• 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

  • Wilson Chandler - F - Philadelphia Sixers

    Wilson Chandler (left hamstring strain) has already been ruled out for Tuesday's opener.

    Brett Brown said Chandler was "a ways away" as of October 11th, and it seems he may still have another week or two before returning. The Sixers have their eyes on a deep playoff run and won't rush Chandler. He has late-round value as a backup forward, but there is no need to hold him if he is going to miss extended time.

    Source: Tom Moore on Twitter

  • Mike Muscala - F/C - Philadelphia Sixers

    Mike Muscala (sprained right ankle) is "highly questionable" for the league-wide opener Tuesday.

    Muscala was doubtful as of two days ago; highly questionable is not much better. Coach Brett Brown did mention T.J. McConnell is someone who could see increased minutes if Moose is indeed out. Amir Johnson should get extra run and Jonah Bolden could make his debut.

    Source: Tom Moore on Twitter

  • Delon Wright - G - Toronto Raptors

    Delon Wright did not practice Monday and is questionable for the Raptors' season opener Wednesday.

    Wright left last Wednesday's preseason game with the injury and has not practiced since, but the Raptors do not think he will miss much time. If he is forced to miss the opener, it will mean a heavier workload for Fred VanVleet and possibly a few more minutes for Danny Green.

    Source: Blake Murphy on Twitter

  • Michael Carter-Williams - G - Houston Rockets

    Michael Carter-Williams was able to practice with the Rockets on Monday.

    Carter-Williams was slowed down by left knee soreness in the preseason but will be ready for opening night. He'll be the backup point guard on the Houston depth chart but won't be a fantasy factor.

    Source: Jonathan Feigen on Twitter

  • Marquese Chriss - F - Houston Rockets

    Marquese Chriss and Nene will only participate in half of Monday's practice but are expected to be ready for Wednesday's game.

    The quote, to be clear, is, "All of the Rockets planned opening-night rotation will be available on Wednesday." There's a little gray area in that Chriss might not win the backup center job over Isaiah Hartenstein and Nene might not be in the rotation, but we're going to expect Chriss to be fully recovered from his left ankle sprain by the opener.

    Source: Jonathan Feigen on Twitter

  • Frank Ntilikina - G - New York Knicks

    The Knicks have exercised their third-year option on Frank Nitlikina.

    No surprises here, as the Knicks seem a little more committed to Ntilikina as a serious future piece after yanking him around last season. He's our favorite fantasy target in the New York backcourt but most players can steer clear as long as the team insists on splitting minutes three ways.

    Source: Knicks PR on Twitter

  • Denzel Valentine - F - Chicago Bulls

    Denzel Valentine will only participate in parts of Monday's practice.

    It's not great that Valentine is still limited after missing all of preseason, but the fact that he's already been doing some contact work suggests he's not too far off from a return. Deep league players can view him as a source of threes and rebounds once he's healthy enough to play.

    Source: K.C. Johnson on Twitter

  • Jarrett Allen - C - Brooklyn Nets

    The Nets have exercised their contract options on Jarrett Allen and Caris LeVert.

    What a stunner. Both players are going to be key pieces of Brooklyn's future and the Nets have refused to deal either in just about every round of trade speculation. Both Allen and LeVert will hold standard league value, with Allen potentially climbing into the early-middle rounds if he gets fully unleashed.

    Source: Brian Lewis on Twitter

  • Kristaps Porzingis - F/C - New York Knicks

    The Knicks and Kristaps Porzingis will not agree on a contract extension before Monday's deadline.

    This was always going to be a tough sell, as while the Knicks view KP as their franchise player, he's going to sit out a big chunk of this season. It's not like they wouldn't match any offer he receives next summer, so for now the Knicks will take this flexibility and try to do some good with it. The murkiness surrounding Porzingis' recovery makes him just about impossible to draft in any format without an IR spot, so he's only a luxury stash.

    Source: Ian Begley on Twitter

  • Bobby Portis - F - Chicago Bulls

    The Bulls and Bobby Portis remain engaged in contract talks leading up to today's 7:00 EST deadline.

    Portis is eligible to sign his rookie scale extension and there's more traction here than there has been in other situations like this around the league. We'll see if something can get done, as two willing parties usually find a way. Portis will be the backup power forward when the Bulls are healthy but he'll have a shot at late-middle round value to begin the year and should be able to bully his way to top-100 output, even as a high-minute reserve.

    Source: K.C. Johnson on Twitter