Bobby Jackson picked up his first win as a head coach Monday night in Las Vegas as his Summer League squad took down the Charlotte Hornets by a final of 80-70.
The Kings used a suffocating defense, led by rookie Davion Mitchell, to completely disrupt the Hornets’ offense.
Arnoldas Kulboka was impressive for the Hornets, but the Kings held Charlotte under 40 percent shooting from the field and helped force 25 turnovers.
Here are three takeaways from the Kings' tournament-opening win.
James Bouknight, meet Davion Mitchell. In a battle of two lottery picks from the 2021 NBA Draft, Mitchell put the clamps on the Hornets’ scoring guard.
From the opening tip, Mitchell picked up Charlotte's guards in the backcourt. He was a disruptive force, causing poor shots, turnovers and chaos on the court. This is exactly why the Kings selected him with the No. 9 overall pick.
On the offensive end, Mitchell continued to show improvement as both a scorer and a passer. He finished the night with 10 points on 5-of-10 shooting to go with nine assists and zero turnovers in 28 minutes. He plays with a speed and quickness that allows him to easily get to the rim, and his ability to change directions is elite.
Mitchell sat out the last of the third and early part of the fourth quarters with what looked like a low back issue. The Kings have yet to update his status, but he finished the game for the Kings.
From Portugal with Love
Portuegese giant Nemias Queta picked up his first start and had a few very nice moments. The 7-footer is starting to get his sea legs and he’s building chemistry with Mitchell.
Queta, who signed a two-way contract with the Kings on Sunday, set big screens, ran the floor and hit the glass hard. You could see his understanding of the two-man game and there is tons of potential for growth when he gets with the Kings’ training staff over the next few months.
In 22 minutes, Queta dropped in nine points, grabbed six rebounds and had a huge block late to help seal the win. He is starting to settle in and find his confidence, which is a good thing for the Kings’ Summer League chances.
Metu to the Rescue
After sitting out the California Classic, Kings big man Chimezie Metu made the trip to Las Vegas and not just to take in a Cirque du Soleil show.
The 24-year-old last season worked his way from a two-way contract all the way to the regular roster. He’s under contract for the 2021-22 season as well and he’s with the team to make yet another positive impression.
Metu got his offense going early and finished with 16 points and four rebounds. As a fourth-year player, this is what you expect, but it’s nice to see Metu take advantage of his opportunity.