Kings

Lawson on hamstring injury: 'I feel like I'm cool'

Lawson on hamstring injury: 'I feel like I'm cool'

UPDATE (Thursday at 2:20pm) -- Ty Lawson's MRI revealed a mild strain of the left adductor muscle. He is listed as day-to-day going forward.

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SACRAMENTO -- The Kings can’t catch a break. Already massively short-handed, Sacramento lost point guard Ty Lawson to a left hamstring strain in the second quarter of the Kings matchup with Celtics Wednesday night.

When the media was allowed into the locker room following the Kings win over Boston, Lawson was still in his locker stall preparing to leave. He was in good spirits and even compared his injury to teammate Garrett Temple’s hamstring injury that will keep him out until after the All-Star break.

"Garrett got shot, I probably got hit with a B-B," Lawson said with a smile.

Lawson said that he felt a pinch in the hamstring, but was he was able to run to the Kings bench. When he stopped quickly, he felt the pinch again and went to the team’s training staff.

“It’s not bad, I seen Garrett go down, I can still walk,” Lawson said. “I ran back down the court after the first one, so I feel like I’m cool.”

According to coach Dave Joerger, a precautionary MRI is scheduled for Thursday to check the extent of the damage.

Lawson starter alongside Darren Collison for head coach Dave Joerger. He finished the night with six points and four assists in 13 minutes of action before bolting for the locker room.

The 29-year-old point joins a long list of injured Kings players. Starting small forward Rudy Gay is out for the season with a ruptured left Achilles tendon. Temple is done until after the All_Star break with a tear in his left hamstring and Omri Casspi has missed 13 straight with a right a plantaris tendon strain.

Lawson has played well in his first season in Sacramento. The eight-year NBA veteran is averaging 9.1 points and 4.5 assists in 24.8 minutes a game.

In Year 3, Kings have unleashed Buddy Hield into way more than a scorer

In Year 3, Kings have unleashed Buddy Hield into way more than a scorer

SACRAMENTO -- Where would the Kings be this season without Buddy Hield?

Like De’Aaron Fox and Willie Cauley-Stein, the third-year shooting guard has taken a huge leap in production. He’s proving that he is more than just a shooter, more than just a scorer.
 
Following practice Wednesday, the 24-year-old Bahamian spoke to media members with stitches in his right eyelid after catching an elbow in Monday’s win over the San Antonio Spurs. He made sure to share that the 12-inch wound likely would scar. 
 
“Nothing intentional happened in the game, but it’s something that’s going to heal,” Hield said.  
 
The Kings weren’t sure who and what Hield would be as an NBA player when they acquired him as part of the DeMarcus Cousins trade with the New Orleans Pelicans. Taken with the sixth selection in the 2016 NBA Draft out of Oklahoma, Hield came into the league a pure scorer with very little conscience. 
 
He has fit perfectly into the new uptempo style that Kings coach Dave Joerger is promoting. Hield’s shooting ability has opened the floor for others, and he continues to improve in all facets of the game.
 
“Our style of play, us making shots, playing together, playing free,” Hield said of why he thinks the team is off to such a fast start. “Coach is doing a great job of going over game plans and trying to find ways that we can score, score in the right spots, score quickly as we can. Our pace is good, but we’re trying to have good possessions and try to exploit mismatches.”
 
Three years into his NBA career, Hield continues to develop. He’s become a tremendous rebounder for his position, ranking third in the league amongst shooting guards at 5.6 boards per game. Only Victor Oladipo and DeMar DeRozan average more per game at the position.
 
As a passer, Hield has come a long way as well. For the season, he’s averaging 2.7 assists, which is a far cry from the 1.5 per game he posted as a rookie or the 1.9 assists he averaged last season. 
 
Like Fox, Hield is showing signs of maturity both on and off the court. He came into the NBA as a flashy scorer and a flashy personality, but he seems more grounded in his third season.

[RELATED: Fox shares reason behind his improved 3-point shooting]
 
“You want people to take notice, but us, as a young group, you can’t get too high, you know, the league is 82 games and anything can happen,” Hield said about the Kings’ early success. “You can hit a winning streak, you can hit a losing streak. You want to stay content and stay humble and just keep winning, man. Just keep growing and growing as a group.”
 
