The Kings looked solid in their opener Monday evening. They went young late in their loss to the Lakers on Thursday. Friday against the Warriors, they looked overmatched and got their lunch handed to them by a final of 122-94.
Losing big to a star-studded opponent is a symptom of a young team. It’s also a common occurrence for teams facing Golden State. They have a knack for frustrating clubs, especially inexperienced ones.
It wasn’t pretty, but here are some notes from the loss.
— Harry Giles is demanding more minutes – The redshirt rookie continues to put up big numbers in his first opportunity to play in preseason. The 20-year-old set a new high with 17 points and added five rebounds in the loss.
In his first three games, Giles is averaging 15 points, six rebounds and two assists in 22.7 minutes per game. He’s shooting just 42.5 percent from the field, but once he settles in, he looks like a player for Sacramento.
— Frank Mason makes his case – When the Kings signed Yogi Ferrell, it was a foregone conclusion that Mason was going to struggle to get minutes. If his preseason numbers mean anything, he’s earned a longer look.
Through three contests, Mason has posted 11 points and five assists in 20 minutes per game. He’s shooting 80 percent from the field and 60 percent from long range as he battles for minutes.
— De’Aaron Fox struggled – Fox starred against the Lakers. Against the Warriors, he looked tired and his shot failed to find the net. The Kings need their starting point guard to bring it every single game.
Fox managed just seven points, five assists and three turnovers in 26 minutes of action Friday night. He also ran a team-worst -38 in the plus/minus category.
— Buddy got burned – Like Fox, Buddy Hield had a solid performance on Thursday evening. It all came crashing down against Golden State. Hield struggled with his shot, but more importantly, he lost Klay Thompson on multiple possessions.
The Warriors All-Star dropped in 30 points in 22 minutes of action, including 6-of-10 from downtown. ESPN commentator, Jeff Van Gundy, put Hield on roast, “If he goes under a screen one more time, I am gonna lose my mind. Buddy Hield – you are guarding Klay Thompson!”
— Consistently inconsistent – Willie Cauley-Stein is entering a contract year. He’s talked about wanting to get paid and he’s talked about his struggled with consistency. So far, he’s the same player he has been through the first three years of his career.
The 25-year-old center has posted 12, three and seven rebounds in the first three games. He’s also scored 14, four and 10 points in those contests. With Giles and rookie Marvin Bagley chomping at the bit, Cauley-Stein needs to finish strong in the final three preseason games.
— Justin Jackson gets on the board – Jackson posted big numbers in summer league, but that was as an offensive focal point. The second-year wing went scoreless in his first two games before dropping in eight against the Warriors.
Scoring is one issue, but Jackson has a total of four rebounds and two assists in 65 minutes as a preseason starter coach Dave Joerger.