Articles | Game Recap

Princes with Potential: Reviewing the rookies preseason debuts

There is only so much to take from the preseason, but the rookies gave a teaser of what's to come.

Tyrese Haliburton, Jahmi'us Ramsey, and Robert Woodard II all made their NBA (preseason) debut against Portland last night in an eerily empty arena. It was surely a moment they will never forget, and their first chance to show the Sacramento fanbase their styles of game.

Haliburton was the obvious headliner who will be a rotation player this year and displayed what seemed like some understandable nerves in his 20 minutes of run.

The 12th pick is a pass-first player, but he appeared a bit anxious to get the ball out of his hands on the offense end at times. He often picked up his dribble early, hardly looked towards the rim, and that's fine in preseason game one.

Unselfishness is a quality that I admire in players and Tyrese will learn to pick his shots and be aggressive when he needs to. Defensively is where he excited and, call me crazy, I truly believe he will be the best off-ball defender on Sacramento's roster before the season concludes.

Look at how engaged he is at tall times, surveying the floor, constantly moving, and filling lanes while his teammates rotate.

A large portion of defending in the NBA is being willing to put in the effort on that end of the floor -- the Iowa State product will have no concerns in that regard.

No lazy passes are allowed when Tyrese Haliburton checked in. He managed two steals on the night and a few more deflections on top of it. Just wait until he is launching these post-steal outlet passes to De'Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley in the open court.

The transition defense in the later clip is probably what I would pick as the play of the night, especially if you cut it right after he gets the turnover with great anticipation. Haliburton giving it up so quickly and blundering what should have been an easy opportunity if he put pressure on Robert Covington by driving to the rim is a prime example of the nerves and unselfishness I mentioned previously.

To my disappointment, Jahmi'us Ramsey and Robert Woodard II did not check into their debut until about five minutes remaining in the closing quarter.

For Woodard, who was selected by Sacramento at pick 40, that was not enough time to display his defensive prowess. Jahmi'us Ramsey, however, came in and was ready to show it all.

First shot, first NBA bucket in the books for JR - a simple catch-and-shoot three from the corner.

Next posession, give it right back to him. The Texas Tech alumni made a smooth pocket pass out of the pick-and-roll that leads to a Chimezie Metu push shot.

Nothing crazy, but just showing off some of the on-ball equity that made me so high on his potential ceiling on draft night. I mentioned apparent nerves for Sacramento's lottery pick, but if Ramsey had any they were much less obvious.

He had no hesitation to pull it, which may not always be a good thing, but I am buying all the Jahmi'us Ramsey stock on the market. With this likely being a season focused on development, let him get them up.

Ramsey will get his shots, Haliburton will get some stops, and Woodard's will eventually earn his props. Sacramento can look forward to watching the rookies develop on game nights, usually around seven o'clock.

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Chent
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December 12, 2020 11:46 am

It’s going to be a rough year.

itsjabby
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December 12, 2020 12:57 pm
Reply to  Chent

I’m going to have to disagree. If you look at Tankathon, Kings are in really good position.

SunBreakTheDawn
December 12, 2020 1:33 pm
Reply to  itsjabby

This season might the be the earliest I’ve ever started looking at tankathon. I’m not mad about it either, perfect year to do it.

itsjabby
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December 12, 2020 11:38 pm

I actually bookmarked it. And I do the lottery everyday.

Hamlet1989
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December 12, 2020 12:32 pm

McCollum was really pushing Haliburton around and having his way all night. The Blazers Looked like they couldn’t miss, but Haliburton kept working, trying to be physical and eventually drew the charge against CJ in the fourth. He looks like once he settles a bit and adjusts, he’s gonna be FUN! to watch.

ImJoeKing
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December 12, 2020 10:29 pm
Reply to  Hamlet1989

Saw that too. It was a good schooling, but CJ is a pro who has made a lot of guys look bad over the years. Hali was competing the whole night though, and seems like he has the tools talent and instincts to put it all together on the defensive side of the ball.

rff
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December 12, 2020 12:37 pm

“It’s only the first preseason game.” Heard that too many times over the years. What we saw last night is what we’re going to see the whole season, countless misses, no “D” and no leadership. I’m usually optimistic but this team is bad.

AmateurNerd
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December 12, 2020 1:52 pm
Reply to  rff

Good. Better to be bad than semi-bad, which is what they’ve been for the last few seasons. Looking forward to seeing the newbies get lots of burn and pile up the L’s while training for the future.

RobHessing
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December 12, 2020 12:51 pm

What’s going to be painful is when this team is bad and the rooks are still stuck behind the Josephs, Parkers and Robinsons on this roster.

Inthestarz
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December 12, 2020 2:13 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

True. True. It’s the fault of having a lame duck coach needing to win

thats a mess

kings4ever
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December 12, 2020 2:22 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Fact!

Carl
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December 12, 2020 5:16 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Those guys need to moved or cut, especially if they don’t have guaranteed money next season.

