If you based your opinions on the Sacramento Kings preseason, you would have thought that Harry Giles was ready to step in and make an immediate impact. He looked more polished than Marvin Bagley III and had Kings fan excited about what he could mean for the team’s future. But then the harsh reality of the regular season set im. Giles picked up fouls at an alarming rate, his minutes dwindled, and the Giles hype was overshadowed by the play of De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Willie Cauley-Stein, and Marvin Bagley. Nobody was calling Harry a bust, but the excitement was gone.
Really, we should have expected this. Giles hadn’t played competitive basketball in nearly two years, and now was facing up against the best in the world. Combined with Harry’s eagerness to prove himself, it was a recipe for a bad start.
On November 11th Harry played for the Stockton Kings and had an emphatic 30 points. The one-day stint in Stockton revitalized Giles. On November 12th Harry played for the Sacramento Kings against the San Antonio Spurs and scored 12 points in 16 minutes. The following game against the Memphis Grizzlies was another setback, though. In just 7 minutes Harry picked up 4 fouls. But to Dave Joerger’s credit, he’s never stopped giving Harry opportunities. The minutes are sometimes low, but Giles sees the floor and has a chance to earn more minutes every night.
And it’s starting to pay off.
The game is slowing down for Giles and he’s getting more accustomed to the speed and the competition, and he’s figuring out how to defend aggressively without fouling as often. Giles has scored 10 points in each of his last two games, and put up a dazzling stat line against the Utah Jazz with 10 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals, and 2 blocks. He’s beginning to look like the player we saw glimpses of in the preseason. Giles is a guy who can do a bit of everything and impact the game in a variety of ways.
This isn’t a “Mission Accomplished” banner. Giles still has a lot of areas he can continue to improve, but it’s great seeing him find his place in the rotation. Hopefully this is just the beginning.