The Kings get burned by the Suns 124-95 in their NBA season opener

PHX Kingx team
Graphic: @Kings.com

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The hopes and dreams of the Sacramento Kings hit a brick wall at 100 mph when they were blown out in their 2019-20 season opener in Phoenix by the Suns 124-95 on Wednesday night. The Suns did make upgrades to their team personnel in the offseason, but no one has them even coming close to making the playoffs. The Kings are considered to be a potential playoff team.

The first half was a back and forth affair

The teams played evenly in the first half. The Kings won the first quarter 29-25. Buddy Hield put 11 points in the book sinking 4 of 7 shots (two 3-pointers) to go along with seven points from Harrison Barnes.

Hield led the charge for Sacramento in the second period as he put in 11 of the Kings 30 points scored in the quarter. De’Arron Fox added five points and three assists.

The Suns scored 29 points in the second quarter. Kelly Oubre Jr. led the scoring attack with eight points and Ricky Rubio added five.

At the half, the Kings were up 59-54 over the Suns.

Third-quarter turnaround

The Suns came out of halftime on fire. They hit 14 of 25 (56%) of their shots from the floor and went 3-for-6 from 3-point range.

The Kings shot just 29.4% for the quarter while turning the ball over 10 times which resulted in 19 points for Phoenix.

When the quarter ended, the Suns held an 86-76 lead over Sacramento and they would never look back.

Two major problems for the Kings

Turnovers were a major problem for Sacramento in their season opener. The Kings committed 27 turnovers that resulted in 35 points for the Suns. Last season, the Kings highest turnover total was 26 which ironically came in a game on the road in Phoenix.

The Kings were dominated in the paint. The Suns outscored Sacramento 68-34 in the paint on Wednesday night.

Both of those problems were seen in India when the Kings played the Pacers, but both issues had appeared to go away in the preseason games played in the States.

Players of the Game

PHX

Deandre Ayton recorded a double-double scoring 18 and grabbing 11 rebounds. He also blocked four shots and had one steal. Ayton went 9-for-14 shooting for a 64.3 Field Goal Percentage. For fantasy players, Ayton’s score was 46.2.

SAC

Buddy Hield scored 28 points, hauled in five rebounds and added two assists. He hit 10 of 19 shots (52.6%) from the floor and went 6-for-12 from 3-point land. His fantasy score was 32.0.

Honorable mention

Kings

  • Marvin Bagley III recorded a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds
  • Harrison Barnes scored 12 points and added six rebounds
  • Corey Joseph put up 10 points and dished out four assists
  • De’Aaron Fox added eight points and five assists while missing most of the third quarter with foul trouble

Suns

  • Devin Booker scored 22 points and added 10 assists
  • Ricky Rubio recorded a double-double with 11 points and 11 assists
  • Kelly Oubre Jr. put up 21 points plus nine rebounds

Up next

The Kings will return to action on Friday night when they will host the Portland Trail Blazers in their home opener at the Golden 1 Center.

 

Sacramento Kings podcast with Charlie O: Suns missing two key scorers; Kings’ Bagley was a maybe, but he can help with offense

sactownroyalty photo: The Phoenix Suns DeAndre Ayton (22) and the Sacramento Kings Marvin Bagley III (35) faced each other Tuesday night in Phoenix

Sacramento Kings podcast with Charlie O:

#1 Despite having a 4-20 record the Phoenix Suns have home floor and the Kings come in with a shaky defense after the game with Indiana a 111-110 win for the Kings Saturday. Then got the win over the Suns 122-105 Tuesday night.

#2 The Suns are absent a lot of help so much so that they have holes in their line up that could leave them in the Arizona desert of winning for awhile, out Devin Booker, T.J. Warren is day to day.

#3 The Kings last played Saturday giving them two days off and with the rest they should win this game with the Suns two best scorers out of the line up.

