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Kings 117, Jazz 123: An Entertaining Opener

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These are the types of games I love to watch.

Kimani Okearah |

The first game of the 2018-19 NBA season is officially in the books for the Sacramento Kings. Unfortunately, it resulted in a loss to the Utah Jazz by a score of 123-117, but there was still a lot to enjoy from this one.

First Quarter Observations:

  • Buddy Hield and Willie Cauley-Stein got off to great starts, with Hield making his shots and WCS being productive on both ends
  • Jazz started off terrible, with turnovers and missed shots hurting them
  • Kings capitalized on those Jazz turnovers
  • Justin Jackson made his first two floaters
  • Harry Giles and Marvin Bagley made their first baskets
  • Utah cut into the lead
  • Frank Mason buzzer-beating three to end the 1st Q

Second Quarter Observations

  • Bagley started off the quarter with a nice little fadeaway
  • Kings got sloppy with some turnovers and missing good looks, so Jazz took advantage
  • Bjelica was called for a dumb foul
  • Fox started cooking
  • Joe Ingles looking like a MVP, because of course
  • Per Doug Christie, Giles should use his butt more
  • Jazz take a 13-point lead to end the half

Third Quarter Observations

  • WCS starts off the quarter strong again, with a great spin move on Gobert to finish
  • Bjelica getting into Crowder’s head on both sides of the court
  • Yogi with a transition three
  • Grant promoting new NBC MyTeams app which is actually a solid app so far
  • Just let these guys play refs
  • Giles called for his 4th foul
  • No Bagley
  • 93-87 to end the Q

Fourth Quarter Observations

  • De’Aaron Fox with a great pass to WCS for the dunk
  • Bagley followed up two misses to score
  • Jazz jump to a 109-99 lead, Kings can’t secure turnovers
  • Jackson would not make a good football receiver
  • Why is Jackson playing this late still?
  • Refs with more awful calls
  • Kings can’t come back in it, lose 123-117


Okay, if this is the Willie that we see every game, he’s getting his dinero. It is just the first game of the season but Willie may have played arguably the best game of his career. He gave the Defensive Player of the Year in Rudy Gobert all he could handle and gave it his all on both ends of the floor. Willie finished with 23 points (10/15, 3/6 FT), seven rebounds, four assists and two blocks in 38 minutes of action. Not bad at all for someone who wants his cash.

The signings of Nemanja Bjelica and Yogi Ferrell looked like great signings. Bjelica played 27 minutes (should’ve been more) and scored 18 points on 8/12 shooting along with eight boards and one beautiful lob to Willie. Yogi was also great in his 30 minutes of playing, scoring 12 points on 3/7 shooting but displayed great energy on both sides of the ball as well. He didn’t make it easy for Donovan Mitchell.

De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield both played great basketball, too. Fox scored 21 points to go with his seven dimes, four boards and three steals. Hield scored 19 and grabbed six rebounds, but I would like to see him cut down on the turnovers on the next game (four).

No Zach Randolph!


What is Joerger thinking giving Jackson THIRTY minutes of playing time for? He couldn’t even catch a ball and convert it into two easy points! He was 4/10 from the field, 0/4 from three, scoring eight points and grabbing two rebounds.

What is Joerger thinking giving Marvin Bagley TWELVE minutes of playing time for? He’s your second overall pick, use him! He’s not going to get better watching Jackson play 30 minutes or just sitting. Bagley had six points and five rebounds.

Iman Shumpert took too many shots. It’s only seven, but he made two. I’m fine with him for defensive purposes but he’s not who I want taking shots.

Harry Giles got himself into foul trouble (four) and therefore didn’t have the impact we were hoping for, but there is still 81 more games.

Joe Ingles torched this team.

Notable Stats

Kings won the turnover battle 9-17, but gave up 27 fouls. Kings also need to get to the line more often, which was a problem in countless games last season.

Kings were out-rebounded 56-44 and out-assisted 21-17.

Ricky Rubio had only ONE point. Just thought I put that out there.

The Game in One Sentence

117 points in the first game against this defense is not bad at all.

Next Game

The Kings travel to New Orleans to take on the Pelicans, who just defeated the Houston Rockets today in great fashion. Game is at 5:00 pm this Friday. See you there!