SACRAMENTO -- One of the keys to success in the NBA is knowing your strengths and playing to them. For a scorer like James Harden, he is given latitude to try something new, like a one-legged step-back 3-pointer.
That isn’t exactly in the cards for the Kings’ Buddy Hield.
Long after the rest of the team had left the floor following Wednesday’s practice session, Sacramento’s leading scorer was still hoisting up 3-point shots. Regular, everyday 3-pointers.
When asked if he was adding anything special to his game like Harden has, Hield was frank with his response.
“Hell no,” Hield said. “That’s not a high-percentage shot for me right now. I might take a one-leg step-back shot when I get in the paint, but not at the 3-point line.”
“Whatever James has going for him, he has going for him,” Hield added. “It’s a different light over there than here in Sacramento. I’ve got to stick to the basics.”
Hield has a “neon-green” light from coach Luke Walton. He’ll be one of the primary options for the Kings offense this season and will be asked to carry a huge part of the scoring load.
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But the Kings aren’t a one-man band. They have multiple players capable of putting up big numbers and they share the wealth around.
Hield will get plenty of opportunities to shine within the team's system. He won't need to hunt out one-legged 3-pointers, and if he does, he'll spend some time watching from the bench.
The Warriors have yet to play a preseason game, but they're reportedly already looking for reinforcements.
After a seemingly endless stream of injuries, Golden State's cupboard of big men is severely depleted. Kevon Looney has a hamstring strain, and he'll miss the preseason opener Saturday night against the Lakers. Free-agent signing Willie Cauley-Stein will miss all of training camp and is out until late October with a foot strain. Then there's second-round draft pick Alen Smailagic, who will be out for the "foreseeable future" with an ankle sprain.
With little in the way of big men depth -- healthy, that is -- the Warriors reportedly brought in a former lottery pick for a workout Friday. According to Ben Stinar of Amico Hoops, that player was Hasheem Thabeet.
The No. 2 overall pick of the 2009 NBA Draft, Thabeet was selected by Memphis one pick ahead of James Harden and five picks ahead of Steph Curry at No. 7. He owns career averages of 2.2 points, 2.7 rebounds and 0.8 blocks per game, and most recently played in the NBA with the Oklahoma City Thunder back in 2013-14.
While he has been out of the league for a few seasons, Thabeet apparently has been staying active hoping for another chance.
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There's a reason why Thabeet fell out of favor in the NBA, as his offensive limitations outweighed his defensive contributions. Still, similarly, there's a reason he was the No. 2 overall pick.
At the very least, Thabeet offers intriguing potential and above-average rim protection at the center spot. Beggars can't be choosers, and right now, he might be the Warriors' best available option.
Houston Rockets guard James Harden has always been someone who has tried to innovate within the game of basketball.
His style of drawing a plethora of fouls and unleashing the most unguardable stepback in NBA history has made Harden the NBA’s most complicated offensive player to defend.
However, his newest move appears to be something out of a game of “Horse.”
The former MVP has been working on the move all summer, as shown in its debut in August.
Harden missed his first in-game attempt with the new, untitled shot motion. But he still stuffed the stat sheet as usual, notching a triple-double with 10 points, 12 assists, and 11 rebounds in the first half of his preseason debut.
The Rockets opponent? The mighty, mighty Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association.
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Harden’s career of reinvention on the offensive end makes sense, considering the university he attended has been named No. 1 in innovation each of the last five years.
Warriors fans will get a chance to see Harden try that against Steph Curry and D’Angelo Russell when the Warriors first meet the Rockets on Nov. 6 in Houston.