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Luke Walton says he needs more of a sample size before making changes to starting lineup

Tyrese Haliburton is playing well and Buddy Hield is struggling. Should they be swapped in the starting lineup? Walton doesn't think so yet.

Sacramento Kings head coach Luke Walton has no plans to change the starting lineup any time soon. Following another impressive outing by rookie Tyrese Haliburton in which he scored 23 points, tallied 9 assists, grabbed 5 rebounds, 3 steals and 1 block off the bench, Walton was asked about a change.

In the postgame, Walton was posed with the question with Haliburton playing well, Buddy Hield struggling (he went 3-9 for 11 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists in 37 minutes) and the team on an eight-game losing streak if he needs to go in a different direction.

"I don't know if that's the move, but like I’ve said, we're looking at everything," Walton said. "The tough part is like this is the same group that had won seven out of nine. Like, we haven't had that group yet. To all the sudden start making those type of changes without getting that group back. That group tonight, even though there was some minutes restrictions and guys looked a little rusty at times, like we were in Brooklyn with a one-point lead at one point in the fourth quarter there so like, I know we lost eight in a row, we have to get off this, but I'd like to see a little bit more. We were having some really good success with how that team was playing before so I'd like to get a little more sample size before making any major moves like that."

Walton also went with an eight-man rotation against the Nets and said he likes that mix, again referencing the team that went on the win streak a few weeks back and saying they had an eight-man rotation when they had everyone healthy. Walton believes the short rotation gets players into a good rhythm.

Separate from the rotation, Haliburton said he thinks it's "ridiculous" that the Kings are not back to where they were when they went 7-1 just a few weeks ago.

"I think it's ridiculous that we're not that right now. We've lost 6, 7, 8 in a row now so we've got to get back to it or be at the bottom of the west, be at the bottom of the league. I just hope that we care enough to understand that things can go bad really fast,” he said. "I think it's ridiculous that there were stretches. It's got to be all the time."

Now that the starters are healthy again and with the team on the road, there won't be much practice time and Walton said they will have to work during games to get their cohesiveness and flow back. "Once we do, we'll start winning games again," he said.

We all know we are sort of in a waiting pattern right now with this team as the trade deadline quickly approaches and as we wait for new general manager Monte McNair's plan to take shape over the next few seasons. The good news here is simple: Haliburton is part of the future and really good (make sure you read about his growth in his shooting). The bad news here is simple: These are still the same Kings we have seen for years and years. Change will need to happen for a true turnaround to happen.

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Klam
Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
February 24, 2021 11:54 am

So in other words……….he needs to watch more tape?

😉

eddie41
February 24, 2021 11:57 am
Reply to  Klam

How about historically bad defensive stats?

Jman1949
February 24, 2021 12:10 pm
Reply to  Klam

How about this tape:

comment image

MyNeighborTurturro
February 24, 2021 12:14 pm
Reply to  Jman1949

Is that the tape that kills you in seven days causes a 15-year playoff drought after watching it?

RocklinRoll
February 24, 2021 5:11 pm
Reply to  Jman1949

On the plus side, now we only have to worry about the Kings for another seven days.
So at least there’s that.

02kingsfan
February 24, 2021 12:19 pm
Reply to  Klam

The real question is: what kind of tapes?

Carl
February 24, 2021 1:43 pm
Reply to  02kingsfan

comment image

Jman1949
February 24, 2021 1:50 pm
Reply to  Carl

comment image

February 24, 2021 12:27 pm
Reply to  Klam

Had to sign on just to like this post lol

eddie41
February 24, 2021 11:55 am

Well, if we want to stop being the Kangz, I think Fox, Haliburton, Jeffries, Barnes, Holmes would achieve that. Nobody’s licking their chops to go up against those five.

SMF-PDXConnection
February 24, 2021 11:57 am

8/72 games is just barely over 10% of a season, and we’re almost at the halfway point.

SexyNapear
February 24, 2021 11:57 am

Haliburton starting or off the bench is meaningless. Hield has been awful this season and is now needs to be sent on his way, Monte needs to start thinking big. And that means putting Fox on the block if needed. Go get Jaylen Brown or another athletic up-and-coming swing dude. Rid the team of Barnes, Cojo and anyone else who can get you an asset.

andy_sims
February 24, 2021 12:19 pm
Reply to  SexyNapear

Oh, well sure. Let’s just get Jaylen Brown. Chop chop, idiots!

