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Reviewing Zach Lowe’s proposed Kings lineup

Lowe proposes an interesting lineup that he wants to see in Orlando.

In a recent article on ESPN, Zach Lowe wrote about 13 fascinating lineups to watch when the NBA restarts in Orlando. The Sacramento Kings received a mention under the “bonus lineups” section and the combination he chose makes sense, but it comes with drawbacks.

Lowe wants to see a lineup featuring: De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Harrison Barnes and Marvin Bagley.

As good as this lineup sounds on paper, there’s currently uncertainty surrounding multiple players here, but the first four players are all something that our own Tim Maxwell dug deep into

Fox is the obvious choice at point guard. You can’t have a “fascinating” lineup without your star electrifying point guard leading the way. However, Fox is dealing with a left ankle sprain and though Luke Walton described the sprain as “mild-to-moderate”, it’s still not specific enough to know when he’ll be back and if he'll be 100% right away.

Buddy Hield is back in full practice with the team and him partnering with Bogi in the starting lineup is an aspect of the lineup I have no issue with. The Kings need more minutes with these two playing together, though defense is a bit sacrificed. 

Harrison Barnes at the four is something we should see many times in Orlando but he still isn’t practicing with the team yet. Barnes should be okay missing the scrimmage games, but he’s still in NBA coronavirus protocol and hasn’t been cleared yet. Barnes isn’t a terrific defender, but the Kings desperately need him available because the wing depth becomes extremely shallow if he’s unavailable. If you want to play small ball, Barnes is your guy at the four.

Bagley over Richaun Holmes, who has been the usual starting center, does come as a surprise given the trajectory of each this season. Holmes has continually improved his game to insert himself as a vital piece to this core. Injuries have caused Bagley to play just 13 games this season. 

Bagley still needs to prove he can play center in today’s game. Putting on 10 pounds and getting the center reps at practice are steps in the right direction, but the scrimmage games should tell us more about his status. The opening day against the San Antonio Spurs could be a prominent time to play Bagley at center with the Spurs’ frontcourt depth already thin.

This lineup featured three times this season, and the Kings were 0-3 in those games. Small sample sizes play a major role in that number, however. The injuries that Bagley and Fox have suffered play a role in the average of 1.3 minutes played in those games. The group shot 27.3% on 3.7 attempts, too. 

There’s definitely potential in this lineup. All five players are key guys the Kings ideally want to keep around, but the success and reality of this lineup is contingent on the situations of Fox and Barnes. But if all players are healthy and ready to go, it’s worth giving a shot. You’re sacrificing rim protection and wing defense among other things, but this lineup could be “The Future of Sacramento” lineup, if you will. The Kings need to play with pace on offense to improve their chances and there’s no shortage of that here.

This lineup may not win you games right away and there will be growing pains to learn from, but I’m intrigued on the potential of these five guys playing together. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see it on multiple occasions in Orlando.

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test name
25 days ago

If the summation here is this lineup won’t win games right now, why would we roll this out in must-win games in Orlando?

John Navickas
25 days ago
Reply to  Roaddog

As if you don’t know why someone would posit this. Because we drafted Marvin at #2, because we haven’t fired Vlade, because we fired Joerger, because we are The Kangz !

John Navickas
25 days ago

First, thanks for the write up.
This lineup is best suited after 4 losses, or to get to 4 losses as quickly as possible. A Fantasy League Kings positional top 5. No interior defense or passing. No offense from the bench, MB3 integrating as a starter during a playoff push. But hey Zach’s fantasy bench will kick ass with all those minutes. With Fox out might as well add point Buddy, to pump up his numbers.
 
But maybe ZL has a bug in Vlade’s office.
 

Last edited 25 days ago by CoreyBrewersD
Rob Hessing
25 days ago

The best lineup?comment image
 

Last edited 25 days ago by RobHessing
T D
25 days ago
Reply to  RobHessing

When you have a meh hand in cards, it really doesn’t matter how you arrange them!
 
Maybe if I group them by color? No, that doesn’t work.
 
Oooh. I’ll try grouping the suits together. Nope.
 
Maybe lowest to highest? Meh.

Jeromy Simonoff
24 days ago
Reply to  1951

You know you’ll have at least 1 Marvin Bagley if you group them by suits. He’s wearing one of those more often than he is a jersey…

Rob Hessing
24 days ago
Reply to  Sacto_J

comment image

David Sheehy
24 days ago
Reply to  Sacto_J

As in position-less basketball MB3 is a suit-less player as he is the Joker (which is not of member of any suit) in the Kings’ deck of cards.

Greg Rapier
25 days ago

I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s next year’s starting 5. For this year, we’re going to need Holmes in there

Adam Dieter
25 days ago

I like Zach Lowe, but he seems to know very little of the Kings lineups and dynamics. Bagley has no business starting over Holmes, or Nemanja, for that matter. The proof is in the pudding and until I see otherwise, Bagley is currently no more than the 7th man in the rotation.

