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Postgame Quotables: Small sample size, but Kings are showing winning habits

96% from the line, the Tyrese and Richaun pick and roll, and signs of growth?

The Sacramento Kings defeated the New Orleans Pelican Friday night 113-109. Following the game, Luke Walton, Tyrese Haliburton and Richaun Holmes spoke to media.

Here are some key quotables from the postgame.

On the Kings Going 24-25 On Free Throws

Tyrese Haliburton: “We hit a lot of big free throws down the stretch – Buddy [Hield], HB [Harrison Barnes] and Rich [Holmes]. That helps us a lot. It’s going to be important as these games ramp up, the closer they are a lot of time you look at things like rebounding, free throws and turnovers and stats like that are key indicators to winning or losing.”

Luke Walton: “Good teams normally shoot, no one is going to shoot 96[%] for the season, but good teams shoot good percentages from the foul line. You take care of your business, and making free throws is something that we talk a lot about as a team and guys work on. Really, it was a big part of how we were able to keep that lead in the fourth quarter was every time we got fouled, knocking down free throws. To me, that’s one of those winning habits we talk about that we’re continuing to try to build on.”

The Connection On The Court With Haliburton and Holmes

Tyrese Haliburton: “From the moment I got here, a special relationship between us grew to where we play off each other. To be honest, I didn’t know much about Rich before I got here, and I quickly figured out that if I wanted an assist, it was easy to play with Rich [laughs]. It worked for us a lot last year and down the stretch I think our teammates trust us in the two-man game to make the right play.”

Richaun Holmes: “With Ty, he’s just so creative with the ball, especially when he gets downhill in the pick and roll. So, for me, it’s about just making sure I get space for him and giving him room to operate. It’s very, very simple for me. He knows how to make the right pass, he always makes the right decisions and he’s just very, very tough to guard in the pick and roll so when he’s coming downhill, I try to get to the front of the rim and let him make the decision and he always makes the right one.”

Tyrese Haliburton on De’Aaron Fox Struggling From The Field

“It’s basketball and you have times where you miss shots, have times where you make shots. He’s just missing some jumpers right now, but he was huge for us tonight. I don’t have a stat sheet in front of me or anything, but I thought he was really good tonight, making a lot of plays for others, getting downhill. It’s just a game, you’re going to miss shots, you’re going to make shots, that’s whatever, but for us it’s just about winning and he’s our leader and he’s helping us do that.”

Things That Are Different This Season

Richaun Holmes: “We wanted to make sure we’re communicating with each other, we had each other’s backs at every moment to start the season and that’s something we wanted to build on as we go, and I think these first few games we’ve gone a great job and we’ve just got to continue getting better.”

“I think just the communication and effort, it goes a long way. Making sure we understand as bigs to call out screens early for our guards so they can get into positions they need to be in. ... The guards fixing their feet to get into positions they need to be in. Go along with our defensive game plan. So, I just think the focus level in that area this year has been much improved.”

Luke Walton: “You hear them talking in timeouts at the end of these games, and then they get to do it again the next night. You come in the locker room and you hear them in there, not celebrating, but talking about what we could have done different and that’s how you get growth from a group. So being in every game against the type of teams we’re playing is exciting, but it’s also what we expect, and we know it’s hard. What we really like is that we won three of the five, so we know we put a lot of hard work in coming into the season, it’s a small sample size and it’s early, but we like where our team is at.”

“With our team this year that’s what we’re trying to build toward is knowing that we don’t have to just rely on one person. We know that De’Aaron is an incredible talent and there’s times when it’s tough for anyone to keep him in front. Harrison has been incredible for us this year, I feel like I should have done a better job of trying to get Harrison more involved as the game went, but he was very solid again tonight. Tyrese made some big plays, Richaun, so that’s who we want to be as a team. We don’t have one megastar, but we have some really good players on our team and that’s how we’re going to be at our best.”

Tyrese Haliburton: “I think we really had a great first five games. We let two slip at home, but I think we’ve been playing well all year. Right now, we’re just figuring out how to close games.”

A Few Takeaways

Let’s unpack a few things from all of this.

  • First, I named that last section “Things That Are Different This Season” because it appears most of the things discussed there are things that the team has been talking about for years now, but actually might be making progress in: communication, effort, closing games, accountability. The team is talking to each other on and off the court about how to get better, playing hard and learning how to close out games. The things that just require a team to want to do (accountability, effort and communication), and have nothing to do with basketball skill, are things that have been strangely absent from this team for way too long. Now, we are only five games into the season, and this could all go south, but these things, coupled with signs of life on defense and winning games they should win, like this one against the Pelicans, are good signs.
  • Additionally, they have traditionally had to rely on one guy, their main player. As Walton mentioned there, they have multiple guys who can get the job done and are learning how to operate that way.
  • The pick and roll between Haliburton and Holmes is a thing of beauty and something we need even more of on a consistent basis.
  • Fox going 4-4 and Holmes going 7-7 from the line was great to see.
  • Fox was a +2 on the night with 23 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists. He was 1-7 from three and had 4 turnovers, but other than that he was good. Nice to hear Tyrese's support for him.
  • Barnes only took nine shots and he is averaging 15.8 per game this season, so it was good to hear Walton mention he needed to get him more involved, especially with the way he has been playing this season.

On Sunday, the 5th seed Sacramento Kings take on the 4th seed Dallas Mavericks.

