9:29 am

Queta will get lots of playing time at Stockton with Keon.

Kosta
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October 4, 2022 10:32 am
Reply to  RobHessing

Neon Keon!

(Sorry, Deion)

DutchKingsFanInUK
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October 4, 2022 9:02 am

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jwalker1395
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October 4, 2022 9:06 am

Fox, Huerter, Barnes, Murray, and Sabonis are clearly the 5 best players on this team and should start. Monk and Davion mesh well as the first two guys off the bench. Holmes still brings tremendous energy in his minutes. Okpala and Lyles are the backup forwards, depending if you need defense or offense, but should be used sparingly. Nobody else on this roster should see the floor barring injury.

oswan88
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October 4, 2022 10:10 am
Reply to  jwalker1395

Agreed with this startingg lineup. Murray is needed to help stretch the floor as well. Fox shooting was horrible yesterday.

Would have been nice to see Huerter put up a few more shots also.

Hobby916
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October 4, 2022 10:18 am
Reply to  oswan88

Murray’s ability to stretch the floor and his general IQ on the court. He seems to be in the right spot most of the time, and makes the right play most of the time too.

Kingsguru21
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October 4, 2022 12:45 pm
Reply to  jwalker1395

Curious your thoughts about switching out Murray for Holmes. Not necessarily because Holmes is better or should play more, but just because it might be simply easier to integrate Holmes and Sabonis together instead of trying to do so during intervals in the game.

itsjabby
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October 6, 2022 3:22 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

one of them has to hit the 3 consistently

ohioplayrs
October 4, 2022 1:46 pm
Reply to  jwalker1395

HB was not yet ready for primetime. But what choice do we have?

CheekMagnet
October 4, 2022 4:57 pm
Reply to  ohioplayrs

Who is the best player we can get for Fox and Barnes? 2 for 1 deal because I really feel Davion and Keegan can start now.

Hippity_Hop_Barbershop
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October 4, 2022 9:10 am

Hail Murray full of grace, hallow be thy name, thy KANGdom come, thy will be done, on Earth and Golden One.

P.S. “The Lakers got booed off their home floor”

I didn’t hear that on the broadcast but that makes my day.

Last edited 1 year ago by Hippity_Hop_Barbershop
Kosta
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October 4, 2022 10:36 am

“Come with me…”

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Chippy23152
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October 4, 2022 9:20 am

If Murray doesn’t start every game from this point on, until he retires, I am burning all Kings merchandise.

RobHessing
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October 4, 2022 9:21 am

Keon Ellis is averaging 10.3 blocks and 5.1 steals per 36 minutescomment image

Sacto_J
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October 4, 2022 9:26 am

Good write-up, good-ish game.
Murray…?? Murray…!!!
The new Haliburton, I will be pissed if he gets traded. He’s got a long ways to go, yet he’s already here. Quietly had the best game out of every King that hit the floor. Nice job, rook, and welcome to Sacramento!
Some other observations:
Sabonis isn’t very assertive. He should be.
Anthony Davis looks like he’s getting fat. I like this more than I should.
Fox shooting jumpers is not very good. Fox getting to the rim is better.
Huerter is way more athletic than I thought. Signing him was a good idea.
James couldn’t make a lay up. Repeatedly. This made me happy.
Barnes…did Barnes play? He slides under the radar more than I’d prefer.
Okpala starting is not my favorite thing. I hope this changes.
Holmes looked rusty AF to start. Was nice to see him find some rhythm.
We have some decent depth but our 3rd string is frightening to watch.
The Lakers are a Dolly Parton team: Top heavy and the support just can’t get the job done.
Yay, basketball…!!!

