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Kings takeaways: What we learned in 124-110 win vs. Melbourne United

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Kings takeaways: What we learned in 124-110 win vs. Melbourne United

SACRAMENTO -- Taking care of business. 
 
The Kings toyed with Melbourne United early Wednesday night, but they pulled away in the third quarter and coasted for a comfortable 124-110 victory over the NBL team.
 
Despite missing quite a few regulars, four of the Kings’ five starters scored in double figures, including big nights from Marvin Bagley and Yogi Ferrell. 
 
Chris Goulding led Melbourne with 25 points on 7-of-10 shooting from long range. Melo Triple chipped in 20 points and six assists, and big man Shawn Long posted a 15-point, 15-rebound double-double in the loss.
 
Here are three takeaways as the Kings finished off the preseason with a 3-2 record.

Marvelous Marvin

With plenty of his teammates taking the evening off, Bagley had a bright green light to let it fly. The second-year big man didn’t disappoint.
 
In 27 minutes of action, the Kings’ starting power forward finished with 31 points on 12-for-17 shooting. He also hit the glass for 14 rebounds and picked up three steals and a block.
 
This wasn’t exactly NBA competition, but Bagley came out strong and took advantage. Bagley finished off the preseason with three straight double-doubles. 

Going Deeeeeeep 

The Kings’ injury list looked longer than a weekend Costco receipt. De’Aaron Fox? Out. Cory Joseph and Trevor Ariza? Out and out. Harry Giles, Tyler Ulis, Tyler Lydon and Hollis Thompson? Out, out, out and out.
 
Coach Luke Walton even made a game-time decision to rest both Dewayne Dedmon and Bogdan Bogdanovic, leaving him with just 10 able bodies.
 
Kyle Guy, Justin James, Wenyen Gabriel and Caleb Swanigan all played major minutes off the bench for Sacramento, especially in the second half when the Kings pulled away. 

[RELATED: Hield, Kings reportedly $20M apart in contract talks]

The Forgotten Man

When Sacramento added Joseph in free agency to back up Fox, it looked like bad news for Ferrell. With Joseph sidelined, Ferrell has made his minutes count throughout the preseason and did so again Wednesday.
 
Starting for Fox, Ferrell scored 24 points on 7-for-11 shooting from the field and 5-of-6 from 3-point range. He added six assists and two steals in 38 minutes.
 
In five preseason games, Ferrell averaged 12.6 points per game for Sacramento, and he scored in double figures in each of the last four games. He has shown the ability to score in bunches when called upon, and that might come in handy this season for the Kings.

How Spurs, Suns can help Kings' lottery chances with bubble victories

How Spurs, Suns can help Kings' lottery chances with bubble victories

While the Kings are already bounced from NBA playoff contention, there is a glimmer of hope that through the play-in game, they could find their way moving up in the NBA’s draft lottery.

By rule, the 16 teams that make the postseason will comprise the final 16 picks in the first round of the draft. The 14 lottery teams, which include eight clubs that didn’t make the bubble restart, and the six teams that made the bubble, but did not make the playoffs, will then vie for one of the four top spots in the lottery.

According to this season’s restart rules, the records for the 14 non-playoff teams that comprise the lottery, revert back to the team’s records on March 11.

If the Grizzlies or Trail Blazers find their way into the postseason as the No. 8 seed, it doesn’t impact the Kings. There is a reasonable likelihood that this scenario plays out and all of this is for not.

At the start of play on Wednesday, the Blazers hold a half game lead over the Grizzlies, Spurs and Suns. They finish off their eight game schedule against the Brooklyn Nets, who have somehow strung together a 5-2 record, despite leaving all of their stars back in New York.

If Portland wins, they’ll earn a spot in the play-in game as the No. 8 seed and they will need just one win out of two potential games to advance to the playoffs. This would be bad for Sacramento.

If Portland loses on Thursday, things get very interesting. A Blazers loss, and wins by two of the three teams chasing them, means that they are eliminated from the playoffs. If only one of the teams chasing the Blazers win, then Portland would earn the No. 9 spot in the play-in game and have to beat the No. 8 twice.

If Memphis wins their finale on Thursday against the Bucks, they make the play-in as either the No. 8 or No. 9 seed, depending on the outcome of the Blazers game. If the Grizzlies, Suns and Spurs all lose their respective games, Memphis would also make the play-in game as the No. 9 seed.

