Kings

Kings takeaways: What we learned in 123-114 loss to 76ers to end trip

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AP

Kings takeaways: What we learned in 123-114 loss to 76ers to end trip

BOX SCORE

The slide continues. Needing a win Friday to finish the four-game road trip on a high note, the Kings ran out of gas late, and the star-studded Philadelphia 76ers showed no mercy. 

All five Sixers starters scored 18 or more points, as Philly edged Sacramento 123-114 for win No. 44 of the season.

Here are three takeaways as the Kings fell dropped two games under .500 mark at 33-35.

The Trip

After Friday's loss, the Kings finished their four-game road trip with just a single victory. They looked exhausted for stretches against the 76ers, which is to be expected on the second night of a back-to-back.

With 14 games remaining on the schedule, the Kings’ postseason chances took a major hit. They have a string of winnable games ahead of them, but major damage was done. Sacramento was 5.5 back of the Los Angeles Clippers as of press time.

Sticky Bandits

Marvin Bagley and Harry Giles continue to grow as a tandem. The rookie duo still needs time to grow into their bodies, which will help on the defensive end, but they both are a big part of the Kings’ future.

In his second game back from injury, Bagley scored 15 points on 5-for-9 shooting and added four rebounds. Coach Dave Joerger asked him to defend All-Star Ben Simmons for stretches. and he did a nice job staying with the young star.

Giles struggled to slow Joel Embiid and Boban Marjanovic, a 7-foot-3 giant, but that didn’t stop him from making an impact on the other end of the floor. In 18 minutes of action, the 20-year-old center scored 12 points on 6-for-9 shooting. Giles also chipped in four rebounds and four assists. 

They have plenty to learn, but the talent is there for the two 20-year-olds. 

[RELATED: Kings keep falling in latest NBA power rankings]

Reserves

Playing on the second night of a back-to-back, the Kings needed their second unit to come up big. Bagley and Giles were a big part of the success, but Yogi Ferrell, Corey Brewer and Bogdan Bogdanovic also stepped up.

Ferrell pushed the tempo and played feisty defense. He finished with seven points and two assists.

Brewer was all over the court, flying in for double-teams on Embiid and wreaking havoc. He chipped in eight points on 3-of-5 shooting.

Bogdanovic struggled with his shot, finishing with nine points on 4-of-14 shooting. But, he still ran a plus-11 on the night. 

Sacramento’s second unit outscored the Sixers bench 51-24, and kept the Kings in the game.

Breaking down Kings' roster heading into 2019-2020 NBA season opener

Breaking down Kings' roster heading into 2019-2020 NBA season opener

PHOENIX -- The Sacramento Kings kick off the 2019-20 season on the road against the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday evening. After an unexpected 39-43 finish to last season, the Kings appear to be a team on the rise in a very talented Western Conference.

Head coach Luke Walton was brought in to give the team a fresh look. He’s revamped the entire coaching staff, but the plan still is for the Kings to push the tempo and run their opponents off the floor.

General manager Vlade Divac and his front office had a busy offseason. They’ve revamped the roster, the coaching staff and even locked up one of their young players with a massive new contract extension.

Pregame starts on NBC Sports California at 6:30 p.m. PST and the season tips off at 7.

Here is a look at the Kings' roster heading into the opener.

New Faces

Trevor Ariza, Cory Joseph, Dewayne Dedmon, Richaun Holmes, Justin James, Wenyen Garbriel, Kyle Guy (Two-Way), DaQuan Jeffries

Despite keeping the core together, the Kings have turned over a large percentage of their roster this season. They have six new roster players, including four who will play in the rotation on opening day. Dedmon will start at center, while Ariza, Joseph and Holmes make up 60 percent of the team’s second unit.

James is likely to spend plenty of time with the Stockton Kings and Gabriel was a late add to the roster after spending last season as one of the team’s two-way players.

The Starters

PG: De’Aaron Fox
SG: Buddy Hield
SF: Harrison Barnes
PF: Marvin Bagley
C: Dewayne Dedmon

Fox took a tremendous leap in production in his second NBA season and there is hope around Sacramento that he’s ready to take another big step forward in Year 3. He’ll start alongside Hield, who just signed a new four-year, $86 million extension on Monday.

Barnes is back on a new four-year, $85 million deal and will play both forward positions this season. After spending last year coming off the bench as a rookie, Bagley joins the starters this year. The talented 20-year-old is bigger, stronger and has expanded his game during the offseason.

Dedmon spent last season in the Atlanta Hawks’ uptempo offense. He replaces Willie Cauley-Stein, who signed with the Warriors over the offseason. The veteran center can protect the rim and he shot 38.2 percent from long range last season, which should help space the floor.

The Second Unit

PG: Cory Joseph
SG: Bogdan Bogdanovic
SF: Trevor Ariza
PF: Nemanja Bjelica
C: Richaun Holmes

This is one of the stronger second units in the NBA. Joseph is one of the best defensive point guards in the NBA. He’ll pair with Bogdanovic in the backcourt, who is coming off a tremendous breakout performance at the FIBA World Cup and is healthy coming into the season for the first time in his three years in the league.

Vlade Divac added veteran depth at small forward with Ariza. The 34-year-old is long, active and has been known as a solid 3-and-D wing throughout his 15-year career. He’ll pair with Bjelica at the forward position, which gives the team plenty of floor spacing.

With Harry Giles missing parts of the summer and most of training camp, Holmes will get the first look at the back-up center spot. He’s an efficient offensive player and a physical, high-motor rim protector on the defensive end.

The Rest

Yogi Ferrell, Wenyen Gabriel, Justin James, Kyle Guy, DaQuan Jeffries

Ferrell went from the forgotten man to a major scoring option off the bench for Sacramento during the preseason. He’s lightning in a bottle if the Kings need a quick pick me up.

[RELATED: Buddy, Kings happy to end contract drama before season]

Gabriel is a long, super athlete that earned his way onto the roster with his offseason workouts and strong play in camp. He’s organizational depth at both forward positions at this point, but the Kings are grooming him for the future.

Divac selected James and Guy in the second round of the 2019 NBA Draft, and both are expected to spend plenty of time in Stockton with the team’s G League team. Same goes for Jeffries, who was claimed off waivers on Monday and signed to a two-way deal.

How Kings' up-tempo style could elevate De'Aaron Fox to All-Star level

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USATSI

How Kings' up-tempo style could elevate De'Aaron Fox to All-Star level

The last NBA All-Star representing the Sacramento Kings was DeMarcus Cousins in 2016-17.

De’Aaron Fox has a chance to end the Kings’ All-Star drought this season, as the floor general had the fourth-most assists in the NBA last season and will lead an offense that constantly will be pushing the tempo under new head coach Luke Walton.

“[Fox’s] agent has said he wants to see him average 23, 24 points per game this season,” NBC Sports California's James Ham said Tuesday on NBC Sports' NBA Season Tip-Off Show. “If he can do that, average nine or 10 assists, he’s right there in the superstar conversation.”

The re-signing of Buddy Hield only can bode well for Fox’s chances of being named an All-Star, as Sacramento’s offense features a litany of 3-point shooters. Hield ranked second in the NBA in 3-point accuracy 2018-19, making 42.7 percent of his shots from long-range.

“They have a very good opportunity to make the playoffs this season,” Ham said of Sacramento.

[RELATED: Buddy, Kings happy to end contract drama before season]

While they may not be near the top of the incredibly-talented Western Conference, there is no doubt the Kings will be a fun team to watch this season, no matter how many games they end up winning.

You can see the full Kings segment from the “NBA Season Tipoff” show in the clip above.