DutchKingsFanInUK
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October 4, 2022 9:35 am

That last unit of Cook, Ellis, Bazemore, Moneke and Queta was so much fun to watch. Yes, they were playing against players who had (and probably will never have) NBA talent, but still. Super energetic, high defensive intensity, ball-movement and just plain had fun. Hope to see Ellis get some more time, that dude creates so much havoc.

eddie41
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October 4, 2022 10:57 am

agreed. Against the Lakers bench, there were several things about Moneke that popped off screen: energy, motor, rebounding, quick decisions, confidence, attitude – a bit like Donte Divincenzo. He’s a good presence out there. Ellis looks like a keeper. Bazemore played well also, and I think I’d give him the edge over Cook for the last roster spot.

eddie41
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October 4, 2022 11:10 am
Reply to  eddie41

his energy and body language reminds me of Dennis Rodman

TerzoM
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October 4, 2022 9:58 am

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Kosta
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October 4, 2022 10:31 am

The Kings had 14 takeaways last night.

That interception by Davion in particular was pretty nifty.

MichaelMack
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October 4, 2022 10:37 am

Obviously there was a lot to like last night.

I am still puzzled on how Keegan’s ceiling was already determined before the draft. His shooting touch is really impressive, and overall he is exceedingly competent, obviously, but I am really excited about what a live body he is. Without being fast, he really moves around the court well, and along with Sabonis, is going to make the Kings a good to very good defensive rebounding team this year, when in the past their inability to consistently close possessions has always put a strain on an already overstrained defense.

Mike Brown seems like he is in a completely different league than Walton when it comes to preparation and professionalism. He is in command, he seems to work his ass off, he made interesting hires, and the team on offense and defense last night at least seemed like it understood the game plan. I know Vlade’s big boner will always be the failure to draft Doncic, but hiring Walton is 1b to that egregious error of judgement.

I think the other thing that really stood out, is there is truly depth on this team. I think the best five is obvious, but to have Mitchell, Holmes, Monk, Lyles, Davis, Okpala, and Len to fill in however is a real bonus. The Kings have had such a massive drop off after their starters the last couple of years, its nice to know that as foul trouble and injuries pop up, there is someone competent to soak up minutes, or plenty of skills and sizes and experience for Brown to be able to adjust to specific matchups, it seems like the team has an obvious lane to be competitive this year.

DutchKingsFanInUK
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October 4, 2022 10:51 am
Reply to  MichaelMack

Well put, but to add to the that: firing Joerger to hire Walton đź« 

RobHessing
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October 4, 2022 10:53 am
Reply to  MichaelMack

Excellent point. I would have been curious to hear about the “ceilings” of Larry Bird or James Worthy or Chris Mullin (or even Mitch Richmond) back in the day had such things been in the mediasphere at the time. Painfully, even some GMs see a second jump and chase that in lieu of the much more obvious choice (names not needed). It’s how a Marquese Chriss gets drafted ahead of a Domantas Sabonis.

TerzoM
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October 4, 2022 11:24 am
Reply to  RobHessing

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RobHessing
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October 4, 2022 10:43 am

The nagging question seems to be defensive fit next to Sabonis up front. Aside from that, it seems to be a pretty straight line to Sabonis, Barnes, Murray, Huerter, Fox, Mitchell and Monk soaking up the most minutes in the rotation. Lyles, Okpala and maybe Metu or Moneke (or even Bazemore) playing for the 8-9 chairs and smaller reserve minutes at the 3-4-5?

I’m not worried about who starts. If Sabonis, Fox, Barnes, Huerter, Murray, Mitchell and Monk wind up logging the most total minutes for the Kings this season, the team should be competitive, and fun to watch.

Kosta
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October 4, 2022 12:54 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

“what about me?”
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Last edited 1 year ago by Kosta
RobHessing
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October 4, 2022 1:36 pm
Reply to  Kosta

He’s a given at backup five at this point, right? So he plays almost every night, but not as much as he’d like (barring a miraculous transformation in both his and Sabonis’ games). In the 10 man rotation, to be sure.

If this roster has an edge, it’s when it plays small.

Kingsguru21
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October 4, 2022 2:50 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

If this roster has an edge, it’s when it plays small.

Maybe if you’re talking about Holmes at the 5, yes. But if you’re talking about Sabonis? That seems pretty unlikely that will work as well as one might hope. The data doesn’t suggest that Sabonis as the only big lineup works well at all on the defensive end. So, I do think in order to use Sabonis as the only big on the floor lineup it had better be spectacular on offense almost every possession.

