• The Sacramento Kings got off to a hot start in the first half against the Lakers, but the team was unable to maintain that hot start through the second half in a 128-123 loss.

    The game was really a tale of two halves, with both teams resting plenty of their starters in the third and fourth quarters.  With the Lakers already playing their third game of the preseason and the Kings heading to Seattle for a game tomorrow, it’s not too shocking to see both teams go deep into their benches.

    Even with plenty of players sitting, there were more than a few positive signs for the Kings.  The team received some great contributions from their young core, and the offense looked exactly the way the team has repeatedly said they want it to.

    Below are some of the key notes from the loss:

    Fox heats up

    De’Aaron Fox was dominant in his short stint against the Lakers, draining multiple threes and finding plenty of opportunities in transition.  Not only was he able to provide plenty of scoring for the team, but his energy and pace helped create opportunities for the rest of the players on the court as well.

    Fox was confident with his shot and was seemingly unstoppable at times from behind the arc.  The Kings will want to start seeing big games like this more regularly this season.

    Jackson and Labissiere struggle

    Justin Jackson and Skal Labissiere both struggled to live up to expectations last year, and neither player has done much to turn that around this preseason.

    Jackson was completely unable to make an impact on the game tonight, a fairly consistent theme for him throughout his time in the NBA. Labissiere didn’t struggle quite as much as Jackson, but he appeared unsure of himself and fouled out just a few minutes into the third quarter.

    Jackson should be able to find minutes last year without much small forward depth on the roster, but both players likely needed a strong preseason to carve out a decent spot in the rotation.  If they aren’t able to turn things around, they could find themselves buried on the bench in the near future.

    Hield finds his shot

    It wouldn’t be fair to say that Buddy Hield struggled in the opening game of the preseason, but he wasn’t nearly as effective as he can be.  Thursday night’s game in Los Angeles was a much different story for him.

    Hield managed to find good looks for himself from behind the arc both on and off the ball. Beyond his contributions as a shooter, he also looked much more comfortable than usual attacking out of the pick and roll.  Without a clear go-to scoring option on the roster, the Kings are surely hoping that they can rely on Hield to create from himself and others this upcoming season.

    Bagley makes an impact

    Marvin Bagley looked like a completely different player in Los Angeles after struggling to make much of an impact in his debut.  Bagley worked hard to get good position inside offensively, and did a much better job of using his elite athletic ability to finish at the rim and snag rebounds.

    There were certainly a few rookie mistakes throughout, but overall Bagley looked much more like the player the Kings likely thought they were getting with the second overall pick.

     

Fantasy News

  • Hamidou Diallo - G - Oklahoma City Thunder

    Hamidou Diallo puts his stamp on the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest by beating Dennis Smith Jr., John Collins, and Miles Bridges.

    Diallo arguably delivered one of the greatest performances in Slam Dunk Contest history by jumping over the seven-footer Shaquille O'Neal and throwing down a vicious elbow dunk. He left the crowd mesmerized and gave them a moment to remember in an otherwise lopsided contest. As incredible he might be tonight, fantasy owners shouldn't really give him a look unless they're in deep leagues.

  • Joe Harris - G/F - Brooklyn Nets

    Joe Harris was scorching hot during the entirety of Saturday's 3-point shootout as he bested Stephen Curry with 26 made three-point shots in the final round.

    Harris put an end to Curry's storybook ending of winning the 3-point contest in his hometown of Charlotte by besting him and Buddy Hield. It's no surprise that Harris was a dark-horse candidate entering the contest since he's been hot all season long from behind the arc, making 47 percent of his shots. In the past week, Harris has been rewarding his owners with top-20 value with averages of 22.7 points with 4.7 threes per game on 67.6% shooting. If you could sell high on him, now would be the perfect time.

  • Jayson Tatum - F - Boston Celtics

    Jayson Tatum clinched the Taco Bell All-Star Skills Challenge by draining a half-court shot to beat Trae Young in the finals of the competition.