#4 How did you like that match up between centers of the Kings Marvin Bagley and the Suns DeAndre Ayton. Bagley was listed a game time decision Bagley has been suffering from back spasms. Bagley and Ayton went to school together.

#5 The Kings head to Cleveland for a December 7th at 4:30PM. No more LeBron how does Charlie see the Kings going up against the Cavs at Quicken Loans Arena.

Today’s podcast is sponsored by Hana Zen at San Francisco’s Pier 39 for fine Japanese Cuisine don’t miss the great sushi and fine Japanese food at Hana Zen.

Charlie O does the Kings podcasts each Tuesday night at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Winner, winner, chicken dinner! SacKings will pick second in NBA Draft

NBADRAFTLottery
Photo: @NBADraftLottery

by Charlie O. Mallonee

The NBA Draft Lottery order was selected in Chicago on Tuesday night, and the big winners of the night were the Sacramento Kings. The Kings entered the evening slotted to pick seventh on draft night in June. The Kings finished the season tied with the Chicago Bulls but lost a coin toss so the Bulls owned the sixth selection pre-lottery draw.

NBADraftFox
@NBADraftLottery

The Kings had just an 18.3-percent chance of winding up in the Top-3 in the Draft Lottery. Those odds may have been helped a little because the team was represented by first-year point guard De’Aaron Fox who has been a positive force for Sacramento ever since his arrival in June of 2017 from the University of Kentucky.

The Kings moved into the Top-3 in the 2017 Draft Lottery back fell back to the number five pick because Philadelphia had the right to swap selections if the Sacramento pick was higher than the Sixers. With the number five selection, the Kings took De’Aaron Fox.

This good fortune becomes even more important because the Kings will not have a first-round pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. The 2019 first-round selection was dealt away early in the tenure of Vlade Divac’s administration of basketball operations. This makes the 2018 draft selection even more important than it would normally be because it has to count for two seasons.

Who will be the number two draft pick?

Luka
Photo: @LukaDoncic

Virtually every mock draft site has Luka Doncic going as the number two selection in the 2018 NBA Draft. He is an international player currently playing with Real Madrid of Spain originally from Slovenia. Doncic is a 6-foot-7 small forward/shooting guard who is capable of playing positionless basketball that has become so popular in the NBA today.

Doncic is just 19-years old and definitely plays older than his years. He is an outstanding assists player who also is a strong rebounder on offense and defense. Doncic is an above average scorer and shooter at the free throw line. He needs work on his three-point shooting percentage and his number of turnovers needs to be lower.

The Kings front office has two prominent members – Vlade Divac and Peja Stojakovic – who are Eastern Europeans and should be able to make Doncic feel comfortable in Sacramento. One of the Kings up and coming stars is former Euro star – Bogdan Bogdanovic –  who certainly understands the style of basketball Doncic has been playing and could help make the transition to the NBA.

It looks like a match made in heaven right? Well, wait just one minute. The Phoenix Suns believe that Doncic can play point guard in the NBA. That’s right. They think this 6-foot-7 budding superstar can play point guard in “the association” alongside their star shooting guard Devin Booker. If the Suns believe Doncic can play that role, he could become the number one pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.

If Doncic goes number one, who goes number two?

NBADraftAyton
Photo:NBADraftLottery

That would leave DeAndre Ayton from Arizona available for the number two pick. Ayton is a 7-foot-1, 250-pound center who has an NBA body. He scores in multiple ways and has even been developing a three-point shot. Ayton runs the floor well and is not afraid of contact. He has great hands and good footwork.

His weakness is his defense. Ayton tends to get caught flat-footed too many times. He needs to do a better job defending against the pick and roll – a staple of the NBA. He needs to be more consistent about contesting shots.

Ayton is going to be a star in the NBA.

The Suns are going to be under immense pressure to draft the Arizona product and keep him in Phoenix. However, the Suns may opt to pass and go with Doncic who may pay off with more long-term results for them.

Either way, the Kings cannot go wrong. They are going to be able to draft a player who is going to become a star in the NBA.