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    Welcome to the Kings Player Power Rankings

    By | 21 Comments | Oct 31, 2023

    Oct 29, 2023; Sacramento, California, USA; Sacramento Kings forward Domantas Sabonis (10) dribbles the ball against the Los Angeles Lakers in the fourth quarter at the Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

    Team Record (2-1) 6th in the West, 1st in the Pacific Division

    What an exciting week one! We did it –  congrats everyone! The Beam Team is finally back and have returned with new city edition jerseys that are far and away better than those of any other team.

    This week not only brings jersey flashbacks, but also thoughts of the Cardiac Kings of yesteryear, as the team has delivered thrilling conclusions in their last two consecutive games. Despite the close games, the Kings finish the week 2-1. If someone had asked me at the beginning of the week what the Kings’ record would be by the end of it, I would have said 3-0, but that’s probably because I’m an irrational Kings fan. Nonetheless, I’m genuinely excited about the team’s start. In addition to the return of the Beam Team, we have something new for you all – a captivating gimmick column called The Kings Power Rankings. In this segment, I, Zack V, a newly inked contributor to the Herald, will provide a concise breakdown of the most impactful Kings players and the reasons behind their influence. Let’s dive in!

    1. De’Aaron Fox – The undisputed leader of the team, Fox has been a force to be reckoned with leading the team in points, assists, free throws made, and pure badassery. Fox started the week in cruise control in the team’s dominant win against the Jazz, but when he faced off against his Under Armour sponsor big brother, Steph Curry, in a playoff rematch against the Warriors, Fox took it to another level. Channeling his inner Clutch Player of the Year, Fox stepped up late in the game, scoring an impressive 22 points in the fourth quarter to keep the Kings in contention. Unfortunately, in Sunday night’s thrilling overtime battle against the Lakers, Fox suffered an ankle injury. The good news is that he is expected to recover within a week or two and should be back on the court soon.

    2. Keegan Murray — despite receiving zero DPOGs in the first week of the season, there’s no doubt that Murray has been the most versatile and impactful defensive force on the team at the beginning of this season. Murray spent time guarding everyone from Lebron, to Colin Sexton, to Klay Thompson in week 1. Per Statmuse, he’s got a +14 defensive plus-minus and the eye test didn’t lie, with Keegan sprinting back hard on D in transition, deflecting balls left and right, and serving as the team’s biggest threat as a rim protector. 
    3. Domantas Sabonis — Domas made sure to make his presence felt in the marquee Friday matchup against the Warriors on Friday dropping 19 points, 18 rebounds, 7 dimes, and 3 steals. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to help secure the win and he’s yet again struggling with effective defense without excessive fouling, as shown by his recent foul out against the Lakers.
    4. Malik Monk — Although Monk has started the season a bit streaky with his shooting stroke, converting just 39% of his attempts, there is no denying his impact when he turns the switch. He remains a formidable presence by relentlessly driving to the paint and creating opportunities for both himself and his teammates.
    5. Harrison Barnes — Unless you were living under a rock that shields you from the glorious purple beams, you would already know that HB dropped 33 points in game 1 of the season, with 27 of those coming in the first half. However, the problem is that he turned back into a pumpkin scoring a combined 18 points with little other impact in the next two games. 
    6. JaVale McGee — Did you see JaVale’s fit last night??!?!? As Will pointed out, my man was rocking quite a stylish top hat! On top of hat, see what I did there… He’s been the efficient rim-running, shot-blocking Willie Cauley Benjamin Button Stein that this team desperately needed all of last season.

