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Moreland, McCallum Shine as Sacramento Kings Advance


Sacramento’s Summer League team defeated the Washington Wizards, who were led by Otto Porter and Glen Rice Jr., 74-62, advancing to tomorrow night’s championship game against Houston. After a somewhat close first, the Kings dominated in the second quarter, leading by as many as 26 points. Stout defense added with efficient transition offense spearheaded the Kings to the big lead. Washington looked fatigued and MarShon Brooks could not miss. However, Sacramento’s 21-point halftime advantage was quickly erased by sloppy turnovers and a suddenly rejuvenated Washington team, as they pulled within 9 in the 4th. Luckily, the Wizards were in too great of a hole, eventually falling. 

“Coach [Michael Malone] values players who can win those 50-50 balls, players with the intangibles and players who can get second-chance points – I feel like I can do all of that to help a team win.” -Eric Moreland

In usual summer league fashion, the Kings’ offensive load was nicely divided. Ben McLemore and Nik Stauskus struggled shooting-wise, but others stepped up. MarShon Brooks led the in team scoring with 14, Ray McCallum added 11, and 10 apiece came from Quincy Acy and Jared Cunningham. Defensively, Eric Moreland led all players with 12 rebounds and 3 blocks. Acy also added a couple blocks and a steal.

Overall, I was most impressed by McCallum and Moreland. With Washington chopping away at Sacramento’s lead, Ray’s composure, decision making, and clutch shooting sealed a Kings victory late in the 4th quarter. The organization is high on him, and its easy to see why: McCallum has been absolutely superb throughout Summer League at moving the ball on offense and getting others involved. Not only is he a fully capable backup PG, he could very well take the starting role from Collison in a year or two. His defensive abilities are also of note, as he does a fine job of staying in front of his defender and stealing the ball.

As for Eric Moreland, his motor and knack for blocking shots are only a portion of his appeal. Moreland has a high basketball IQ, and gets opponents off their game. Moreland relished in ticking off Glen Rice Jr. with his aggressive and hawkish defense, even drawing a technical out of him midway through. The combination of Moreland and Acy in the Kings’ front court is fun to watch, and has scares opponents from driving into the lane.

Tomorrow I hope for a better shooting night from Nik and Ben, but the 2014 Summer League championship trophy could very well be headed to Sacramento. Lets go Kings!