September 3, 2017, 2:40 pm
Hoop Ball Kings is proud to bring you the eighth installment of a brand new series that we are rolling out in the lead up to the 2017-18 NBA season. Over the next two months we will be doing a roundtable series which involves all three of our writers here at Hoop Ball Kings. We’ll be discussing various topics including season projections for each player on the Kings roster, record predictions and more.
First and foremost, we will run through every player currently on the Kings roster and provide our personal predictions for their output this season.
Skal Labissiere struggled to even get on the court prior to the All-Star break last season, only playing a total of 52 minutes (eight games). He showed some promising stuff, but still looked very rare on the whole; something that was expected throughout the early stages of his career. However, following the All-Star break and trade of DeMarcus Cousins, there were plenty of minutes on offer for Skal and he certainly took full advantage of it.
In 25 games (12 starts) post All-Star break, Labissiere averaged 10.8 points and 6.0 rebounds in 22.4 minutes per game on 54.1 percent shooting from the field. There were times when he struggled, normal for any rookie, but there were times when he was the best player on the court and could virtually score at will. His tremendous length was on full display as he could pull up for jumpers over defenders with practically no trouble.
His thin frame was a detriment at times, and that’s something he’ll have to work on over time. If he can bulk up and add some more muscle, he could mold into a terrific scoring and defending option in the post. Can he remain productive this season and beyond? Or was his stellar conclusion last season nothing more than a fluke?
Stat-line Prediction: 10.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.3 steals and 1.1 blocks. 52% FG, 26% 3PT, 68% FT.
Skal may begin the 2017-18 campaign by coming off the bench. It’ll all depend on Joerger’s approach heading into the season and whether he wants to go veteran heavy or continue with his youth movement from last season. Labissiere should continue to see some of the success he displayed over March and April but he will encounter speed bumps too.
He’s still quite raw in many aspects of his game and we managed to see some of that first hand during summer league. He’s still got plenty of work to do but learning from a guy like Zach Randolph is the best possible thing that can happen for the 21-year-old. Z-Bo will hopefully help him patch up some of the weaknesses in his game and going toe-to-toe with each other in practice every week will be extremely beneficial for Skal.
His minutes should gradually increase as the season progresses. He may start off at around 20 minutes per night, possibly less, but as everything begins to unfold the younger guys will start to takeover again. Labissiere still projects to be a productive player in the future, but patience will be key with him.
Stat-line Prediction: 13.7 points, 7.9 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 0.9 steals and 1.1 blocks. 51% FG, 32% 3PT, 71% FT.
Labissiere only played in 33 games as a rookie last season, but he shined in his limited role. In 18 minutes per game, he averaged just under nine points and almost five rebounds (that would make his per-36 about 18 points and 10 rebounds. Not too shabby.
This season, Skal will have a more prolific role in the Kings’ offense and will be looked at as one of the top scoring options behind Buddy Hield and George Hill. Skal didn’t shoot from beyond the arc much last season (just eight times in his 33 games), but he proved he could knock them down every once in a while as he made 37.5% of his attempts.
I’d expect him to open up his three-point game a little more this year considering he’ll likely be on the court at the same time as players such as Willie Cauley-Stein and Zach Randolph, who are predominantly inside players. If Labissiere improves on his game from last year, he could explode past the predictions I’ve placed on him. At just 21 years old, the sky very well could be the limit for this kid.
Stat-line Prediction: 14.8 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.0 steals, 1.1 blocks. 52% FG, 35% 3PT, 70% FT
Labissiere showed flashes of sky-high potential following the DeMarcus Cousins trade, and while he still remains a fairly raw player overall, he has plenty of skills to lean on while he progresses. Skal showed an ability to score from all over the court, and his energy and athleticism made him an asset on the glass.
While the team did add Zach Randolph and Harry Giles during the offseason, Labissiere isn’t going to struggle much to find minutes early on. He finished last season playing around 25 minutes per game, and should have every opportunity to finish this season even higher.
Missed the previous installments of Hoop Ball Kings’ Roundtable Series? Click HERE to read them.
April 25, 2019, 2:06 amLou Williams - G - Los Angeles Clippers
Lou Williams went off for 33 points on 12-of-19 shooting in a 129-121 win over the Warriors in Game 5 on Wednesday.
Williams went 1-of-2 from deep and 8-of-9 from the stripe. He also contributed four rebounds and 10 assists to the stat sheet. When the Clippers were down 118-117 with under two minutes left, Williams hit a 4-point play to go up three points. After that play, he made two more buckets to widen the gap to 125-118. Williams iced the game for the Clippers and he is one of the cogs that keeps the team successful when he is on his game.
