4 Takeaways from the Kings Preseason Finale vs. Lakers

In their ultimate preseason recreation on Friday evening, the Sacramento Kings smacked round the Los Angeles Lakers. Both coaches expressed pregame that they deliberate to closely lean on their common rotational contributors in preparation for the common season.

On Sacramento’s finish, Kevin Huerter (foot soreness) and Keegan Murray (non-COVID-related sickness) have been each unavailable whilst the Lakers have been with out Anthony Davis (again), Lonnie Walker IV (ankle), and Troy Brown (again). Plus, in Russell Westbrook’s first recreation off the bench in years, he did not make it thru the first quarter earlier than being dominated out for hamstring tightness.

A singular wrinkle to the evening used to be the NBA’s stat monitoring being down round the league and there have been no web pages or other people in the construction that saved the rest comparable to a standard field ranking. But, there are websites that experience since been up to date!

Here are my takeaways from preseason recreation 4.

1. Wing Defenders

KZ Okpala began the first two preseason video games assigned to LeBron James after which Damian Lillard. He did not see the ground in opposition to an damage/leisure riddled group that barely resembled the Phoenix Suns, however Coach Mike Brown referred to as his quantity as soon as once more to hide James ultimate evening.

Having in the past referred to Okpala as having Defensive Player of the Year doable right through their shared time with the Nigerian National Team, Coach Brown made it transparent he nonetheless thinks very extremely of the 6’8″ wing.

He can be, trust me on this now, he can be a high high high level defender in the NBA. He’s got size, he got strength, he’s got athleticism, he’s fast-twitch. Even though he doesn’t say a word, he’s intelligent. He got into Stanford and he’s worked his tail off on trying to shoot the catch-and-shoot three. And he doesn’t try to play outside his box. He knows what his role is and he’s embraced it,” Coach Brown stated. “We are fortunate to have him as a result of he provides us duration, versatility, protection at a excessive stage, as a result of there are some cats available in the market which can be 6’8”, 6’9” that may put that ball in the hollow. So to have the flexibility to visit him, and perhaps Chima, for a head trainer that’s a sigh of aid.”

Rim coverage is not precisely the maximum commonplace skillset on the 2022-23 Sacramento roster, however there have been a handful of promising flashes ultimate evening highlighted via this Okpala block. It used to be to start with referred to as a bad, however reversed upon assessment following a trainer’s problem.

Okpala, who isn’t one to provide long-winded solutions when chatting with the media merely stated “that’s what I do” and that is the reason in reality what he is been doing in preseason.

Coach Brown discussed Moneke at the finish of that quote as neatly following what more than likely used to be the maximum alternative the UC Davis product has noticed so far.

“Today (Chima Moneke) was great. As training camp has gone along, he’s trended upwards. I think the initial shock of being in the NBA and the speed and athleticism and all that stuff caught him off guard a little bit but he belongs on this level and he can help us,” Brown stated. “Once he gets some games and some days in the NBA under his belt, man, look out.”

We’ll see how neatly it holds up as the common season will get underway however it is new to listen to a Sacramento head trainer say he appears like they’ve a couple of other choices to decelerate the wing initiators which can be littered round the Western Conference.

2. Domas speaking on protection

Domantas Sabonis does no longer have the bodily equipment to be a beautiful rim protector. He does not have overwhelming dimension or duration or a specifically standout talent to show his hips in guard in area. Yet, he makes up for his bodily shortcomings together with his working out of the recreation.

Sabonis can also be noticed speaking together with his teammates incessantly right through useless balls, stops in play, or loose throws however that does not forestall when the ball is inbounds.

I wish to preface this however making it VERY transparent that Mike Brown stated he’s NOT announcing Sabonis is Draymond Green on the defensive finish of the ground however that he did realize a similarity.

Draymond’s ability to talk the entire defense through a possession, Domas is starting to feel that. Because usually as a big, you’re behind everybody so you see what’s happening out in front of you,” Coach Brown stated. (*4*)

Sacramento has excelled as an entire on the defensive finish of the ground and their dominant victory the place they held the Lakers to 86 issues is as absolute best of an instance as you’ll be able to to find. I think a wish to as soon as once more point out, it’s only preseason however promising nevertheless.

3.  Yet some other just right capturing evening

Keon Ellis knocked down 3 triples, after air balling his first, and ended with 11 issues in the fourth quarter on my own. And he used to be some distance from the just one pulling down photographs from past the arc.

Malik Monk, who began instead of Huerter, knocked down two from vary. As did De’Aaron Fox, Terence Davis, and KZ Okpala. Standouts have been Ellis and Davion Mitchell who every contributed 3 of their very own and Trey Lyles led with a game-high 4 made three-pointers.

For Sacramento to knock down 20 threes on an evening the place two in their 5 best possible shooters have been inactive is spectacular.

4. High reward for Matthew Dellavedova

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that each one 3 of KZ Okpala, Chima Moneke and Matthew Dellavedova will make Mike Brown’s ultimate roster. That places Sam Merrill as the ordinary guy out regardless of his plain capturing talent.

Mike Brown began speaking about the competitiveness ranges in observe being wholesome and Dellavedova used to be used as the high instance.

“I believe our practices are harder than our games because that’s how hard we’re trying to push each other and you get guys like Dellavedova. He doesn’t know any other way than to go hard. And so what that means is, if Davion ain’t going hard he will get embarrassed by Delly. If Foxy ain’t going hard, he will get embarrassed by Delly. And so to have a guy like that on your team with your group just raises the level of intensity all the time and then he’s like a coach on the bench,” Coach Brown stated. “To have him and different guys that push guys in entrance of them however they’re nonetheless all-in and so they’re encouraging their teammates and all that different stuff, however but when their quantity is named they’re able to head. To me, it’s an excellent recipe for us to be higher defensively.”

Davion additionally weighed in on the depth that the Aussie brings each unmarried day. “Delly’s a vet. I’ve learned a lot of things from him, he’s a really smart player. He can get anywhere on the floor. He makes his teammates better. He gives me pointers all the time, even throughout the game. So, he makes me a lot better,” Mitchell stated. “Defensively, I try to speed him up, but he’s seen it all so I can’t really speed him up a little bit so it makes it hard for me… I think he definitely helped us out a lot as well.”

Mitchell has been stellar defensively all through the process the preseason and had his moments pulling down photographs as neatly. It’s simple to attract comparisons to Dellavedova and no wonder that Mike Brown is a large fan of them each.

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