The short-handed Sacramento Kings gave the Milwaukee Bucks all they could handle Wednesday night at the Thomas and Mack Center. With De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Harry Giles and Malachi Richardson sitting and Frank Mason going down early, the Kings gutted out a tough win over the Bucks by a final of 69-65. With the victory, Sacramento improved to 1-3 in Summer League and advanced to the round of 16.
-- Skal Labissiere was ready to perform. Through the first three games of Summer League, Labissiere had struggled, averaging just 8.3 points and 4.7 rebounds in 27.3 minutes a night. The second-year big got it going early, scoring 11 of his 19 points in the first quarter. He added nine rebounds, two blocks and three steals in the win.
-- Georgios Papagiannis looked better, but still has a ways to go. The 7-footer out of Greece had his best game of the tournament, finishing the night with 17 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks. On the downside, Papagiannis lost plenty of balls either through lack of concentration or by having smaller players walk in and take it from him. It’s a flaw in his game that NBA players will exploit if he doesn’t improve quickly.
-- Next, next, next man up. Hield is done for the week while the Kings look at other players. Fox missed his first game of Summer League with a stiff ankle. Mason started in his place and lasted all of four minutes before spraining his left ankle. Naz Mitrou-Long and Dominique Hawkins filled in admirably for the Kings, but gave very little statistically.
-- JaKarr Sampson is worth a training camp invite. The 24-year-old small forward out of St. John’s plays with energy and athleticism. After spending time with the Nuggets and 76ers in his first two seasons in the league, the 6-foot-9 wing averaged 15.7 points and 5.3 rebounds a game last season for the Iowa Energy of the G-League. He needs to improve from the perimeter, but his approach to the game is infectious.
-- Like most rookies, Justin Jackson is inconsistent. Jackson has been either hot or cold through four games. Unfortunately for Sacramento, the rookie out of North Carolina hit just 2-of-14 from the field and missed all five of his 3-point shots. He’ll need to get stronger or the 82-game NBA schedule will eat him alive.
Somebody has to warn me when sentences like this appear at random. From a tweet by Paul Lukas of UniWatch:
“International outreach: (Sacramento) Kings' new black alternate court includes graphics in Hindi and Mandarin, depending on team's promotional campaign.”
Now when did that become up for grabs?
Not the Hindi or Mandarin legends below the Kings’ logo, which were announced by the team on NBA.com Thursday. I think every nation that wishes to should feel a part of the Dave Joerger Experience – Mongolia, Kazakhstan, South Sudan, Placerville, you name it.
But what I didn’t know is that there is now a desperate marketing need for alternate floors.
I mean, you don’t get much more fundamental and frill-free than the ground. You can paint it, you can decal it, you can varnish it, you can stain it, you can scuff it, and it still stays pretty floor-y.
And it robs the Kings of a potential competitive advantage that they could desperately use.
The Boston Celtics made great use of their old parquet floor at the now spectral Bostonb Garden. There were hot spots and dead spots, seams and gaps that only the Celtics players knew, and they all used them to their benefit throughout the golden age of Celtic basketball.
And now that the Celtics are celebrating the Garden’s 20th year of rubblehood, they probably miss that old floor a bit. Even though they pretty much sold off most of the bits for great scads of cash and used others to be included in the current floor.
But the Kings need two. No, wait. They need three. Hmmm.
Now the Kings also have four different uniforms to go with their floors, meaning that every game prep will include a few minutes to figure what socks go with what grain of wood. This seems like an unproductive use of everybody’s time.
As for the languages on the floor . . . well, if I was from Bulgaria, I’d be pretty damned cheesed off right now that I can’t see my team’s name on one of my floors.
So I will do it for you. Go You царства на сакрамента!
Free Z-Bo. According to TMZ.com, Sacramento Kings big man, Zach Randolph, pled no contest to a misdemeanor resisting arrest charge stemming from an arrest during a block party in the Nickerson Garden area of LA on Aug. 9. The 16-year NBA veteran originally faced two felony counts, including marijuana possession with the intent to sell.
Randolph walked out of a courtroom on Aug. 31 with reduced charges, but still faced a pair of misdemeanor counts, including one for drug possession. According TMZ, potential drug charges were dropped in exchange for the no contest plea on Wednesday.
Per the plea agreement, Randolph was sentenced to 150 hours of community service and he must stay out of trouble for the next year. If he holds up his end of the bargain, the resisting arrest conviction will be voided from his permanent record.
Randolph, 36, signed a two-year, $25 million deal with the Kings over the summer after spending the previous eight seasons in Memphis. There is no word yet as to whether the NBA will chime in with a fine or suspension.