“We’re trying to change the culture around here,” Hield added. “The culture is try to get us to the playoffs and we’re just trying to take it one game at a time.”
 
Over the last few games, Hield’s stats have been all over the board. After posting 17 points or more in 10 of the first 11 games of the season, he’s averaging 13.7 points over the last three games. The team has had to adjust to the return of Bogdan Bogdanovic, who's missed 11 games early in the season with a knee injury. 
 
“You’ve just got to find a rhythm,” Hield said. “The first 12 games, I was playing the whole first quarter. I’ve got to figure out how to find that balance, and we know that Bogi’s a special part of our team.”

[RELATED: Now healthy, Bogdan has lofty goals for Kings, including playoffs]
 
The two have a special bond. They vacationed together in Serbia over the summer, and Hield has credited the 26-year-old European star with helping him grow his understanding of the game.
 
Hield’s role will continue to evolve as the season continues. He’s averaging a career-best 18.7 points on 47.4 percent from the field and 42.9 percent from long range in 31.1 minutes game. In addition to knocking down a higher percentage of shots, Hield is getting to the free throw line 2.5 times per game, another huge improvement over last season’s 1.0 attempts per night.
 
In his third season in the league, Hield is figuring out the game, and he’s a big reason for the Kings’ early success. Whether he stays in the starting lineup long term or transitions back to a sixth-man role with Bogdanovic’s return is uncertain at this time. 

What we do know is that Hield has made his case with a strong start to the season, and he’s earned his spot as one of the team’s young building blocks. 

Kings’ De'Aaron Fox shares reason behind his improved 3-point shooting

Kings’ De'Aaron Fox shares reason behind his improved 3-point shooting

SACRAMENTO -- The Sacramento Kings are the surprise team of the early NBA season and point guard De’Aaron Fox is a big reason for the quick start.

The sophomore playmaker looks like a different player on the court and he continues to improve almost every time he steps on the court.

Fox is known for his incredible speed and quickness, but he’s added a new element to his game this year that is opening up the spacing on the floor and allowing him even more room to operate.

After shooting 30.7 percent from behind the arc in his rookie campaign, Fox has come out hot early, knocking down 19-of-43 from 3-point range for a blistering 44.2 percent.

“It’s just confidence,” Fox said following practice on Tuesday. “Shooting the ball with confidence every time. Shooting the ball like every shot is going to go in.”

[RELATED: Joerger wants more from Fox]

Fox started the season slow from long range, shooting just 4-of-19 in eight games in October. In six games in the month of November, the 20-year-old has hit 15-of-24 (62.5 percent) from deep as he’s become more comfortable on the floor. 

The former Kentucky star added 15 pounds of muscle in the offseason and he spent plenty of time hoisting up shots, but he hasn’t really made many adjustments in his stroke.

“I didn’t really change any mechanics,” Fox said. “Looking at college I kind of saw that I brought the ball back too far, but other than that, it wasn’t anything major.” 

The increase in range has helped his overall field goal percentage as well. Fox shot just 41.2 percent from the field last season, compared to the 50.8 percent he’s posted through 14 games. 

He is running to the rack in transition and when teams give him space, he’s pulling up for open threes. There is no hesitation in his game, which is a major sign of growth. 

“I think it’s extremely different,” Fox said of his play this season versus last year. “I think with shooting the ball better comes a lot more things.”

[RELATED: Fox at front of surprising Kings]

It’s early, but Fox is averaging 18.7 points, 7.1 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 32.7 minutes per game. He’s garnering attention around the league for his strong start and he is a big piece to the Kings’ early success. 

If there is one knock on Fox so far, he’s struggled at the line, which he is the first to point out.

“I’ve been pretty efficient, right now I just need to make free throws,” Fox said. “I feel like every other aspect of my game is going pretty well, but I got to get the easy ones.”

Fox is using his new found confidence to attack the rim more frequently this season. As a rookie, he attempted just 2.7 free throw attempts per game, hitting on 72.3 percent from the stripe. During the 2018-19 season, he’s bumped his attempts to 6.2 per game, but he’s knocking down just 67.8 percent.

The sample size is still small, but the improvement Fox has shown early is remarkable. He came into the season on a mission and so far, he’s lived up to all the hype of a top five draft selection.