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Postgame Quotables: Haliburton said Fox’s struggles are being ‘blown out of proportion’

Plus rebounding problems against the Jazz.

De'Aaron Fox's scoring struggles continued Tuesday night in the loss to the Utah Jazz. He finished with 13 points, 9 assists, 3 steals and 1 block and was a +5 for the night, so he had a good game overall, but the 13 points is what everyone is going to focus on.

Fox averaged 25 points a game last season and 21 the season before that. He is currently averaging 17.7 points a game.

Following the game, Luke Walton, Tyrese Haliburton and Davion Mitchell spoke to the media and Fox was a topic brought up.

Haliburton said Fox's struggles are being made out to be a larger problem than they are.

“He’s fine, he’s missing some shots, but that’s part of it, we all go through these little slumps – it happens to everybody. I think it’s being made a bigger deal than it is, so I’m not concerned by any means. It’s just a slump right now and we’re his teammates, we’re going to help him get out of it,” Haliburton said. “We come here [Utah] and he doesn’t play very well, and we still almost beat one of the best teams in the west. So, it’s blown out of proportion in my eyes, and he’ll be just fine.”

Walton offered his support as well.

"De'Aaron is a very talented player. He knows how important he is to us and when you're struggling, the best way out of it is work harder, grind more, fight through it, believe in what you are doing, believe in your teammates and I have all the faith in the world that De'Aaron will do that,” Walton said.

When asked if Fox is taking too difficult of shots, Walton elaborated a little more.

"We dove into the numbers on it, a lot of it looks very similar to past years." "Until he starts making some shots every team that we play, they're going to go under every pick and roll, the bigs are going to be walled up because of his speed, they're already going to wall up in transition. So, we trust him and at the end of the day, we have a good team, but we need De'Aaron to make some of those shots so we're not going to tell him to stop taking them. We're going to encourage him, but we need him to get to rim, we need him to draw two, we need him to create and when they go under, he's got to be able to open up the floor for us and he's capable of it, he knows he is, and he'll get to it," Walton said. "I love everything about De'Aaron Fox."

On The Kings Troubles  

Luke Walton: “We’re learning these hard lessons, and I hope we figure it out soon, but the details of the game is what’s costing us right now. Tonight, it was defensive rebounding and not from their bigs, it was our guards not boxing out. It just killed us. We didn’t knock down free throws, they did knock down free throws. We missed open looks, they hit open looks, but the fight of our group is great, and I love coaching these guys, but we’re going to have to keep taking tough losses until we can clean up some of the details, what people would call the little things of the game.”

"When you play as hard as they are playing, you should win games and when you don't give yourself the best chance you feel for the group. As a coach and from the outside, you can see it more. You can see it happening as the game is going,” Walton said. "They're doing an incredible job of playing the roles we need them to play. They're doing an incredible job of playing together, and they're playing incredibly hard every single night and that's a really good foundation. We just have to continue to clean up things along the way."

Davion Mitchell: "It came down to the wire and they played harder than us. They made plays, they got 50-50 balls, they hit big shots and that's a really good team."

A Few Takeaways

  • We all know how important Fox is to the offense, but you see based on Walton’s response about his shooting how much the offense is lacking when Fox isn’t scoring. The team is built around what Fox can do offensively.
  • Tyrese’s comment about Fox is a great response from a teammate, and is true about this just being a slump. I think the challenge everyone is having right now is trying to determine the reason why the slump is happening and grappling with the fact it is happening at the beginning of the season.
  • It’s not really a surprise the Jazz outplayed the Kings down the stretch, especially in Utah, but the Kings got out-rebounded 59-38 and that has to be better even when facing Rudy Gobert. And the guards definitely need to play their part there by boxing out. Nice to see Buddy Hield get 5 rebounds and Davion Mitchell get 4.

The Kings face the 1-7 New Orleans Pelicans tonight in Sacramento.

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SexyNapear
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November 3, 2021 1:27 pm

What else are they gonna say?

“He’s a fat slob and his head ain’t in the game,” said Richaun Holmes. “He really needs to go on a liquid diet and get his head out of his ass”

Greg
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November 3, 2021 1:40 pm
Reply to  SexyNapear

Take a look at Philly. These are the obvious answers but its still good to hear them.

SexyNapear
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November 3, 2021 1:48 pm
Reply to  Greg

Look, it’s great that his teammates and coach have his back, but that doesn’t really address any of the issues and they aren’t relevant to why he’s struggling. Jerry Reynolds did a much better job on your site’s podcast, questioning whether the added weight was a good idea.

Also, it’s impossible to get inside a player’s head, but I miss the old days when newspapers did long feature stories on players and spent time with them.

Last edited 10 months ago by SexyNapear
eddie41
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November 3, 2021 3:03 pm
Reply to  SexyNapear

I agree that analysis was better. It revolves more around shot selection. An open 10-12 footer? Drill it.

andy_sims
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November 3, 2021 4:34 pm
Reply to  SexyNapear

Local papers have been gutted so badly, and that’s definitely a trend that isn’t about to end. You’re right about the long features, they bring things down to a more human level.

I did not, however, think it was remotely appropriate for Marty McNeil to be working on a biography with Chris Webber while also covering the Kings. An absolutely disgusting conflict of interest.

SelecaoKOJ
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November 3, 2021 1:56 pm
Reply to  SexyNapear

I like Hali, but what else is he going to say. These next 7 games will say alot about this season, Fox, and Walton’s future with this team: Pelicans, Pacers, Thunder, Pistons, Spurs, Hornets, and Suns.