It’s possible it could work, if I were Mike Brown I wouldn’t necessarily rule it out. But I think defense is definitely optional for that grouping, for better or worse.

RobHessing
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October 4, 2022 3:55 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

I’m speaking in terms of the roster construction and having the highest volume of better players on the floor. I think that depth on this roster is at the guard spots, so running a triple combination of Fox, Huerter, Mitchell and Monk whenever possible benefits them.

And as the Dubs have proven, you do not have to have a shot blocker or even be particularly long up front to be good defensively on the interior. A lot of components go into it.

Kingsguru21
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October 4, 2022 4:59 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

And as the Dubs have proven, you do not have to have a shot blocker or even be particularly long up front to be good defensively on the interior. A lot of components go into it.

No doubt. Looney and Green, both very effective and valuable defensive players, are not known as rim protectors. Looney has never averaged a block his entire career, and Green is literally now at a block per game for his career after two sub 1 block seasons.

I think that depth on this roster is at the guard spots, so running a triple combination of Fox, Huerter, Mitchell and Monk whenever possible benefits them.

I agree. My point about Holmes is really A) he’s really more of a C/PF than just strictly a C and B) all it takes is him hitting a few 3’s here or there when on the floor with Sabonis and that pairing becomes far more palatable from a working standpoint.

But I agree about running 3 G sets. It’s hard to see how that isn’t something the Kings try to run at least 12-15 minutes per game at this juncture.

RPO
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RPO
October 4, 2022 10:51 am

Holy crap! Keegan had as many made buckets as Fox and Monk combined in less than half the attempts? And twice as many made threes in half the number of attempts? I don’t know if this speaks incredibly highly of Keegan or incredibly poorly of Fox and Monk, maybe a bit of both. I didn’t see the game but I’m at least disappointed by the FoxMonk stats.

Sacto_J
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October 4, 2022 3:26 pm
Reply to  RPO

To be fair, James and Bev were 1 for 19.
Take the high road and be impressed with the rookie.

aplumley
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October 4, 2022 7:52 pm
Reply to  Sacto_J

Keegan is better than LBJ is the only rightful conclusion.

BeTheBall
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October 4, 2022 10:59 pm
Reply to  aplumley

This.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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October 4, 2022 10:55 am

IMO, with a large glass of overreaction, and a small sample size of first game of the preseason, the Kings starters did not look all that good against the Lakers starters. Without looking at the boxscore I’d assume the Lakers starting 5 outperformed the Kings starting 5 and that with LBJ putting up a stinker.

Sure the bench players of the 2nd and 3rd units looked good, but they also when up against pretty shitty 2nd and 3rd units of the Lakers, who may have one of the worst benches in the league. The Kings destroyed the Lakers in the second half for that very reason.

MichaelMack
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October 4, 2022 11:37 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Good points Adam.

I really can’t believe that is the roster the Laker’s have. There is no path to a deep playoff run with those players, Lonnie Williams being their prize off season signing boggles my mind. I mean, maybe he turns his career around but he had a long leash in SA and just couldn’t get buckets, and doesn’t really contribute elsewhere.

At LeBron’s age, any season could be his last truly productive one, as injuries are always going to be a huge danger to someone with that many miles on him. Trading for Westbrook is going to be Pelinka’s legacy, I think. LeBron’s too old, and AD is too unreliable, to have a big reload next year in my opinion.

jwalker1395
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October 4, 2022 11:40 am
Reply to  MichaelMack

If there’s one major takeaway from last night it is that the Lakers are a complete dumpster fire if AD and Bron can’t play 48 minutes/game for 82 games.

Sacto_J
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October 4, 2022 3:28 pm
Reply to  jwalker1395

I’m perfectly OK with that.

Hobby916
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October 4, 2022 12:15 pm
Reply to  MichaelMack

I think Lebron suffers from over training. He logs so many minutes in season and the playoffs, he needs to do no training for a month after the season and let his body rest. Crazy how with all the advances in training in the sports world, injuries seem to be on the rise. Go rest, have fun with your family, enjoy not going to work for a bit.

