Giles Should Be Behind Len In Kings Rotation

(Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images) /
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If playoffs are truly the goal for the Sacramento Kings, Alex Len is aiding in reaching that mark. Harry Giles is harming their chances.

Richaun Holmes being sidelined with a labral shoulder tear lead to Harry Giles being a staple in the center rotation for the Sacramento Kings, with Giles starting in 13 of the last 15 showings. The Holmes injury paired with the departure of Dewayne Dedmon presented a unique set of circumstances contributing to Luke Walton‘s decision to start the Sacramento-favorite Giles.

Now that Richaun Holmes has returned and Alex Len, who was acquired from the Atlanta Hawks for Dedmon, is playing phenomenally, it is time for Giles to be the third center in the rotation yet again.

Holmes will start again soon (I wouldn’t be shocked if that occurred in the next game against New Orleans) and Len has played at a level that should solidify himself as the secondary option at the five.

One of, if not the sole most important attribute of a center in the NBA is their ability to protect the rim. This is an issue for Giles, as his rim protection is essentially non-existent, while Len is rubbing shoulders with the league’s best in that aspect.

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All season long, the Kings have had their struggles with opponent’s field-goal percentage at the rim. They concede the highest restricted area percentage in the NBA at 67.2 percent throughout the entirety of the 2019-20 season, and it is chiefly due to the minutes that Giles gets at the center position.

Don’t get me wrong; having Nemanja Bjelica, Buddy Hield, and even De’Aaron Fox to an extent, get blown by on nearly every possession isn’t doing the bigs any favors, but the proof is in the pudding with Sacramento’s young big.

Opponents currently convert on 70.6 percent of their attempts within six feet of the rim when defended by Giles, which is the third-worst rate of all centers with meaningful minutes in the league, per The underwhelming likes of Frank Kaminsky, Naz Reid, and Kelly Olynyk are just some of the names above Giles in this statistical category.