In a clash of two rebuilding squads hoping to rise into respectability, the Sacramento Kings improved to 2-0 on the season as they snagged a 106-103 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Saturday night.
While Sacramento's game-closing offense was less than stellar (2 of 7 shooting in the final three minutes), they sealed the victory in large part due to Richaun Holmes. The king of grit and fire had 5 points (including three key free throws) and 3 rebounds in the final two minutes. Six Kings finished in double figures, led by DeAaron Fox with 24 points, 7 assists, and 5 rebounds. New Sun Chris Paul was in full point god mode on Saturday, finishing with 22 points and 12 dimes, while superstar Devin Booker had 26 points to lead Phoenix.
Harrison Barnes, the hero of Wednesday's ovetime win against the Denver Nuggets, was the best King early in Saturday's contest - he scored all 11 of his points in the first half, and set the tone for Sacramento early. Indeed, for the 2nd game in row, the Kings were competitive from the jump - and while the Suns threatened throughout the contest, Sacramento held the lead through most of the contest. It wasn't the prettiest victory, but it came through 48 minutes of near-consistent effort from Luke Walton's squad.
The Kings and Suns will meet again tomorrow for a rematch in Phoenix, and then the Kings will return to Sacramento on Tuesday for a second contest against the Nuggets.
- Tyrese Haliburton's shot didn't fall in his first game in Sacramento - he finished with just 2 points on 1-4 shooting - but he made his impact felt with 5 assists and some excellent team defense. Haliburton helped spark an otherwise listless lineup in the late 3rd that featured the rookie, Cory Joseph, Glenn Robinson III, Nemanja Bjelica, and Hassan Whiteside - a lineup that Luke Walton needs to burn and never try again.
- Marvin Bagley finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds, and got some key cleanup buckets off the boards. Bagley is clearly still shaking rust off, but again earned his points through cuts, rebounds, and transition plays. His defense was less impressive, as both Booker and Paul took him to school on multiple switches.
Fox is fine.
Bagley with 13 and 10 in 20 minutes.
Enes Kanter had 10 and 9 in 18 minutes. Bags still needs to take that big next step but, don’t get me wrong, I’m liking what I’m seeing.
To me, that next big step is an outside shot. His shot might look worse so far this season that his rookie year which is my huge concern for him actually progressing.
Let’s get a 15ft shot first, then go from there. Baby steps.
Yes, he’s progressing. I don’t think he’ll ever be effective outside of 7 or 8 feet, but it’s nice to see him on the floor.
From a growth perspective, I just wish Bagley would impact the game in ways other than the ways Bagley typically impacts the game. He had the coast to coast grab and go which was nice, but other than that I didn’t see many glimpses of expanding his game. Maybe I’m being too hard on him though. The ol RORDOG was having a few in-game Coors Lights, and I wasn’t intently watching the game.
Speaking of finding other ways to make an impact, I feel like adding GIFs would make me a three-level
scorercommenter. Could anyone help me with a quick how-to?
A Technologically Impaired Millenial
copy and paste the gif URL you must.
failed I did
Try not, there is only do.
File must end in jpg, gif, png .. you must!
The only part of Star Wars that actually matters.
There’s a reason his minutes are always in the low-mid twenties and it’s not because of Fluke Walton being Fluke Walton. At the end of the day, he’s still a non-shooting, non-defending tweener big.
A couple of interesting things to look at from the early advanced statistics:
Which isn’t significantly different than last season.
These two wins have really been spearheaded by defense, and so far it appears the guys impacting team defense the most are Joseph, GRIII, Whiteside, Haliburton and Bjelica
Reminder, all statistical analysis at this time of the season is approved by the Small Sample Size Institute (SSSI).
So in general when Fox is on the bench the other team probably also has bench players in right? All this stat tells me is that the King’s bench is good. I am not sure I can trust any stat that tells me the Kings are better without Fox on the floor.
That’s fine, actually!
I’m not sure why you can’t “trust” it – at least for last season (this season, as noted, is pretty small sample).
For me, the question is whether Fox will make the leap to “elite”, which is where this team needs him to be. I won’t believe he’s that guy until he consistently impacts the team’s performance positively when he’s on the floor. Until then, I’ll see him as a “good, not great” player.
And if your feeling is that Fox’s impact is blunted because he’s playing against the other team’s starters, perhaps you’re helping make my point?
Theres no doubt in my mind Fox is already a great player. His game has no holes in it because even though he has not made 3s or FTs his mechanics are solid so the shot will come.
He also needs more experience at controlling the tempo of the game as the “floor general” but this is also just a function of getting reps.
His greatness was also predicated on adding strength and he has done that. You see that he does not go to the floor as much, meaning he absorbs contact and stays on his feet. His strength is now an advantage not at a disadvantage as was the case in Year 1.
Also, you know the kid is capable of greatness because he loves the clutch moments of the game. He wants the ball and he will attack the paint. If he was not great or capable of greatness he would cower from these moments.
For example, I always thought Lonzo Ball was a fraud. He’s a guy who does not want the ball when the game is on the line. Fox is wired differently and he has the more potent skill set and this will continue to play out over their respective careers.
