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Richaun Holmes finishes preseason strong

Luke Walton says Holmes is getting into the 'shape we need him in.'

A huge part of the Sacramento Kings offseason was re-signing Richaun Holmes to a four-year, $46.5 million contract making him a key piece of the roster moving forward. This made his slow preseason start and usage by head coach Luke Walton slightly peculiar.

Walton has been testing lineups in the preseason, so it isn’t that abnormal to not have started Holmes in the game against the Los Angeles Clippers in favor of Tristan Thompson, but it still raised eyebrows. Holmes would only end up playing 13 minutes. Though he still finished with 8 points, 5 rebounds and 1 block in that game, Holmes’ play just seemed slightly off, especially in the other two preseason games. He didn’t look in sync within an offense that features a lot of returning players he is familiar with, the push shot was not falling and things weren’t much better on the defensive end. In the Kings third preseason game against the Portland Trail Blazers he finished with 5 points, 3 assists and only 1 rebound in 20 minutes. In Thursday night’s win over the Los Angeles Lakers it was a welcome sight to see the Holmes we have become accustomed to return to the floor.

He was much more active, engaged and productive, finishing with a solid 15 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals in 23 minutes.

This was the play that felt like Holmes’ welcome back moment.

Following the game, Walton talked about how Holmes has been working toward getting back into game shape.

"I feel like Richaun is getting himself into, as the preseason has gone on, the type of shape we need him in. He has so much passion and energy, but you've got to be in top shape to do that. So, I feel like he's in a better place physically right now than he was and just kind of being back and playing with the guys every day has been good for him. Going against Tristan [Thompson], going against Alex [Len], D[amian] Jones whenever he gets a chance. So, I think he's just kind of finding his rhythm again,” Walton said.

This makes sense, and getting back into game shape is a process many NBA players go through coming into training camp. Regardless, it was a great time for Holmes to have his “return” game – the final game of preseason as preparation for the regular season begins.

Here are some other highlights.

Nice heads-up, active play here for the steal, which leads to an open three by Buddy Hield.

Very nice pick and roll game here with De’Aaron Fox and a strong finish.

Push shot!

Earlier this week, Holmes was asked how things are going and he said he's starting to gel with the team, everybody is getting in shape and everybody is "getting into that mode."

"I feel good, just getting more comfortable playing with some new teammates and things of that sort, just getting my feet back under me, but I feel good ready for a great season,” Holmes said.

With the Kings now constructed around a large group of guards, Holmes will need to serve as the main anchor in the front court, and be a regular source of rebounds. We know what he can do, he’s a hard worker and with his game legs now coming back I suspect we will see many, many more games like this.

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Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
October 16, 2021 10:34 am

Last year Holmes played a career high 29.2 MPG, with really only Whiteside behind him on the bench. This year he has TT and Len. My question for the community is, does Holmes match, surpass or fall short of 29 MPG this season?

I ask because in the preseason the most Holmes played was 23 minutes against the Lakers while TT and Len combined for 25. I know it is preseason and all, but Fox, Barnes and Mitchell all topped 30 minutes (Mitchell did it twice) in the last few games.

andy_sims
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October 16, 2021 12:01 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

It’s definitely good that he can be rested when he needs it, since we’ve got a more substantial front court gang. Still, as far as I’m concerned, if he’s got things flowing with the guards, let him run as much as he wants, and he can take himself out of the game if he’s gassed.

PretendGhost
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October 16, 2021 12:44 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

I think the bigger concern is gonna be injury related. Big, muscular guys like Holmes tend to have issues with their legs and feet because of the amount of strain going on them. Holmes also plays an extremely active game, and is foul prone.

I imagine we’ll see his minutes dip because there are a number of suitable replacements, and there’s no need to fatigue him when it’s not necessary. He’ll get the bulk of the most important minutes, and if the team is competitive late season, we’ll probably see him more in line with the other starters, assuming he’s producing at the level we expect.

I’m more concerned about Barnes and, to a lesser extent, Harkless. Either one of those guys going down would put some strain on the rotation, and for that same reason they’re going to command big minutes. Barnes has a lot of burn on his legs, hopefully being the 4th scoring option more often than not will be sufficient for longevity.

RikSmits
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October 17, 2021 12:53 am
Reply to  PretendGhost

Good points.

