Young Kings can’t make it two wins in a row over Spurs; lose 113-93 on the road

spurs WCSby Charlie O. Mallonee

The Sacramento Kings learned the very tough lesson on Friday night that all NBA teams must learn – it is very tough to win on the road in “the Association”. After beating the Spurs in their preseason opener in Sacramento, the Kings suffered their first loss of the preseason on Friday night in “the Alamo City” losing to the Spurs 113-93.

Sacramento came out of the gate fast

The Kings outscored the Spurs 24-15 in the first quarter of the game on Friday night. Buddy Hield led the Kings scoring barrage putting up eight points in the first 12-minutes of the game. Willie Cauley-Stein and Frank Mason added four points each in what would be a 24-point first quarter for Sacramento.

Unlike Monday, it was the young the Kings who were chosen to start on Friday night on the road. Malachi Richardson, Skal Labissiere, Willie Cauley-Stein, Buddy Hield and De’Aaron Fox were the starting five in San Antonio.

The Spurs outscored the Kings in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th quarters

The Spurs outscored the Kings by 12 points in the second quarter, six points in the third quarter and by 11 points in the fourth quarter.

Danny Green led the way with 20 points for the Spurs. LaMarcus Aldridge shot 5-for-10 from the field to score 10 points for San Antonio. Brandon Paul, Bryn Forbes and Davis Bertrans scored nine points each against the Kings.

The Spurs shot 55.4-percent from the field and 48.4-percent (15-for-31) from 3-point range. San Antonio had 28 assists and 17 turnovers. That is not the ratio a team wants to have but is was good enough to post a win on Friday night.

The Kings young players were featured on Friday

spurs hield

Willie Cauley-Stein was the Kings leading scorer in game with 14-points. He also grabbed nine rebounds and turned the ball over just two times.

Skal Labissiere had a 13-point game for the Kings on Friday night. He went 6-for-10 from the field, hauled in two rebounds and did not turn the ball over in 25-plus minutes of playing time.

Buddy Hield and De’Aaron Fox each added 12-points in their time on the floor.Georgios Papagiannis played 29-minutes and recorded 10-points and three rebounds. Marcus Williams who is fighting for a spot at the end of the bench put up nine points in 13-minutes of playing time.

The Kings shot 45.2-percent from the field and 26.7-percent from 3-point land. Sacramento had 32 rebounds and 13 turnovers.

The bottom line lesson

Winning on the road in NBA is very hard. Unfortunately for the young Kings, that is a lesson that will be a lesson that will be learned many times in 2017-18.

Up next for Sacramento 

The Kings will return to preseason action on Sunday night in Las Vegas when they will face the Los Angeles Lakers. Proceeds from the game will be donated to victims of the tragic shooting of the Route 91 Harvest music festival.

Harry Giles update

The Kings have revealed that Harry Giles will not be available to play until January 2018 as he continues to rehab from his surgery for an injury to his ACL. Giles who was originally projected to be the number one pick in the 2017 NBA Draft Lottery has suffered setbacks due to knee troubles.

Giles is just 19-years old so the Kings can afford to patient. He has been most often compared to Chris Webber. If he can be close to  Webber, waiting until he his fully healthy will be worth the wait.

Kings get their point guard at #5 plus turn three draft picks into four

Vlade Divac summarizes the Kings 2017 NBA Draft

by Charlie O. Mallonee

Brooklyn Hoops Winter Festival
Point guard De’Aaron Fox is now a Sacramento King

The Sacramento Kings entered the 2017 NBA Draft on Thursday night hoping that Kentucky point guard De’Aaron Fox would still be available when they had the opportunity to make their selection with the number five pick. “Lady Luck” smiled upon the Kings and Fox was still on the board when they went on the clock. There was never a doubt that the Kentucky connection with Sacramento was going to continue as the Kings made Fox the newest member of  the “Sacramento Royalty”.

There had been many rumors that the Lakers were considering Fox over Lonzo Ball at number two. Many analyst feel that Fox is a more well rounded player than Ball. Ball is seen as a “true” point guard but Fox is more “well rounded” player who can create his own offense when necessary. The Lakers went with Ball despite the baggage that comes in form of his father.

There had also been rumors that Phoenix would take Fox and then move Eric Bledsoe – with whom they have been less than thrilled with over the past two seasons – on to another team. In the end, Phoenix drafted to their need – which was a shooting guard – and selected Josh Jackson out of Kansas.

The Kings were able to draft their point guard of the future which they have wanted for sometime. Fox has the elite size and wingspan that NBA teams are looking for in a point guard today. He is not only a play-maker but Fox can be a force on offense. He averaged 16.7 points per game for the Wildcats.

Fox is a strong mid-range shooter who suffered from behind the 3-point line for much of the season. With a great deal of hard work, Fox greatly improved his 3-point shooting production late in the season and in the NCAA Tournament.

Fox is also known for his rebounding. He is considered to be an outstanding rebounder for a guard.

Had the Kings not moved up from number eight to number five in draft lottery, De’Aaron Fox would have not been available to Sacramento. A little luck is always a good thing.

Turning three draft picks into four

The Kings held the number ten pick in the draft. They had that selection as part of the DeMarcus Cousins trade so getting a player of value was of great importance to the Kings.

The Kings did not have a burning desire for any player who was projected to go at number ten. Instead of wasting the selection, Sacramento made a deal with Portland to get the 15 and 20 selections in the draft in exchange for the 10 pick.

Number 15 pick

J Jackson
Justin Jackson the Kings #15 overall draft pick

The Kings went to the ACC for their pick at number 15. Small Forward Justin Jackson from North Carolina was the Kings choice with their second selection in the first round.

Jackson- a junior –  was the ACC player of the year while helping lead the Tar Heels to a National Championship. He also was a consensus First Team All-American and ACC Player of the Year.

Jackson is known for having a diversified game on offense and a high basketball IQ.

And with the number 20 selection …

Harry Giles – is he the next Chris Webber?

The Kings went “high risk – high reward” with the number 20 pick. They chose 6-foot-10 forward/center Harry Giles out of Duke.

Prior to enrolling at Duke, Giles was predicted to be the number one draft pick this season. An ACL surgery (his third knee surgery) and missing the first 11 games of his freshman season lowered Giles stock in the draft.

Scouts compare a healthy Giles to Chris Webber. How could the Kings not take a chance on him?

This is a roll of the dice that has the potential to have a huge payoff.

The second round selection

Kings second round selection Frank Mason

Sacramento had the fourth (34th overall) selection in the second round. The Kings went with experience by selecting senior combo guard Frank Mason out of Kansas. He was a consensus Player of the Year and a First Team All-American.

The four-year Jayhawk player posted 20.9 points, 5.2 assists and 4.2 rebounds during his senior year at Kansas. He led the Big 12 in 3-point shooting percentage at 49-percent.

How did the Kings do in the draft?

Most analyst are giving Sacramento high marks for their moves in this year’s draft. The experts seem to really like the Kings move to trade the number 10 pick to add two first round picks at number 15 and 20.

All of the experts love the Kings selection of Fox. Virtually every draft analyst believes Fox will be a star in “the association”. They also believe that if Giles can get healthy he could be the steal of the draft.

Grading the Kings draft

Ben Stram of FANRAG Sports will join me on our Sacramento Kings podcast to grade the Kings 2017 draft. That podcast will be available beginning on Saturday June 24 at 8:00 a.m. on