October 5, 2018, 1:21 am
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.
December 9, 2018, 6:02 pmCheick Diallo - F - New Orleans Pelicans
Cheick Diallo checked into Sunday's game with Anthony Davis in the locker room and posted four points and seven rebounds in 10 minutes.
The Pistons are a great matchup for Diallo and he was productive when called upon today. It'd take another injury to Davis to get Diallo in the rotation consistently, and while he has some specialist appeal in deep leagues as an energetic big man the fact that he picks up frequent DNPs makes him very tough to trust.
December 9, 2018, 6:00 pmNikola Mirotic - F - New Orleans Pelicans
Nikola Mirotic had a forgettable game on Sunday in Detroit, posting 12 points, seven rebounds, two blocks and two threes while shooting 5-for-13 from the field in 30 minutes of action.
Mirotic has been lackluster since returning from an illness and coming off the bench. We'll see if the Pelicans promote him to get him in gear, as they know that Julius Randle can be effective in either role. Try and use Niko's lull to buy low on a guaranteed early-middle round player.
December 9, 2018, 5:58 pmE'Twaun Moore - G - New Orleans Pelicans
E'Twaun Moore (leg strain) is listed as probable for Monday's game after posting four points and two rebounds in 16 minutes in Sunday's win.
Moore was initially reported as out but ended up playing, though he did play the least of New Orleans' usual eight players. Solomon Hill picked up five points with eight rebounds and a triple in 27 minutes as a starter, but Moore remains the preferred fantasy play even with his recent slump.
December 9, 2018, 5:56 pmAnthony Davis - F/C - New Orleans Pelicans
Anthony Davis was limited to 26 minutes on Sunday because of a hip injury and could only deliver six points, nine rebounds, four assists and five blocks.
Any time a five-block performance may end up being a player's worst line of the season, you know we're working with the elite of the elite. Keep an eye out for updates on AD's hip heading into tomorrow's game even though he was able to return in the second half today.
December 9, 2018, 5:54 pmMichael Beasley - F - Los Angeles Lakers
Michael Beasley (personal) is listed as out for Monday's matchup with the Heat.
Beasley also missed Saturday's game as he deals with a family health matter. He's not a regular member of the rotation and isn't a fantasy option.
December 9, 2018, 5:53 pmDennis Smith Jr. - G - Dallas Mavericks
Dennis Smith Jr. (right wrist sprain) is listed as out ahead of Monday's game.
Smith was termed doubtful earlier in the day so this isn't surprising. Jalen Brunson should start with extra minutes headed to J.J. Barea and Devin Harris off the bench.
December 9, 2018, 5:51 pmJoel Embiid - F/C - Philadelphia Sixers
Joel Embiid is not on the injury report for Monday's game.
Embiid missed Sunday's practice due to a migraine and the Sixers haven't provided an update yet, but this is a good sign. Things can change but for now you should feel fine plugging Embiid into lineups tomorrow.
December 9, 2018, 5:49 pmBobby Portis - F - Chicago Bulls
Bobby Portis (sprained right MCL) is listed as questionable for Monday's matchup with the Kings.
Portis has been questionable for two straight games now and appears to be right on the cusp of returning to the lineup. He's worth picking up in all formats and should still play enough to hold at least late-round value, even with Chicago having a number of options up front.
December 9, 2018, 5:47 pmKris Dunn - G - Chicago Bulls
Kris Dunn (sprained MCL) is listed as out for Monday's game.
Dunn is nearing a return but owners can't plug him into lineups next week. His first shot at playing will be Thursday against the Magic. Ryan Arcidiacono, Shaq Harrison and Cam Payne are going to need to empty the tank tomorrow to see who stays in the rotation when Dunn gets back. Dunn, by the way, should not be on any waiver wires.
December 9, 2018, 5:24 pmDerrick White - G - San Antonio Spurs
Derrick White will draw into the starting lineup on Sunday against the Jazz.
Both Dante Cunningham and Davis Bertans are out, so Rudy Gay will move down to power forward and the Spurs will run a three-guard lineup. White has some late-round potential and a nice performance today would go a long way towards steadying his floor a bit.
Source: Jeff McDonald on Twitter