October 23, 2017, 9:46 pm
The Suns have struggled to get their squad going through their first three games of the season, but the team was able to take advantage of a rough start for the Kings to get their first win of the 2017-18 campaign.
Phoenix jumped out to an early 13-2 lead in the first, fueled by an incredible offensive outburst from Devin Booker and Marquese Chriss. They finished the quarter with a 36-17 lead, going 14-20 from the field.
A nice 13-4 run from Sacramento to start the second quarter brought the Kings right back into the fold and helped get the team into a normal rhythm before the half.
Buddy Hield, a player not often celebrated for his work on defense, carried the team after the half with five steals in just the third quarter. Hield has been streaky this season, but this was by far his most encouraging defensive performance of the year.
The Kings were then lifted by 16 fourth quarter points from Garrett Temple, but the early deficit was just too much to overcome.
The season is still early, but the team looks much more dynamic when they make an effort to get some youth on the floor, and tonight was no exception.
Willie Cauley-Stein held the team together in the first, and strong performances off the bench from Skal Labissiere, Bogdan Bogdanovic and De’Aaron Fox kept the game within reach in the second.
Aaron Bruski recently went in-depth on the complications involved in distributing minutes, and while the team was wise to take a cautious approach with their young players to start the season, it may be time to re-evaluate the starting lineup in an effort to give the team more energy at the beginning of games.
The team will now prepare for their second game at home this season when the New Orleans Pelicans visit the Golden One Center Thursday night.
De’Aaron Fox – 19 PTS, 5 REB, 4 AST 3 STL (7-of-16 FG)
Fox once again made his presence felt off the bench, bringing energy to both ends of the floor and a speed element that very few in the NBA can match. Fox still struggles with his decision making at times, but his impact has been undeniable this season.
Garret Temple – 23 PTS, 2 REB, 1 AST (8-of-13 FG)
Temple remains one of the most consistent players on the Kings, but offensive outburst like this are rare for him. His clutch shooting was the only reason the team was able to attempt a late comeback and his versatility served the team well throughout the game.
Buddy Hield – 14 PTS, 2 REB, 5 STL (6-of-15 FG)
Hield struggled in a big way early on, and his poor decisions played a big role in the Suns’ early lead. With that said, his defensive performance in the third helped carry the lineup that dug such a deep hole for the Kings in the first quarter.
February 15, 2019, 11:14 pmBen Simmons - G/F - Philadelphia Sixers
Ben Simmons paced Team World in Friday's loss to Team USA in the Rising Stars Challenge with 28 points on 14-of-17 shooting, five rebounds, six assists and three steals.
Everyone knew that defense would not be one of the highlights of this game, but his .823 shooting from the field was just crazy good. He did miss his only shot from the line which was in a way, Simmons' artistic signature on his line for the night. Bulls' Fantastic Finn Lauri Markkanen chimed in with 21 points (9-of-17 shooting), six rebounds, two dimes and three triples.
February 15, 2019, 11:07 pmKyle Kuzma - F - Los Angeles Lakers
Kyle Kuzma led Team USA to a 161-144 victory over Team World in the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday with 35 points on 15-of-27 shooting and was named the game's MVP.
Kuzma added six rebounds, two assists, three triples and a block to the box score in what was a for-fun yet still competitive game that ended Team USA's two-year drought. Special mentions go out to Jayson Tatum, who chipped in 30 points (12-of-24 shooting), nine rebounds, three assists, two steals and six 3-pointers, as well as rookie Trae Young who double-doubled with 25 points (six 3s), seven rebounds, 10 dimes and a block.
February 15, 2019, 10:58 pmRodions Kurucs - F - Brooklyn Nets
After missing the Nets' last game with a left elbow strain, Rodions Kurucs took to the court in the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday and posted 10 points (4-of-9 shooting), four boards, five dimes and two triples in 16 minutes for Team World.
It's a once in a lifetime experience and it was good to see Kurucs healthy enough to make an appearance. He's been a low-end asset in fantasy thanks to his lack of consistent production but is one to watch especially if you're in deep keeper or dynasty leagues as he's shown some flashes of upside when he's had the chance to shine.
