October 8, 2018, 3:16 pm
After two encouraging games to open up the preseason, the Kings were brought back down to earth by the defending champs in their third matchup. While losses like that can be demoralizing, the team should have a shot to right the ship Monday night against Maccabi Haifa.
While their talent cannot be completely overlooked, Maccabi Haifa does figure to be the Kings’ easiest opponent of the preseason. The Kings will still need to execute, but their athleticism alone should cause some real problems.
Monday night’s game is by no means an automatic win, but the team will have a good chance at a confidence-boosting win heading into the final stretch of the preseason. Below are some of the key things to watch for Monday night:
Fox has been as good as any fan could have hoped to this point in the preseason. He had some struggles in Friday night’s game, but overall his confidence and improved jump shot have been encouraging heading into the regular season.
One slight concern has been his lack of attempts from the free throw line. Fox has just two attempts through three games and will need to generate far more opportunities for himself going forward.
Spacing issues have kept Fox from driving as much as he should, but he still needs to find ways to draw contact in transition and in pick and roll sets. A game against Maccabi Haifa should present a decent opportunity
Additions to the rotation
Yogi Farrell and Nemanja Bjelica have both been upgraded to probable for tonight’s game, and both figure to get a decent amount of playing time if they’re ultimately cleared to play. While Farrell has already seen time in the team’s first preseason game, Bjelica has yet to suit up for the Kings.
While neither are sure to play at the moment, it’s not exactly clear how they will impact the team’s rotations if they are cleared. Skal Labissiere and Justin Jackson have both struggled during the preseason, so it will be interesting to see how much, if at all, these two see their minutes reduced.
The Kings have had success this season when they’re able to push the pace, but the offense has struggled to generate good looks in half-court settings. While some of this can be attributed to inexperience, poor spacing and ball movement have also contributed.
Playing in transition certainly highlights the strengths of this team, but they won’t be able to take the next step until they can run a coherent offense when the game slows down. Adding veterans like Bjelica and Farrell should provide some relief, but the team will need to start making adjustments in the near future.
PG – De’Aaron Fox
SG – Buddy Hield
SF – Justin Jackson
PF – Skal Labissiere
C – Willie Cauley-Stein
Kosta Koufos (hamstring) – OUT
Bogdan Bogdanovic (knee) – OUT
Iman Shumpert (calf) – OUT
Nemanja Bjelica (knee) – PROBABLE
Yogi Farrell (thumb) – PROBABLE
HOW TO WATCH
When: 7:00 p.m. PST (10:00 p.m. ET)
December 9, 2018, 11:14 pmDeMarcus Cousins - C - Golden State Warriors
DeMarcus Cousins is expected to practice with the Santa Cruz Warriors of the G-League on Monday.
Cousins continues to work his way back into shape after suffering an Achilles tear last season. He's aiming to return around Christmas and all reports about his progress have been positive so far. Him working in an actual team setting is another big step in the process, even if it is in the G-League. He's worth scooping up if you think you can make it through the next month without production from one of your roster spots.
Source: Marc J. Spears on Twitter
December 9, 2018, 10:22 pmFrank Ntilikina - G - New York Knicks
Frank Ntilikina scored 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting with four 3-pointers as the Knicks lost to the Hornets on Sunday.
He outplayed starter Emmanuel Mudiay, who scored six points with three rebounds and four assists on 3-of-9 shooting. The Knicks’ point guard situation is a mess and minutes change frequently, so neither of them are worth owning in fantasy.
December 9, 2018, 10:19 pmNoah Vonleh - F - New York Knicks
Noah Vonleh did not play well against the Hornets on Sunday with only three points on 1-of-5 shooting, but he did contribute 10 rebounds and a career-high nine assists.
Vonleh has seen consistent minutes as the starting power forward for the Knicks and his value currently sits right outside the top-100. He is a must-own in deep leagues and will provide solid late-middle round value this season. However, head coach David Fizdale's rotations can change at any moment, which means Vonleh's minutes can change so keep an eye on the Knicks' rotation from game-to-game.
December 9, 2018, 10:15 pmKyle Lowry - G - Toronto Raptors
Kyle Lowry fell to a new low with his 0-for-5 shooting night on Sunday against the Bucks.
This is the first time in Lowry's career that he's been held under 10 points for five straight games. To call this a slump would be unfair. Luckily as a point guard, Lowry does more than just score and has been returning top-120 value over his last four games despite shooting under 15 percent during that stretch. Lowry finished tonight's game with zero points, five boards, seven assists and a block in 34 minutes.
Source: Chris Black on Twitter
December 9, 2018, 10:14 pmTrevor Ariza - F - Phoenix Suns
The Lakers are one of the teams making a run at Trevor Ariza, they're currently in discussions to swing a three-team deal.
Ariza might struggle as a fantasy asset in Los Angeles given how many swingmen they have. If you own Ariza you're hoping that he finds his way back to the Rockets. The Suns are hoping to get a young guard and a draft pick in any deal for Ariza and the Lakers seem to be searching for a suitor willing to take on Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter
December 9, 2018, 10:14 pmMitchell Robinson - C - New York Knicks
It was reported that Mitchell Robinson suffered a shoulder injury on Suday before halftime of the Knicks game.
Robinson has played his regular allotment of minutes in the second half and hasn't looked hurt at all. Maybe we'll learn more on this after the game.
Source: Stefan Bondy on Twitter
December 9, 2018, 10:13 pmEnes Kanter - C - New York Knicks
Enes Kanter did not play well on Sunday with six points and four rebounds on 3-of-6 shooting in 18 minutes in a loss to the Hornets.
He is the best player to own on the Knicks roster right now at top-70 value, but people were hoping for more from Kanter and David Fizdale's rotations are crushing those hopes. He will have inconsistent performances due to varying minutes, but he will still provide middle-round value as long as he is typically seeing minutes in the 20's.
December 9, 2018, 10:10 pmKevin Knox - F - New York Knicks
Kevin Knox saw 41 minutes on Sunday and put up 26 points and 15 rebounds on 10-of-25 shooting in a loss to the Hornets.
He made four 3-pointers and added on steal to the box score as well. This is one of his best games of the season, but he is still not worth owning in fantasy due to the possibility that head coach David Fizdale could play him low minutes next game. The rotations are inconsistent for the Knicks and makes owning any player a difficult task. Mario Hezonja was awful in this game with zero points on 0-of-3 shooting in five minutes. Look to see if Fizdale starts Knox over Hezonja going forward.
December 9, 2018, 10:05 pmJeremy Lamb - G - Charlotte Hornets
Jeremy Lamb scored 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting in 28 minutes as the Hornets beat the Knicks on Sunday.
Lamb continues to play well and is cruising to top-50 value on the season. He appeared a bit shaky to start the season, but his buy-low window quickly closed and he started returning early-middle round value. Credit to owners who bought low on him or remained patient after his rocky start as his solid play is definitely paying off.
December 9, 2018, 10:01 pmCody Zeller - F/C - Charlotte Hornets
Cody Zeller had an all-around good game on Sunday with 12 points, seven rebounds and four defensive stats on 5-of-5 shooting as the Hornets beat the Knicks.
The four defensive stats were three steals and one block, and he was also able to add two assists as well as shoot a perfect 2-of-2 from the line. Marvin Williams added 13 points and five rebounds on 4-of-9 shooting. Both of these guys will have to be on top of their games for the Hornets to stay competitive in the East. Zeller is the preferred option to own in fantasy as of right now.