Kings

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Kings

SACRAMENTO -- Saturday night George Hill wasn’t a happy camper and let the twittersphere know it with 26 angry face emojis. After a few days to contemplate his social media outcry, the veteran point guard gave reporters a more complete look into his state of mind following practice on Monday.

“As a competitor, you get kind of upset at yourself with the way I was playing, losing the game like that when I thought we should have won,” Hill said. “Just a little frustration, but you got somethings like that and somethings going on in my everyday life that I was really affected by.”

The starting five has struggled all season long, often digging deep holes. Hill has started all 21 games he’s played in this season, either at the point or shooting guard position. While he isn’t the only problem with the starting unit, his numbers are drastically down across the board. In Milwaukee, he managed just six points and a single assist in 18 minutes.

“The way we started that game, down 14-0, that didn’t sit well with me,” Hill continued. “I’m one of the leaders here, so that affected me that I felt like I let my teammates down.”

Against the Bucks, the starting five went scoreless into the second quarter. For the second time this season, the reserves posted 29 points before the starters could get on the board. Willie Cauley-Stein snapped the streak at the 7:48 mark of the second period with a free throw to cut the Bucks lead to 42-30.

 

“I’ve got to do better as an individual, but the first unit has got to do a little bit better of getting off to better starts to help our second unit,” Hill said.

Sacramento came into the season with 10 new faces on the roster, including two-way players Jack Cooley and JaKarr Sampson. They boast 10 players with three years of experience or less and of their five veterans, three are in their first year with the Kings.

“It’s still new for us, trying to find that chemistry,” Hill said. “It’s something new with all new guys in that starting five, that none of us really played together until the first game of the season. Just trying to find that familiarity with each other and try to figure out what works best for us.”

Hill stood in and fielded questions for nearly eight minutes, which is a rarity for the veteran guard. Clearly he didn’t intend for things to get so out of hand, but that is the world of social media.

Like most of the coaches and players, Hill asked for patience. What the Kings are trying to do is not normal by NBA standards. They are showing signs of growth, but for a veteran that is used to playing in the playoffs every season, losing is a tough pill to swallow.

“We’re learning one another,” Hill said. “We knew it was going to be a long process. We knew it was going to be something that was going to take time. We knew that we weren’t going to come in here and hit the ground running. We have a lot of guys that maybe only played one year in college, that (are) still babies right now, still trying to learn everyday life of the NBA. We’re just trying to figure it out. I knew that coming in. I knew it was going to take time.”

The Kings flew home Saturday night, but they’ll hop a plane for Cleveland on Tuesday to prepare for a matchup with the red hot Cavaliers on Wednesday evening. It’s a another chance for the Hill and the starters to mesh together and get off to a better start.