And didn’t Walton recently say that the regular season rotation will likely only be 8 or 9 guys? That will not help in avoiding injuries.

murraytant
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October 16, 2021 12:22 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Last year, no serious bench behind Holmes, so he played more minutes. TT has been a surprise ( Shumpert lite? ) and Len is valuable in situations- (Zubac, Embiid, Adams, Valentunas (boo) etc.
I suspect his minutes might be down a bit.
He seems to have found a sort of groove again last game.

SuperShaka
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October 16, 2021 7:07 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

I think 28 minutes is where I’d set the over/under. My biggest question is will he miss fewer than 20 games?

He showed durability in his second year with starter’s minutes so hopefully that continues this season.

Klam
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Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
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Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
October 16, 2021 10:35 am

🙁

Last edited 3 months ago by Klam
Brizz
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October 16, 2021 10:54 am
Reply to  Klam

I hope he finds his way in the league. Seems like he is a decent person and is easy to root for.

murraytant
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October 16, 2021 12:19 pm
Reply to  Klam

Harry was always one of my favorite players. Although in that draft we traded #10 ( Z. Collins) for 15 and 20 which turned out to be J. Jackson and Harry. Collins has not done much at all but we passed on OG Anonouby.

rockbottom
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October 17, 2021 7:02 pm
Reply to  murraytant

Giles has played more than Z Collins ! The big miss was D Mitchell

ArcoThunder
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October 16, 2021 12:37 pm
Reply to  Klam

I’m still convinced Harry just needs an opportunity and he’ll breakout.

trade Bagley for two 2nd round picks and sign Harry Giles to a two year contract at the league minimum. Tell me we wouldn’t be a better team in a better situation. Giles is better than Bagley right now. If Giles got the minutes Bagley did last season his numbers would have been significantly better or at worst the same but with better attitude and team play. And way better defense!!

Last edited 3 months ago by ArcoThunder
Vlawde
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October 16, 2021 1:28 pm
Reply to  ArcoThunder

Not a bad idea. We know Bagley sucks and Harry has a huge upside.

TheGrantNapear
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October 16, 2021 4:05 pm
Reply to  Vlawde

I’m still convinced Harry just needs an opportunity and he’ll breakout

He’s been with three teams now in four years, I’d say he’s had opportunities. I think he’s a Skal. King’s fans saw the huge potential but it never materialized yet we continued to hold out hope. Hope I’m wrong, but he’s currently a FA for a reason.

Instead of trading out of that 10th pick, players Vlade could have drafted at 10 who went between 13-19:

Donovan Mitchell
Monk
Bam
John Collins

Last edited 3 months ago by TheGrantNapear
Amonk81
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October 16, 2021 6:49 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

Giles only issue is injury. He’s playing gimpy. His knees never got back, unfortunately.

He’s not gonna be able to fix that, baring a new found treatment.

He was soooo skilled as a passer and D presence etc. Healthy Giles woulda be awesome.

Hobby916
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October 16, 2021 4:37 pm
Reply to  Klam

He might need to spend some time overseas.

Hamlet1989
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October 17, 2021 6:45 am
Reply to  Klam

Sign Giles, cut Bagley, fire Walton, hire me as head coach!

Brizz
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October 16, 2021 10:52 am

I am extremely happy we re-signed Richaun. The man plays with ferocity but under control. He is passionate about winning and seems like a good overall guy. My favorite player on a team with a lot of favorite players. It’s nice to have a likeable squad for the most part – makes the losing a little more, I don’t know, tolerable?

Kosta
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October 16, 2021 2:00 pm

“Richaun helps the Kings with a playoff push”

TheGrantNapear
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October 16, 2021 4:06 pm
Reply to  Kosta

“Play-in push?”

Kosta
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October 16, 2021 4:34 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

d’oh!

probably 🙁

Amonk81
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October 16, 2021 6:53 pm
Reply to  TheGrantNapear

Such terrible timing with the play-in coming to the league.

Giving Vivek the lowest bar ever to show us all That his Kings are indeed title contenders as constituted, and that there is no need to tear down and rebuild…….ever.

RikSmits
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October 17, 2021 12:51 am

His rebounding rate is good but not great, and on several occasions in the Lakers game he lost rebounds despite being in good position.

We can play tough defense all day long, but if the ensuing bad shot does not lead to a change in possesion, it’s moot. That’s obviously a team issue, not just a Holmes issue, but as the main big man, a lot of that responsibility will fall on his shoulders.

Adamsite
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