As far as Summer League rosters go, the Sacramento Kings brought one of the more experienced ones you’ll see into Friday’s opener against the Spurs. The results still were lackluster. The Kings faded miserably in the second half and watched the Spurs coast to an 85-69 victory.
Without jumping to conclusions on any player, here is a look at how the Kings key players fared on Friday.
NIK STAUSKAS – The Kings rookie got the start as a third guard with Ray McCallum and Ben McLemore. Offensively, Stauskas (33 MIN, 14 PTS, 4-9 FG, 1-1 3FG, 6-7 FT, 3 AST, 0 REB, 2 STL, 2 BLK, 3 TO) showed well. He buried his first jumper on a curl from the right angle. Throughout the game, he showed the ability to the put the ball on the floor and delivered two impressive moves — a crossover dribble that put Spurs forward Robert Ayres on the floor and a spin-move on a fast break that earned him a trip to the line. He did appear a step slow on some of his drives at times, but for the most part, he made sound decisions and only forced a couple of possessions.
Defensively, Stauskas struggled initially with the bigger, longer Kyle Anderson and Austin Daye. Both players were able to push Stauskas deep and rise above for short shots. That said, Stauskas battled on the defensive end, contesting well on jumpers and competently working switches with his teammates on screens. His 6’6″ frame helped him block two shots, and all in all, it was a solid performance from the Michigan product.
BEN MCLEMORE – The 2014 debut of McLemore (36 MIN, 11 PTS, 2-8 FG, 2-6 3FG, 5-8 FT, 3 REB, 0 AST, 8 TO) was considerably less impressive, as the now second-year shooting guard struggled with much of the same problems that plagued him last season. McLemore had a horrible time putting the ball on the deck and was very lazy with his ball handling. The turnovers tell the story there. His shot was streaky, but he again appeared off balance at times.
On the other side, McLemore looked improved defensively. He appears to have worked on his body, and the glimpses of solid defense from last season were again there Friday. His athleticism lends itself well on that end of the floor, and McLemore did a good job of staying in front of his man.
RAY MCCALLUM – At times, Ray Mac (33 MIN, 10 PTS, 4-11 FG, 0-2 3FG, 2-3 FT, 6 REB, 2 AST, 1 TO) looked like the only NBA product on the floor — that’s because he always seems poised and ran the offense as well as you can for a first Summer League game. When McCallum looked for his own offense, it was a different story, and he struggled to create for himself. His shot was off, but that is probably just a product of the situation. As always, Ray pestered the opposing point guard, and his size/athleticism combo makes him a stout defender. He lost a shooter a couple times, but again, nothing to vilify him for.
DERRICK WILLIAMS – When you look around the court, this seems like the perfect chance for D-Will (28 MIN, 12 PTS, 3-8 FG, 1-1 3FG, 5-9 FT, 5 REB, 1 STL) to dominate, as he’s basically playing against a bunch of kids. But as has been the problem since he arrived in Sacramento, Williams more or less floated around the court without asserting himself. Physically, he was an imposing figure and when he decided to take it to the basket, he looked overpowering. There just wasn’t enough of that. He splashed in one nice set three-pointer. Williams would be a candidate to have at least one monster game in Las Vegas.
QUINCY ACY – Q-Acy plays with one speed, whether it’s regular season or Summer League. Starting at center, Acy (28 MIN, 14 PTS, 5-8 FG, 2-3 3FG, 2-2 FT, 7 REB, 1 TO, 1 BLK) immediately made an impact, surprisingly on the offensive end with his long-range shooting. Given plenty of space, Acy decided to let it fly and he was dead-on, nailing his first four jump shots including two triples. He showed that ability last season on occasion, and Friday hopefully foreshadowed a new facet of his game. Defense and rebounding is never a problem for Acy — he attacked both areas with his typical ferociousness, including sending one blocked shot into the third row. The only thing missing was a huge throwdown.
OTHERS – No other player really stood out in Friday’s loss. MarShon Brooks (11 MIN, 5 PTS, 5 REB) contributed a couple crafty dribble drives, but he and Brendan Lane were the only Kings reserves to log more than nine minutes. Sim Bhullar and Nick Wiggins, two noteworthy players on the roster, did not see floor time.