Kings

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Kings' first Summer League win

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Twitter/SacramentoKings

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Kings' first Summer League win

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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. 

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

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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’

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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.