It’s pretty simple. Play defense, win games.
Kings Summer League head coach Bobby Jackson has found the secret to success in Las Vegas. He has his band of NBA hopefuls playing a gritty, hard-nosed style and the opposing teams have very few answers.
On Friday evening at Cox Pavilion, the backcourt of Davion Mitchell and Jahmi’us Ramsey provided the scoring punch and big man Neemias Queta played goalie in the lane to help Sacramento come away with the 90-75 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies.
Sean McDermott and Ben Moore put up solid performances for the Grizzlies, but the Kings registered 14 steals and forced Memphis to just 42.1 percent shooting from the field.
Here are three takeaways as the Kings make it three straight wins in Las Vegas.
Mitchell is developing that trait that special players have. He can sense what his team needs and then fill the void.
His bread and butter is wreaking havoc on the defensive end, but there is a lot more to his game. With the Grizzlies gumming up the lane, the rookie guard started bombing away from the perimeter.
Mitchell scored 19 points on 4-for-6 shooting from 3-point range. He added four assists and three steals as the Kings continued their strong play in Vegas.
Second-rounder Queta posted solid outings in each of his first two Las Vegas Summer League games, but he had yet to show off the one attribute that made him a prospect at Utah State.
In Game 3, Queta finally looked relaxed and settled into his role of goalie. The 22-year-old big man blocked three shots in the opening quarter to put the Grizzlies on notice.
Queta finished the night with a modest eight points, three rebounds and three blocks in 26 minutes, but he ran a team-high +19 in the plus/minus category. He set huge screens and was impactful on both ends of the court.
In the coming months, Queta needs to work on his fitness level and hit the weight room hard, but there is a nice outline of an NBA player.
From lost to found
Ramsey looked completely lost during his short stint at the California Classic. There had to at least be some concern about the second-year guard and his potential to make the 2021-22 roster.
The 20-year-old has quietly found his game and he’s putting some of those concerns to rest. After posting 22 points in the opener and another 13 on Tuesday, Ramsey came out firing against the Grizzlies.
In 26 minutes of action, Ramsey scored 19 points. He shot 5-for-9 from the field, including three makes from long range. He even showed some defensive skills, blanketing his man and coming away with three steals.
Like Queta, Ramsey will spend plenty of time with coach Jackson with the Stockton Kings, but he’s some nice potential.