T I
25 days ago
Reply to  Adamsite

I didn’t see the word “starting” in his recommendation, but I skimmed over it pretty quickly.

Rory Cornell
24 days ago
Reply to  Otis

yeah there’s nothing in the article about starting lineups. Lowe literally includes multiple lineups for the same team (he also includes a lineup that’s simply “Zion at Center”).

Adam Lane
25 days ago

Of course from our(fans) perspective Holmes should be starting over Bagley. I would hope that the head coach of any team is open to making changes when necessary. Holmes is missing some valuable time with the team right now and Bagley has an opportunity to show he is deserving of a larger role. When Holems comes back the coach should start whoever is currently playing and fitting better with the team. I expect that to be Holmes but if it is Bagley I will assume he did something to deserve it. If they start Bagley and he is clearly inferior to Holmes ill pick up my pitchfork and join the mob.

Kings Guru21
25 days ago

I’m game for a little dreaming, and that lineup……requires a lot of dreaming. Maybe I’m game for a lot of dreaming, as it were.

Brian Welch
25 days ago

 

Kevin Fung
25 days ago

Who needs passing or assists?

Fifth Mookie
25 days ago
Reply to  Falconsfury

not the Kings! They only need power forwards and centers in the draft.

Dwight Krieger
25 days ago

 
This the kind of lineup you would use in practice. Zack Lowe knows nothing of the Kings…but neither does any other ESPN writer.

T I
25 days ago
Reply to  kgdobter

I’d trust Zach Lowe over most anyone in the Kings org to put a lineup together.
 
And he wasn’t exactly glowing about this recommendation, it’s more of a “it’s worth trying out” thing.
 

Last edited 25 days ago by Otis
Biscuit Taylor
24 days ago
Reply to  Otis

I’d trust Zach Lowe over most anyone in the Kings org

Lowest of low bars

Greg Wissinger
Admin
23 days ago
Reply to  Otis

Zach Lowe probably knows more about the Kings than I do.

Alek Bohigian
23 days ago
Reply to  kgdobter

He opened his comments by saying that the lineup has been pretty terrible but why not? Which makes sense on some level because this team is t going anywhere if those 5 can’t play together.

Dale Moore
25 days ago

As much as I was smacking to see this line up too. You go with what got you through this season! Experimenting comes off the bench.
 

Camera Marty
24 days ago
Reply to  MadDam

I’ll take Things Jim Fregosi said after putting in Mitch Williams to face Joe Carter for 100 please Alex.
 
The answer is…
 
“You go with what got you through this season”

Eric W
24 days ago
Reply to  Marty

Gotta stick with what got us here!
 
Where is “here” again?
 
11th in the West and 8 games below .500, eh?
 
You definitely don’t want to mess with THAT recipe!

John Navickas
24 days ago

Here is the chemistry”???!!!” that the group that was winning late to get us at least an invite to this Frankenseason.

Eric W
23 days ago
Reply to  CoreyBrewersD

As usual, only the lowest of bars will do.

Hong Kong Kings Fan
25 days ago

What I know is KIngs fans wants to see a lineup featuring:
Fox
Hield
Barnes
Nemanja
Holmes
 
All those starters need to play over 30 mins per game….
 
Inserting Bagley into the starting lineup simply means “LOSS”…….
 
I just remember how Bagley increased playing time means less playing times for Holmes and BJelly (from 30+ mins dropped to 20+ mins), and the effect and result were simply not good.
Bagley at most should play around 20 mins…

Turner Sparks
24 days ago

That lineup is a defensive SIEVE. Disaster. Forget building for the future. If we want to win as many games and possible and try to make the playoffs this is the depth chart:
 
PG – Fox, Joseph, Bogi
SG – Bogi, Buddy, Bazemore
SF – Barnes, Bazemore
PF – Belly, Barnes, Giles
C – Holmes, Len, Bagley
 
If Barnes Can’t Play
 
PG – Fox, Joseph, Bogi
SG – Bogi, Buddy, Bazemore
SF – Bazemore, Brewer
PF – Belly, Barnes, Bogi
C – Holmes, Len, Bagley
 
If Fox Can’t Play
 
Go home. It’s over.

Rik Smits
24 days ago

Forget building for the future. 

 
Don’t worry. Vlade has got that covered.

Turner Sparks
24 days ago
Reply to  RikSmits

Agreed. And in this instance I mean, let’s just try to make the playoffs.

Rik Smits
24 days ago

Indeed.
Otherwise we keep being confronted by that age-old philosophical question inadvertently raised by the Ringer and others of the national media:
If an NBA team never makes the play-offs, does it really exist?

In Starz
24 days ago

Not seeing the novelty, it’s been reported for over a month we’re going with that sans Bagley over Holmes
 
outsiders think bagley is more ready and Holmes is worse than he is

Rob Hessing
24 days ago
Reply to  Inthestarz

I think that part of it is a result of the organization needing to show that it did not 100% spit the bit when they drafted Bagley over Doncic (and Young…and Jackson…and…). There is not much of an argument to be had when it comes to Holmes vs. Bagley right now, but there is a valid argument that if Bagley doesn’t begin to show a return on investment soon, the current front office could be out of a job, which in turn puts the coaching staff in peril.
 