SexyNapear
February 24, 2021 3:16 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

For Fox and Barnes

Free_Keon_Clark
February 24, 2021 6:00 pm
Reply to  SexyNapear

Why do you imagine Ainge would ever even remotely consider that? Are we sending our 2021 pick?

Brown is a star and Fox and Kemba would be a mess.

Last edited 1 month ago by Free_Keon_Clark
citykidd
February 24, 2021 12:05 pm

Adelman said something years ago about line up changes that has always resonated with me. He said that when you make a line up change your’re telling that player he’s the reason for all of our problems. So, if Buddy is switched out for Hali, is Buddy the only reason the Kings are as lousy as they are?

eddie41
February 24, 2021 12:18 pm
Reply to  citykidd

Defensively, yes. Same with Bagley. Speaking of Adelman, I liked his consistent rotations, but that wasn’t much of an issue with his rosters in Sacramento. If you look at some of his moves in Houston, however, I think he’d let a player struggle for 10 or 15 games before making a change. He did not go all season with losing formulas.

andy_sims
February 24, 2021 12:21 pm
Reply to  eddie41

Adelman is a superior coach, but it’s pretty easy to stick to a lineup that’s as formidable as those teams were. Walton doesn’t have that luxury, so such consistency is not a virtue on his part.

eddie41
February 24, 2021 12:37 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

Jerry Reynolds said in a podcast about a month ago that it’s part of the job and there’s a way to tell a player that his role is changing, and they are professionals who will understand.

rockbottom
February 24, 2021 2:38 pm
Reply to  eddie41

He also said at that time it was time to start Hali and move Buddy to 6th man ! Even suggested that Hali is more effective at point than Fox but Fox would benefit by scoring easier with less pressure !

citykidd
February 24, 2021 12:33 pm
Reply to  eddie41

It seems that the best solution would be to trade Buddy for another shooter that may not as good a shooter but is consistent. My personal opinion is Hali can freaking play and him and Fox in the backcourt would give the opposition fits.

andy_sims
February 24, 2021 12:18 pm

“Bigger sample size.”

Walton is as nimble as a fire hydrant. Why should he try? VD assured that he’d be paid, win or lose, through 2023.

I continue to have serious concerns about the long-term effect he’s having with our younger players.

WizsSox
February 24, 2021 12:19 pm

4 articles before noon!
comment image

Last edited 1 month ago by WizsSox
Carl
February 24, 2021 1:46 pm
Reply to  WizsSox

This guy looks like the bastard child of Stifler and Gronk.

TheGrantNapear
February 24, 2021 5:16 pm
Reply to  Carl

Looks like the prototypical douche

02kingsfan
February 24, 2021 12:22 pm

Aka: I am incapable of making adjustments at this level with millions that are paid to me annually

RORDOG
February 24, 2021 12:33 pm

The Kings have played 31 games so far this season, and their record is 12-19. The Kings had a 12-19 record after 31 games last season as well. Get ready for a hot streak folks!

BestHyperboleEver
February 24, 2021 1:11 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

They do have 3 very (theoretically) winnable games coming up.

AmateurNerd
February 24, 2021 12:37 pm

“He needs more of a sample size.” Translation: “This bad team hasn’t been bad for quite long enough yet. Also, Buddy will whine if I bench him.”

Kosta
February 24, 2021 12:44 pm
Reply to  AmateurNerd

…Hey Kings management, 14 years (what is it, 7 years for Vivek?) is enough sample size to know you guys are pretty bad at running a competitive team.

RobHessing
February 24, 2021 1:02 pm

Watching Luke Walton coach this team gives me sample sighs.comment image

RORDOG
February 24, 2021 1:19 pm

I rate this claim 3 out of 5 stars on the technically correct scale. Technically, the 5-man lineup that swaps Haliburton and Buddy has a worse net rating (-36.2 per 100) than the current starting 5 (+4.8). The lineup with Haliburton and the starters has only played together for 45 minutes though, so the sample size is too small. The lineup that swaps Haliburton for Bagley has had more success (16.3) in a larger sample size (144 MP).

