The NBA preseason is supposed to be ugly. It's a series of exhibitions focused on getting some rudimentary playsets installed, as well as an extended look at a few young players.
That is exactly what the Kings' game against Portland Trail Blazers looked like Sunday night at the Moda Center. There were a few bright moments and a rough outline of what each team might look like when the season starts for real later this month, but the overall quality was less than stellar.
Sacramento continued to push the tempo and hoist 3-point shots at will. It wasn’t pretty, but the Kings showed some resilience and came away with a 121-106 win.
Here are three takeaways as the Kings evened their preseason record at 1-1.
A trend is forming. For the second straight game, the Kings let it fly from long distance. After attempting 50 triples in the preseason opener, Sacramento shot 14-for-49 from 3-point range in Sunday's win.
The efficiency isn’t there yet, but it’s clear that every player that steps on the court, including center Richaun Holmes, has a bright green light to shoot at will from beyond the arc.
All 13 Kings players who made an appearance Sunday attempted a 3-pointer, with 10 players hitting at least one.
While the 3-pointers are the talk of the preseason so far, the Kings also managed to get to the free-throw line 40 times, where they knocked down 31 freebies.
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The Kings have lofty goals of running and gunning all game long. That means that they should pile up the assists, like they did against the Blazers on Sunday.
Led by the starting backcourt of Buddy Hield and De’Aaron Fox, as well as rookie Tyrese Haliburton, the Kings pushed the pace and found the open man. Seven different players chipped in an assist as Sacramento scored at will.
The Kings finished with a 27-to-12 assist-to-turnover ratio, which is stunning considering that it is the second preseason game and the team was flying up and down the court.
Kyle Guy is kind of a forgotten man in Sacramento. The former Virginia star turned two-way player went scoreless in the Kings’ preseason opener on Friday night, but he made an impact on Sunday.
Never one to shy away from the big shot, Guy came out firing against the Blazers. He shot 3-of-7 from long range on his way to 14 points, five rebounds and three assists in 23 minutes of action.
With the coronavirus pandemic hanging over the head of the NBA, two-way players are going to be valuable this season. Sacramento doesn’t have a true third point guard and Guy’s ability to play both on the ball and off it might come in handy.