July 2, 2018, 3:49 am
Basketball is back and it’ll take place right here in Sacramento. The city is hosting its first-ever Summer League event, the California Classic, which involves the Kings, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat.
The Warriors and Heat tip-off proceedings at 6 pm PST, before the hometown Kings take the court at 8 pm PST against the Lakers.
It’ll be the first opportunity for Kings fans to see No. 2 overall pick, Marvin Bagley, up close in Sacramento, as well as the eagerly awaited debut of F/C Harry Giles. Both players are expected to play in Las Vegas, too, so there’s going to be plenty of court-time for each.
Giles, the No. 20 overall pick a year ago, sat out his rookie season to properly recover from knee injuries he suffered back in High School. Intel from the media and the team itself has been overwhelmingly positive regarding Giles and how he’s looked in practice over the past year, but we’ll finally be able to make a proper judgment of him when he suits up later tonight. If all goes well during Summer League and his health checks out, Giles is expected to take on a large role with the Kings this season.
Second-year players De’Aaron Fox, Justin Jackson and Frank Mason III will also play in the California Classic. It has already been reported that Fox will not play in Las Vegas this year, but all indications are that Jackson and Mason are good to go. Their development in year three will be crucial to the team’s success moving forward. Winning won’t be a priority for the Kings again this season but seeing progress out of their young players is needed sooner rather than later.
Sacramento’s full California Classic roster can be found HERE.
The Kings have a somewhat talented Summer League roster, but the Lakers possess some solid young talent, too.
Josh Hart headlines their roster after a successful rookie campaign last season. With the inclusion of LeBron James and Lance Stephenson, and the return of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Hart’s role with the team is currently up in the air, but if he performs well during Summer League he might be able to carve out a spot in the rotation.
Lonzo Ball will not be playing due to a torn meniscus in his knee, but he’s expected back for training camp. The news means fans won’t be able to see the much talked about Fox vs. Ball matchup.
Other players playing for the Lakers this July include the 25th overall pick Mo Wagner, Sacramento native Malik Pope, sharp-shooter Svi Mykhailiuk and guard Alex Caruso.
It should be an entertaining matchup between two promising young teams. The Kings will be back in action tomorrow night against the Warriors at 8 pm PST.
PG – De’Aaron Fox
SG – Justin Jackson
SF – Nigel Hayes
PF – Marvin Bagley III
C – Harry Giles
How to Watch:
When: 8 pm PST (11 pm EST)
Where: NBA TV
April 18, 2019, 1:13 amRicky Rubio - G - Utah Jazz
Ricky Rubio put up 17 points with four rebounds, nine assists and four steals in a loss to the Rockets in Game 2 on Wednesday.
He shot 7-of-17 from the field and had the unfortunate matchup against James Harden for much of this game. Harden hit him with a crossover that sent Rubio to the floor, but he missed the shot. The Jazz have been getting good performances from Rubio and Derrick Favors, but the inconsistent play from the remainder of their roster has left them with a two-game series deficit. The Jazz are heading back to Utah for Game 3 as they will try to steal their first game of the series.
April 18, 2019, 1:06 amDonovan Mitchell - G - Utah Jazz
Donovan Mitchell had another poor shooting night as he went 5-of-18 from the field on his way to 11 points in a Game 2 blowout loss to the Rockets on Wednesday.
Mitchell shot just 1-of-8 from 3-point territory and 0-of-2 from the stripe. He also had five fouls and four turnovers while playing a team-high 37 minutes. He did add six assists and two steals, but this was a disappointing performance from the second-year rising star. Eric Gordon has been outshining him, but Mitchell has a chance to rectify things as the Jazz head home for Game 3.
April 18, 2019, 1:00 amDerrick Favors - F/C - Utah Jazz
Derrick Favors played well in his 22 minutes of action in a Game 2 loss to the Rockets on Wednesday, with 14 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks.
Although Favors is putting up good numbers in such limited minutes, you should not expect to see him go above 25 minutes at all in this series. He shot 7-of-11 from the field and missed both of his attempts from deep. Also, the Rockets play a lot of small ball as PJ Tucker is their power forward, so Favors is often at a defensive disadvantage when on the court.