Kingsguru21
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October 4, 2022 1:06 pm
Reply to  MichaelMack

TBH Mike, I think the end game for the Lakers is to trade Westy for Dame. I’m not sure how I feel about that at this point, but it has the possibility of happening come early January when the trade restriction on Dame expires. That would make sense why the Lakers are not really pulling a Westy trade off sooner. And it’s the only way they can acquire Dame.

The Lakers don’t scare me, as much as they should, in part because I really just don’t trust their health. I don’t really trust the Clippers health with Kawhi, or New Orleans health either with Zion Williamson’s history being what that is.. Denver has real injury problems with Porter alone and who knows how Murray bounces back?

Anyway, it’ll be a fun, interesting season I think. I’d bet on the Warriors, Suns, Grizzlies (a bit dubious how they perform without JJJ tho) and I’ll go with the Wolves (just because) as the top 4 in the West for now. I could see other teams like the Nuggets getting in the top 4 as well if things go well for them on the injury front. You have to think the Clippers at least have an outside shot at the top 4 and realistically their end game is June anyway.

As always we shall see, but the Lakers, especially when you look at the West overall, don’t really scare me. Not unless their depth and surrounding cast changes. Even with their ability to sign FA’s, I’m not sure how much of a draw an aging LeBron and breaking down Anthony Davis is to anyone at this point.

MichaelMack
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October 4, 2022 1:33 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

I do think the West is going to be denser this year, with regard to teams W/L records being tighter than last year.

I think the Warriors are still the best team, but they are not going to strain their vets to win 60 games, so I would expect low 50’s.

Likewise, I doubt the Sun’s come anywhere close to 64 wins this year, I would expect them in the low 50’s as well.

Jokic took the Nuggets to 48 last year without Murray/MPJ, I think their off season moves and getting some talent back puts them in the 50-55 win total.

I think the Wolves are going to be poised to win mid 50’s as well.

I would be very surprised if the Grizz won 56 again, I think they will feel the loss of Slo Mo and Melton until the young players round out, and JJJ missing time will hurt. I would peg them at high 40’s.

The Pelicans and Clips will win more than last year, that seems certain.

I feel like Dallas is really leaning into Wood and Dinwiddie and a healthy TH Jr being very productive, and I mean, maybe they are, but that doesn’t seem anywhere near a sure bet or even a good bet.

I think Portland is good if you squint through rose colored glasses. Is Dame really healthy? Is Simons having a great year even as good as CJ? Grant seems like the kind of player to make a good team great, not a mediocre team good. They have other interesting players, but still seems like a roster someone drafted in fantasy than a 45 win NBA team.

The rest of the West are not trying to be competitive, so as I said in a post above, I feel like there is a lane to the Kings being very competitive, and the West isn’t as stacked as it seems, and there are more good teams than great teams.

Kingsguru21
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October 4, 2022 1:57 pm
Reply to  MichaelMack

The rest of the West are not trying to be competitive, so as I said in a post above, I feel like there is a lane to the Kings being very competitive, and the West isn’t as stacked as it seems, and there are more good teams than great teams.

Well put Mike.

oshima9
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October 4, 2022 3:16 pm
Reply to  MichaelMack

You are probably right about the Warriors, but if 2 of the 3 of Wiseman, Kuminga and Moody play to potential, the team could win 65+. Probably a year away from that, though, if ever.

MichaelMack
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October 4, 2022 8:25 pm
Reply to  oshima9

I agree that it is probably a year early to have that trio drive a sixty win team, but they sure look set to have an interesting sunset for Klay and Draymond with those three and Poole brimming with potential to be good to very good or even great NBA players.

Adamsite
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October 4, 2022 2:01 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Do you think the Laker have enough assets to get Dame? Westbrook and two future firsts (which is all the Lakers have) isn’t going to get it done.

I still think the Buddy and Turner to LA thing is going to happen, only it won’t be with two picks. Indy will settle for one future first from LA.

Kingsguru21
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October 4, 2022 3:02 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Do you think the Laker have enough assets to get Dame? Westbrook and two future firsts (which is all the Lakers have) isn’t going to get it done.

