Kings struggle en route to win over Hornets in Vegas


Jun 26, 2014; Brooklyn, NY, USA; A general view as the names of the first round draft picks are displayed above the stage during the 2014 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

It was an ugly game marred by turnovers, poor shooting and frequent whistles. Somehow, some way, it was the Sacramento Kings who stunk a little less than the Charlotte Hornets. The Kings won Sunday’s contest, 72-65, moving them to 1-1 in the Las Vegas Summer League.

This one provided very little room for analysis (64 fouls in 40 minutes!), but here are a few thoughts on the Kings prime players.

BEN MCLEMORE — It was another poor performance from the Kings second-year shooting guard. McLemore (28 MIN, 11 PTS, 4-10 FG, 0-4 3FG, 3-5 FT, 1 REB, 3 TO) again looked rushed on the offensive end — his jumpers were forced and his dribble drives were largely out of control. When given space, McLemore showed his athleticism by scoring at the rim. But the sophomore has struggled to gain separation from defenders because of his inadequacy as a ball-handler.

NIK STAUSKAS — Stauskas (35 MIN, 10 PTS, 3-10 FG, 2-4 3FG, 2-6 FT, 2 REB, 1 AST, 1 TO) had a quiet second game. His shot wasn’t particularly effective, though he did show some nice touch on his first jumper and a later catch-and-shoot effort in the corner. Weight training will be a primary area of improvement for Stauskas, as his 6’6″ frame can really carve out space once he can handle the contact.

QUINCY ACY — Acy (31 MIN, 10 PTS, 2-6 FG, 6-6 FT, 9 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 1 TO) battled with Hornets rookie Noah Vonleh, who provided a nice matchup for the Kings big man. Acy provided his typical energy, especially on the boards. His jumper wasn’t quite as effective as it was Friday, but the shots he did make were impressive. Not expecting Acy to hit step-back jumpers, but he’s showing that ability in Vegas.

DERRICK WILLIAMS — Nothing really to report on Williams, who much like the regular season, is failing to assert himself. The Kings are not even getting D-Will (24 MIN, 8 PTS, 2-8 FG, 4-4 FT, 2 REB, 2 TO) to hit the boards, which is imperative when he’s playing power forward.

RAY MCCALLUM — McCallum (24 MIN, 6 PTS, 1-5 FG, 4-4 FT, 2 REB, 2 AST, 2 TO) is steady and under control but has yet to really separate himself. This is the setting where McCallum can be a little more adventurous, so hopefully he starts to probe defenses and create for himself and others.

OTHERS — MarShon Brooks (17 MIN, 11 PTS, 4-7 FG, 3-5 FT, 3 REB) was a bright spot off the Kings bench. As is his scouting report, Brooks showed he can score in a variety of ways and is particularly crafty at getting to the basket. He’d make a solid piece to the Kings regular season bench, but the Kings are pretty full at the wing spots. Ra’shad James (16 MIN, 12 PTS, 3-6 FG, 2-3 3FG, 4-4 FT, 2 REB), a point guard from Northwood University, handled himself well and earned crunch time minutes. James showed a solid touch from the perimeter and got to the rim. Sim Bhullar, the 7’5″ mountain from New Mexico State via India, got his feet wet with a three-minute stint in the first half. He had one memorable play, standing tall against a driving Hornet and stopping him in his tracks. Eric Moreland, the Oregon State forward, showed plenty of energy. Known for his rebounding, Moreland ripped 9 boards in 21 minutes and also blocked four shots.