Sacramento Kings Summer League: Takeaways from Game 1 vs. Suns

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: Georgios Papagiannis
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 12: Georgios Papagiannis /

The first Summer League game is in the books for the Sacramento Kings! Let us talk about the positive and negative takeaways from the game!

The Sacramento Kings opened their Summer League with an 89-85 loss to the Phoenix Suns. In a game that had plenty of exciting plays, it sadly was not enough to overcome Marquese Chriss and the Suns. I witnessed plenty of positives and negatives that I will discuss.

So let’s start with the negatives first!

Negative #1: Big George

Georgios Papagiannis had a big chance to show what he can do as the starting center for the Kings and he disappointed. Big George was very slow with the ball and often looked confused, especially on offense. He did not register a single point but did grab 11 rebounds. Also, I should mention Papagiannis had eight fouls in 28 minutes of action. It’s the not the start he wanted/needed and he got outplayed which I will go into further detail on later.

Negative #2: The Haitian Sensation

Other than a few big dunks, Skal Labissiere was basically missing. He did register 10 points but he just was not making an impact for the majority of the game. A player of his 6’11 size only managed to grab one rebound and like Big George, he was also slow with the ball. His footwork still needs major work and overall, I was disappointed with his performance.

Negative #3: Malachi Richardson and Buddy Hield

One key to the game that I mentioned was “Hot Shooting.” Buddy Hield and Malachi Richardson both started together and I was hoping they would light it up. They did not. Malachi hit a three early and Hield was successful from the mid-range, but their shooting went mostly missing. Buddy Hield made some nice plays around the rim but finished 6 of 16 from the field. Richardson went 2 of 7 from the field and had to leave early with an injury issue. If Malachi Richardson is ready for the next game, they will both need to get back on track.

Let’s talk about the positives!

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Positive #1: De’Aaron Fox, of course

The player we were most excited to see, De’Aaron Fox, had a fantastic night. He scored 18 points showing impressive drive-ins to the rim along with a superb handle to free up space for mid-range shots. He also had four assists, two that led to big Labissiere dunks. His offensive skills showed and so did Fox’s defensive potential. He blocked a Josh Jackson jumper late in the second quarter and also notched five steals. In a loss, he still ‘stole’ the show. We all are looking forward to his next game to see if he can replicate this performance.

Positive #2: Justin Jackson

The big takeaway here is Justin Jackson has the look of a man on a mission. He finished with 18 points (14 in the 2nd quarter) on 7 of 11 shooting. His floaters and jump shot looked so smooth and every single time he had the ball, I was aching for him to shoot. Jackson also had a four-point-play that was impressive. I am still unsure of who will be the starting small forward come opening day, but if Jackson keeps up his stellar play, look out!

Positive #3: Jack Cooley

If you did not watch the game, I am sorry because you missed out on Jack Cooley’s performance! Obviously, Cooley needs a lot of fine-tuning to his game, but he had an impressive double-double. Cooley’s 11 points and 10 rebounds off the bench, showed his hustle and allowed his massive size to dominate down low. When I said Big George was outplayed, Cooley was the King who did it. I am excited to see how Cooley performs next time out as he surely turned some heads against the Suns.

Next: Sacramento Kings projected 2017-2018 depth chart

There you have it, my four biggest takeaways from the Summer League opener against the Phoenix Suns. If I missed any, make it known by Tweeting me


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