    7. Chris DuarteWhile Duarte’s statistical output may not jump off the page at first glance, with an average of just under 6 points per game in his limited 18 minutes of playtime, his contributions can be felt on the defensive end of the court. This has translated into a noteworthy +6 defensive plus-minus for the season so far.
    8. Sasha Vezenkov — Veze is essentially as advertised with a quick release, efficient shooting skills, solid cutting, and a bit of a turnstile for opposing offenses. He’s a nice depth piece to have in spot minutes when shots aren’t falling for guys like Keegan, HB, and Red Velvet. Also, he gets his role already three games into the season. Seeing his reaction to being called up to the scorer’s table just to see Keegan drain a 3 and get yanked right back to the bench tells you everything you need to know about his character and world class smile.

    9. Kevin Huerter — Although the season started off rough for Red Velvet, with a disappointing 27% shooting percentage and defensive struggles in the first two games, there were signs of improvement on Sunday. Huerter showcased his abilities primarily on the defensive end, blocking two shots and displaying great effort. However, his impact goes beyond the stat sheet. He fought through screens, boxed out for team rebounds, and contested numerous shots. While his shooting may not be consistent at the moment, this challenging stretch could potentially be a crucial turning point for his ongoing contribution to the team.
    10. Davion Mitchell — I love Davion and he’s starting to show flashes of being a more decisive playmaker, but he’s got to develop a more versatile offensive game if he’s ever going to be more than a backup point guard in this league. Adding a versatile weapon like a floater to his game, for instance, could truly elevate his performance and make a world of difference.

     

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    Adamsite
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    Nostradumbass 14
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    Nostradumbass 14
    October 31, 2023 1:44 pm

    I think this next week is make or break for Mitchell. I’m assuming he’s going to get the start while Fox is out. At the very least he’s going to get a significant uptick in minutes. If he continues to perform how he has for the first 3 games, I could see falling out of the rotation before Thanksgiving.

    He’s got Curry up next. For those of us here who think he can slow Curry down, it’s now or never.

    Jack
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    October 31, 2023 3:05 pm
    Reply to  Adamsite

    At this point its early but I am disappointed in him overall. Defensive above average. Offense way below average.

    Adamsite
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    Nostradumbass 14
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    Nostradumbass 14
    October 31, 2023 3:54 pm
    Reply to  Jack

    I think he is a very good on ball defender, but not a very good overall defender when it comes to filling passing and shot disruption. He’s kind of one dimensional when it comes to defense in an old school kind of way. There aren’t as many true PGs, in the style of Nash, Stockton, Kidd, etc. anymore that need that type of in your face guarding. Everyone is a shooter coming of screens and motion, which is where Davion gets kind of lost.

    I feel like 90% of his defensive chops show in the middle 3rd of the court when he presses a ball handler in a slow developing offense. It looks great on screen but the NBA isn’t really played that way much anymore.

    Jack
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    October 31, 2023 6:36 pm
    Reply to  Adamsite

    If you say is true and probably is who would you start someone already on the roster or go after a player through a trade. People are talking about Monk taking over at point guard but he sure does a lot where he is now. What’s your take?

    RikSmits
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    October 31, 2023 11:57 pm
    Reply to  Adamsite

    Yes, well said.

    His lack of length and especially winspan limits his ceiling as a defender.
    His footwork, ability to navigate screens, and strong core are impressive, but I think he has reached his peak as a defender.

    Two seasons ago, he seemed to have his best games when he got big minutes. Starting him seems to make sense, to see if that help unlock him offensively.

    ArcoThunder
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    October 31, 2023 4:39 pm
    Reply to  Adamsite

    My optimistic prediction… Steph scores 27, Mitchell plays 35 minutes, Scores 24 with 6 assists, 3 boards, 2 traditional steals with 2 more in the form of blocking penalties while he fights through screens and the Kings win by 6.my optimistic, pessimistic prediction… Steph scores 34, Mitchell plays 35 minutes, scores 17 with 5 assists, 3 boards, 2 traditional steals with 2 more in the form of blocking penalties while he fights through screens and the Kings win by 3. my pessimistic prediction… Steph scores 38, Mitchell Plays 25 minutes scoring 12 points with 4 assists, 1 board, 1 traditional steal and one more in the form of a blocking penalty while he fights through screens. Monk gets more time at PG doing his best Fox impression and the Kings lose by 7. 