I don’t think he’s already a
great player. And, he does have holes in his game. You even pointed one out3 point percentage. However, he is very good player and hopefully he will continue to improve.
De’Aaron has a .167 WS/48. Your argument is invalid.
Also any early season number that has GRIII as the leader in this category means the numbers are too small to mean much of anything.
Last season, there was plenty of things that contributed to that poor on/off rating. I see that’s going to be your drum to bang on all year.
God, I miss the WS/48 minute wars. 🙂
It’s like win shares… but for 48 whole minutes! But seriously that was one of the funniest/dumbest debates in the site that shall not be named’s history.
I didn’t participate at all in them. And I missed nothing.
You must not have been watching when Fox kept closing off Booker’s progress by using quick twitch footwork to cut Booker off and frustrate him throughout the game.
I’d agree with you on Fox. Until last night’s type of game becomes the norm and not the exception from him, I just can’t call him a great player.
I dont know what you are seeing to conclude CoJoSlo and Bjelly Bjum are impacting the team defense. Bjelica can barely move. He is a mannequin on defense.
And it is ridiculous not to include Fox among the guys impacting our team defense. Did you forget to include him or was this intentional?
Fox is capable of being All-NBA First Team Defense!
CoJoSlo disappears on every screen and he is too round and stocky to challenge shots. His defense is overrated as referenced by his 114 DRtg last year.
In my opinion he is a net negative defense player because he lacks the physical and athletic profile to be a plus defender. Defensive fundamentals only get you so far.
Joseph was put on Booker last night and he got torched!
Tonight, second of a back-to-back, would be a great time to rest Joseph and put Kyle Guy in for him. Kyle is raring to go, put me in coach, put me in!
We need some fresh legs to get “sweep the doubleheader”! Lets gooooo. Kyle is dialed in and ready!
Frankly, I can’t take anything you say about Bjelica seriously.
Idk, I think Fox making that team is more likely than Kyle making an appearance tonight lol
There’s no way to prove it, but I think the Bjelly/Whiteside combo has some sort of weird psychological impact on opposing offenses. I’ve seen a few possessions in which Bjelly is guarding the ballhandler, and just let’s him blow right by him into the paint where Whiteside is patiently waiting to swallow the player whole. It’s like in those war movies/shows when one side tears through an undermanned battle line only to find that the cavalry is waiting on the other side to crush them like bugs.
I have a strange feeling about the Kings that I haven’t felt in many years. I think it’s…. hope?
f’ it! we deserve it!
I hope this current win streak/feel good moment will end up better than 9-7!
Over a season that is 40 wins… how would that make you feel?
Hope is a fickle thing. It is strong in this one ..
Championship. Book it!
Kings are currently the #2 seed.
With zero Ls!
Is Uke Wwaton a thing yet?
He sounds like he’s about to direct a bad video game movie adaptation.
I just looked at the box score, 5-23 on 3 pt shots, and we still able to get this win….
Holmes, Fox and Barnes in early game made a huge impact.
I had to check the season low 3PM last season to see if they beat it tonight. They didn’t, but just barely. They had one game last season in which they only made 4 threes.
If you have told me the Kings would shoot 21% from 3 and win, I would have died from disbelief!
I am having a nice glug of Laphroaig and feeling all sorts of feels about this team. It may not be pretty and they aren’t remotely a threat to win the championship but they seem to have at least a little of the good stuff going on.
Me, too! My only Christmas gift was a bottle of 18-year, and it’s already half-empty (or full?).
Love Laphroaig! Your bottle is definitely have full today!
Laphroaig? Great choice. It’s so good.
I was pouring some Weller 12 year tonight. I like the Scotch, but good ole’ Kentucky Bourbon still owns my heart (and my wallet.)
And… oh ya… the Kings look… not too bad so far?
I dunno. Small sample.. but 2 wins> 2 losses, so ya. Cool.
The Quarter Cask is my current favorite.
Give me a highland or a Speyside, please. I can’t stand the smoke and peat from Islay.
Nice! More of a Lagavulin guy myself, thanks to Ron Swanson
This defensive effort is fun to watch. Nice to see the team rebounding well too.
What a fun start to the season.
as a Kings fan, I’ve rarely had the opportunity to watch a team play “on a string.” There was a few possessions tonight when I was like “ohhhh..is that what that means?!”
Haha me too.
I’ve seen a couple social media posts fromNBA Twitter regarding the Kings defense thus far. It’s been pretty good! Certainly better than I expected. I do think some of it has to do with the fact that Tyrese Haliburton is really good on that end already.
Whiteside and Hali were huge pickups.
That plus bogi being gone (at least defensively)
Phoenix got their bubble burst!
Is there a part of Luke Walton’s face, outside of the everpresent smug grin and overall punchability, that restricts his mask from being properly placed upon it? The dude is the epitome of “dicknose”, and it’s downright embarrassing.
My local bodega has this front-and-center above their entryway, and it’s why they became my go-to bodega in the neighborhood. There literally isn’t an argument on the planet that can beat it. Great dick illustration aside, this should be required reading.
