Washington Wizards

Gameday: Kings looking for redemption after rough night in New York

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Gameday: Kings looking for redemption after rough night in New York

The Sacramento Kings hit Washington Monday evening looking to wash the sour taste of the Big Apple out of their mouths. Waiting for them are the high-powered Wizards who come in riding a two-game win streak.

Sacramento watched star big man Kristaps Porzingis catch fire in New York on Saturday night. The Latvian-born center posted 34 points in just 27 minutes of action while sitting out the entire fouth quarter of the Knicks blowout win.

Skal Labissiere scored 19 points for Sacramento against New York, but most of those came long after the game was decided. They’ll need a stronger effort from all 13 active players on the roster if they hope to slow John Wall, Bradley Beal and Otto Porter.

BETTING LINE

Wizards by 11.5

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Garrett Temple vs. Bradley Beal -- Beal is one of the better pure shooters in the league and he’ll square off against a familiar face. Temple spent four seasons in Washington before joining the KIngs last summer. It’s an offensive juggernaut versus a 3-and-D wing.

WHERE THEY STAND

Kings: 3-9, fifth place in Pacific

Wizards: 7-5, second place in Southeast

INJURY REPORT

Kings: F Vince Carter (kidney stones) out, PF Harry Giles (bilateral knee rehab) out.

Wizards: G Sheldon Mac (leg) out.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

HOW LONG WILL DAVE JOERGER STICK WITH GEORGE HILL -- Sacramento paid big money for Hill in the offseason and the veteran point guard is off to an extremely slow start. De’Aaron Fox is showing improvement on a nightly basis and he’s outplayed Hill on most nights. At some point, Hill is either going to have to step up or step aside.

NO OFFENSE -- The Kings are struggling to find consistent performances from almost everyone on the roster so far this season. Their leading scorer averages just 12.8 points per game and he’s 36-year-old. Only three players average in double-figures for Sacramento and their 94.8 points per game ranks 29 in the league.

PUSH THE TEMPO -- Despite a roster full of young guys, the Sacramento Kings are 28th in the league in pace at 96.1. They need to get out and stretch their legs a bit, even if that means Zach Randolph gets a piggyback ride up and down the court from Bogdan Bogdanovic.

SERIES HISTORY

Washington swept the season series between the two teams last year and hammered Sacramento 110-83 at Golden 1 Center in late October. The Kings still hold a 104-91 advantage all-time over the Wizards, but Washington leads the series 32-31 during the Sacramento-era.

Kings probably won't try that lineup experiment again anytime soon

Kings probably won't try that lineup experiment again anytime soon

SACRAMENTO -- They don’t call it a process for nothing. The Sacramento Kings attempted to skip a few steps in the evolution of a young team Sunday night against the Washington Wizards. It didn’t go well.

The decision was made to sit veterans George Hill and Zach Randolph, allowing the duo to rest just six games into an 82-game schedule. The idea was to allow the club’s young players to experience something different. The test went poorly and probably won’t be repeated anytime soon.

“I disagree with the mindset that you go out and do this every night and that’s how you learn to play in the league,” coach Dave Joerger said. “I think competing and competing for minutes and earning and deserving them, which is what we’ve been trying to do, is the best way to learn how to win.”

But with Hill and Randolph both off to slow starts and so many young players needing an opportunity, the Kings went young.

Rookies De’Aaron Fox and Bogdan Bogdanovic made their first career starts. Buddy Hield and Skal Labissiere have a combined 78 starts under their belt and Willie Cauley-Stein was the seasoned vet with just two full seasons of NBA experience.

The Wizards came in prepared. They jumped all over the young Kings, rattling off 13 straight points before Sacramento could find the bottom of the net in their own gym. They led by 19 at the end of the first quarter and 31 before the half, ending the game before Sacramento could get an ounce of momentum behind them.

“Obviously, we started bad again,” Bogdanovic said following the game. “We’ve got to work on it - better start, better opening to the game. It’s tough when you play against these teams. They are consecutive playoff teams and they play high IQ basketball.”

Washington knows where the Kings are at. It wasn’t that long ago that John Wall and Bradley Beal were a young core struggling to build something. They won 29 games in their first season together during 2012-13 season, which helped yield Otto Porter with the third overall selection in the 2013 NBA Draft.

The Wizards have built around these three players for the last four seasons, adding pieces when necessary, but with the idea that this is their core. They went 49-33 last season, good enough for fourth place in the Eastern Conference. It’s a model that gives the Kings another possible blueprint to follow.

“We’re still young,” Skal Labissiere said following the Kings 110-83 to the Wizards. “The Wizards basically started like us if you look at it and look at where they are now. It’s just going to take time.”

Joerger took a cautious approach to player development last season and through the first few weeks of the season, it appeared that would be the plan again. But the Kings are off to a slow start and the young players have outshined the veterans. They took a gamble on Sunday and it didn’t pan out.

“You can see the talent here,” Bogdanovic said. “We have many talented guys here. It’s about time and experience.”

Sacramento is in search of a core. Fox and Bogdanovic are showing signs that they are building blocks. Hield, Labissiere and Cauley-Stein have thrown their names in the hat as well. Justin Jackson, Frank Mason, Malachi Richardson and Georgios Papagiannis need developing and Harry Giles hasn’t even stepped on the floor. So many young bodies, so few minutes to go around.

There are going to be plenty of nights like Sunday, especially if the Kings try to run before learning how to crawl. Patience is more than a tagline as the Kings start at the beginning.

NBA hands down two suspensions, three fines for Beal-Draymond altercation

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NBA hands down two suspensions, three fines for Beal-Draymond altercation

NEW YORK, Oct. 29, 2017 – Washington Wizards guard Carrick Felix and forward Markieff Morris have each been suspended one game without pay for leaving the bench area during an altercation, it was announced Sunday by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

The incident, which Wizards guard Bradley Beal initiated against Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green by grabbing him around the neck, occurred with 19.5 seconds remaining in the second quarter of the Warriors' 120-117 win over the Wizards on Friday, Oct. 27 at Oracle Arena.

Beal was ejected for initiating the incident and has been fined $50,000.  Green, who continued the incident by confronting Beal and failing to disengage from him, was ejected for fighting, and has been fined $25,000.

In addition, Wizards forward Kelly Oubre Jr. has been fined $15,000 for aggressively entering the altercation.

Felix and Morris will serve their suspensions in the next regular season games for which they are eligible and physically able to play.

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