The Kings were led in scoring by De’Aaron Fox’s 23 points and 5 rebounds, followed by Buddy Hield’s 21 points, 9 rebounds and 2 assists. Tyrese Haliburton had a goose egg, but cashed in nine dimes and four rebounds on the night, and ended the game with a +9 in the contest.
The Sixers were without the likes of Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, Seth Curry, Danny Green and Tobias Harris in tonight’s contest, setting the table for the Kings to blow the doors off this one and make a statement. Unfortunately, in true Kings fashion, they didn’t. Andre Drummond collected 24 rebounds on the night, and they were outscored by the depth of this Sixers squad.
Gentry returned to the season’s initial starting lineup featuring De’Aaron Fox, Tyrese Haliburton, Harrison Barnes, Moe Harkless and Richaun Holmes.
One of the biggest changes in Gentry’s first appearance head of the snake was pace. It seemed like every possession Sacramento was whipping back up the floor, something that should suit Fox and his style of play. Gentry also introduced the three-guard lineup early in the game, which Luke Walton said last week the team would need to ‘earn’. He was more privy to making in-game adjustments in four frames than Walton seemed to in two seasons.
Should have been beating the brakes off this team from the jump? Absolutely. Frankly, the absence of Walton doesn’t change the fact that the players are the ones out there losing game after game.
There’s hope and promise for ‘change’, of course, but we need to see the winning brand of basketball that was advertised by players and management all off-season long before things de-rail any further.