RORDOG
February 24, 2021 1:31 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

oh wait, my bad the lineup that swaps Hali with Buddy is -1.6 in 32 minutes. So better, but not good enough to change the technically correct rating. The lineup with the -36.2 rating swaps Haliburton for Holmes.

mdeedublu
February 24, 2021 1:31 pm

Starting Buddy so you can sell him in the trade block as a starter or start Buddy to keep the tank rolling. I can’t think of any other “intelligent” reason he’d need “more of a sample size.”

andy_sims
February 24, 2021 2:13 pm
Reply to  mdeedublu

I just assumed that Hield would still get 30+ minutes as a sixth man. His concern should be finishing games, not starting them.

Adamsite
Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
February 24, 2021 1:37 pm

I think Walton is actually an idiot for keeping to an 8 man rotation. He argues that it gets the core in a rhythm, but then what happens when one or two of those 8 goes down with an injury or protocols…the fucking wheels fall off. New additions are unfamiliar with the chemistry or their role. This is evidenced by things like Walton starting Nemanja one night then giving him a DNP-CD the next.

In my quick study of the other NBA games over the past week, it’s clear the good teams are running deep with their benches. The vast majority are running 10 man rotations, because most teams are being hit with protocols and/or injuries. With this season being so condensed, and with so few days off, Walton should be running deep as well. Gives guys more rest and integrate more role players within the system so when injures do occur, it’s not a total train wreck on the court. It ain’t fucking rocket surgery.

MillersCornrows
February 24, 2021 8:43 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Rocket surgery?

Wow GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Adamsite
Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
February 24, 2021 1:38 pm

OT: GR3 waived

FarmerGuy
February 24, 2021 1:40 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Beat me by a minute. Does this possibly indicate a move being made where they will need that spot on the roster? It seems like a team won’t waive a guy they have semi-regularly been playing unless his spot is needed for an improvement.

Adamsite
Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
February 24, 2021 1:43 pm
Reply to  FarmerGuy

Not really, his deal was to be fully guaranteed today. Being waived, the Kings don’t have to pay his full deal. I just really hope it wasn’t a cost saving move.

Last edited 1 month ago by Adamsite
Jman1949
February 24, 2021 1:47 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

The cost savings is too small to be a major factor. Other teams are making similar moves to open up roster spots so they can sign players to 10-day contracts.

RORDOG
February 24, 2021 1:54 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

cost savings is definitely a benefit of this move. He became expendable before the date in which his contract became fully guaranteed.

FarmerGuy
February 24, 2021 1:39 pm

Kings are waiving GR3. Does that mean a move is being made sooner rather than later?

andy_sims
February 24, 2021 2:14 pm
Reply to  FarmerGuy

Opening his roster spot suggests a deal where one guy goes out and two come back.

GFunkClassic
February 24, 2021 2:15 pm

Quite the conundrum….Do we bench Buddy and further his trade value decline or play him and further his trade value decline?

SelecaoKOJ
February 24, 2021 2:33 pm

Joke of the day: Hali offering a TopShot of Hield for a starting price of 10k up to 250k. I didn’t know Hali was a comedian too.

SelecaoKOJ
February 24, 2021 2:39 pm

Walton probably waiting to see how the next 5 games go before the break.
If the Kings go on a another winning streak. Entirely possible considering: Knicks, Detroit, Charlotte, Blazers(No Nurkic and McCollum) Lakers( No Davis)

If the Kings Go 1-4 or 2-3, I can see Hali starting after the break.

Want-to-be-gm
February 24, 2021 3:47 pm

The starting lineup doesn’t matter.

We need to start making some moves, IMO I would put all the below guys on the market and hopefully come away with a couple more decent draft picks and some cap space. Also it would be nice to have a better feel about the capabilities of guys like Woodard, Guy, Metu, Ramsey and James going into the offseason and they need playing time for us to properly evaluate them. There’s really no reason at this point for players like Joesph, Robinson (irrelevant now),Bjelica, Whiteside, and Parker to be taking minutes from the young unknowns. Those guys along with Barnes and Buddy should be put on the market immediately. I’d like to go into the offseason with a couple of first round picks, another young prospect and a bunch more cap space.