The road to the playoffs for the Suns and Spurs is complicated, but for Phoenix to make it, they need to win and a loss by either Portland or Memphis. If both Portland and Memphis lose and Phoenix wins, the Suns are the No. 8 seed heading to the play-in. If one of Portland or Memphis loses and Phoenix wins, then the Suns are the No. 9 seed and need to win back-to-back games in the play-in.

In order for the Spurs to extend their incredible 22-season playoff streak, they need a lot of help. They finish with the Utah Jazz and need to win to have any shot. If they win and the Blazers, Grizzlies and Suns all lose, then the Spurs are the No. 8 seed in the play-in game. If the Spurs win and two of the three teams in running lose, then the Spurs make it as the No. 9 seed for the play-in game.

Why does all of this matter for the Kings?

Because if either the Spurs or the Suns, not only make it to the play-in game, but also win and represent the Western Conference in the playoffs as the eighth seed, they will become the 16th team outside of the lottery.

Sacramento currently sits in a two-way tie with the Pelicans for 12th and 13th place in the lottery. It doesn’t matter that the Kings beat New Orleans 2-1 in the season series, they will have a coin flip before the draft lottery to determine who is No. 12 and who is No. 13.

[PURPLE TALK PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

If the Spurs or Suns move from their current position of No. 10 and No. 11 in the lottery, the Kings and Pelicans would move up a spot.

One spot isn’t earth shattering, but it could make a difference on draft night. It also improves the team's chances of moving into the top four of the draft from 6.1 percent to 9.4 percent.

A perfect scenario for Sacramento would be that the Suns and Spurs win and the Grizzlies and Blazers lose. This would guarantee that the Kings would move up one spot in the lottery.

The Kings have been lucky in the lottery in two of the last three drafts. They moved from No. 8 to No. 3 and then slid to No. 5 as part of a pick swap in the 2017 NBA Draft. That move earned them the chance to select De’Aaron Fox.

[RELATED: Kings takeaways: What you might have missed in 112-106 win vs. Pelicans]

In 2018, the Kings moved up from No. 7 to No. 2 where they selected Marvin Bagley.

Sacramento finishes off their restart schedule on Thursday morning with a 10:30 game against the Lakers. They’ll board a plane back to Sacramento directly following the game and will likely land in time to see how all of the games played out and where they stand heading into the lottery on Aug. 20.

Kings takeaways: What you might have missed in 112-106 win vs. Pelicans

Kings takeaways: What you might have missed in 112-106 win vs. Pelicans

BOX SCORE

A win is a win.

After an early collapse in the bubble cost them any chance at an NBA playoff spot, the Sacramento Kings picked up their second win of the Orlando bubble Tuesday evening in a meaningless game.

Sacramento outlasted a short-handed New Orleans Pelicans team and a big performance from Jahlil Okafor to come away with a 112-106 victory.

Here are three takeaways as the Kings found a way to pick up a win and improved to 2-5 in the Orlando bubble.

Barnes looks better

The Kings waiting anxiously for Harrison Barnes to clear coronavirus protocol and join them in the Orlando bubble. He reported for duty right before Sacramento’s last scrimmage game, but he really hasn’t looked like himself throughout the tournament.

That changed on Tuesday night when Barnes went for a team-high 25 points on 9-for-19 shooting. He added eight rebounds and two assists in the win.

Barnes isn’t a star, but he’s an incredibly valuable piece to the Kings’ rotation. It’s good to see him getting his timing back, unfortunately it came way too late.

[PURPLE TALK PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

The Audition

Harry Giles’ time with the Sacramento Kings might be coming to an end and if it is, he’s going to go out with a bang.

The second-year big man is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and he’s auditioning for all 30 NBA teams. With the Kings short-handed, Giles got an extended look and had a nice little ball game for coach Luke Walton’s squad.

In 24 minutes of action, Giles finished with 12 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and two blocks.

[RELATED: NBA Mock Draft 13.0]

Leaving it all out on the court

Bogdan Bogdanovic had a disaster of a game in the Kings’ overtime loss to the Dallas Mavericks. If you take that game away, he’s had a great offensive showing in the bubble. 

The third-year Kings guard, who enters this summer as a restricted free agent for Sacramento, came into the contest averaging 19 points per game on 43.8 percent shooting from 3-point range, and those numbers include his 1-for-15 showing against the Mavs.

Bogi had another solid game for the Kings against New Orleans, scoring 16 points on 7-for-10 shooting to go with six rebounds, seven assists and two steals. The Kings are going to have to pay up, but there is a very good chance they lock up the Serbian shooting guard long term this offseason.