Sacramento Kings Rookie Report: Bagley’s Big Week

Sacramento Kings forward Harry Giles (20) strips the ball from the Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) on Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018 at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, Calif. (Hector Amezcua/Sacramento Bee/TNS via Getty Images)
Sacramento Kings forward Harry Giles (20) strips the ball from the Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) on Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018 at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, Calif. (Hector Amezcua/Sacramento Bee/TNS via Getty Images) /

Marvin Bagley has officially arrived. The second pick of the draft averaged a double-double last week, but this week’s Rookie Report asks: can he and Giles play together?

After last week’s controversy about the coaching staff’s handling of Marvin Bagley III’s minutes, the Rookie Report wondered how he would respond. Thankfully, Number 35 showed that he doesn’t need big minutes to put up big numbers. Although he remained off the bench, his minutes increased and so did his productivity. He averaged a double-double through three games, and did it while shooting over 50 percent.

As always, the Rookie Report defines a week as Sunday to Saturday. Thus, this Report is only looking at the games against the Thunder (11/18), the Jazz (11/21) and the Warriors (11/24).

On to the Rookie Report!

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Marvin Bagley

Weekly Stats: 15.3 ppg, 12.0 rpg, 1.3 apg, 0.7 stls, 1.7 blks, 51.4% FG, 0% 3PT, 62.5% FT, 28.9 MPG

Season to Date: 12.4 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 0.9 apg, 0.5 stls, 1.2 blks, 50.8% FG, 36.8% 3PT, 62.8% FT, 23.6 MPG

Advanced: 17 PER, .558 TS%, 14.4% TRB, 5.3% AST, 4.4% BLK, 22.9% USG, 105 ORtg, 110 DRtg

Coach Dave Joerger seems to have responded to the Marvin Bagley minutes controversy. Bagley’s minutes have gone up by an average of six (his MPG for the first sixteen games: 22.8), and it’s already paid dividends. He averaged a double-double for the week, including a monster game against the Warriors. It was a game Bagley could easily have won for the Kings, if not for the most ill-timed wedgie in the history of the NBA. Bagley’s advertised motor was on full display this week, buying himself second chances with offensive rebounds numerous times against the Thunder and Warriors.

Bagley is also playing with a remarkable confidence, considering the drama that unfolded around him in recent weeks. He’s proven to be unafraid to bang around in the post, taking the ball to (and scoring over) Kevin Durant a couple of times early in the game against the Warriors. It’s resulted in his first two double-doubles of his career this week, with hopefully more to come in his long NBA career. It’s extremely encouraging that Bagley has not let his playing time affect his productivity.

If there’s anything that I’d like to see Bagley improve, it’s his free-throw shooting, which currently sits at about 62.5 percent. All that banging around and getting fouled in the post won’t mean much if he can’t convert. If he can get that percentage up to about 80 percent, he’ll be even more efficient than he already is.

Harry Giles

Weekly Stats: 5.2 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.7 apg, 0.3 stls, 0.0 blks, 53.8% FG, 0% 3PT, 66.7% FT, 10.7 mpg

Season to Date: 4.7 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 0.8 apg, 0.5 stls, 0.1 blks, 46.5% FG, 0% 3PT, 41.7% FT, 9.9 mpg

Advanced: 10.0 PER, .465 TS%,15.0% TRB,11.6% AST, 1.2% BLK, 46.5% FG, 25.8% USG, 87 Ortg, 107 Drtg

Harry Giles is starting to find his rhythm, slowly, but surely. He and Bagley shared the court together for a few minutes against the Warriors and…it wasn’t bad! Giles’ dime to Bagley with about eight minutes to go was a major highlight. Giles does have to cut down on his fouling rate, however. He averages about 2.4 fouls in just under 10 minutes a game. Some of that might be frustration, or the game not yet slowing down for him

However, if Giles and Bagley are to be the frontcourt of the future for the Kings, there’s a lot of growth to be had on that front. For fun, I thought it’d be interesting to see what difference it makes to have Giles and Bagley together on the court. With the understanding that this is a small sample size, you can take a look at the results yourself.

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So yeah, not super pretty. They’re a net loss in pretty much every category except in blocks (+4.1).   Most eye-popping has been the -22.3 in points. Part of that, I imagine, is Giles’ overall inefficiency.  But overall it indicates that, as of now, Bagley and Giles aren’t a great tandem. Plays like Saturday’s in Oakland, however, show that not all is lost. Stay tuned.