February 15, 2019, 3:16 pmKyrie Irving - G - Boston Celtics
Kyrie Irving (right knee strain) is "very, very close" to a return and the Celtics would not be opposed to him playing in Sunday's All-Star game.
Irving made the trip to Charlotte with his personal trainer a the team's physical therapist. Although he's missed the last two games, the Celtics wouldn't mind him participating in Sunday's game and Danny Ainge things that an exhibition contest might actually function as a good workout. Brad Stevens speculated that Irving would've been able to play on Friday or Saturday had the Celtics had a regular game, so it sounds like he won't miss much more time.
Source: Boston Herald
February 15, 2019, 12:42 pmEmmanuel Mudiay - G - New York Knicks
Emmanuel Mudiay (strained left shoulder) is unsure of how he'll fit into the rotation when he returns from his injury.
Mudiay was locked in as the starting point guard but Dennis Smith Jr. has since joined the team. Beyond that, Mudiay is also an impending free agent whose cap hold will be renounced if the Knicks do deliver on their wildest dreams and land two max free agents. He's not going to be a priority for the rest of the season, and a timeshare seems like the best-case scenario here. Mudiay isn't worth holding onto outside of very deep leagues.
Source: New York Post
February 15, 2019, 12:38 pmAnthony Davis - F/C - New Orleans Pelicans
The Pelicans have fired GM Dell Demps.
Since this news broke it's come out that Demps had been on thin ice in New Orleans for a while now, so it's not as though the Anthony Davis trade discussions — which certainly play a role here — were the root cause. It's more likely that the failure to surround Davis with enough talent that he'd want to stay, at least up until the last season and a half or so, was the bulk of the problem. The Pelicans want a new GM to take the helm and make the call on a final Davis trade, which will change the course of the franchise for years to come.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter
February 15, 2019, 12:46 amAnthony Davis - F/C - New Orleans Pelicans
Anthony Davis has been diagnosed with a muscle contusion in his left shoulder after undergoing an MRI.
Davis' injury is reportedly "not too bad" but he didn't return to Thursday's game and the Pelicans might milk any chance they get to rest their star. His participation in Sunday's All-Star game is up in the air and he'll receive treatment over the next couple of days before determining if he can play. To add some fuel to the fire here, Davis reportedly left the building after he got hurt, which is likely to rub his teammates the wrong way considering they picked up a big win over a hot Thunder team. The saga will continue to unfold until the offseason.
Source: Ramona Shelburne on Twitter
February 14, 2019, 10:29 pmJrue Holiday - G - New Orleans Pelicans
Jrue Holiday led the Pelicans in their 131-122 win over the Thunder on Thursday with 32 points on 12-of-27 shooting with five rebounds, seven assists, two steals, three blocks and three 3-pointers.
Holiday crushed the box score tonight and he's going to continue to do so as long as he's on the court. He's the best player on a Pelicans team that might shelve Anthony Davis (shoulder) so an early-round value with some top-15 upside is well within reason.
February 14, 2019, 10:28 pmKenrich Williams - G/F - New Orleans Pelicans
Kenrich Williams scored nine points while corralling a team-high 12 rebounds to go with four assists, a steal, a block and a 3-pointer on Thursday.
Williams went 4-for-7 from the floor and saw 34 minutes of action on Thursday and is also going to benefit from Anthony Davis (shoulder) missing time. His rebounding numbers are most of his value, but he also has the potential to give you a triple-one like tonight. It's baffling that he didn't get drafted as he has the talent to play in the NBA and is a standard-league player as of now.
February 14, 2019, 10:26 pmJulius Randle - F - New Orleans Pelicans
Julius Randle led the Pelicans in scoring on Thursday with 33 points on 11-of-21 shooting while adding 11 boards, six assists, a steal, a block and two 3-pointers.
Randle's been playing well with Anthony Davis (shoulder) out of the lineup and it looks like that run might continue. Keep him out there as he's now an integral part of the Pelicans offense.