Kings

Kings season in review: Harry Giles makes impact after slow start as rookie

Kings season in review: Harry Giles makes impact after slow start as rookie

Talent and charisma ooze out of rookie Harry Giles. After sitting out all but 300 minutes over the previous three years, the 21-year-old big finally made his debut this season for the Sacramento Kings.

The early reviews weren’t great. Giles struggled to settle in during the first few months of the season and it was hard for coach Dave Joerger and his staff to keep him on the floor. He picked up fouls at an alarming rate, turned the ball over and forced shots on the offensive end.

After two trips to the G League, Giles finally found his sea legs and showed flashes of what makes him such an intriguing prospect.

The up and down season make a deep dive into the statistic difficult, but there is still plenty to glean from Giles’ 58-game rookie campaign.

Offense

Stats: 7.0 points, 1.5 assists, 3.8 rebounds, .5 steals, 50.3% FG, 14.1 min

Is it too kind to just throw away the first three months of the season when considering Giles’ initial season in the league? It’s really the only option we have when breaking down an 820-minute sample size.

Once Joerger turned to Giles off the bench for consistent playing time, he found a capable passer and offensive cog. Giles posted the fourth-highest usage rate on the team, behind De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield and Marvin Bagley. Of the regulars, only Fox, Yogi Ferrell and Bogdan Bogdanovic posted a higher assist rate than the rookie big.

In the 14 games Giles suited up for following the All-Star break, he posted 9.6 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 18.1 minutes per game. He averaged a plus 7.7 points per game in the plus/minus category over that stretch.

Giles has an assortment of offensive moves. He hit 39.3 percent on jumpers from 10-16 feet. When his jumper started falling and the defense moved closer, he was able to show flashes off the dribble. And when the Kings needed a scorer in the block, the former high school star stepped forward, hitting 68.6 percent at the rim.

When Marvin Bagley missed time due to injury, Giles took over for stretches during games. He has the potential to become a solid two-way player and a his above average passing skills for a big man open up plenty of new play options in the Kings’ offensive scheme.

Defense

Tough and physical, Giles has the potential to develop into an elite defender. He brings an attitude to the floor, which on occasion gets him in trouble, but it’s easier to adjust a flame than it is to light one.

There were times where Giles was pushed around in the block by bigger players, but he has a frame that can take plenty of additional muscle. There were also games where Giles lacked explosiveness, but again, he barely stepped on a court for three years.

Like fellow rookie Bagley, Giles struggled with schemes, but he made adjustments as he became familiar with the NBA game. He allowed a plus 0.2 percent field goal against overall, but a negative 0.4 inside of six feet, a negative 0.6 inside of 10 feet and a negative 0.6 greater than 15 feet.

As the season pushed on, Giles improved dramatically. He stopped picking up cheap fouls and he improved as a team defender. He even posted a solid plus 0.2 percent against on 3-point shooters and showed an ability to stay in front of multiple types of player.

Per 36 minutes, Giles averaged 1.4 steals and 1.0 blocks per game. He needs to improve on the defensive glass, but as he becomes stronger and more comfortable at the NBA level, there is potential for massive improvement.

A focal leader on the floor, Giles has the potential to develop into a defensive anchor for Sacramento.

Overall

A late season thigh bruise cost Giles time late in the season, but all things considered, it was an impressive start by the former Duke Blue Devil.

Whether the Kings believe he is a long-term starter or a rotational player off Luke Walton’s bench is still unknown. The team’s approach to free agency will likely tell a lot about Giles’ future in Sacramento.

[RELATED: Giles thrilled he survived rookie season without setbacks]

It’s clear Giles needs to get stronger if he is going to play the bulk of his minutes at the five. He has good size and great awareness, but he missed a ton of development time as a young player and patience is needed.

Off the court, the 6-foot-10 big already has plenty of fans within the walls of Golden 1 Center. He brings a charisma and confidence that you don’t often find in a player this age. If he can stay healthy, Giles looks like a long-term contributor in Sacramento.

De'Aaron Fox calls out Laura Ingraham's 'shut up and dribble' hypocrisy

deaaronfox2usatsi.jpg
USATSI

De'Aaron Fox calls out Laura Ingraham's 'shut up and dribble' hypocrisy

Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox, as he has done with more frequency as of late, turned to social media Thursday to voice his opinion about racial injustice in America.

The Kings’ young star retweeted a video from Complex Sports, which strings together two separate segments from Laura Ingraham's show on Fox News.

The first segment is a clip from 2018, when Ingraham told NBA superstars LeBron James and Kevin Durant to “shut up and dribble,” admonishing them for criticizing President Donald Trump.

In the second segment, she defends Saints quarterback Drew Brees for his comments made Wednesday to Yahoo Finance.