Yep. There aren’t a lot of teams that can put together a package of 2 1st’s (that are well down the road) and offer the cap relief for Dame. He’s 32 with a lot of stressful mileage on him. It’s Damian Lillard so other teams WILL be interested, but the price the Lakers can offer is greater than what anyone else is likely be willing to IMO.

It’s possible somebody talks themselves into Dame, but the question is who? Minnesota I could see, but they don’t have the picks. Boston maybe? Brooklyn possibly?

Pickins are slim for a guy making 42M this year and with a bump that goes up to 50M next and ends at 58M and change 4 years from now. That’s a lot of cheddar for a 32 year old soon to be 33 year old. The Lakers I can see taking that risk. Other teams like Brooklyn and Boston? Can see it too given their current windows. But the list is small however you slice it.

Adamsite
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October 4, 2022 3:26 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

I guess i don’t see PDX ready to move Lillard. They just inked him to a 2 year extension that they didn’t have to do. Also, doesn’t that extension that he just signed make him non-tradable this season?

Kingsguru21
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October 4, 2022 3:35 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

The extension doesn’t allow him to be traded until 6 months after the extension. So January 5th is when the restriction lifts.

The way I see it is Dame signed the extension because that was where he could get the most money. But if it doesn’t work the next couple of months, he’s outta there. I don’t see any way PDX wants to be on the hook for 250+M over 4 years for a guy who will be 36-37 at the end of that deal. No way in hell.

Last edited 1 year ago by Kingsguru21
Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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October 4, 2022 3:56 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

So then why did PDX sign him to the extension? They could have easily extended him next season, or the one after that. It seemed to me to be a good faith deal to make him a Blazer for life.

Kingsguru21
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October 4, 2022 4:25 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Why did they do it? Probably out of loyalty, more than anything. That and it sells tickets to your fans who think you are still competing.

This is a new GM (Joe Cronin) with a charlatan masquerading as an owner (Jody Allen). I don’t think for a moment how ‘Lil Miss Mercer Island fabuloso I only give a shit how much money Vulcan makes which is how much I make’ gives one iota of loyalty or anything else outside of her bank account. If they can make a trade of Dame that makes sense for the franchise moving forward, they will. Dame signed it knowing how worthless Jody Allen’s word is. And how cheap she is.

There’s a reason why Dame talked to LBJ and AD in LA in summer of ’21. He was seriously considering out, and I don’t think he’ll object to going to LA this go around whatsoever.

MichaelMack
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October 4, 2022 4:18 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

I think both of your bring up valid points, and I can see the logic behind either scenario, but Jody Allen is a weird lady, and there has been a lot of weird stuff coming out about her, her ownership style, and I would put nothing past her. If Sarver gets some tremendous record setting sum for the Suns, I can see her put in the market to see what she could get. I see two games a year in Portland, and good lord those people love Dame, so it would be a tough trade, but I think Portland is the next team to be really weird.

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October 4, 2022 4:30 pm
Reply to  MichaelMack

 Jody Allen is a weird lady, and there has been a lot of weird stuff coming out about her, her ownership style, and I would put nothing past her

Not only that, she’s resented in PDX because she’s considered a Seattle centric type owner. She doesn’t give one shit about Portland whatsoever.

I don’t think she’d trade Dame to spite Blazer fans, but I don’t think the Blazers necessarily want to be on the hook for that type of money either. She’s already turned down an offer from Phil Knight of around 2B supposedly. She clearly wants a lot more, and I could see her approving a Dame trade if she thinks trading him improves that trade number because it’s effective in cleaning up the cap sheet. Especially from 2024-26.

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October 5, 2022 12:43 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Plus, Dame is an Adidas guy.

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October 4, 2022 11:38 am
Reply to  Adamsite

The Kings starters were certainly putting up a negative +/- versus the Lakers starters, granted it was only in maybe 5 minutes of play. The good news is that our bench kicked the s*** out of the Lakers bench.

I have to imagine a lot of the early flubs were simply due to a lack of familiarity between Huerter, Fox, and Sabonis. Definitely too early to overreact, but something to keep an eye on.

