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Recap: Davion Mitchell’s impressive defense leads Kings to 80-70 win over Hornets

Mitchell locked up fellow 2021 NBA Draft lottery guard James Bouknight Monday afternoon.

2021 Las Vegas Summer League - Charlotte Hornets v Sacramento Kings Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images

So, it turns out Davion Mitchell’s nickname, “Off Night,” is extremely accurate and Mitchell’s rookie counterpart on Monday afternoon, No. 11 pick in the 2021 Draft, James Bouknight found that out the hard way.

On multiple possessions, Mitchell hounded Bouknight and forced him into a tough shot or turnover. Bouknight’s overall line off 11 points on 4-of-11 shooting from the field and 5 turnovers was primarily a byproduct of Mitchell’s hard-nosed defense.

Mitchell’s most impressive defensive possession came when Bouknight tried to isolate him on him in right the corner, however, Mitchell remained in lockstep with Bouknight with every dribble move he tried and eventually forced him into a turnover.

Mitchell’s defense seemed to be contagious, as the rest of the team looked pretty connected on that side of the ball, forcing the Hornets into 25 turnovers in the game.

On offense, Mitchell’s stats vs the Hornets don’t jump off the page (10 points and 9 assists), but Mitchell was thoroughly in control of the Kings’ offense throughout the entirety of the game. It would have been easy for Mitchell to become overzealous with his shot selection in his Vegas debut, but instead, Mitchell constantly made the right play and never forced anything, as evidenced by his zero turnovers.

Mitchell’s backcourt mate Jahmi’us Ramsey looked much more comfortable out there in his second summer league appearance, finishing with a game-high 22 points. His first stint in the game looked like more of the same, but as the game went on, Ramsey got more comfortable and was able to get into a nice shooting rhythm during the second half.

The Kings’ other second-round pick from 2020, Robert Woodard, struggled for the third consecutive summer league game, finishing with two points and four turnovers in just seven minutes. Woodard seems to be pressing a bit out there, so it will be interesting to see how he responds in his next summer league minutes.

Chimezie Metu looked solid for the Kings, putting up 16 points on 5-of-11 shooting from the field. Metu filled up the stat sheet with 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals to go along with his 16 points. This type of performance will hopefully be the norm for Metu over the coming weeks as Metu has a lot more NBA experience than the majority of players in the summer league.

The Kings’ second-round pick from 2021, Neemias Queta was solid for the second game in a row finishing with nine points and six rebounds, bringing a nice combination of energy and size in the Sacramento frontcourt.

The Kings will return to the court on Tuesday night against the Washington Wizards at 7 p.m. MST.