The Kings still lost by double-digits.
That Spurs team was playing without Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge, and who knows who Pop will play or rest tonight. It doesn’t really matter though as the Kings have very little chance of winning this game. This is one of the toughest games in the NBA regardless, and the Kings get to do it on the second night of a back-to-back which is just the cherry on top.
I’m gonna continue to look for signs of growth and promise in our young core though. Buddy had one of his worst games as a King yesterday in Oklahoma City, so for him to bounce back would be a promising sign. Skal Labissiere continues to play well in limited minutes and will have another tough task against the Spurs skilled big men, especially if Aldridge plays. Labissiere actually reminds me a little bit of Aldridge in that both have really nice outside touches. Still, Skal’s got a ways to go before he reaches Aldridge in terms of skill level and experience.
Georgios Papagiannis had a semi-breakout game yesterday, showing everyone that hey, maybe he’s ok too. He’s got fantastic size and length, and he’s already got some skill in the post at just 19. I’m not expecting him to drop another double-double but if he can have another solid game in a row, especially against a team as good as the Spurs, that’d be a promising sign.
Willie Cauley-Stein has definitely loved the extra freedom and responsibility given to him in the wake of the DeMarcus Cousins trade, and one thing that’s really noticeable since the trade has been his passing. When Cousins was here, a large part of the offense ran through him and Willie was essentially just a finisher. Now though some of that offense runs through Willie, and he’s been making great passes. Before the trade, Willie was averaging just 0.5 assists in 13 minutes a game. Since the trade he’s at 2.3 assists in 32.6 minutes. Per 36 minutes, that’s a decent sized increase. It’s not a huge number, but it’s something that I don’t think many of us realized Willie even had in his wheelhouse and a nice sign for things going forward.
Tip-off’s at 4 p.m. Go Kings.