Kings should start the “young guns” again tonight in D.C.

November 13, 2017

NBA, Sacramento Kings

by Charlie O. Mallonee

wiz beal drives on hield

Bradley Beal drives on Buddy Hield Photo USA Today Sports

The Kings and Wizards met in Sacramento on October 29th. Washington opened the game by going on a 13-0 run and the Wizards never trailed in the game as they went on to win 110-83.

The Kings went with a “youth movement” lineup of Bogdan Bogdanovic, Skal Labissiere, Willie Cauley-Stein, Buddy Hield and De’Aaron Fox. That may well be the starting lineup next season or two years from now, but it might be a bit premature to expect those five to carry the load of being the starting five right now.

In his postgame comments, Dave Joerger talked about his young players giving up 10 to 30 pounds and 5-7 years of experience to the starters for the Wizards. Enthusiasm and talent usually cannot overcome talent, size and experience.

Joerger also explained that his young starting five became “shell shocked”  and a bit disoriented after they fell behind by 13 points in less than five minutes to the Wizards.

What should the Kings do tonight?


In my opinion, Dave Joerger should run the same starting five he used versus the Wizards in Sacramento out on the floor to open the game on Monday night in Washington. My theory is based on learning to ride a bike. The first few times you attempt to ride you fall down. If you stop, you will never learn to ride. If you keep trying, you learn how to ride the bike with confidence.

Bogdanovic, Labissiere, Cauley-Stein, Hield and Fox need to get back up on “the bike” and face the Wizards from the start of the game to show themselves that they can compete with an experienced team. Even if they only play the opening five minutes, showing they can compete with the Wizards could be a real confidence builder for the young guns.

It’s all about player development

1-alt kings

The Kings as an organization have not made it a secret that this season is all about player development. When you have team full of young players, that has to be your commitment, but that approach can also demoralize your fan base who only understand wins and loses.

I have said before that the Kings need to go the wins at home and play for development on the road. If a game becomes a runaway on the road, the home team’s crowd will go wild as their stars go into “showtime” mode or the second unit has a chance to come out and make big plays. In the meantime, the Kings can work on developing players.

Handling the development in that manner might not thrill the television and radio people, but it would be considerably easier on the fans.

Big key for the Kings versus the Wizards – Start Fast!

wizards logo

The Kings cannot afford to let Washington go on an opening run like they did in Sacramento. The Wizards simply shoot to well in the paint, from mid-range and beyond the arc to let them grab a quick lead.

It is going to be an uphill battle for the Kings. gives Sacramento only a 15-percent chance of beating the Wizards and makes them a 10.5-point underdog for the game. That is not good news for a team that is 1-6 on the road.

This will be the final time the Kings will see the the Wizards this season.

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About Charlie O. Mallonee

I have been a sports reporter/broadcaster since 1976 which means ... I'm old and I love sports. I have done play-by-play for minor league baseball - including the infamous "Bad News Bees" - San Jose State football and football and high school sports in the Bay Area and on the Monterey Peninsula. I had the great privilege to host a weekly sports talk show on KNRY Radio Monterey/Salinas with my producer the late,great Gary Araki. I also hosted and produced "the Sports Fanatics" talk show on KSAC Radio in Sacramento. For the last 10 years, I have been a beat reporter covering the Oakland Athletics for Sports Radio Service. Three years ago, I became the senior reporter for our Sacramento Kings coverage. My goal is to bring you the news, views, fun and excitement of every event I am assigned to report on for Sports Radio Service.

View all posts by Charlie O. Mallonee


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