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October 4, 2022 1:52 pm
Reply to  jwalker1395

It’s one preseason game, so I put little stock into anything. Here is what I am looking for during the entire preseason:

  1. How’s Keegan look? (Great so far)
  2. How’s Fox look? (Incredibly average in Game 1)
  3. What do we have in Huerter and Monk? (Couldn’t get a read on Huerter; and Monk looked like he was trying to be Fox in the first half with chaotic drives to the basket. He needs to be the lights-out perimeter guy)
  4. Defense? (Starters looked bad, besides KZ; 2nd team looked much better against a bad Lakers bench)
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October 4, 2022 6:08 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Deaaron Fox = Derek Carr.

KANGZZZZZZZZZZZZ
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October 5, 2022 5:17 pm
Reply to  satdawg

If Fox was Carr, the kings would get into the playoffs every once in a while

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October 4, 2022 11:50 am

I have to wonder if Monk is going to be content coming off the bench. He signed here before the Huerter trade probably believing he would be the starter.

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October 4, 2022 12:13 pm
Reply to  rff

Hopefully he is content in whatever role he has. Starting or not, play your 28-30 minutes a night and get buckets. We will see if he has the Buddy ego or not.

MichaelMack
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October 4, 2022 12:17 pm
Reply to  rff

He probably hoped he would start, but I don’t think coming off the bench would affect him. Before starting 37 games for the Lakers last year he only had one start in four seasons. Last season was the first time he averaged more than 21 mpg as well. I could see him enjoying a bench role, as he would be the featured scorer. He would probably be the fifth option if he was starting.

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October 4, 2022 12:58 pm

My takeway is that the Kings dominated the 3rd quarter.

For the first time in the history of the universe.

Last edited 1 year ago by Kosta
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October 5, 2022 8:53 am
Reply to  Kosta

Which part of the multiverse have we wandered into?

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October 4, 2022 1:05 pm

Initially, it seemed like they tried to play Holmes like Sabonis and have Richaun hold the ball at the elbows for DHOs. I wanted them to try some pick and roll with him and Davion or Monk, and they eventually did that.

Keon and Queta had a sick empty corner pick and roll that ended in a lob to Queta for a dunk. I would spam empty corner PnR as much as I could, but I think setting it up must be a little difficult or something. But, no tagger = profit.

Fox went out when Monk went in in the first. You wonder how they’re going to get them time together.

KZ guarded LeBron.

Murray played a lot of his early time at SF considering the other front court players with him were Lyles and Holmes. Maybe that is why Murray did not start. Brown needed Murray to be his backup SF. With this roster, as Rik Smits pointed out on Twitter, we will need to play a SG or PF in the SF slot.

I like how KZ can lead the break dribbling the ball and running like a bat out of hell. Hopefully soon, he can finish the break with a play of some kind.

Keegan releases his 3 point shot with the quickness.

Len looked good. A little push flip shot and very fleet of foot.

If you give Davis the basketball, he will shoot the basketball. For better or for worse.

Bazemore looked sharp. Making a case to be part of the 15.

Chima had two instances where he went up for a rebound or a contest and the other dude appeared to get knocked to the ground from the contact. Moneke is strong.

Last edited 1 year ago by catterj
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October 4, 2022 2:11 pm
Reply to  catterj

With this roster, as Rik Smits pointed out on Twitter, we will need to play a SG or PF in the SF slot.

Never trust what people say on Twitter.

My only takeaway- Early, but Murray looking good.

The916
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October 4, 2022 1:13 pm

Very much looking forward to increasingly unhinged game previews and recaps.

GO KINGS

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October 4, 2022 9:33 pm
Reply to  The916

Will’s unhinged previews are one of my handful of favorite things about TKH.

Kingsguru21
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October 4, 2022 1:21 pm

Been thinking about rotations for awhile, and I should point out this is a good piece Brenden so thanks.

For me the bigs are: Sabonis, Holmes and Murray. Arrange them in whatever minute order you want, but it behooves Brown to play both Holmes and/or Murray with Sabonis whenever possible for a variety of reasons. One is Sabonis won’t do well as the lone big on the floor unless it’s an offensive lineup where defense is only a option. They should take up the majority of the minutes at the 4/5 spots. Lyles and Len will likely pick up a lot of the rest of minutes available there when they are available. Moneke and Okpala likely get a shot there as well. Barnes might also see minutes at the 4 periodically despite being needed at the 3 more often.

