2012 NBA Summer League Wrap: Kings beat Celtics, 91-82, in Las Vegas finale
LAS VEGAS – After two lackluster team performances, the Sacramento Kings came together as a unit to beat the Boston Celtics, 91-82, winning the final game of their Summer League schedule.
- Summer League Head Coach Alex English on what improvements Jimmer Fredette and Thomas Robinson made: “I thought they got better as they played. Thomas, I think he realizes that he’s not a one-man show. Moved the ball well this half, this game. Jimmer was more aggressive. He shot the ball a little better. And he ran the point guard position. He realizes and understands that he’s got a lot of work to do in that position. I think they both got better as we moved through the week and know what they (have to) work.”
- Instead of the frustrated and despondent Thomas Robinson, the media was treated to the cheerful and upbeat version. After struggling much of the Summer League schedule, Robinson posted a double-double – 15 points and 16 rebounds in Thursday’s win. English said that it was important for the Kings rookie to end on a high note. “Sometimes you take a bad Summer League and you think about it the rest of the summer and it just messes with you,” said English, who added that he believes Robinson as well as Jimmer can head into training camp with some added confidence.
- Robinson noted that playing around the rim is an aspect of his game he must improve. “Learn how to finish with contact,” the 21-year-old big man said. “I didn’t have a problem getting to the rim. I just had a problem finishing once I got to the rim, so get back in the gym, touch my shot back up, (get ready for the season).”
- What’s next for the the fifth overall pick of the 2012 NBA Draft? Robinson said he’s headed back home to Washington D.C. for a bit, then he’ll return to Sacramento. Robinson also plans to come back to Las Vegas for some additional training.
- Jimmer, meanwhile, plans on heading back to Colorado. He said he will also work out with his uncle, renowned-speed trainer Lee Taft. He also expects to spend time in Sacramento working closely with the coaching staff.
- Jimmer on what having Summer League this year means to him: “I think it was good for me just because I didn’t have it last year. It’s great to be able to get games in at the NBA speed, NBA level. During the summer and last year, I didn’t have any expectations coming into the league just because you hadn’t played at that level before. So, it’ll be great for me to come into training camp with this and be ready to go.”
- Jimmer was efficient in his Las Vegas finale. After shooting just 33.3 percent from the field in the previous four games, the Kings guard shot four-of-seven from the field and made nine-of-10 free throws to finish with a solid 19 points.
- Tony Mitchell has turned some heads among those who watched the Kings closely. English called the former Alabama forward “his most consistent player”. And Robinson said that Mitchell was one of two invitees he’d like to see the Kings bring back. In his final Summer League game, the 6’6 small forward contributed 13 points on five-of-10 shooting from the field in just 19 minutes of play.
- Robinson also mentioned Darnell Jackson as a player he’d like to see as his teammate. As shared before, the two have a common bond through their Kansas connection and the personal tragedy they both suffered in their lives. Robinson said Jackson was a huge influence on him in the past two weeks. “He helped me keep my head the times I was down on myself, playing bad,” said Robinson. ” He kept me in it. I would love it if he came back.”
Check Cowbell Kingdom tomorrow as Kings Head Coach Keith Smart joins us for a one-on-one interview on the Cowbell Kingdom Podcast.