Fox clearly didn’t like the double standard.

“Is anybody surprised??? Black basketball players “shut up and dribble”

White football player who agrees with her “he’s allowed to have his view” & “this is beyond football” and it’s so natural to them,” Fox commented.

James also responded to Ingraham.

Brees has been scrutinized over the last two days for his comments regarding kneeling during the national anthem. 

“I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country,” Brees said during the interview.

Brees’ statements have caused an outpouring of responses, including an emotional video posted by his teammate, Malcolm Jenkins.

[RELATED: Poole: Brees reveals that he's part of problem, not solution]

Like many people, Fox has become more active over the last week on social media regarding racial injustice as protests rage worldwide after George Floyd's tragic death while in Minneapolis police custody. He’s finding his voice in a critical time in history.

Kings in NBA playoff picture, but tough schedule lies ahead in restart

Kings in NBA playoff picture, but tough schedule lies ahead in restart

The format is set. The NBA is returning. How will all of this play out for the Sacramento Kings?

What we now know is that every team invited to Orlando will play an eight-game schedule that according to reports, is based directly off their remaining schedule prior to the league's coronavirus suspension.

If the NBA decides to restart from where the season left off, the Kings' schedule is manageable. Keep in mind that every team invited to the tournament is either a playoff team or one on the fringe.

Sacramento will miss out on contests against the Hawks, Cavs (two times), T-Wolves and Warriors. They also won’t have to face the Clippers, Nuggets and Lakers twice.

Here is a quick look at the games on the docket for the Kings, if the league follows the pre-existing remaining schedule:

New Orleans Pelicans

The Kings were amped up to play the Pelicans on March 11. So much so that they remained on the court while New Orleans sat in their locker room at Golden 1 Center. They’ll get their shot at Zion Williamson and Co. right off the bat, which might determine the fate of both of these teams.

Season series: 0-1

Brooklyn Nets

Brooklyn is an interesting team. They play extremely hard every night and they have plenty of star talent, but Kevin Durant isn’t coming back from his Achilles injury to play in a shortened season and it’s unlikely that Kyrie Irving (shoulder) returns either. Spencer Dinwiddie has played well in Irving’s absence, but this is a must-win for the Kings if they hope to make it to the play-in game.

Season series: 0-1

[RELATED: NBA return: Five things to watch as Kings get invite to Orlando restart]

Dallas Mavericks

The ghost of draft picks past. Sacramento will draw Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks as their third game of the restart. Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis were finding a rhythm when the shutdown hit, although Dallas was just 4-4 over their previous eight games.

Season series: 1-2

Houston Rockets

On Dec. 8 the Kings walked into Dallas and stunned the Mavericks. The next night, they did the same thing to the Houston Rockets. Sacramento could use a repeat of that two-game stretch. The Rockets are the best team the Kings face in their eight-game schedule. Plan on a hundred combined 3-point shots between the two clubs.

Season series: 1-1

Orlando Magic

Does home court advantage matter when there are no fans? We’ll find out as the Magic hosts all 22 teams. This is a tough team to figure out. They have talent and length, but at 30-35, they have the worst record of any team the Kings will face. Jonathan Isaac was ruled out for the rest of the season before the shutdown, but there is a shot he returns with the extra time added on.

Season series: 0-1

Pelicans

Zion. Lonzo Ball. Brandon Ingram. Jrue Holiday. Tiebreakers at stake. Both of the games against New Orleans are paramount to the Kings’ chances. The Pelicans will get JJ Redick back from his hamstring injury, which adds to the difficulty.

Season series: 0-1

Indiana Pacers

The last time the Kings played Indy, De’Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley just were coming off of injuries and the Pacers took advantage. Indy is tough and Victor Olidipo getting an additional four months to completely recover from injury makes them even more difficult. Domantas Sabonis, Malcolm Brogdon and T.J. Warren all give the Kings fits, which makes this one of the more difficult games on the schedule.

Season series: 0-1

San Antonio Spurs

If the Kings and Spurs still are in the hunt at this point in the schedule, there is a chance that this game could pit a team with a 13-year playoff drought against a franchise trying to preserve a streak of 22 straight seasons in the postseason. A lot has to happen for this game to have meaning, but you never know which teams come to Orlando ready to compete and which teams wilt under the pressure.

Season series: 1-1

Sacramento is just 3-9 against this group, but that means very little when you factor in a four-month layoff. This race to the finish likely will be decided by who walks into the gym focused and ready to play from game one.

If the Kings have a shot, they need somehow to overtake the Pelicans and Portland Trail Blazers in the standings, while remaining within 3.5 games of the Grizzlies and ahead of both the Spurs and the Suns.

It’s complicated and there still is a chance the NBA adjusts the Kings’ schedule slightly, but the Kings are in the running.