Sacramento Kings Rookie Roundup: Week of March 11 to March 17


The Sacramento Kings secured a pair of thrilling come-from-behind wins which made up for an otherwise below-average week. Who is atop the Rookie Roundup?

The Sacramento Kings‘ rookies are beginning to thrive in the clutch, and the evidence is clear.  This week was a good example of the Kings’ young guns proving triumphant with their backs against the wall, led by a familiar face.  Even more encouraging, outside of the rout in Denver, the Kings were in most of these games until the end.  Was De’Aaron Fox‘s continued on-court theatrics enough for him to reclaim the title of King of this week’s Rookie Roundup?

(The Rookie Roundup defines the week as Sunday to Saturday.  Thus, this column covers the game against the Nuggets, the Thunder, the Heat, the Warriors and the Jazz.)

De’Aaron Fox

Weekly Stats: 12.0 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 5.2 apg, 1.0 stls, 0.2 blks, 42.8% FG, 12.5% 3PT, 61.1% FT

Season to Date: 11.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 4.3 apg, 1.0 stls, 0.3 blks, 41.6% FG, 32.8% 3PT, 72.7% FT

His shooting numbers this week, um, weren’t brilliant.  But the statistics don’t tell Fox’s story this time.  Of the two Kings wins over the last seven days, Fox’s play was instrumental in securing both of them.  Fox nailed the Heat in the clutch for the second time this season, forcing the game into overtime with a tough left-handed floater in traffic.  Most impressively, Fox shook off a pretty weak first 45 minutes against the Warriors to score three straight baskets to close out the win.

Related Story: De'Aaron Fox's mid-season report card

Not since Mike Bibby has there been a King with this much zest for crunch time.  It is becoming a thrill seeing De’Aaron Fox with the ball in his hands and the game on the line.  Considering how important he is to the future of the team, I can’t ask for anything better from him right now.

Bogdan Bogdanovic

Weekly Stats: 12.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 2.8 apg, 0.2 stls, 0.0 blks, 33.9% FG, 39.2% 3PT, 75.0% FT

Season to Date: 11.8 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 3.3 apg, 0.9 stls, 0.2 blks, 44.5% FG, 39.9% 3PT, 85.2% FT

What stands out to me the most about the numbers above is that Bogdanovic’s shooting from downtown is significantly better than his overall shooting percentage for the week.  Bogi’s consistent stroke for the three-point line is a big reason why the Kings are, amazingly, the second-best NBA team from beyond the arc this year.  The Kings would be wise to play to the strengths of their youth as a blueprint to their future success.

Frank Mason

Weekly Stats: 9.2 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 2.0 apg, 0.8 stls, 0.0 blks, 41.2% FG, 25.0% 3PT, 94.1% FT

Season to Date: 7.9 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 2.8 apg, 0.7 stls, 0.2 blks, 38.2% FG, 39.1% 3PT, 82.7% FT

This week represented a bit of a step back for Mason.  His shooting from three, which is one of his most tangible skills, was a struggle in particular.  However, Mason continues to supplement his play with things that do not show on the stat sheet, namely his heart and his hustle.  It is imperative that bench role players make the most of their moments, and with plays like this, Mason is doing just that.

(Note: I cheated a bit here, as that Magic clip was from last week.  It’s my fault for not bringing it up when I had the chance, though.) 

Next: Why Labissiere should play over Z-Bo

Justin Jackson

Weekly Stats: 8.4 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 1.0 apg, 0.0 stls, 0.0 blks, 56.2% FG, 33.3% 3PT, 50.0% FT

Season to Date: 6.3 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 1.0 apg, 0.4 stls, 0.2 blks, 44.2% FG, 30.1% 3PT, 68.8% FT

An overall uneventful week for Justin Jackson, although it is encouraging that he is continuing to shoot relatively efficiently lately.  His true shooting percentage is up to .517, which is about average.  Other than that, not a whole lot to report on JJ this week.