Why… The Next 10 are all playoff teams from last season.

Last edited 10 months ago by SelecaoKOJ
HoustonJP
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November 3, 2021 5:12 pm
Reply to  SexyNapear

They’re going to be honest and tell the truth and not blow a dirigible full of hot air on a daily basis for starters.

Last edited 10 months ago by HoustonJP
RobHessing
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November 3, 2021 1:32 pm

Not an excuse, but an observation: The elevation in Denver is a topic of conversation whenever an opponent goes there, as is the advantage that the Nugs have down the stretch of games since they are more accustomed to playing at that elevation. I believe that Salt Lake City is approximately the same elevation. Bottom line, if you are going to beat the Jazz at home, you better overwhelm them early, because your odds as a visiting team at that elevation probably diminish as the game wears on and winds down.

murraytant
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November 3, 2021 1:50 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Denver around 5200 feet. SLC 4200 feet. Considered “high”. Gobert is about 3200 feet just by his own self. That helps with rebounds.

Utah got way too many second chance shots.
And what’s with Conley? Kept hitting 3’s. and Kings went under the screen too often.

SelecaoKOJ
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November 3, 2021 1:57 pm
Reply to  murraytant

So much for that vaunted Sac D. They gave up 64 to Conley and Mitchell.

RikSmits
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November 3, 2021 2:07 pm
Reply to  SelecaoKOJ

It’s because of the altitude!

Kosta
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November 3, 2021 3:28 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Maybe we all need an altitude adjustment!

BradMillersDipCup
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November 3, 2021 2:16 pm

I more and more feel like the story line should be that the Kings are 3-4 and haven’t been blown out once despite far below average play from their best player. I guess if Fox is still playing like this around Christmas I’ll be super concerned, but doesn’t seem too concerning yet especially with a lot of players around the league struggling with offense.

Last edited 10 months ago by BradMillersDipCup
Carl
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November 3, 2021 3:40 pm

Yep. This is my take away as well. Barnes, Buddy and Holmes are carrying this team, and they’ve done better than expected, even with Fox being terrible and Haliburton playing worse than last season. I’m not ready to predict more wins, but they’ve won more games and been more competitive than I expected so far.

Last edited 10 months ago by Carl
AmateurNerd
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November 3, 2021 7:17 pm
Reply to  Carl

If nothing else, Buddy is massively improving his trade value right now. The L*kers are looking more stupid by the day.

AnybodyButBagley
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November 3, 2021 6:23 pm

He is getting good looks. Eventually they start to fall.

Sacto_J
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November 3, 2021 3:06 pm

I don’t like our offense, and Fox has little to do with what I don’t like.
The defense seemed a bit off last night, I think maybe they were a little tired (terrible 3 pt. shooting may support this idea, as well.) Hopefully some home cooking and a good night’s rest in their own beds restores some of the luster that’s been lacking…

RobHessing
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November 3, 2021 3:41 pm

Best of luck in retirement, Buster Posey. Thanks for everything!!!

WizsSox
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November 3, 2021 3:49 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

comment image

L-Train3.1
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November 3, 2021 4:28 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Who is Buster Posey?

RobHessing
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November 3, 2021 4:42 pm
Reply to  L-Train3.1

He’s a really good player. A champion. As a Kings fan, you wouldn’t know him.

andy_sims
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November 3, 2021 4:30 pm

As usual, Tyrese is on time, and has amazing accuracy.

BeTheBall
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November 3, 2021 5:37 pm

I’m just going to say it….that 10lbs of muscle has slowed him down. People are able to say in front of him on drives, where in the past he was able to move right by them.

NorCalKingsFan
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November 3, 2021 6:40 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

Someone can lose/gain 10lbs in a day or two depending on salt and water intake, 10lbs is nothing in terms of playing weight. If you truly believe his shot is a result of putting on 10lbs of muscle, then it’s it probably just consistency issues.

In my experience, after getting stronger, the biggest difference to a player’s shot is how much of your legs are driving your upward momentum versus how much your upper body movement is contributing to the “power” or distance of each shot. Getting your leg “input” to be the same every time was the hardest part and took the longest to figure out.

AmateurNerd
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November 3, 2021 7:24 pm
Reply to  NorCalKingsFan

People are talking about this “10 extra pounds” like Fox is now playing basketball with a 10lb dumbbell strapped to his back, and that is slowing him down, which is kind of ridiculous. Those 10 pounds are mostly (if not all) muscle, distributed throughout his frame–and he added it on over a period of months, in which the parts of his body that support muscle weight had plenty of time to adapt to it. This isn’t a dad-bod accountant with love handles who ate three servings of Thanksgiving turkey and can’t fasten his belt buckle now. Fox is an elite, naturally skinny professional athlete who added considerable strength over a period of months and become a little less skinny in the process. There may be a million things “wrong” with De’Aaron Fox right now, but 10lbs of muscle isn’t one of them.

BeTheBall
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November 4, 2021 12:27 pm
Reply to  NorCalKingsFan

My criticism isn’t about his shooting mechanics/shot/etc, it’s about a loss of speed that is an essential weapon to his game. He hasn’t “blown past” defenders on the way to the rim this season, as he did in the past. It’s altering the way he has to play.

I’m sure he’ll adapt, but we’re not seeing the effective “cutting machine” that we have with the sleeker Fox.

SexyNapear
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November 3, 2021 7:47 pm

One thing about Buddy. He’s tireless. Never stops running and juking

SexyNapear
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November 3, 2021 7:49 pm

nope

Last edited 10 months ago by SexyNapear

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