It was another barely watchable Summer League game from Vegas, and the Kings fell short against Houston’s squad, 113-91. Obviously, the result means very little, and all Kings fans have their eyes locked mainly on Thomas Robinson and Jimmer Fredette. Those are the only two players who are roster locks after Monday’s waiving of big man Hassan Whiteside.
The Kings rookie continues to work primarily off the dribble, which is somewhat surprising. You would hope to see a little more of Robinson establishing position down low and working on the block. But through three games, that hasn’t been the case. T-Rob is showing better ball-handling than Sacramento may have expected, but he’s getting into trouble by trying to do too much. It’s typical of young players finally getting onto the court in real game action. What we are seeing are Robinson’s abundant physical gifts. He’s quick on his feet and against the Rockets, he had a couple of nice recoveries defensively thanks to his athleticism. His face-up game shows promise, especially when he’s set and not coming off the bounce. Overall, it was a poor game from Robinson on both ends, but certainly nothing worth worrying about at this point.
30 MIN, 10 PTS (5-13 FG, 0-2 FT), 8 REB, 3 AST, 2 STL, 5 TO, 7 PF
Time for some expert analysis: Jimmer is much more effective when he’s making shots. It’s pretty clear through three games of playing exclusively on the ball that Fredette cannot be a full-time point guard. Maybe in stretches, but not full-time. He lacks the speed and burst to consistently gain separation. But the great equalizer reared its head against Houston. When Jimmer is banging home jumpers — as he was in the first half — defenses magically become softer. With the threat of the long-ball looming, Jimmer was able to get two or three steps closer, pull up and bury short jumpers. And when the shot starts falling, the high pick-and-roll becomes a weapon, which Jimmer used to knock down additional three-pointers. Kings fans should expect Fredette to make more shots this season — that was his one transferable skill from college. If he can’t deliver, he won’t play, especially given Monday’s signing of Aaron Brooks.
28 MIN, 30 PTS (10-21 FG, 2-6 3FG, 8-8 FT), 4 REB, 3 AST, 4 TO, 1 STL
Darnell Jackson is the same D-Block we saw a couple years ago. He makes the waiving of Whiteside pretty easy. Jackson is a savvy 5th big man option to play behind Cousins-JT-Robinson-Hayes. He plays solid defense, rebounds well and plays within himself offensively … Michael Lee has been impressive so far. The St. Bonaventure product, standing 6’9″, has shown a nice left-handed stroke from deep and makes the right play more often than not. He does a lot of things well. Unfortunately, small forward is the toughest position to make on the Kings roster … After a couple of big games, Josh Akognon sat this one out, as other players got a look.