I would build around Fox, Haliburton and Bagley for now. I wouldn’t go crazy, but I’d offer a reasonable contract in the offseason to Holmes like 3 yrs for 18-20mil and let him go if he doesn’t take it. I would possibly use the additional cap space to take on a serviceable bad contract in exchange for a draft pick or young prospect.

After we clean house, My starting lineup from that point forward would be Fox, Hali, Jeffries, Bagley and Holmes. Off the bench would be Guy, Woodard, Metu and James and someone young we may have picked up in the fire sale. Any of the veterans we are not able to move would sit the rest of the year or be released (right move releasing Robinson).

We must make the next draft count and count big and I’d like to have multiple shots at the wheel which hopefully trading Barnes and Buddy and the rest of the veterans will give us.

RORDOG
February 24, 2021 4:37 pm
Reply to  Want-to-be-gm

did you copy and paste this from a previous article?

Want-to-be-gm
February 24, 2021 7:35 pm
Reply to  Want-to-be-gm

It needs repeating. At least they made the Robinson move. Now they need to do the rest.

BTW if you have time watch OKC play. Watch out if they get a top 3 pick next draft. I want either Roby or Maledon. Dort an undrafted free agent what a find. We need to get something like that and do a better job with our second rounders. Not sure why we traded Trent jr. Realize second rounders are long shots but we need to do better. Look at all the serviceable second rounders OKC has gotten. Roby, Maledon, Diallo and Dort undrafted. That’s a haul.

Follow the plan and we can get two nice picks. Scottie Barnes and Jalen Johnson.

February 24, 2021 4:07 pm

lol nice use of analytics?

Last edited 1 month ago by dhackett
Bluejohn
February 24, 2021 9:56 pm

HT to Klam: “So in other words………….he needs to watch more tape?

Yes. Exactly…….. yes.

Luke makes it sound like watching more tape or getting a little bit more data is going to make a difference. What has watching more tape or analysing more data gotten him (or us) so far?

Nothing!!!!

Monte needs to tell him to stop thinking….it just doesn’t work for Luke. Luke says he needs more information like it’s a search that would lead to revelations that would possibly take the Kings from the doormats of the NBA to possibly competing for a championship if he could just get a little more information.

He says it with a pretentiousness that sounds so much like his dad , like if he could just drill down a little bit more he might not only solve all the King’s problems but the world’s as well.

I have a Modest Proposal.

Clearly trying to out think the problems the Kangz have has not worked in close to a generation. Analytics, group think, Vlade, vivek, being late to the MIT groundswell, Jimmer, defense …….etcetera, etcetera

I could quote Einstein or possibly Elon Musk but the bottom line if the hole you’re in keeps getting deeper………quit digging.

The things that successful teams do is clearly not working for the Kangz so let’s stop it right this second…….now. Best practices just don’t work here.

So what could work? I’m glad you asked:

Butt pulled ideas!!!!………How stupid you say! What an idiot. It’s OK, I’ve been called worse. Seriously if all the butt pulled ideas expressed here or (I’m thinking of another site) had been strained and sifted and washed off would the KIngs be worse off? I don’t think so.

We have something that the Kings FO doesn’t have and that is a man who is a 7th degree black belt in pulling ideas out of his ass and that man is Rob Hessing. (Rob I mean this in the most complementary way) He has come up with some of the most common sense solutions to the issues the Kings face that just seem so obvious to everybody but the people in charge.

Even in vivek’s reduced circumstances I’m sure he could offer Rob a consulting contract, I’m thinking of something small like $25k per month and get better advice than he’s currently getting. If Rob got tired of pulling ideas out of his own ass he could steal y’all’s butt pulled ideas and this team would still be better off.

One word of caution……In the infinitely remote chance that vivek took you up on this and invited you over to his offices in G1C for a butt pulling session….. Rob…..man….don’t go

Inthestarz
February 24, 2021 11:41 pm

The only 1/120 chance he has to keep his job past this year is inserting Hali into the starting lineup somehow and playing his best players the most minutes

keeping things the same ensures the tank which I’m on board with

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