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Mike Brown says Trey Lyles’ defensive instincts can help the Kings get to the next level

Lyles was a monster in the second half against the Memphis Grizzlies Monday night. Let's take a look at what he did.

Trey Lyles is a really good role player. He isn’t flashy. He isn’t an every-game starter. But he can start if he needs to fill in for an injury and is a very reliable, smart and talented basketball player to have come off your bench. He proved it yet again Monday against the Memphis Grizzlies.

Lyles finished with 24 points, 7 rebounds, 3 blocks and 2 steals in 25 minutes in the Sacramento Kings win over the Grizzlies. Aside from the numbers, Lyles was a monster in the fourth quarter on defense. And did his job on the boards after Mike Brown got on the players Monday morning about their inability to rebound against the Philadelphia 79ers.

Following the win, Brown spoke about Lyles.

“He’s got a tremendous feel [for the game]. His team defensive instincts within our scheme can help us get to the next level,” Brown said. “He’s going to bust his behind, he’s going to use his length, he’s not afraid to get hit in the nose, he’ll try to rebound and he’s going to get out and run and all of those things get contagious and so we need his presence because he’s not afraid, because he has a great feel, because he’s going to play so hard, because he’s going to try to finish the play with a rebound.”

Brown said all of this is why after he started playing Lyles earlier this season he hasn’t come out of the rotation.

Let’s take a look at what Lyles did against the Grizzlies.

He did a good job in the first half, as he does, fitting in with the flow of the offense.

A nice hard cut here once he sees De’Aaron Fox slow down his dribble. Easy bucket. He also drained a few threes in the first half.

There were a few first half plays though that displayed his feel for the game, as Brown mentioned.

Here, Malik Monk makes the three, but watch as Lyles immediately boxes out his man after running from the three-point line as Monk sets his feet for the shot.

Here, Lyles attempts to gain post position, but Domantas Sabonis passes it back out to Davion Mitchell. Lyles immediately clears the paint and motions to Mitchell to call off passing it to him. Mitchell then uses the space created by Lyles’ exit for an easy layup.

In the second half, Lyles really made his imprint on the game.

He grabs a steal here and take it coast to coast for the dunk. The crowd explodes.

Another steal.

A block.

Drains an open three.

An aggressive rebound against the 6’11’’ Jaren Jackson Jr. Lyles is listed at 6’9’’.

Again, he is going up against the larger Jackson Jr. He tries to drive to the paint against Lyles. Lyles gets vertical and stays in front of him, slowing Jackson Jr. down enough that he loses control of the dribble. Lyles even takes an elbow to the chin and doesn’t budge. Richaun Holmes goes over to give the man his props after this.

The Kings played impressive team defense down the stretch of this game with Lyles being a catalyst alongside Monk and Fox. This is a good NBA team, which is why it is in third place in the Western Conference, and even creating some separation. If the players can defend like this more often, it is going to be tough for any team in the league to stop them.

As for Lyles, who came over in the deal that sent Marvin Bagley to the Detroit Pistons, what an absolute bargain he is at $2.6 million this season.

Today at practice, Brown spoke about how defensive growth is the most important thing for the Kings right now. Subscribe to our YouTube channel here.

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RobHessing
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January 24, 2023 2:57 pm

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MichaelMack
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January 24, 2023 3:21 pm

After he had a couple of pretty decent years off the bench for Denver I thought he was going to have more of a break out in San Antonio, but he seemed to be just adequate. Decent shooter, decent rebounder, but not aggressive or having a super high motor.

Maybe he needed a coach like Mike Brown, he is going to play himself into a nice contract. Every team in the league looks for a power forward who can stretch the floor. To me, the most exciting part of his game is how much more physical he is playing now than in years past.

That is a good rotation at the 3/4 with HB, Keegan, and Trey.

andy_sims
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January 24, 2023 3:24 pm

As has been said, there’s a reason he was offered a scholarship to Kentucky, and a reason why he was a lottery pick.

Given Lyles’ understanding of the fundamentals, and ability to score, rebound and defend, I do not understand why he wasn’t able to show out until he got to Sacramento. He is exactly the kind of player who makes a good team into a great team. I hope he’s come to like living in Northern California.

NorCalKingsFan
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January 24, 2023 4:14 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

It should be stated that he was having a career year playing in Detroit before the trade…it seems like he just was able to mentally put it all together. The Kings current offensive and defensive systems seem to really get the most out of him too.

andy_sims
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January 24, 2023 3:33 pm

McNair has reupped!

Kingsguru21
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January 24, 2023 6:51 pm

Trey Lyles, and this post, is awesome. That is all.

Want2win
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January 25, 2023 6:20 am
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Wait.. where is the rest of the comment?.

andy_sims
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January 25, 2023 9:55 am
Reply to  Want2win

It’s cleverly disguised as the Beijing White Pages.

Kosta
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January 25, 2023 9:19 am

Great breakdown videos!

It’s great to hear about a Kings player’s defensive instincts.

Usually we just hear about how our defense stincts.

andy_sims
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January 25, 2023 9:55 am
Reply to  Kosta

Us who?!?

Kosta
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January 25, 2023 1:05 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

Me, tu!

PretendGhost
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January 25, 2023 12:45 pm

Love that the Kings were able to turn Bagley into this guy. Hopefully we can resign him on a contract similar to what Bagley got from Detroit. We’d definitely be getting more value than the Pistons are right now

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