Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Kings' preseason loss to Clippers


Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Kings' preseason loss to Clippers


Five down, one to go. The Sacramento Kings limped through their fifth preseason game Thursday night in Los Angeles. With De’Aaron Fox out and George Hill going down early, the team’s depth was tested. In the end, the experience of the Clippers won out as they came away with the 104-87 victory to push the Kings to 1-4 in the exhibition season.

1- Bogdan Bogdanovic breaks out. The Kings’ coaching staff has been waiting for the Serbian sharpshooter to get a little more selfish. He attacked the Clippers Thursday evening, scoring a preseason-high 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting from the field and 2-for-3 from behind the arc. Be it as a starter or off the bench, Bogdanovic is going to have a big time role on the Kings this season. Unfortunately, the 25-year-old went down with a sprained right ankle at the end of the third quarter and didn’t return.

2- Temple run. Garrett Temple is the Kings’ jack of all trades. He can play both wing positions and defend the one, two or three. Against the Clippers, he was the hot hand, hitting 3-of-4 from downtown on his way to 13 points. If Temple can give Sacramento another reliable 3-point shooter, he becomes one of the team’s most valuable assets.

3- Frank Mason is plan B. With both Fox and Hill on the shelf, the rookie point guard out of Kansas dropped in 13 points on 5-for-7 shooting. He added four assists and three rebounds in 24 minutes of action. Hill has a history of missing games, so being a third point guard on this Kings team might not be a bad thing.

4- Buddy Hield looked comfortable with the starters. He hasn’t exactly shot the lights out during the preseason, but the second-year guard had a solid night for Sacramento. The former sixth overall pick dropped in 12 points on 3-of-5 shooting from deep and added three rebounds and three assists. He can score in bunches, but Hield needs to continue to improve his all-around game if he hopes to hold onto the starting shooting guard spot.

5- Mixing the young with the old. For the second time in preseason, Dave Joerger turned to a starting frontcourt of Zach Randolph and Willie Cauley-Stein. Z-Bo attacked the Clippers early, finishing with 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting in 23 minutes at the power forward spot. Cauley-Stein got it going late, chipping in 10 points and seven rebounds. This might be the opening night pairing in the post.

Kevin Durant offers analysis of top West contenders: 'That's a smart move'


Kevin Durant offers analysis of top West contenders: 'That's a smart move'

The Warriors were so dominant this past season, they forced several top contenders to make surprising moves in an attempt to compete with the champs during the 2017-18 season.

The Rockets acquired Chris Paul. The Clippers signed Danilo Gallinari and European guard Milos Teodosic. The Thunder got Paul George from Indiana. The T'Wolves added Jimmy Butler and Jeff Teague. Denver signed Paul Millsap. Boston and Cleveland have (tentatively) swapped Kyrie Irving and Isaiah Thomas. The Celtics also signed Gordon Hayward.

And Kevin Durant has some interesting thoughts on most of those moves. While speaking on The Bill Simmons Podcast recently, the NBA Finals MVP was asked about the Rockets, Thunder, Clippers, T'Wolves, Nuggets and the big Cavs-Celtics trade.

Durant on the Irving-Thomas trade:

I don't think that was because of us.

Durant on the Rockets trading for Paul:

I'm not surprised by anything, but it was kind of like 'Hmm. Damn, that's a smart move. I wouldn't think anybody would be that smart to pull that off.' I think it was a great move. You put two guys together that are crafty with the ball, they're going to get everybody shots and they going to get each other shots. It was a ballsy move to pull off by [Rockets GM Daryl] Morey. I don't think anybody would have thought to do that.

Durant on the Thunder added George to MVP Russell Westbrook.

That was a shock too. That was a shock. That was shocking because Indiana just gave him away. And I didn't think OKC would even think about giving up anything for to trade for him. I didn't think they'd do it. That was a ballsy move.

Durant on the retooled Clippers:

Teodosic...I can't wait to see him play. He made the greatest pass I ever seen my life last summer. We was all like 'How the hell did you see that?' He was running towards to the sideline and flicked around his head through two people on a dime, and he was at the 3-point line...with his right hand. It kind of faked me out. I spinned in a circle. I was like 'that's the greatest pass I've ever seen...from anybody.' Best pass I've ever seen. So I'm excited to see how he plays.

You could tell that at some point everybody there needed some new life and energy. Whether it was somebody leaving or somebody bringing in another big player, they needed new energy. And you can sense that now with the Clippers, especailly with Doc just being the head coach now. I think that's going to be good for them.

Durant on the new-look Timberwolves:

[Butler] was hurt. I could tell he was hurt he got traded. Ain't not loyalty, man. Do your thing, Jimmy.

That's a lot of talent. Let's see how that works.

Let’s go down the line with that:

Now Teague. Can’t really shoot that well but he can play. He need the ball though. And Jimmy. He can shoot it, but he need a rhythm so he need the ball, too. [Andrew] Wiggins, he the same way. He need the ball. They can all score. They all good, but somebody gotta give up something….

I’m just saying somebody will have to give up something in their games in order for it to work, and I believe that they will. But [Karl-Anthony] Towns needs to be the guy that they get the ball to, I think, because he’s so good. Jimmy needs to be facilitating. Wiggins is going to be the guy if you need a basket, he’s going to be the finisher.

Durant on the Nuggets:

Yo, they're the second best offense in the league. They were second in the league in the assists, they can shoot the 3-pointer, they got passing in their bigs and they got small guards. I think they need a point guard that they really, really believe in because they were putting [Emmanuel] Mudiay on the bench sometimes because he was hurt and they played Jameer [Nelson] and they were trying to make the playoffs so they didn't want to mess the rhythm up. I get it, but I feel like they need a stable point guard that they trust. And hopefully that's Mudiay because I'm pulling for him. But I like their team, their offense, Mike Malone. Man, when Sacramento let him go, I was like 'What are you doing?' This dude is a guru.

Jerry West 'will never go into' Warriors' new arena in San Francisco


Jerry West 'will never go into' Warriors' new arena in San Francisco

The Chase Center -- the Warriors' new arena in San Francisco -- is scheduled to open in time for the start of the 2019-20 season.

Don't expect Jerry West to attend a game there.

"I will never go into that arena. I shouldn’t go into it," West told The Athletic's Tim Kawakami on Monday. "But I think it’s going to be ... I’ve seen the plans, and it’s spectacular. A lot of creative thinking has gone on with that organization.

"I think for the people who want the best, they’re going to get it. It’ll be filled with a hopefully a great team for a few years."

West, who spent the past six seasons as an executive board member with the Warriors, is now an advisor for the Clippers.

He attended Game 5 of the 2017 NBA Finals and believes Oracle Arena is a special venue.

"There’s an aura, there’s an excitement about that place," West explained. "To think that they’re going to leave that environment, I’m hopeful they can capture that same environment.

"The fans, in my time up there, saw some real special things happen. The fans saw some things that I never dreamed possible that they could do. I remember we were playing Sacramento, real close game at halftime. One of those games that was like, hopefully we can win this game. And Klay Thompson comes out and scores 37 points in the third quarter. That may not happen again in the NBA. That was special."

Although West says he did not want to leave Golden State and never thought he'd work anywhere else again, he doesn't sound like a man who has hard feelings.

"Trust me, I’ll be rooting for them. It’s hard not to root for something real special, OK?"

His job is to help assemble a team that can beat the Warriors, but according to The Logo, everybody else is playing for second place in 2017-18.

"I just don’t see anyone being able to beat them, period ... I hope I don’t put a jinx on them. I’d like to see Kevin (Durant) in particular win more championships."