April 18, 2019, 12:56 amRudy Gobert - C - Utah Jazz
Rudy Gobert did not have a great showing in Wednesday's Game 2 loss to the Rockets as he managed just 11 points and 12 rebounds on 3-of-6 shooting.
He made five of his seven attempts from the stripe and added one assist and two steals to the stat sheet. He did not record a block in this one which is rare to see from Gobert as he averaged 2.3 blocks per game on the season. Clint Capela has been defending Gobert well, which is making things a lot tougher on the Jazz to score and rebound the ball. Gobert will look to bounce back as the Jazz head home for Game 3.
April 18, 2019, 12:47 amRoyce O'Neale - F - Utah Jazz
Royce O'Neale played well on Wednesday in a Game 2 blowout loss to the Rockets as he had 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting with three triples and four assists.
O'Neale stepped up as Joe Ingles managed just seven points on 3-of-8 shooting with five steals. He saw 27 minutes of action in this one after seeing just 15 minutes in Game 1. He has guarded James Harden on numerous possessions thus far and it seems as though Harden goes at him every chance he gets. This may be the best game we see from O'Neale all series, but he has given the Jazz some solid run off the bench thus far.
April 18, 2019, 12:37 amJames Harden - G - Houston Rockets
James Harden dominated the Jazz in Game 2 on Wednesday as he triple-doubled with 32 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists.
Aside from his eight turnovers, there was not much to complain about Harden’s performance. Rather, there were elements of Harden’s showing that deserve high praise such as his six triples, one block and toughness throughout the entire game. He would not back down from Ricky Rubio and actually crossed him up in the first half. The Beard is continuing his MVP-like season into the playoffs, which is no surprise given how truly great his 2018-19 campaign was.
April 18, 2019, 12:31 amChris Paul - G - Houston Rockets
Chris Paul put up 17 points on 5-of-11 shooting with two steals and two blocks in a blowout win over the Jazz on Wednesday.
He made just one of his six 3-point attempts and turned the ball over six times. However, he did add four rebounds and three assists to the box score as well. James Harden is clearly the dominating force for the Rockets, but Paul's stability will be crucial for the team to continue their playoff success.
April 18, 2019, 12:25 amEric Gordon - G - Houston Rockets
Eric Gordon outplayed Donovan Mitchell once again in Game 2 as the Rockets beat the Jazz 118-98 on Wednesday.
Gordon scored 16 points on an efficient 6-of-11 shooting and 3-of-6 shooting from long-range. He also contributed one rebound, two steals and one block to the stat sheet. Gordon is tasked with guarding Mitchell, which is the toughest defensive assignment on the Rockets and he is thriving in that role. He has held him to 30 points on 37 shots in the series thus far. This series could potentially end in four games if Gordon continues to play at this high of a level.
April 18, 2019, 12:17 amPJ Tucker - F - Houston Rockets
PJ Tucker drilled four triples on his way to 16 points in a blowout win over the Jazz in Game 2 on Wednesday.
He added two steals and four boards while converting five of his eight shots from the field. The Rockets have confidence in Tucker to fire from deep and he proved them right as he drilled four of his seven attempts from 3-point territory. Surrounding James Harden with 3-and-D wing players has been their formula for success and Tucker fits that mold perfectly. When Tucker is hitting his shots, the Rockets are likely to dominate the way they did tonight.
April 18, 2019, 12:09 amClint Capela - C - Houston Rockets
Clint Capela did not have to do much in the Rockets’ Game 2 blowout win over the Jazz on Wednesday as he had just seven points and 10 rebounds with three blocks.
He shot 3-of-4 from the field and added one assist and one steal to the box score. Although the numbers were down in this one, he did what he had to do in his 29 minutes of action as he kept Rudy Gobert in check as well. Capela is an important cog in the Rockets’ formula for success, so even when he is not scoring as much he is still impacting the game in other ways.