Your bigger wings are Barnes and Davis basically. I know Terrence Davis is largely seen as a SG due to height and wingspan, but what I think is more important is that Davis has the girth and strength to handle SF’s better than Huerter or Monk do. (I don’t believe for a second Terence Davis only weights 201 lbs.) Also, I think Moneke and Okpala will likely get shots at the SF spot as well. Moneke seems to be the more likely bet of the two.

Your smaller wings are Huerter, Monk and Bazemore if he makes the roster. Mitchell will get minutes here with Fox, most likely, but for the most part since you want to get Huerter and Monk on the floor those guys will take those minutes there.

Then you have the PG spot with Fox, Mitchell, Cook and Delladedova (assuming either of the latter two make the roster). Obviously Fox and Mitchell will get most of those minutes there.

Right now, I’m seeing quite possibly the rotation as:

Sabonis, Murray, Barnes, Huerter, Fox as the 1st unit.

Holmes, Moneke, Davis, Monk, Mitchell as the 2nd unit.

This would be my preferred top 10 left to my own devices, but it’s hard to say what happens at this point. There’s so much up in the air with the bottom of the rotation with a number of spots up for grabs. It’ll be interesting to see what combinations and what lineups Mike Brown favors as the season goes on. What I do like is the number of different combinations with shooting they can put on the floor around Sabonis in particular (it’s less of a concern of mine with Fox) and the fact the Kings can likely commit to putting any one of Murray, Holmes, Barnes, Moneke, or Okpala next to Sabonis as well. That’ll be a key element to making sure the defense actually functions on a passable level.

Exciting times, preseason. The possibilities are endless! Hurray!

MichaelMack
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October 4, 2022 1:37 pm
Reply to  Kingsguru21

I agree with a lot of that. I am hoping Davis can get some minutes too. His physicality and shooting ability are really interesting, and I imagine his motor is going to be high with being an expiring.

Want2win
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October 4, 2022 3:03 pm

I thought we had 14 not 5 takeaway’s…

oshima9
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October 4, 2022 3:12 pm

One obvious important takeaway that is perhaps taken for granted: the Kings aren’t trying to construct a team around Marvin Bagley developing into a consistent, productive starter, and we already see positive results. Better team play on both ends of the floor. McNair has pretty much replaced Bagley with Murray, with improvement already.

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October 4, 2022 5:55 pm

Ivey and Murray may end up being the best two players in this draft.

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October 4, 2022 6:11 pm
Reply to  aplumley

The draft has been over for like 3 months, I think we all got our predictions in by now 🤣

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October 4, 2022 6:45 pm
Reply to  satdawg

I am allowed to keep repredicting weekly for the next five years.

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October 4, 2022 9:12 pm

My Takeaways:

  1. Defensive effort looks obvious
  2. Murray needs to start
  3. Sabonis looked really bad against a healthy AD.
  4. Fox had a really poor night. Despite the stats.
  5. The 2nd team destroyed the Lakers bench.
UpgradedToQuestionable
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October 4, 2022 9:52 pm

Hot Take City:

Mike Brown was hired as a Defense Oriented Head Coach. He delivered – this team was centered around defensive effort, though execution was wanting with the starters, the bench was keyed in with lots of tipped balls, good rotation on the ball, blocks and steals and collapsing in the middle- and if the bench conveys that much effort and energy – the starters will follow. Leading by example is a two way street.

The offense was, at times, offensive. There looks to be more schemes needed. That said, 25 assists on 40.8% shooting ain’t too bad.

Holding the Pre-Season LAL to 31.2% FG is a pretty nice stat, as is holding them to 75. Wasn’t just Davion holding LA to an Off Night. Also out rebounded the Lakers.

Staying on the defensive side of the equation, I believe/hope that the new defensive intensity will lead to offense opportunities that these Kings are just learning to adjust to.

Just wait until there is a second game to change and/or contradict this one!

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