Socalpurplecurse
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December 13, 2020 3:28 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Only till the deadline hopefully by then they’ll have some value to net some assets. They gotta earn their minutes anyways half a season to learn and take notes second half is theirs to see what we have and get a Top 7 pick in a loaded draft we have to capitalize on this class we need some stars in a bad way.

sonny
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December 12, 2020 1:17 pm

Serious question:

Why do we even have upvotes/downvotes option in every post?
Do they really matter? Do they enhance/improve or reduce the quality of our overall discourse?

I just don’t see how it benefits our daily discussions and opinions on Kings basketball.

As long as we are civil in our comments, especially if we disagree on other commenters’ posts, I don’t think we need to see who likes our posts or not.

RORDOG
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December 12, 2020 1:41 pm
Reply to  sonny

You can sort by most upvoted comment if you just want to read the best comments in a thread.

Alternatively, you can just use the ctrl-F €œRORDOG€ shortcut to read the best comments.

ImJoeKing
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December 12, 2020 10:31 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

Take my worthless upvote.

TheGrantNapear
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December 12, 2020 2:10 pm
Reply to  sonny

Is someone butt hurt about commenters not giving him/her enough up votes?
A good axiom to live by, don’t give a F about what others think of you or what you say.

sonny
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December 12, 2020 2:12 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

That’s my attitude.
just don’t understand people have to vote whichever way.

9sac8
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December 13, 2020 6:04 am
Reply to  sonny

They are wearing your ass out!!!!🤣🤣🤣🤣
👎

Want2win
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December 12, 2020 2:16 pm
Reply to  sonny

I don’t get it, but like with most social media platforms people want validation of what they are saying, it’s natural human instinct..

Klam
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Nostradumbass 18
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December 12, 2020 3:03 pm
Reply to  sonny

Downvoted.

😉

9sac8
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December 13, 2020 6:02 am
Reply to  sonny

They got your ass!!! 👎🤣🤣🤣

This shit is serious.

markdog333
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December 14, 2020 8:52 am
Reply to  sonny

It saves me the time of having to type “rec’d” or “not rec’d”

Dirkula
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December 12, 2020 1:39 pm

Would love to have seen more of Ramsey, he looks like he can be a baller. Have high hopes for Woodard but he definitely didn’t look as ready or engaged as much as Hali and Ramsey. I hope both get more burn tomorrow night

deepshot22
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December 12, 2020 1:50 pm

One preseason game, I get it, but Ramsey has a sexy shot, looks like he has some vision/passing ability and seems fearless. I really like what I saw in his limited time last night. However, he looks much smaller than I thought. I think he’s listed at 6’4″ iirc, which he can’t be. So my question to you who are more bball savvy than I is … is he a point guard or combo guard that needs another ball handler out there? Whats his predicted future essentially?

Hopefully, CuJo gets moved sooner rather than later.

rockbottom
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December 12, 2020 2:19 pm
Reply to  deepshot22

Sadly, CuJo was easily the best Kings guard last nite ! Early scare !

TheGrantNapear
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December 12, 2020 2:11 pm

Hopefully the three rooks get plenty burn throughout the season. Develop them and assist the tank.

rockbottom
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December 12, 2020 2:23 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

Seems history of tanks leads to more tanks ! How many seasons is tolerable ? Asking for a long time season ticket holder that has given up seats !

RORDOG
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December 12, 2020 6:43 pm
Reply to  rockbottom

(check outthe draft position of the current NBA champs the last 6 seasons)

CoreyBrewersD
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December 12, 2020 7:52 pm
Reply to  RORDOG

??? So you are saying Giannis is signing as a free agent, and then we can trade the last 4 picks for Curry? Those guys must really like farm to fork.

Last edited 1 year ago by CoreyBrewersD
Want2win
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December 12, 2020 2:13 pm

I don’t get the excitement that people have for Woodward and JR…they are second round picks in a relatively unexciting draft class. Don’t get me wrong I’m hoping and praying that they turn out to be good solid rotational players or even a diamond in the rough, but the reality is they most likely will not stick in the league very long nor contribute much

RobHessing
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December 12, 2020 2:22 pm
Reply to  Want2win

I get the excitement. It’s called clinging to any hope after 14 straight years of shit.

ImJoeKing
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December 12, 2020 10:38 pm
Reply to  Want2win

Is there another area of this team where excitement would be better utilized? Or should we refrain from all excitement? Yeah, probably that.

TImorous_Me
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December 12, 2020 11:52 pm
Reply to  Want2win

Part of it is that they’re two of the first three selections by our new front office. After having little faith in the drafting merits of the previous regime, it adds some intrigue and excitement to see these new guys.

Plus they were both considered first-round picks by some of the smarter draftniks out there, so the upside potential is part of the hope/excitement.

02kingsfan
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December 12, 2020 7:58 pm

Honestly my only annoyance with this team is having to watch Lose Alton coach this team for an entire season and listen to his lame post/pre game conferences

BeTheBall
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December 12, 2020 9:01 pm

After that game, it seems that this year’s 2nd rounders ought to be higher on the depth chart than last year’s 2nd rounders.

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