October 29, 2017, 5:34 pm
The Wizards showed no mercy on Sunday, dismantling the young Kings 110-83 at the Golden 1 Center.
Sacramento went scoreless for the first 4:49 of the game, looking stagnant on offense and missing some easy shots around the rim. Bogdan Bogdanovic managed seven points on 3-of-4 shooting in the first quarter alone. John Wall, who came into tonight’s contest shooting 19 percent from three, nailed three 3-pointers in the first quarter alone lighting up De’Aaron Fox in his first career start.
It wasn’t just Wall lighting up the Kings in the first, as a team the Wizards shot 6-of-8 from three, leading to 35-point quarter to start the game.
The Kings went through a similar scoring drought in the second quarter too, going 3:30 without a field goal. There was no motive or structure offensively. Sacramento took too long to get into their offensive sets and the Wizards were shutting them down before they could even get going. Good teams will continue to take advantage of the Kings being disorganized, and it could lead to many more scoreless droughts for this young team.
The defense wasn’t much better either. Dave Joerger was notably frustrated with the defensive effort. Lacking effort on defense can sometimes be a common trend for young teams, but this roster has the pieces to at least be decent on that side of the ball.
The Kings were down by as much as 31 in the second quarter. They encountered yet another dry spell from the field, going four minutes without a bucket near the back end of the second. We’ve seen it in patches prior to this game, but it was magnified against a good Wizards team that almost took down the Warriors on Friday.
Finally, when the second quarter was all set and done, Washington carried a 63-32 lead going into halftime with the Kings shooting just 28 percent from the field; easily the worst half of basketball so far for Sacramento.
It wasn’t possible for the Kings to be any worse through two quarters. Scoring 32 points in 24 minutes is miserable. This won’t be the last time we are subject to watching this kind of basketball with a young squad like this, we were expecting it coming into the season. Games like this give these guys a lot to learn from, and you can bet they’ll be drilled with game footage following this one.
Now, for the second half.
The Kings showed signs of improvement in the third quarter, but an improvement on the first half isn’t much of an improvement at all. Bogdanovic and Skal Labissiere were the two best players on the floor for Sacramento. Without them, it could very well have been an uglier second half.
They trailed 60-88 through three quarters, and at this stage it was already about making adjustments for the upcoming road trip. Jumpers were falling a bit more frequently in the third. The offense was a still a mess, it was more so players hitting shots that they weren’t hitting earlier in the game.
Sacramento actually won the third quarter 28-25 which is a small victory in an otherwise painful game to watch.
The fourth quarter went mostly as expected. There was little energy in the building at that point and it was mainly guys trying to earn playing time moving forward. The Kings went through another lengthy drought without a field goal, this time the drought lasted almost five minutes.
Georgios Papagiannis and Jakarr Sampson managed to get some playing time to close the game but they were unable to do anything noteworthy.
The Kings took the fourth quarter 23-22. While they did have an edge on the Wizards in the second half, a slim edge at that, it was heavily overlooked due to how poor they were in the first half, so a stat like this was practically irrelevant.
With that loss, Sacramento now falls to 1-5 on the season which slots them at 14th in the Western Conference. They now hit the road to play the Pacers (3-3) in Indiana on Tuesday.
Assists: Wizards 28, Kings 13.
This is a huge disparity, and it certainly points to the lack of offensive coordination the Kings have right now. Having so few assists, or getting beaten by such a significant margin in this category means there is no structure on offense. The Kings had multiple dry spells where they didn’t make a field goal so it’s no surprise to see their assist totals so low.
Three-point shooting: The Wizards shot 50 percent from outside.
Washington were 17-34 from beyond the arc on the night. The Kings have always had a reputation for allowing a high volume of 3-pointers and that reputation was on full display tonight. John Wall isn’t a good outside shooter, but you still have to show a level of respectability for a player of his caliber. For a guy who was shooting 19 percent from outside coming into this game, to go 5-of-6 from three on the night is unacceptable. It’s certainly a game De’Aaron Fox can takes notes from.
Bogdan Bogdanovic – 15 PTS, 3 REB, 4 STL (7-of-9 FG)
Bogdanovic was the best player on the floor for Sacramento, yet he only played 23 minutes. This may be a case of Dave Joerger being Dave Joerger, giving veteran guys minutes over the kids. We’ll see how the rotation pans out moving forward but Bogdanovic deserves close to, or over 30 minutes a night.
Frank Mason – 11 PTS (5-of-10 FG)
Mason played 21 minutes tonight and took full advantage of it. He came out aggressive and displayed his knack for scoring the ball. The only criticism would be to try and play within the offense a bit more, but when there’s no structure on offense it’s hard to follow tune to that. Mason proved he can contribute when given minutes.
Malachi Richardson – 10 PTS (3-of-7 FG)
Malachi Richardson was able to spread his wings today with extra playing time on offer. He forced it a bit at times and only shot 1-of-5 from three, but he showed promise as a guy who can create his own shot. He’s got some work to do defensively, but Richardson may be looking at rotation minutes down the road.