Not saying this as an excuse, but ive been noticing a few coaches do this on the side lines with their facemasks.
I definitely have, too, but the fact that Walton’s been called out about it by opposing players and still ignores it is beyond frustrating. Honestly, I’m probably just looking for more reasons to loathe him.
It was one player.
One too many. We’re nine months into this shit. People in general, let alone his position, shouldn’t have to be reminded, and if they are, it shouldn’t be an ongoing issue.
Maybe a 100K fine or a game suspension would change how he wears it…
Or one Mike Tyson like pimp slap!
I haven’t seen any coaches with the Andy Reid face shield, Are they banned?
Monty Williams and Mike Malone were somehow able to figure this out. Walton needs to get fined.
Legit question? Isn’t he just exposing himself wearing it like that? Is mask shaming luke a thing because of the bad example he displays or because it truly bothers you? I ask because I feel like it’s my job and privilege as a parent to teach and lead my family as headership falls on me in partnership with my wife. Expecting famous athletes or coaches or anyone else really to live by my moral standards is silly to me. I’m just trying to understand thank you. Aside from this what matchup are we hoping for in the 1st round of the playoffs?
Frankly, it’s a little bit of everything. He blew his example card years ago, so I don’t expect Uke WWalton to influence children or make the cover of Time. I do, however, expect him to follow the simple rules set by the NBA, no matter how skewed or hypocritical they currently are. At this point, wearing a mask in the manner that he does shows that he doesn’t take the current climate at all seriously, and is essentially telling everyone around him that he doesn’t give a single fuck about their well-being. I take issue with that.
Anyway, I need to move on. I’m guessing that we get annihilated by a still-angry Demarcus Cousins and his fight-happy B-Team out of Houston, that is then taken out by a hungry T-Pups squad.
His proper mask wearing is intended to protect OTHERS, not necessarily himself. So it’s not about exposing himself, it’s about properly mitigating the risk for those around you, and potential innocent third parties (aka, health care workers and first responders).
I realize that most anti-maskers come from the standpoint that their wearing a mask doesn’t necessarily protect them from the virus, which is somewhat true. But that’s just selfishness. All of us wearing a mask properly helps protect EVERYONE.
So Luke should quit being selfish and wear his mask properly.
This. I have so many friends who complain “a mask doesn’t protect me,” and I respond with “yeah, it protects others!.” They then always go to the, “but I’m not sick” remark, I then want to slap their selfish ass silly.
Take note how may times anti-maksers use the “I” and “me” in their argument, and rarely mention others.
Yeah. The fact that so many people in here try to proclaim that people are making a big deal about others pointing out improper mask wearing, when THEY are the ones making a big deal about wearing a freaking piece of cloth that covers your mouth and nose. Seriously, it’s not that hard, and we’re nine months into this. At this point people who are anti-maskers are well aware of how to wear masks properly and that it can protect those around you, they just choose to ignore it because of their ego and selfishness.
Get over it…jeez, every game related thread there is some crap about his mask wearing
I’m as anti-mask as anyone here, but it would be nice to not see this in a discussion about Luke Walton’s coaching abilities IN. EVERY. SINGLE. THREAD.
It’s a good thing I can ignore this nonsense because it won’t go away no matter how many times those threads got deleted.
Nice to know you’re an anti-masker…
Does that keep me from having to wear a mask?
It does if you like Axe body spray. Nobody will come within 6′ of you
Right? Unfortunately I think it’s horrible and obnoxiously smelling, too.
Am I the only cat here on The Kings Herald wearing a mask? I don’t see any of you wearing masks!
This would stop if Walton gained just enough intellect to put a piece of cloth over his face for 2 1/2 hours four times a week.
I wish they had an offense. Right now they just bring it up, make a pass, and hope something good happens. I watched the set plays Ty Lue runs with the Clippers and got so jealous. That said, I like the energy, and the hard work. TH is going to be a good one. Whiteside brings… a lot of height. Barnes looks into it, and Bagley shows a lot in flashes.
I even like the new announcer. What could go wrong?
Whether it ends in tears or ecstasy, oh boy am I enjoying this season right now.
F*ck it. We deserve it. That was fun.
Please more “hot takes” in Whiteside’s “empty stats”, how Barnes contract is bad and why this team should lose games for a future prospect!
You are killing it, guys!
periodic reminder: coming to a definitive conclusion after a 2 game sample size is the quintessential hot take.
Wait. Spiking the ball after fair catching the punt on your own 10 yard line is not proper etiquette?
So that’s why I didn’t make the NFL!
Whiteside was a great pickup for this team
“Great” is doing a lot of work after two games. Whiteside has been good so far.
I think if we want to overreact to small samples, you could look at the fact that the Kings have been 5.4 points per 100 possessions better with Harrison Barnes ON THE BENCH. So he’s been a liability to this point statistically.
And Whiteside has been kind of as advertised. He’s had a great positive influence on the Kings defensively, but they have really struggled offensively with him on the floor .