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Postgame Quotables: Pace is up, defense is a zero

Let's take a look at what Luke Walton, De'Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield had to say about Friday's loss to the Blazers.

The Sacramento Kings dropped the first preseason game of this new season Friday night to the Portland Trailblazers 127-102.

Harry Giles slayed the Kings for 18 points and 14 rebounds.

Ok, now that we got that out of the way, a few of the biggest aspects of the game that Luke Walton and players noticed were the pace, passing and [lack of] defense.

Here are some comments shared after the game.

Pace


Walton:
€œI thought we did a lot of good things in that first half as far as what we've been working on, what we're looking to do offensively. We had 15 assists [at the half], liked the pace we were playing at. Obviously, we're not in good enough shape yet. I thought our guys got tired and then we gave into that fatigue.€

Buddy Hield: €œThe spacing was great. I think everybody played unselfishly too.€

De'Aaron Fox: €œFirst half I think we shared the ball really well.€

The Kings finished the game with 24 assists and 17 turnovers.

Defense


Walton:
€œDefensively, we played absolutely zero defense tonight from the start of the game to the end. We've got to be much better at that.€

€œIt comes down to for us we've got to be able to guard the ball, we've got to be able to protect the paint and we've got to be able to rebound.€ 

€œThere are some things we're doing different. We've had what, four days of practice, however many days of practice, and this was the first preseason game. There are some coverages that are different for the guys that are returning that we have a foundation set with. And then outside of Cory Jo [Joseph], there wasn't many people on the bench that were out there playing tonight that were getting rotational minutes last year. A lot of opportunities are coming for guys that this is either new for or the opportunity and the role, the minutes are bigger for right now. The combination of the two of those is what we have to continue to understand. Be patient on one hand with some of the young guys and let the veteran guys get some more experience running these schemes and coverages.€

€œWe're looking to be much more disruptive this year. Part of that is deflections, steals, blocks, and I thought we did a nice job of those parts of it. It was more how freely we were letting them run their offense. €¦ We've got to push them out further, we've got to fight through screens better, bigs have to be up more, and those are things and traits that good defensive teams have that we're going to continue to work toward.€

Fox: €œBeing good defensively isn't about forcing turnovers or just forcing turnovers. You have to make teams miss. You can have 20 turnovers, 25 turnovers, but if you're shooting 50 percent from three then it's probably going to be hard to lose. For us, we have to be able to close out better, pick up points better, just be able to pressure the ball a lot better and force them into shots that they don't want to take.€

The Blazers shot 51 percent from the field and 50 percent from three. The Kings had 12 steals.

Rookies


Hield:
€œT-Y [Tyrese Haliburton] was able to find some guys and play a little point and show his versatility. Jahmi'us [Ramsey] was a scorer at Texas Tech. He came in and he shot the ball with confidence. You see why they are in the league.€

Walton: €œA couple of these guys were in college a few weeks ago. You want to come out and show everyone what you can do so I feel like we probably forced a couple of shots that we're not looking for, but they're confident young men and I like that they're aggressive, but we have to do better as far as understanding what we're looking for. And understanding that when we're unselfish the ball is going to make its way back to us as long as the other guys out there are playing the same way.€

Haliburton finished the game with 5 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals in 20 minutes. Ramsey had 5 points and 1 assist in five minutes of action.

Getting Into the Paint More


Walton:
€œI'm looking for De'Aaron to get into the paint a little more.€

Fox: €œI do think we shot a lot of threes today. We definitely can touch the paint more. Obviously, doesn't mean we have to shoot the ball [in the paint]. If those paint touches result in kick-out threes then those are the best threes that you can possibly get in basketball.€

The Kings had 36 points in the paint to the Blazers 38.

Other Notes

The Kings shot 50 three pointers (made 16 of them). The motto this season coming out of training camp isn't about a certain number of threes per game, but taking good three-point shots when the opportunity is there.

Hassan Whiteside (right calf strain) and Marvin Bagley (COVID-19) did not travel with the Kings to Portland.

CJ McCollum reminded Walton to wear his mask during the game.

The rematch between these two teams is on Sunday at 6 p.m.

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SelecaoKOJ
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December 12, 2020 11:09 am

Good teams will Cut Fox’s bread and butter out. Double teaming him at the point of attack. Fox can’t get into the lane and penetrate or get to the line. He doesn’t have the strength of a Westbrook. Teams will force Fox to kick it out or hit the jumper. Teams really don’t fear Fox on the 3. Until that, if that ever happens, Fox’s impact will be minimized.

