3 hot takeaways after Kings dismantle Trail Blazers in second preseason game

Sacramento Kings guard Matthew Dellavedova. Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
Sacramento Kings guard Matthew Dellavedova. Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Sacramento Kings played their second preseason game on Sunday evening, handling the Portland Trail Blazers in convincing fashion, 126-94. It’s the second time in as many preseason games that the Kings have beaten their opponent by at least 30 points. The first time was in the preseason opener, which saw the Kings beat the Los Angeles Lakers. 105-75.

Obviously, wins and losses are not among the most important results in the NBA preseason. Winning these games has little to nothing to do with the regular season unless the growth on the court is able to positively impact the team when the regular season rolls around.

That would be great for the Kings. A momentum carryover into what is a tough early season schedule would do wonders, but expecting it is a reach. Still, there are takeaways from the preseason action that must be accounted for both by the coaching staff and the fan base.

The Sacramento Kings starting power forward job is wide open

Head coach Mike Brown seems to be speaking pretty openly with the media early in his tenure as the Kings head coach. The other day, he indicated it’s all but a lock Kevin Huerter will start at shooting guard.

He also spoke about the real interesting battle taking place – the fight for the starting power forward position. With a number of options at his disposal, Brown is doing his due diligence early in the preseason. Against Portland, KZ Okpala drew the start.

In just under 12 and a half minutes on the court, Okpala racked up four personal fouls to go along with four points and two rebounds. While he hasn’t been getting a ton of minutes in the early preseason, no one on the Kings has been, so it’s certainly noteworthy that Brown and his staff want to see him playing minutes alongside the other starters.

Chimezie Metu and Trey Lyles saw right around the same number of minutes on the court. Both are, in theory, fighting to earn that first shot with the starters when the regular season rolls around. Lyles was by far the most impactful of those three, which isn’t much of a surprise.

The likely solution to this equation is rookie Keegan Murray starting alongside Harrison Barnes on the wing. It would form a somewhat undersized frontcourt by default but would give the Kings a ton of things they need in their starting lineup.

Murray once again played great in this one, further strengthening his case to start. We’ll get to him more in a bit.