January 28, 2018, 9:40 pm
One big run was all it took for the Kings to unravel against the Spurs on Sunday as they fell 113-98. San Antonio closed the third quarter on a 15-5 run and fended off a couple attempted comebacks from Sacramento in the fourth quarter.
The Kings led 50-49 at the half against the wildy Spurs but the fluid offense of Gregg Popovich’s team proved to be too much to overcome for the Kings. Combine the experience of Popovich and the Spurs with the early exit of Kings’ head coach Dave Joerger due to lightheadedness and it was a recipe for disaster.
In the first half, Justin Jackson and Vince Carter combined for 25 points as the former Tar Heels helped the Kings to a lead through 24 minutes.
Jackson’s performance was not only offensive, though, as he played tough defense in the opening half. Carter added some solid minutes for the Kings and was able to knock down open baskets when given the opportunity.
The Kings played solid team defense in the half, especially the second quarter when they limited the Spurs to just 20 points.
In the second half, the Kings and Spurs exchanged leads to open the third period and with 5:23 left to play in the quarter, the teams were tied to each other at 64 a piece. However, the Spurs took advantage of some missed chances by Sacramento and turnovers from the Kings as well to stretch their lead to 79-69 heading into the fourth.
Although the Kings weren’t able to hang with San Antonio in the third, De’Aaron Fox kept the game from getting incredibly out of hand as he knocked down three 3-pointers in the period. Fox finished the game with a career-high 26 points and finished the night going 6-of-6 from beyond the arc. With Fox’s ability to finish at the rim never being an issue, his ability to knock down the long range ball would be a devastating weapon against opponents.
Fox was able to show everyone watching just how incredibly gifted he is as he stormed past what seemed like the entire Spurs’ roster in the final seconds of the first half to get to the bucket. He was fouled and knocked down both of the free throws to give the Kings their lead.
In the fourth, the Spurs were able to keep the Kings an arm’s length away and countered every made basket the Kings had with one of their own.
The last time the teams faced off it was Davis Bertans exploiting the Kings’ defense, but on this night it was Bryn Forbes having his way with Sacramento. Forbes finished the night with 23 points on 9-of-15 shooting and connected on five 3-pointers.
- The Kings were without a handful of players as Skal Labissiere, Willie Cauley-Stein, Frank Mason, Malachi Richardson and Garrett Temple all sat out of the game.
- The lack of size was evident as the Spurs out-rebounded the Kings 52-to-34. San Antonio finished with more than twice as many offensive boards as the Kings as well (SAC 6, SA 13).
- The Kings lack of depth was an issue on the night as only two of the four reserves for the team scored. Carter finished with 21 on the night and George Hill added 19 of his own. Buddy Hield and Jakarr Sampson combined for 28 minutes of action and went a combined 0-for-6.
- Sacramento ended with 21 assists and just nine turnovers, adding 18 3-pointers. The Spurs, however, shot 50 percent from the field and had an incredible assist-to-turnover ratio of 33-to-7 which helped them secure the victory.
July 2, 2020, 2:57 pmJusuf NurkicC, Portland Trail Blazers
In a conference call with Portland media, Terry Stotts revealed that Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins are likely to return to their starting jobs and won't be under minutes restrictions when the NBA resumes.
It should be a huge defensive lift for a Blazers squad that gave up points like crazy, though this will throw a wrench into plans for DFS players. Stotts mentioned that he's considered starting Nurkic next to current starter Hassan Whiteside, though that fit would likely only be tenable in certain matchups. This, plus news of Trevor Ariza's absence during the restart, also has big effects on the wing rotation, where it sounds like Carmelo Anthony and Gary Trent Jr. are competing to start with Nassir Little and Mario Hezonja also in the mix off the bench. This is a big blow to Hassan Whiteside's fantasy appeal — a top-15 player in 31.3 mpg this year– as his minutes should sink into the mid twenties. Anyone participating in a short league that covers the restart may want to view Whiteside as more of a middle-round, blocks specialist type, though this all obviously hinges on how Nurkic and Collins look when games begin.
Source: The Athletic
July 2, 2020, 12:59 pmDevin BookerSG, Phoenix Suns
Monty Williams said that he wants to play Devin Booker and Ricky Rubio less than their typical minute allotment when the NBA resumes in Orlando.
The Suns have extremely slim playoff hopes and Williams doesn't want to risk one of the team's starting guards sustaining an injury in what amounts to a meaningless game. Expect similar moves from plenty of teams who realistically have no shot at the playoffs, even if they don't declare as much publicly. Anyone playing fantasy games for the eight-game restart should familiarize themselves with the depth charts on such teams and maybe downgrade some of the bigger names in case their minutes are limited.