Given that this is just an 8 game run under some very weird circumstances, I don’t see a need for the Kings to force the issue with Bagley. But come next season there is going to be a lot of noise re: Bagley and his standing on this team. Add in Daddy Bags and it could get very toxic, very quickly.

Kings Guru21
24 days ago
Reply to  RobHessing

Could? Now that’s optimism if I ever seen it.

Rob Hessing
24 days ago
Reply to  Kingsguru21

Heh – you’re right. If Bagley’s not starting and filling it up at the beginning of next season, it is very likely that all hell breaks loose.

John Navickas
24 days ago
Reply to  RobHessing

So suppose your right (I believe you are as close as anyone), What does the FO do? I think they need to find a way to build his value, either to keep their jobs or for the next guys to get something not give away a pick to move him,

Rik Smits
23 days ago
Reply to  CoreyBrewersD

What they should do is resign.

What they likely will do is make changes to clear space for Bagley to “thrive”, such as trading Bjeli, and to try and force Walton to adapt his system to “showcase” Bagley.
 
I wonder if Walton will show to be the yes-man that Joerger wasn’t, or that he will push back.
 
Either way, I think that ths FO does not acknowledge the best use of Bagley (a guy with few touches, good in transition but otherwise mainly setting picks and roaming around the rim for OREB’s and putbacks and initiating the break after a rebound, while working hard to improve on D) and will try to showcase him in a way that will only hurt his effectiveness and value.

Carl Spackler
23 days ago
Reply to  RikSmits

a guy with few touches, good in transition but otherwise mainly setting picks and roaming around the rim for OREB’s and putbacks and initiating the break after a rebound, while working hard to improve on D

 
comment image
 

Last edited 23 days ago by Carl
Rik Smits
23 days ago
Reply to  Carl

Interesting:
 
WCS: better defensive awareness, fundamentals (footwork, blocking out), lower usage.
 
Bagley; higher motor, second jump, ???

David Sheehy
23 days ago
Reply to  RikSmits

Walton pushed Hield to the bench which I think speaks against the case that he’s a yes-man.

Rik Smits
24 days ago
Reply to  RobHessing

It looks like Bagley’s dad is the elephant in the room that nobody in the press is willing to discuss or ask questions about.

David Sheehy
23 days ago
Reply to  RikSmits

Do you honestly think the press is going to pass up an opportunity to trash the Kings?

Jeromy Simonoff
24 days ago

I’d love to see Zion at center, actually. I think it might be speed up the wear and tear but I think it would be fun tv to watch bigs try and keep that freight train from the rim.
 
As far as the Kings, ZLs lineup is worth watching out for, if only because it looks to be our future barring trades. If Bagley could actually start his development that could be a real interesting lineup. Not worth a start at the moment, but…

Josh Anderson
24 days ago

Bagley is a HUGE question mark right now. Think I’d definitely rather see Holmes in there at center, at least until we have a better idea of what Bagley will bring to the table.

Brian Garbarino
24 days ago

Positionless-
 
PG- Fox
Wings- Buddy and Bogi
Bigs- Holmes and Bagley
 
Barnes can spark the second unit along with Bazemore and Bjeli. CoJo and Len for defense or Giles for more ball movement.

Adam Granger
23 days ago

This is basically our best five players assuming everyone is starting to approach their ceiling.
 
And I suppose there are times when that lineup could be interesting to see what they can do… down by 20 for example.
 
But right now it doesn’t make much sense, especially not as a starting unit. They would not be able to defend anyone. Maybe in a year or two.
 

Hong Kong Kings Fan
23 days ago
Reply to  ImJoeKing

Respectfully a bit disagree with your first sentence.
 
Best five should be Fox, Bogi, Hield, Barnes and Giles(the formerly presumptive top pick), assuming everyone is approaching their ceiling.
 
Giles just have a much better feel, basketball skill than Balgey…..
 

Last edited 23 days ago by HongKongKingsFan
Dave Hackett
23 days ago

I like it as a potentially small ball lineup, but in no way is Bagley a starter. There will be way to much iso/hero ball. Replace him with Holmes and I’d at least watch. Bagley needs to be rolled out slowly while controlling his play and working on his mistakes – kind of like DJ was doing. But then he was fired. So its a mute point I guess
 
I can feel my depression returning.

Eric W
23 days ago

Side note: according to Bogdan, they’ve been running the offense through Giles in practice.

Alek Bohigian
23 days ago

I mean that probably makes the most sense at the moment considering Fox (or maybe this was also true before Fox’s injury and if so disregard) isn’t there. After Fox he’s probably the best facilitator on the team. Giles just needs to slow down a little bit. He’s got a little bit of Jason Thompson syndrome where he’s always frantic when he’s on the court and I think he’d be a lot more effective if he could get that under control.

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