Kings

NBA Gameday: Hield vs Ingram a battle of Top 6 picks

NBA Gameday: Hield vs Ingram a battle of Top 6 picks

The Sacramento Kings head into Staples Center to face the Los Angeles Lakers Friday night looking to take the season series. Sacramento has won two straight overall and four of its last six as they finish the season strong.

Ben McLemore went off in the second half of the Kings 98-87 win over Mavericks on Tuesday. The fourth-year guard knocked down 5-of-5 from behind the arc, scoring 21 of his 22 points after the intermission.

Los Angeles is coming off back-to-back wins over the Memphis Grizzlies and San Antonio Spurs. It’s the first taste of winning for the Lakers in a while. After starting the season 10-10, Luke Walton and his young core are 13-45 over the last 58 games and they currently hold the third worst record in the NBA.

OPENING LINE

Lakers by 2

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Buddy Hield vs. Brandon Ingram -- Outside of an occasional defensive switch, these two players are unlikely to see much time against one another, but both rookies are playing well down the stretch. Hield has come on strong since the mid-season trade that sent him to Sacramento. The first-year shooting guard is posting 14.4 points and 4.0 rebounds while knocking down 43.3 percent from long range as a King. After a slow start to the season, Ingram is averaging 9.2 points and 4.0 rebounds while shooting 40.6 percent from the field. It’s a battle of two top six picks from the 2016 NBA Draft.

WHERE THEY STAND

Kings: 31-47, third place in Pacific

Lakers: 23-55, fourth place in Pacific

INJURY REPORT

Kings: Arron Afflalo (lower back strain) and Anthony Tolliver (right hip strain) are probable; Kosta Koufos (rest), Ty Lawson (rest) and Garrett Temple (rest) are out.

Lakers: G Jordan Clarkson (knee) probable, SF Brandon Ingram (knee) probable, G D’Angelo Russell (knee) questionable, C Ivica Zubac (ankle) out, SF Luol Deng (no injury) out, SG Nick Young (no injury) out, C Timofey Mozgov (no injury) out.

SERIES HISTORY

The Kings hold a 2-1 advantage in the season series and currently own a two game win streak over Los Angeles. The Lakers are up on the Kings 90-44 during the Sacramento-era and a 268-153 advantage all-time.

QUOTE

“Everybody is having fun with the way we’re playing right now. We’re playing unselfish basketball. Everybody is passing the ball, we’re really enjoying playing with each other and the environment is great.” -Georgios Papagiannis

Kings add former WNBA head coach Jenny Boucek to coaching staff

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AP

Kings add former WNBA head coach Jenny Boucek to coaching staff

Dave Joerger likes to think outside the box. He’s a coach that loves to talk hoops and he’s always looking for a fresh approach. In preparation for the 2017-18 season, he reached out to friends in the college and high school ranks with the hopes of gleaning a some small bit of information about coaching an extremely young roster. 
 
When it came time to assemble his staff, Joerger brought back his entire coaching group from last season and even added local product Phil Ricci to the mix to aid in the development of the team’s 10 players with two years of NBA experience or less.
 
It’s a deep bench of basketball lifers, including Elston Turner, Bryan Gates, Duane Ticknor, Bob Thornton, Jason March and Larry Lewis. On Friday, that staff grew by one with the announcement that former WNBA player and coach, Jenny Boucek, is coming aboard as an assistant player development coach.
 
Boucek visited the team multiple times last season and has been a fixture in the Kings practice facility for most of training camp. With a young an inexperienced roster, Joerger and the front office made the decision to bring her on full-time.
 
“We have a lot of really good young talent that is really hungry to learn and be in the gym,” Boucek told NBC Sports California. “I know a big part of my role is going to be helping to develop this talent, to just work with this staff and to fill in wherever is needed.”
 
Joerger and Boucek have known each other for years and share a similar passion for game. Over time, they have used each other as sounding boards for ideas and have a strong respect for one another.
 
Boucek is no stranger to Sacramento. She coached the Monarchs from 2007-2009, compiling a 40-41 record over her two plus seasons with the team and she spent the last three seasons at the helm of the Seattle Storm. 
 
“I couldn’t be more excited to get back in this basketball city that just loves and lives for basketball and try to bring an exciting team to this fanbase,” Boucek said.
 
With the hiring, Boucek becomes the third female assistant coach in NBA history, joining Becky Hammon and Nancy Lieberman. Hammon currently works as an assistant on Gregg Popovich’s staff in San Antonio and Lieberman spent the 2015-16 season as an assistant for George Karl in Sacramento before taking leave for family reasons last season. 

Gameday: First of many battles between De'Aaron Fox, Dennis Smith Jr

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USATI

Gameday: First of many battles between De'Aaron Fox, Dennis Smith Jr

After falling to the Houston Rockets in the home opener, the Sacramento Kings hit the road for a three game trip beginning Friday night in Dallas. They’ll face a Mavericks team that is also looking for their first win of the season following a loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday evening.

Dave Joerger’s Kings gave the Rockets all they could handle at Golden 1 Center before an error by the officiating crew cost them a valuable possession late. The effort and intensity was present, but Sacramento’s lack of experience makes late game situations an adventure.

Coach Rick Carlisle is trying to balance the old with the new in Dallas, starting veterans Dirk Nowitzki and Wes Matthews alongside Yogi Ferrell, Dennis Smith Jr. and Harrison Barnes. Seven players scored in double-figures in the Mavs opener as they enter the season without a true number one scoring option.

BETTING LINE

Mavs by 5

MATCHUP TO WATCH

De’Aaron Fox vs. Dennis Smith Jr. -- Fox worked his way up the draft board, hearing his name called with the fifth overall selection by Sacramento. He’s the future and maybe even the present for a Kings team looking to rebuild. Smith had to wait a little longer for his moment on draft night. Taken with the ninth pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, the former NC State guard is an incredible athlete and may have found the perfect landing spot for his skill set. Smith sports a 48-inch vertical leap and he plays with a chip on his shoulder. This is the first of many battles between these two top-tier talents.

WHERE THEY STAND

Kings: 0-1

Mavs: 0-1

INJURY REPORT

Kings: SG Bogdan Bogdanovic (right ankle sprain) is out, PF Zach Randolph (oral surgery) is probable, PF Harry Giles (bilateral knee rehab) out

Mavs: G Seth Curry (leg) out, F Josh McRoberts (lower extremity injury) out

SERIES HISTORY

The Kings took the season series over the Mavs last year 2-1. Dallas hold a 92-66 advantage over the Kings all-time, and a 75-54 lead during the Sacramento-era.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

ALL HANDS ON DECK? - Zach Randolph and Bogdan Bogdanovic missed the opener due to injury. Randolph has had a few days to recover from oral surgery and might be ready in time to retake his starting power forward spot. Bogdanovic is nursing an ankle injury, but is getting close to a return. If Bogdanovic is healthy, he’ll play and possibly even start for Joerger.

WILLIE FIND CONSISTENCY? - Willie Cauley-Stein put up 21 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks in the opener. If Randolph returns, Cauley-Stein’s role will change slightly, but the Kings need the same effort and energy every night from their third-year big.

TEMPLE TIME - Garrett Temple struggled with his shot, hitting just 1-of-7 from the field off Joerger’s bench on Wednesday. That didn’t stop the veteran wing from putting on a defensive show. He finished the night with four steals and countless deflections as he faced off with James Harden and Eric Gordon. The young players could learn a lot from the eight-year vet.

QUOTE

“These young guys play hard, they want to be good, they want to win and they want to learn.” -Vince Carter on the Kings’ young core