And just like that, preseason is over.
Sacramento once again rested most of its regular season rotation, but they hung tight with the Warriors for three quarters, in large part thanks to David Stockton’s performance. Stockton put together the best game any King has had this preseason, scoring 23 points on 9 of 12 shooting to go with 8 assists and 2 steals. If he wasn’t so damn tiny he’d probably be on an NBA roster for real.
Malachi Richardson chipped in 15 points in what was easily his best game of the preseason as well, looking more aggressive on offense, similar to the Malachi we saw before his injury last year. Georgios Papagiannis added 13 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists, and even hit a desperation bank shot three.
Skal Labissiere scored just 9 points but he did get 8 rebounds and also 4 assists in just 22 minutes. Justin Jackson continues to look a little more raw than we’d like. Buddy Hield’s shooting struggles continued, going just 2 for 9 overall. Frank Mason was solid once more with 10 points. Willie Cauley-Stein put together a 10 point, 5 rebound, 4 assists performance but continued to look disinterested on defense, which is a shame considering that’s his main job.
Even after seeing the Kings for six preseason games I’m not sure I have a great feel on how they’ll do this season or what they’ll look like in real games. We didn’t see extended minutes for the vets really, and De’Aaron Fox was limited due to injury. There doesn’t yet seem to be an identity for this team, and no go-to guy has emerged. The team clearly wants to share the ball, and also run the halfcourt offense through the bigs at the elbow. It will be interesting to see how this team evolves as the season goes on.
Sacramento now has a few days off before the season opener on Wednesday against the Houston Rockets.