Last edited 2 years ago by SelecaoKOJ
SMF-PDXConnection
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December 12, 2020 11:18 am

I also noticed Alton not wearing his mask properly.

Like I needed another reason to loathe him.

RobHessing
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December 12, 2020 11:25 am

Notice how much “Coach, put your mask on” and “Luke, you’re an ass hole” both work with that gif?

SMF-PDXConnection
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December 12, 2020 11:54 am
Reply to  RobHessing

What’s the difference between an asshole and someone who won’t wear their mask right?

SunBreakTheDawn
December 12, 2020 1:49 pm

An asshole serves a useful purpose.

TImorous_Me
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December 12, 2020 11:41 am

It would be hilarious (if it weren’t so dangerous) the way people are so dense about pulling their mask down to talk or yell; it’s like, no, that’s when you need it on most! No surprise that Big L is in that category.

On a side note, why do so many people feel a need to pull their mask down when looking intently at their phones? Do they not realize that the mask doesn’t cover their eyes?

SMF-PDXConnection
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December 12, 2020 12:22 pm
Reply to  TImorous_Me

Oh great, the anti-mask crowd has arrived to downvote us.

RobHessing
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December 12, 2020 12:48 pm

If I played like this team I’d insist on wearing a mask.

Bbmuteman
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December 12, 2020 1:00 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Are we at paper bag time yet?

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Klam
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Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
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December 12, 2020 3:06 pm
Reply to  Bbmuteman

Paper Bagley?

9sac8
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December 13, 2020 5:57 am
Reply to  Klam

Don’t forget “Trash Bagley”. We need all jokes on deck for this season.

rc50cal
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December 12, 2020 3:29 pm

Yes, but the pro-paper-bags-over-our-heads brigade is here to up vote you!

Kingsguru21
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December 12, 2020 4:28 pm

Some of them. Not all.

ImJoeKing
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December 12, 2020 11:40 pm

Is there anything Walton does well?

His offensive sets are baffling, ineffective, and don’t utilize his players’ strengths. Team defense is sporadic at best and frequently non-existent.

Fans don’t like him. Players don’t like him and don’t play hard for him.

Player development seems more like regression under his tutelage. Young players are under-utilized and yet somehow vets are also unhappy with their roles while their trade value sinks.

He sucks at coach’s challenges. He sucks at interviews and communicating with the media.

€œDefensively, we played absolutely zero defense tonight from the start of the game to the end. We’ve got to be much better at that.€

Oh yeah? You think so? Zero defense is not the right amount of defense to play? Enlightening. Truly. The guy makes me feel qualified to be an NBA coach.

He has sexual assault accusations.

It seems to me if he’s making every part of the team worse and everyone in the organization unhappy, that’s a toxic person to have around and he should be removed as soon as possible so you can start building something better.

Since we’re here, I suppose I’ll give him two weeks of regular season to get something other than flat lackluster losing basketball out of this team. But if not he’s got to go, right? No waiting until next year. You tank by trading everyone who’s valuable now for things that will be valuable later, not by making everyone loathe the organization.

Henry
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December 13, 2020 9:14 am
Reply to  ImJoeKing

This sums it up. On one hand, he’s great for the tank. On the other hand, you don’t want any lasting damage done. Monte needs to thread the needle just right here.

cloudyeyes
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December 12, 2020 1:24 pm

There needs to be more slashing/passing out to the open 3 and screens. Saw too many contested shots. I get what the Kings are trying to do here – base the offense on making 3’s and out pacing the opponent by filling up the score faster than they can. This pace creates chaos on defense and exploits open lanes. I hope Bagley coming back will change all of that and force defenses to collapse. Hopefully Bagley has improved his ball-handling and slashing ability to make use of that. Bagley is the big X-factor this season. Hopefully the defense improves a bit, too.

rc50cal
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December 12, 2020 3:27 pm

If only there were a position within the organization in charge of getting the team to play defense.

UsedToLoveTheKings
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December 12, 2020 5:39 pm

Let Bobby Jackson and Alvin Gentry coach while Luke sits upstairs and collects a paycheck. Kings will probably need a gubment PPP bailout check to survive. Vivek, how’s NBA 12.0 working out?

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