Sacramento Kings take Game 2 of Las Vegas Summer League

Nik Stauskas and MarShon Brooks at Las Vegas Summer League. (Photo: Jonathan Santiago)

LAS VEGAS – The Sacramento Kings bounced back from a miserable performance on Friday night against the San Antonio Spurs by beating the Charlotte Hornets, 72-65, Sunday afternoon.

“The cohesiveness that the team’s starting to build,” newly hired assistant coach Tyrone Corbin said following the win.  “The disappointment from the second half of the last game to coming back tonight and willing to put a 40-minute game together.  The way the gang stayed together.  They understood how we had to finish quarters off.  We did a better job there tonight.  We didn’t turn the ball over as much as we did the last game.  We gave up some second opportunities, but we got better in those areas.  They’re learning.  It’s a lot to throw in young guys in a short amount of time, to come into camp for a few days and play games, but I thought they got better tonight from the first game.”

Notes and analysis of Friday’s loss is down below.

  • Nik Stauskas continued to show more facets to his game Sunday in Vegas, finishing with 10 points on 3-for-10 shooting.  The rookie out of Michigan did a nice job of looking for his teammates and again, he was solid on the defensive end.  If there is one weakness that we have seen, it is that Stauskas does a poor job of boxing his man out and has totaled just two rebounds through two games.
  • The knock on Stauskas coming out of Michigan was that he couldn’t stay in front of his man on the defensive end, and he answered that criticism today following the game.  “I’m white and I’m a shooter, so that’s what happens,” Stauskas said.  “That’s basketball and there’s stereotypes.  Every white shooter that comes into the NBA is going to have some kind of sterotype to him, where people are going to think that they knock down shots and if they’re on defense, then go right at them, because they’re not going to be able to defend.  I take that personally.  I take that as someone telling me that I can’t shoot the ball.”
  • Ben McLemore is playing aggressive basketball, but once again, it isn’t leading to big numbers in the box score.  The 21-year-old guard has plenty of time to grow into his game, but he continues to rush everything on the offensive end.  He finished with 11 points on 4-of-10 shooting, but has committed 11 turnovers through the Kings’ first two games.  On the plus side, McLemore was physical on the defensive end and doing a better job of attacking the rim on the offensive end.
  • The Kings are counting on Ray McCallum to play rotational minutes at the point guard position this season, but last year’s second-round pick has not had the start to Summer League that most expected.  With the team preaching ball movement, McCallum has totaled just four assists through two games, and his team has a 15:33 assist:turnover ratio.
  • Following yesterday’s practice, coach Michael Malone singled out Quincy Acy for not doing the dirty work in the paint for his team in Game 1.  Acy responded with 10 points and nine rebounds in 31 minutes.  He continues to shoot the ball well from the perimeter, something we saw glimpses of last season in Sacramento.
  • Eric Moreland quietly impressed in his debut with Sacramento.  The rookie out of Oregon State grabbed nine rebounds and added four blocks in limited minutes.  The 6-foot-10 power forward is long, athletic, plays under control and has a great motor.
  • “Talk about a high-energy, multiple-effort (player),” coach Michael Malone said of Moreland following the game.  “Eric is a guy who impressed us in his draft workout.  He has a ton of energy, he plays very, very hard, doesn’t pace himself, doesn’t save himself.  He was an effective player for us.  He gave us great energy defensively.  Got us second and third opportunities on the offensive glass, got to the foul line quite a bit.  So you love guys that go out there and play as hard as they can.”
  • MarShon Brooks had a much better game for the Kings this time out, scoring 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting.  Sacramento needs depth at the shooting guard position and a bench scorer, which is exactly what the 25-year-old guard provides.
  • Reno Bighorn guard Ra’Shad James came off the Kings bench and gave coach Corbin a huge lift Sunday.  The speedy high-flyer scored a quick 12 points in 16 minutes off the bench, including two big 3-point makes.  He hustled, played solid defense and pushed the tempo in his limited minutes.
  • 7-foot-5 center Sim Bhullar made his Kings debut, blocking one shot in 3:30 of action.  At this moment, the Canadian-born center is a long way away from being a prospect.

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About: James Ham

James Ham is co-owner and senior editor of Cowbell Kingdom, providing extensive Kings coverage through news analysis, in-depth interviews with players and staff and daily coverage of breaking news. Along with providing original content for the site, including the Cowbell Kingdom Podcast and his weekly Sunday Musings column, James also provides game day coverage for NBA.com and is one of the producers behind the award-winning, independent documentary "Small Market, Big Heart".