Source: Valley Tales
July 2, 2020, 12:43 pmLeBron JamesSF, Los Angeles Lakers
Out of 344 players tested between June 24-29, nine have tested positive for COVID-19.
That brings the NBA up to 25 positive cases among players since June 23 testing began, a positive rate of 7.1%. 10 out of 884 staff members have also tested positive. How the NBA handles any potential spread of the virus inside the Orlando bubble will make or break their entire plan.
Source: Shams Charania on Twitter
July 2, 2020, 12:39 pmJontay PorterC, Memphis Grizzlies
Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said that rookie Jontay Porter may be available for games in the Orlando bubble.
Porter missed the entire 2018-19 college season after suffering a knee injury and hasn't suited up as a pro, so if he accompanies the Grizzlies to Orlando it'll be more for the experience than actual playing time. His college numbers were intriguing but Porter is only of consequence in deep dynasty formats for now.
Source: Daily Memphian
July 2, 2020, 12:34 pmGrayson AllenSG, Memphis Grizzlies
Grayson Allen (left hip) may be able to play when the NBA season resumes in Orlando.
Allen has been sidelined with left hip soreness since leaving a game in late January, and his ailment would've ended his season had things finished as scheduled. While he hasn't received the all-clear yet, the Grizzlies will evaluate him after he gets through some practices in the Orlando bubble. He's unlikely to play much even if he can, as the Grizzlies currently boast a fully healthy roster.
Source: Daily Memphian
July 1, 2020, 8:28 pmDwight HowardC, Los Angeles Lakers
Dave McMenamin of ESPN reported that Dwight Howard remains in his Atlanta-area home and the Lakers hope he will eventually join them in Orlando.
The Lakers do not plan to replace Howard on the roster. They are being patient with Howard, but if he decides to not play in Orlando the Lakers will likely look to sign another center.
Source: Dave McMenamin on Twitter
July 1, 2020, 7:40 pmLuc Mbah a MouteSF, Houston Rockets
Shams Charania reported that the Houston Rockets plan to sign Luc Mbah a Moute for the Orlando restart.
Thabo Sefolosha announced on Wednesday that he will not participate in the Orlando restart, leaving the Rockets with a need for an additional three-and-D wing. Mbah a Moute played 61 games for the Rockets in 2017-18 and averaged 25.6 minutes per game, so he is familiar with their system. Mbah a Moute will be a low-usage player that the Rockets can plug in at the end of their rotation and will provide them more depth, which could be imperative for teams given the COVID-19 concerns surrounding this Orlando restart.
Source: Shams Charania on Twitter
July 1, 2020, 7:31 pmDwight PowellPF, Dallas Mavericks
Dwight Powell has advanced in his rehab from a torn Achilles as he has been able to do some light shooting, agility work, and has been able to do some jogging on the treadmill.
Powell suffered a torn Achilles in January and has no chance of participating in Orlando's restart. However, it is always good news to hear a player reach a milestone in terms of their rehab. Powell may not play an NBA game until the 2021-22 season as he continues to recover from one of the toughest injuries in basketball. This is a situation that will continue to evolve over the next year or so.
Source: Callie Caplan on Twitter
July 1, 2020, 7:21 pmJaren Jackson Jr.PF, Memphis Grizzlies
Head coach Taylor Jenkins told the media that they are "looking good, feeling good" in regards to the health of Jaren Jackson Jr. (left knee), Brandon Clarke (right quad) and Justise Winslow (back soreness).
Jackson and Clarke missed nine and eight games respectively prior to the shutdown while Winslow has yet to play a game for the Grizzlies due to an ongoing back injury. This appears to be great news for the young team as they will be at full strength when the league does resume. Clarke and Jackson definitely have fantasy appeal as they both finished inside the top-80 on the season. Winslow has potential but he is the riskiest of the three based on a brand new situation and the back injury that has caused him to miss 53 games so far this season. It is probably best to avoid Winslow for the league resumption and re-evaluate his fantasy value prior to the 2020-21 campaign.
Source: Michael Wallace on Twitter
July 1, 2020, 7:03 pmThomas BryantC, Washington Wizards
Wizards center Thomas Bryant told the media that he is "100 percent healed" from a stress fracture in his foot and is doing everything on the basketball court ahead of the NBA resumption in Orlando.
Bryant struggled to stay healthy prior to the league suspension as he played in 38 out of 64 games while the team also had him on a strict minutes limit for several of the contests that he was able to play. He is an intriguing fantasy option for the NBA restart but his recent injury history should be considered at draft time.
Source: Fred Katz on Twitter