Kosta Koufos – 7 PTS, 10 REB (4 OREB)
Koufos missed some bunnies early on, shots that he normally makes. He was most effective on the glass tonight, reeling in four offensive rebounds. You can probably point this towards the fact the Kings only shot 39 percent from the field so there were plenty of opportunities for Koufos on the glass. A solid game nonetheless.
February 22, 2019, 1:53 amAustin Rivers - G - Houston Rockets
Austin Rivers scored five points on 2-of-7 shooting with a rebound, a steal and a 3-pointer against the Lakers on Thursday.
Rivers was probable with a right elbow injury and played through it and logged 22 minutes. Now that he's a backup point guard there isn't any value to squeeze out of Rivers from a fantasy standpoint.
February 22, 2019, 1:45 amLeBron James - F - Los Angeles Lakers
LeBron James led the Lakers in their 111-106 comeback win over the Rockets on Thursday with 29 points on 11-of-23 shooting to go with his 11 rebounds, six assists, a steal and a block.
James activated "playoff mode" which is sweet music to his owners. A playoff season without LeBron is unheard of and he's going to do everything in his power to drag the Lakers into the picture. The first half of the game he was lethargic and almost disinterested, but you could tell the moment he snapped into focus that he was going to bring the heat. He had a beautiful statue of liberty dunk you can find all over Twitter and went 7-for-10 at the line which is the only blemish from his night. It's going to be fun watching him power his way through the home stretch of the season.
February 22, 2019, 1:42 amBrandon Ingram - F - Los Angeles Lakers
Brandon Ingram scored 27 points on 8-of-16 shooting with 13 rebounds and an assist against the Rockets on Thursday.
The scoring is nice and he's finally playing to his strengths by taking the ball to the hoop and drawing fouls, but his line is actually empty when you take another look. He went 11-for-14 at the line which is impressive considering he's a .660 free throw shooter on the year, but no peripheral stats and one assist leaves a lot to be desired.
February 22, 2019, 1:41 amJosh Hart - G - Los Angeles Lakers
Josh Hart returned to action on Thursday and scored four points on 2-of-3 shooting with two rebounds and an assist.
He missed the previous two games before returning tonight. Hart came off the bench and logged 19 minutes and as it stands there isn't enough playing time for him to play to establish himself a standard league asset. Even with Lonzo Ball (ankle) out, Hart is taking a backseat to Reggie Bullock (14 points, five rebounds, an assist, a steal and four 3-pointers) and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (six points, three rebounds, a steal and two triples) because Coach Walton likes their ability to spread the floor.
February 22, 2019, 1:39 amJaVale McGee - C - Los Angeles Lakers
JaVale McGee scored 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting with six rebounds, an assist and two blocks on Thursday.
McGee logged 20 minutes as the Lakers opted to spread the floor with LeBron James. As long as he plays 20 minutes or more, McGee is good for some boards and a couple of blocks which is what we're expecting from him anyways.
February 22, 2019, 1:38 amKyle Kuzma - F - Los Angeles Lakers
Kyle Kuzma scored 18 points on 6-of-13 shooting with six rebounds, five assists, a steal, a block and two 3-pointers on Thursday.
Kuzma's shooting touch is back and he's playing well alongside LeBron James. He's one of the few dependable Lakers players on the perimeter and his value is high right now, but it remains to be seen if he can keep this up alongside James and the rest of the Lakers so a sell-high wouldn't be a bad idea.
February 22, 2019, 1:37 amTyson Chandler - C - Los Angeles Lakers
Tyson Chandler grabbed a rebound in six minutes of action on Thursday.
He missed the last game before the All-Star Break and was questionable to play due to a neck injury and saw the floor for six minutes. Coach Walton kept a tight rotation tonight and the Rockets were running with lineups that were a bit too quick for him.
February 22, 2019, 1:35 amJames Harden - G - Houston Rockets
James Harden scored 30 points on 11-of-24 shooting with five rebounds, six assists, two steals and two 3-pointers against the Lakers on Thursday.
Harden had three fouls within the first quarter which threw him off his game, but he was still able to rack up the points and keep his 30-point scoring streak alive. His 3-point shot was off tonight and he was called for four offensive fouls which is an anomaly considering he's usually on the other end of those calls. Even on his bad nights, the Beard drops a full line so owners can't complain too much even if it's hard after being spoiled for a month.
February 22, 2019, 1:34 amChris Paul - G - Houston Rockets
Chris Paul nearly triple-doubled on Thursday with 23 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists while chipping in a steal, a block and three 3-pointers.
Paul looked great against the Lakers and he had a little extra lift in his bounce tonight. The 3-point shot was on point for him as he went 3-for-5 from deep and also 9-for-15 from the floor. He's struggled with shooting efficiency all season so hopefully this is a sign of things to come.
February 22, 2019, 1:33 amClint Capela - C - Houston Rockets
Clint Capela returned to action on Thursday against the Lakers and scored 12 points with 11 boards and a block.
He went 6-for-9 from the floor and logged 33 minutes which means there's no minutes restriction for the big fella. Go plug him into your lineups with confidence as the Rockets gear up for their playoff seeding push.