Summer League is here! You know what that means! Turnovers, spacing issues, and inconsistent play! While that is worrisome come the NBA season, it is part of the tradition that is Summer League. The Kings started out the game well but in the second half the Spurs started looking like their NBA Finals counterparts, and the Kings looked like ... the Kings. That is not to say there was nothing to take from the game though. I saw many things that intrigued me.
The two stars of this game for the Kings were a slimmed down Quincy Acy, and Nik Stauskas aka "Not Jimmer". Acy has definitely been working on his physique as well as his game. He dropped a nice 14-7-1 and displayed that energy we have grown to love the whole time. His handles, jumper, and overall game just looked much smoother than it did when we last saw him. I have said it before and I will say it again: I believe, barring changes, that Acy will be our starting 4, and we will not be ashamed to say so. He even showed off some new found range and dropped two early 3-pointers.
Nik Stauskas also impressed. He dropped a nice 14 points and 3 assists, but also added a couple blocks and steals to the mix. He hit a couple of shots, as expected, but where he really grabbed my attention was his ability to create something from nothing. This will be be his ticket to the NBA. If he can play with the tenacity and intelligence that he displayed for the most part tonight, we are going to have some fun with this kid. He also showed some passable defensive prowess, which was a surprise to me given what we heard going in.
Outside of those two there were some good standouts. Ray McCallum struggled early, but ended the game well. Derrick Williams had some good plays, and grabbed a few boards. Nothing spectacular, but nothing to complain about either. Marshon Brooks had a nice play and grabbed a few boards in a little more than 10 minutes of action. The only one to really struggle was Ben McLemore. With 8 turnovers, and 2-8 shooting, he struggled in a major way. This is not going to make me panic, though, as it is just one game in July. He still has 4 months to work on his game. Turnovers are to be expected in summer league, as you are throwing a group of guys together in a strange situation. Even the guys who were on the Kings last year didn't play in these lineups too often.
All in all, despite the loss, there were many positives to take out of this game. Summer league is a developmental tool, and as such, there were a lot of positives, as well as some negatives to take out of the game. Hopefully they can take what they needed to on this game and use it as motivation for the next one.
DeMarcus Cousins was sitting with Vivek Ranadive courtside watching his current and future teammates. It is great to see him so involved with the team in July.
Despite this being a Kings/Spurs game, they were often talking about the Cavs, showing a graphic on the side, and scrolling the news at the bottom. Apparently this LeBron James guy is going to be something special.
I am beginning to think that you could put the entire StR writing staff on a team with the Spurs staff and jerseys and we would look like the 1992 Dream Team. I don't know what those guys do, but I want some.