April 29, 2018, 5:58 pm
2017-18 averages: 59 G | 57 GS | 25.6 MP | 14.5 PTS | 6.7 REB | 2.2 AST | 0.7 STL | 0.2 BLK | 2.0 TOV | 47.3 FG% | 34.7 3P% | 78.5 FT% |
What an interesting season it was for Zach Randolph. When he signed a two-year, $24 million deal with the Kings last offseason, many were optimistic about how he might contribute to the team. Randolph, nonetheless, was exactly as advertised for the Kings.
The 36-year-old veteran is well-known for his offensive intangibles and he was more than serviceable for the Kings on that end of the court. Randolph’s low post scoring has been a successful trait of his throughout the duration of his career, but on a rebuilding team like Sacramento he certainly showed a tendency to hurl 3-pointers often – at a career-high rate, nonetheless. His 2.5 3-point attempts per game stood tall over his previous career high of 1.9 attempts per game back in the 2008-09 season. The 0.9 3-pointers he made per game was also the highest mark since that same season.
His duel with former King DeMarcus Cousins back in December was one of the most entertaining games of the season. Randolph dropped 35 points with five 3-pointers, and was instrumental in getting the Kings the victory.
Randolph served as the No. 1 option on the team through the first few months, averaging 18.1 points per game in December alone. His random offensive explosions proved to be big for the Kings on multiple occasions throughout the season, and it’s probably fair to say he exceeded all expectations on offense purely based on those outbursts. On the whole, he was a solid offensive option for Sacramento.
Randolph didn’t play in the team’s final nine games, making way for the likes of Skal Labissiere, Jack Cooley and Nigel Hayes, among others. He wasn’t alone, however, as most of the team’s veterans were in a similar position and he was more than aware what he was signing up for back in July.
One of the major positives of signing a guy like Randolph was the off-court presence he brings to a team. He has a tremendous basketball mind and the knowledge that he has been able to pass on to Labissiere, Harry Giles and the other bigs on the roster is invaluable. Giles mentioned it specifically in this interview.
Defensively, though, it’s another story. Randolph has always struggled on defense, but those deficiencies have become even more apparent during his lone season with the Kings. They were present during his time in Memphis, but playing next to a guy like Marc Gasol – and on a superior team defensively overall – helped hide the issues.
Randolph was constantly burned by whoever he was guarding, especially by more agile big men, and it really hurt the Kings on multiple occasions. The team as a whole was incredibly bad on defense, posting a defensive rating of 111.1, third worst in the league. Randolph, himself, posted a defensive rating of 111, the second worst mark of his career and worst since 2005-06.
With $12 million guaranteed on his contract for next season it’s likely that Randolph sticks around. Like he did during the 2017-18 campaign, Randolph may get extended minutes out of the gate, but you can almost certainly expect that to drop as the season progresses. Stomaching the defensive downside that be brings to the table will be worth it for Sacramento, who are still in rebuilding mode and will be for the next few years to come.
Randolph’s presence on the sidelines is huge, just like it was having someone like Vince Carter around, so fans should be perfectly fine if he’s is still around come October.
It’s easy to complain about his defense but his contributions overall probably outweighed the negatives this season, and that’s all fans should really be asking for from a 16-year NBA veteran.
April 19, 2019, 2:30 pmEnes Kanter - C - Trail Blazers
Enes Kanter said on Friday that his right hand is "feeling better, but isn't at 100%".
Kanter continues to play through some discomfort in his right hand, but this is to be expected given the gravity of the setting. It's the end of the season, anyone that's playing at 100% isn't playing hard enough.
Source: Casey Holdahl on Twitter
April 19, 2019, 11:24 amMarcus Smart - G - Boston Celtics
Marcus Smart (torn oblique) said he is nowhere near returning, but is "ecstatic" with the progress he has made.
Smart was spotted putting up some light shots during morning shootaround and said he will probably begin jogging in the next couple weeks. Jaylen Brown should continue to start in place of Smart.
Source: Jay King on Twitter
April 19, 2019, 11:17 amTyronn Lue - Team - Cleveland Cavaliers
Lakers GM Rob Pelinka is expected to meet with Tyronn Lue in regards to the vacant head coaching position on Friday.
