Celtics

30 teams in 30 days: Fox leads new cast of characters in Sacramento

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30 teams in 30 days: Fox leads new cast of characters in Sacramento

It’s a new season with a lot of new characters on a Sacramento Kings roster that looks radically different than the one we saw at the end of last season.

Even with all that change, that won’t stop what should be another season filled with lots of bumps, beatings and bad play along the 82-game marathon of a season. 

Still, Kings fans have reason to believe that the franchise is taking some steps in the right direction. 

Having the fifth overall pick in last June’s draft, Sacramento landed the best player at that position who also fills a need in De’Aaron Fox. 

The 6-foot-3 point guard out of Kentucky enters the NBA as one of its fastest players from one end of the court to the other, reminding many of a young John Wall who like Fox, also attended Kentucky. 

And he has shown a knack for showing up in the marquee matchups, like Kentucky’s Sweet 16 matchup in March against UCLA which at the time was being led by Lonzo Ball. 

Fox had a career-best 39 points in Kentucky’s 86-75 win, in addition to getting the job done defensively as the main defender on Ball most of the game which significantly contributed to Ball tallying just 10 points on 4-for-10 shooting.

When asked after the game what motivated him to come out and have a performance like that, he told Sports Illustrated, “to shut LaVar (Ball) up!”

LaVar Ball is Lonzo’s Ball very outspoken father who tends to garner as much attention – if not more – than his son.

"In the last year, he became relevant for some reason," Fox said of LaVar. "When I knew Lonzo in high school, I'd never seen his dad before. He went crazy this year. I guess when your son’s a lottery pick, that gives you a lot of confidence."

Fox has an abundant amount of confidence now, but you have to wonder how will he handle what will surely be more losses this upcoming season than he’s probably lost in total since playing organized basketball. 

Helping the transition will surely be part of the job of veterans like Vince Carter and Zach Randolph who come from a Memphis franchise that had its share of rough times only to become one of the more consistent teams in the West the past few years under Dave Joerger who is now head coach of the Kings.

Sacramento should also benefit from the signing of George Hill who was instrumental last season in Utah snapping a four-year postseason drought this past season as the Jazz advanced to the second round before being eliminated by eventual NBA champion Golden State. 

There are plenty of changes in the now and on the horizon for the Kings.

As for wins?

Only time will tell if that’ll be part of this new-look Sacramento team. 

Key free agent/draft/trade additions:  George Hill (Utah); Zach Randolph (Memphis); Vince Carter (Memphis).

Key losses:  Rudy Gay (San Antonio); Arron Afflalo (Orlando); Tyreke Evans (Memphis); Ben McLemore (Memphis); Ty Lawson (Shandong, Chinese Basketball Association); Langston Galloway (Detroit); Anthony Tolliver (Detroit).

Rookies of note: De’Aaron Fox; Harry Giles III; Bogdan Bogdanovic; Justin Jackson; Frank Mason III.

Expectations: 31-51 (4th in the Pacific Division, 13th in the West)

With injuries to both ankles, Smart unlikely to play tonight

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With injuries to both ankles, Smart unlikely to play tonight

PHILADELPHIA – Things have only gotten worse for the Celtics on the injury front.
 
Marcus Smart, who replaced an injured Gordon Hayward (left ankle) in the Celtics’ starting lineup, is now unlikely to suit up for tonight’s game against Philadelphia.

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Smart, whose left ankle was heavily wrapped prior to Boston’s shoot-around this morning, said he rolled both ankles in the 108-100 loss to Milwaukee on Wednesday.
 
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said he had not made a decision on who would replace Smart in the Celtics’ starting lineup tonight.
 
“We’ll do some work all day and pre-game and make a final determination,” Stevens said.
 
More to come …