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Kosta
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October 30, 2021 2:32 pm

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Jman1949
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October 30, 2021 2:41 pm
Reply to  Kosta

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Kosta
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October 30, 2021 4:27 pm
Reply to  Jman1949

Just dune our thang
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kings4ever
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October 30, 2021 4:00 pm

Good job Blake and Tony, two warriors for facts and truth

kings4ever
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October 30, 2021 4:01 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

My shortest post ever 😉

rockbottom
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October 30, 2021 4:13 pm

Harrison and Holmes have been terrific and getting better help from Hali and Heild ! Seems it’s the H-Troop and still waiting for Fox ( not productive yet )!

PretendGhost
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October 30, 2021 4:14 pm

I think it’s pretty exciting watching this team and knowing they can be better than what I’m seeing, while also being better than they’ve looked in a long time.

I remember 2018-19 for being fun, and also feeling throughout the year that the team was overachieving, especially because of shaky defense and halfcourt offensive execution. This year, they’re playing with a number of proven guys who, when deployed correctly, can really put pressure on other teams, and are doing it with notable effort and improvement on defense.

I’m confident they can get the offense sorted out. As long as they do it without sacrificing defense, this could be a strong year.

Last edited 11 months ago by PretendGhost
RobHessing
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October 30, 2021 4:19 pm

I will go out on a limb and say the Kings will go undefeated this year when they shoot 96% or better from the line.

Kosta
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October 30, 2021 4:29 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Probably lose a few of those games after January, though!

kings4ever
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October 30, 2021 5:23 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Uh….going 13 out of 14 is close to 96% but you could easily lose a game like this, since we are talking about 13 points, with the new rules that are for the betterment of the game but limit the number of FTAs.

It is a great rule that gives the defense more of a chance and players are adjusting including Harden and Luka and our Fox, and all will adjust and be better for it.

I dont just watch our Kings I watch the whole league, thats my advantage, I love the league, I study every team, and it is great the refs are not bailing out the offensive player with every half-hearted maneuver, I endorse it whole heartedly.

Earn your trip to the free stripes line or too bad so sad.

Do you not recognize what is going on or chose to ignore the rule change that gives the defender more of a chance against the offensive player who makes an unnatural move?

96% is nothing without reference to the absolute number of FTs, 30 FTAs is different than half, but I would expect this oversight from someone who mindlessly predicted Buddy would be a starter on Opening Night, a laughable prognistication to anyone paying the mildest of attention to the tendencies of our coach.

I mean c’mon, Buddy was going to start over Harkless?!?! That was never going to happen and I had a 1000+ word post on this to edify the masses before it got accidently deleted.

(I will repost this when I have a chance, fellow Kings fans, stay tuned)

If you thought Buddy was going to be a starter opening night, you discredit yourself for all time in my book, or have a lot of pennace due to regain any degree of credibility.

You cannot be blatatntly wrong then presume veracity as if nothing conspicuous transpired.

Are we not suppose to pay attention to your joke opinions?!

Or shoud I not want to “pants” you, Mr. Hessing, a weird outdated reference to someone who prided himself in taking off his pants and making a joke of it??

Oh wait, are we suppose to ignore history while you fawn all over Kayte????

It is weird the guy who loved to take his pants off, figuratively of course, in the threads now goes out of his way to compliment Kayte.

I watch game on mute, maybe you should too! It will help to dissuade your depravity.

In the meantime, I will be here dropping truth bombs to the forum, the most trustest source on Kings Herald, bar none.

Do NOT trust Rob Hessing, he’s weird and wrong and he hunts your UP votes.

I hunt nothing but the facts with a long history of truth telling on my side.

Kosta
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October 30, 2021 5:39 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

“…Sir, this is a Wendy’s.”

Last edited 11 months ago by Kosta
MichaelMack
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October 30, 2021 9:44 pm
Reply to  kings4ever

This is a weird fucking comment. Too bad you don’t get as many likes as you crave, but this is weird even for you.

Maybe if you spent more words on the Kings versus congratulating yourself people would read your comment. The amount of words you type to say nothing is astronomical. Its not Rob’s fault that you are insufferable.

murraytant
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October 30, 2021 5:17 pm

well this is interesting. 3-2 after 5 was on my high hope list.
The entire team has not been playing well at all. But Hali and Fox stepped up and RH was his usual steady self. Nice to see the Hali- to RH moves starting up again.
and Davion ( love him) was prevented from dribbling back and forth. If he gets it, he has to act fast_ pass, dribble toward hoop or shoot, not hesitation. Inexperience in NBA I believe.
Dallas is winnable game .
But this is now like the Giants of yesteryear: Kings basketball….. Torture !

GFunkClassic
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October 30, 2021 7:37 pm

Could you imagine the furor if Bagley had zero points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist in 24 minutes as a starter?

AnybodyButBagley
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October 30, 2021 9:03 pm
Reply to  GFunkClassic

Glad the opportunity does not exist.

They have to score more than the other team to win. Meaning they need to also prevent the other team from scoring.

Last edited 11 months ago by AnybodyButBagley
GFunkClassic
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October 31, 2021 4:06 pm

How can you score more if you score zero? Harkless had zero points against the Pelicans. The Pelicans didn’t have any scoreless players that received minutes. No matter what he lost, judging it by your own standards. And today against the Mavs 2pts, 5 rbs, 0 assists. The opportunity does exist.

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