Monty Williams and Lue figure to be the favorites for the head coaching position. Each coach brings a valuable relationship to the table: Williams coached and has a relationship with Anthony Davis, who has mentioned the Lakers being one of his preferred destinations and Lue coached LeBron James and the Cavs to a championship in 2016. Pelinka is expected to meet with Williams again following the Sixers’ playoff run.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter
April 19, 2019, 11:06 amPatrick McCaw - SG/SF - Toronto Raptors
Patrick McCaw (right thumb sprain) is probable for Game 3 versus the Magic.
McCaw provides extra depth on the wing for the Raptors, but he is not expected to come out of the gate playing a major role. If he does enter to rotation he would likely take minutes from Jodie Meeks and Jeremy Lin.
Source: Eric Koreen on Twitter
April 19, 2019, 1:29 amLou Williams - G - Los Angeles Clippers
Lou Williams was held in check in Thursday's 105-132 Game 3 loss to the Warriors with 16 points on 4-of-11 shooting to go with two rebounds, six assists and a 3-pointer.
It was clear from the beginning that the Warriors' defensive scheme would revolve around making life difficult for Williams and it worked. His scoring line doesn't look too bad thanks to garbage time, but Williams couldn't get anything going from the moment he checked into the game. They wanted to give Sweet Lou less control of the ball and force him to rely on his teammates and unfortunately, his teammates came up short. If Lou can get some outside help from anyone else besides Montrezl Harrell, the Clippers have an outside shot, but if not, this series will be over shortly.
April 19, 2019, 1:29 amAndrew Bogut - C - Golden State Warriors
Andrew Bogut led the Warriors in rebounding in Game 3 with 14 boards to go with eight points on 4-of-5 shooting with five dimes, a steal and a block on Thursday.
Bogut looked sharp from the jump and if he can continue to play like this, their title odds will barely take a hit. DeMarcus Cousins (quad) is most likely out for the remainder of the playoffs, but the Warriors starters are well in tune with Bogut and there's so much talent on this team that all he has to do is stay within his role and do the dirty work which is something he's used to.
April 19, 2019, 1:28 amMontrezl Harrell - F/C - Los Angeles Clippers
Montrezl Harrell scored 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting with four rebounds and two assists in Thursday's Game 3 against the Warriors.
Harrell was able to score, but he couldn't keep up in the pick-and-roll with Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry. It's a tall task for anyone and tonight it led to a bunch of layups for Andrew Bogut and Kevon Looney as Harrell isn't a bad defender, but he's nowhere near the level you need to be to guard the Warriors.
April 19, 2019, 1:27 amDanilo Gallinari - F - Los Angeles Clippers
Danilo Gallinari struggled in Thursday's Game 3 with nine points on 2-of-13 shooting with six rebounds and three assists.
Gallo couldn't get anything going against the Warriors and if the Clippers are going to have any chance in this series they're going to need a lot more from him. He went 0-for-8 from deep to compound his struggles within the arc as well. The team's offense is entirely predicated around Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell but that won't be enough to take four games off the Warriors.
April 19, 2019, 1:27 amJaMychal Green - F - Los Angeles Clippers
JaMychal Green scored 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting with five rebounds, an assist and three 3-pointers in Thursday's Game 3.
Green played much better than Ivica Zubac (17 minutes, 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting with 15 rebounds, a steal and a block) tonight although the box score doesn't show that. Zubac became unplayable after the first seven minutes of the game and Rivers had much better results with Green in the game and Zubac's stats were all in garbage time when the game was out of hand.
April 19, 2019, 1:23 amKevin Durant - F - Golden State Warriors
Kevin Durant responded to a poor outing in Game 2 by dropping 38 points on 14-of-23 shooting while adding four rebounds, seven assists, a steal, a block and three 3-pointers in Thursday's Game 3 win over the Clippers.
He had a bad Game 2. but Durant came out firing immediately in Game 3. There was no way that the Clippers were going to stop him and tonight he came out and looked like he actually cared and enjoyed his teammates which is bad news for the league. He had 27 points at halftime and as long as he and Stephen Curry are healthy, the Warriors should be the favorites to come out of the West.