April 25, 2019, 2:00 amPatrick Beverley - G - Los Angeles Clippers
Patrick Beverley put up 17 points with 14 rebounds and five assists in 37 minutes of action in a win over the Warriors in Game 5 on Wednesday.
He shot 6-of-13 from the field and 5-of-11 from 3-point territory. His attitude and energy provide the young Clippers much-needed confidence. His defense and toughness have helped the Clippers push this series to six games and possibly further, which is something many people would have counted out before the playoffs started.
April 25, 2019, 1:53 amDanilo Gallinari - F - Los Angeles Clippers
Danilo Gallinari put up 26 points on 9-of-22 shooting in a team-high 42 minutes as the Clippers beat the Warriors in Game 5 on Wednesday to avoid elimination.
He did not shoot the ball well from beyond the arc as he went 3-of-11, but he did shoot 5-of-6 from the stripe. He also contributed seven rebounds, two assists and one steal to the box score. Gallinari has not been efficient during this series, and it is quite disappointing to see him taking a dip from his high level of production in the regular season. Gallinari will need to bring another performance like this one if the Clippers hope to force a Game 7.
April 25, 2019, 1:44 amMontrezl Harrell - F/C - Los Angeles Clippers
Montrezl Harrell played well in a win over the Warriors in Game 5 on Wednesday as he had 24 points on 11-of-14 shooting in 27 minutes of action.
He added five rebounds, two assists and one block while shooting a perfect 2-of-2 from the line. Harrell provided energy and paint dominance for the Clippers throughout this game, which lifted them to a win to force a Game 6. Harrell's only block came late in the fourth quarter on a Kevon Looney dunk attempt, which shifted momentum in the Clippers' favor.
April 25, 2019, 1:38 amJaMychal Green - F - Los Angeles Clippers
JaMychal Green started in Game 5 and scored 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting with three triples in 27 minutes of action in a win over the Warriors on Wednesday.
Green was guarding Kevin Durant for much of his court time during Game 4, and Game 5 was no different. Durant is unguardable, so the 45 points that he scored is not Green's fault. He has been playing well in the starting lineup and there is no reason to believe that his role will change for Game 6.
April 25, 2019, 1:29 amStephen Curry - G - Golden State Warriors
Steph Curry scored 24 points on 7-of-15 shooting from the field and 4-of-5 shooting from beyond the arc in Game 5 as the Warriors lost to the Clippers on Wednesday.
The Warriors are still up by one game in the series, but it would have been nice to end it on their home court. Curry added three rebounds, four assists, and one block to the box score while shooting a perfect 6-of-6 from the line. Curry has had a phenomenal series thus far, which is seemingly inevitable with the Warriors' stars. The rest of the roster will need to step up in order to close out the series on Friday night in Los Angeles.
April 25, 2019, 1:20 amKlay Thompson - G - Golden State Warriors
Klay Thompson followed up his 32-point performance in Game 4 with a 22-point outing in Game 5 on 9-of-20 shooting in a loss to the Clippers on Wednesday.
He made four triples while adding three rebounds and two assists to the box score. Thompson is having a solid series with averages of 18.3 points and 2.5 triples per game in the first four games, The Warriors will have another chance to close out the series on Friday night in Los Angeles.
April 25, 2019, 1:14 amKevin Durant - F - Golden State Warriors
Kevin Durant put up 45 points on 14-of-26 shooting with six rebounds and six assists in a Game 5 loss to the Clippers on Wednesday.
The Warriors had a chance to end the series tonight but could not capitalize as they got absolutely torched by Lou Williams down the stretch. Durant added two steals, one block and five 3-pointers to the box score. He was their main scoring option down the stretch and really kept them in the game, but Williams got the best of him and pulled out the win.
April 24, 2019, 11:13 pmChris Paul - G - Houston Rockets
Chris Paul got it done in Wednesday night's win over the Jazz, finishing with 15 points, eight rebounds, five assists, three steals and three turnovers.
Paul finished this series scoring 17.4 points on 46 percent shooting, both above his regular season averages. He has a habit of increasing his production in the post season and should continue to be a linchpin for the Houston offense as long as he stays healthy.
April 24, 2019, 11:02 pmClint Capela - C - Houston Rockets
Clint Capela looked healthy in Wednesday's 100-93 win over the Jazz, scoring 16 points to go with 10 rebounds, two assists and three blocks.
Coach Mike D'Antoni indicated that Capela was feeling a lot better and it certainly looked it tonight. The lob-catching big man is essential to Houston's playoff success and could be in for a huge role in a potential showdown with the Warriors.