    Last edited 1 month ago by ArcoThunder
    kings4ever
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    October 31, 2023 4:50 pm
    Reply to  Adamsite

    But the Warriors will do everything to force a switch from Davion to ANY other defender on the floor. In the playoffs they were timing Curry’s rest to coincide with Davion OFF the floor, or granting rest to Curry when Davion was ON the floor. This is the RESPECT that the Warriors coaches have s for Davion as a defender against Curry.

    Davion definitely has to do a better job running the team. No doubt. He can start by looking more to score. Too often he’s not looking at the hoop when he gets into the teeth of the defense. I still believe in him whether that’s insane or not, I think he’s going to ball out for us.

    RikSmits
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    October 31, 2023 11:59 pm
    Reply to  kings4ever

    Defense is a team thing. Davion can’t do it on his own (almost no defender can), and will need help.

    NowLoveThemOnceAgain
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    October 31, 2023 9:05 pm
    Reply to  Adamsite

    Davion trying to press Curry near half court has repeatedly failed. Mitchell gets high picked, Curry goes down hill, Kings D collapses, Curry dishes and then cuts, team scores a high percentage. Much smarter IMO for Davion to shut down Curry’s driving and passing lanes, stick with him like glue after he dishes a pass, and just neutralize him.

    NowLoveThemOnceAgain
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    October 31, 2023 9:07 pm

    Without fouling.

    eddie41
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    November 1, 2023 9:28 am
    Reply to  Adamsite

    I think it’s an adjustment from his offseason work to the regular season. He’s an ambitious player and during the offseason, he tried to add a lot to his game. The thing is, everyone would be thrilled if he remains the same player with better 3-point shooting and some minor improvements in running the offense. the good thing is that his 3-point shot looks much better this year and he removed the dip on his set shot. and he’ll discard a new move if it isn’t working.

    kings4ever
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    October 31, 2023 4:42 pm

    NEWB ALERT. You are rating Keegan over Domas? Did you watch the games? You don’t know what you are talking about if you think the former player outperformed the latter. I may have forgotten more about than NBA than you know. Keegan is awesome, and he’s going to be awesome, but if you are rating him over Domas based on Week 1 you are not paying attention.

    ArcoThunder
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    October 31, 2023 4:47 pm
    Reply to  kings4ever

    I tend to agree with you here. Ox has like 147 rebounds over 3 games and leads the team in assists.

    his fouling last game was not real. At least two were complete horse shit.

    kings4ever
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    October 31, 2023 4:56 pm
    Reply to  ArcoThunder

    No doubt.

    rc50cal
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    November 1, 2023 9:50 am
    Reply to  kings4ever

    I, for one, will not stand for a dissenting opinion in a gimmick column.

    andy_sims
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    October 31, 2023 5:18 pm

    I held my tongue in the other article, but that’s a bowler or something, not a top hat.

    The man is sharp.

    Welcome to, Zack!

    WGriffith
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    November 1, 2023 3:37 pm
    Reply to  andy_sims

    Javale McGee is wearing a Top Hat. Your argument is invalid.

    IMG_8864
    RobHessing
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    November 1, 2023 4:47 pm
    Reply to  WGriffith

    Freakin’ classic.

    NowLoveThemOnceAgain
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    October 31, 2023 9:03 pm

    Davion seems to dish and stand around alot on offense when he is not trying to create his own dribble drive. Maybe Coach just draws it up that way, but I think he needs to flash and cut, akin to what Mike Bibby used to do back in the day.

    Marty
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    November 1, 2023 11:03 am

    I like this idea. I like the snapshot feel to each player’s summary. My attention span is shot so I value the length.

    No mention of the frequency. Weekly?

    RikSmits
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    November 1, 2023 11:23 am
    Reply to  Marty

    Man, your attention span is really shot.

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