Kings

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Kings' erratic second summer loss

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Kings' erratic second summer loss

LAS VEGAS, NV. -- The Sacramento Kings braved the sweltering Las Vegas heat Sunday evening when they faced off against the Memphis Grizzlies. For the second straight game, they looked every bit the part of a young team trying to figure things out. Memphis used a mixed group of young players and D-League vets to come away with the 81-75 victory and drop Sacramento to 0-2 for the tournament.

-- The Kings featured Skal Labissiere early and he responded with a solid performance. A lot is riding on the development of the second-year big. He was quiet in game one, but posted 13 points on 6-for-12 shooting and chipped in eight rebounds in Sunday's loss to Memphis. Labissiere needs to stay aggressive and demand the ball from his teammates.

-- De’Aaron Fox has some work to do on his free throw stroke. The rookie point guard turned on the jets on numerous occasions and while he didn’t finish on many of them, he drew plenty of fouls. Fox hit just 6-for-12 from the stripe on his way to 17 points, four assists and three steals. He shot 73.9 percent from the line at Kentucky last season, so there is a better free throw shooter hiding in there somewhere.

-- There is no room for Jack Cooley on the big club, but the former Notre Dame banger is fun to watch. He scored an 11-point, 10-rebound double-double in the Kings’ opener and then backed it up with an 11-point, five-rebound performance against Memphis. Certain players have a knack for the ball and Cooley is one of those guys.

-- Justin Jackson struggled. After a big opener, the rookie wing came back to earth Sunday. The 22-year-old out of North Carolina missed all eight of his 3-point attempts, finishing with just four points on 2-for-13 shooting. With Malachi Richardson sitting with a sore hamstring, Jackson is going to get a shot to play big minutes.

-- Frank Mason is adjusting to the speed and size of NBA players. The second-round guard played 19 minutes off the bench for coach Jason March, managing to post up six points on 2-of-10 from the field. Mason broke down the defense and got open looks for his perimeter shooters, but Jackson and Buddy Hield combined to hit just 1-for-13 from long range.

Report: After starting 0-3, Suns fire head coach Watson on eve of Kings game

earl-us.jpg
USATSI

Report: After starting 0-3, Suns fire head coach Watson on eve of Kings game

Drama. The Sacramento Kings have done their best to avoid the non-basketball related issues that often come with the NBA game, but they’ll walk into someone else’s firestorm Monday night in Phoenix.

The Suns have fired head coach Earl Watson just three games into the 2017-18 season, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Phoenix has dropped all three contests, including a 48-point loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on opening night and a 42-point defeat at the hands of the Clippers on Saturday.

Before the firing, veteran point guard tweeted out a message that has since gone viral.

Whether Bledsoe was referring to Watson or his impending release is unknown at this time. 

Watson leaves with a 33-85 record in parts of three seasons with the Suns. He took over for Jeff Hornacek midway through the 2015-16 season. According to Wojnarowski, Suns ownership and management is currently meeting with the team’s assistant coaches and Jay Triano is likely to be named interim head coach.

Day before facing Kings, Suns guard tweets ‘I don’t wanna be here’

bledsoe-ap.jpg
AP

Day before facing Kings, Suns guard tweets ‘I don’t wanna be here’

The Kings head to Phoenix Monday to take on the Suns. It looks like If it were up to Suns guard Eric Bledsoe, he wouldn't be playing the Kings or anyone else with his current team. 

On Sunday, Bledsoe let out his frustration with the following tweet:

The Suns fell to 0-3 on Saturday after getting crushed by the Clippers, 130-88, Sunday in Los Angeles. They are losing by an average of 30.7 points as their defense is allowing 128.7 points per game. 

With the ball in their hands, the Suns' offense isn't much better, averaging a pedestrian 98 points per game. 

Former teammate DeAndre Jordan chimed in on Twitter after Bledsoe's tweet too. Bledsoe spent his first three years in the NBA with Jordan on the Clippers.

Bledsoe, 28, is averaging 15.7 points and 3.0 assists per game in the young season. Over his eight-year career, Bledsoe has put up averages of 13.1 points and 4.6 assists per game.