    Tatum sealed the deal in this one and is responsible for one of the most exciting finishes in Skills Challenge history. For the past month, Tatum has been posting Top-40 value with 16.2 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.1 blocks and shooting 46 percent from the field. He's currently cruising as an early-middle round guy and should be even better once the Celtics find their footing.

  • Jayson Tatum - F - Boston Celtics

    Jayson Tatum clinched the All-Star Skills Challenge by draining a half-court a half-court shot to beat Trae Young in the finals of the competition.

    Tatum sealed the deal on this one and is responsible for one of the most exciting finishes in Skills Challenge history. For the past month, Tatum has been posting Top-40 value with 16.2 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.1 blocks and shooting 46 percent from the field. He's currently cruising as a early-middle round guy and should be even better once the Celtics find their footing.

  • Hasheem Thabeet - C - Oklahoma City Thunder

    Hasheem Thabeet worked out for the Rockets, Raptors and Pistons while the teams were in Charlotte for All-Star weekend.

    Thabeet was the second overall pick in the 2009 draft by the Grizzlies and was quickly one of the biggest busts in NBA history. He was the highest overall pick to be sent to the then D-League until Anthony Bennett secured the top spot. Thabeet is somehow still only 31 years old, and 7'2" centers can certainly provide value in today's NBA, but it's unlikely Thabeet finds his way back into the league. He's currently playing in the Japanese B-League.

    Source: Keith Pompey on Twitter

  • Dirk Nowitzki - F - Dallas Mavericks

    Dirk Nowitzki said he has not made any final decision on if this is his last season.

    "I haven't said this will be it," Nowitzki said, "I'm going to wait and see the last couple of weeks, how my body feels and if I continue to see improvement and I'm still having fun, we'll see." While Dirk has been treating this season as a retirement tour, there's still a chance we see him playing next season.

    Source: Brad Townsend on Twitter

  • Anthony Davis - F/C - New Orleans Pelicans

    Anthony Davis (left shoulder contusion) said he is unsure if he will play in the All-Star game on Sunday.

    Davis said the plan is to play, but we will have to wait and see if he's feeling okay. He's certainly not worried about saving himself for the second-half of the season.

    Source: Tim Bontemps on Twitter

  • Kyrie Irving - G - Boston Celtics

    Kyrie Irving (right knee strain) says he is healthy and plans to play in Sunday's All-Star game.

    Irving missed the Celtics' last two games but fantasy owners shouldn't expect him to miss any more with the current injury. Terry Rozier was a hot pickup when Irving initially went down but now goes back to being a handcuff. Irving has put up top-10 per-game value this year with no holes in his fantasy game but he has already missed 11 games. He has missed at least 10 games in seven of his eight NBA seasons so this is something fantasy owners should already be used to.

    Source: Gary Washburn on Twitter

  • Anthony Davis - F/C - New Orleans Pelicans

    Anthony Davis said that the Celtics are on his list of preferred destinations.

    Moreover, Davis added "they were never not on my list," though he also confirmed that the initial reports of his list including the Knicks, Lakers, Clippers and Bucks were true. Initially it had been said that the Celtics are not a preferred landing spot, and Davis' dad would rather his son play elsewhere. It sounds like everything is on the table now that his push to end up on the Lakers has failed, as Davis also said "all 29 teams" (sorry New Orleans) are on his list. Get ready for more updates on AD's thoughts as the season rolls on.

    Source: Tim Bontemps on Twitter

  • Nikola Jokic - C - Denver Nuggets

    The Nuggets have agreed to extensions with president of basketball operations Tim Connelly and GM Arturas Karnisovas.

    The Nuggets haven't reached the playoffs in the last five seasons but will surely end that streak this year. Their abundance of talent and depth currently has them in second place in the Western Conference although Paul Millsap, Gary Harris, Will Barton and Isaiah Thomas have all been injured for much of the season. Their draft choices and player development over the years has been a big catalyst for this as one could look at Nikola Jokic and the breakout seasons of Jamal Murray, Torrey Craig, Monte Morris and Malik Beasley, all of them having been with Denver since their first day in the NBA.

    Source: Denver Post