The Sacramento Kings are on the set! After losing their first preseason game to the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday, the Kings rebounded and beat the Trail Blazers 121-106 on Sunday night, and Tyrese Haliburton had his fingerprints all over their victory.
Although the rookie didn’t have a monster scoring night, he stuffed the box scoring with 11 points, 7 assists, 6 rebounds, a block and a steal. In addition, Haliburton’s 11 points were a new career high for him. With how comfortable he looked on Sunday night, it’s safe to assume that he will consistently beat double numbers when the games start to count.
However, Haliburton’s final numbers weren’t the most impressive part of his stat line; his game was. Haliburton could be a go-to goalscorer sooner rather than later, but until then it’s important that he understands how to break NBA defenses and learns to be a general on the ground at that level. Sunday was a good first step.
Kyle Guy also looked more confident against the Trail Blazers on Sunday, scoring 14 points – tied with Richaun Holmes for the top of the team – on an effective 4-8 shot from the field and 3-7 shooting from behind the 3-line. points. Guy is unlikely to make the rotation this season, but if he continues to show he can be a reliable shooter, he should play more than the total 10 minutes he played for the Kings last season.
Above all, burning players like Haliburton and Guy should be the No.1 priority for Luke Walton in the preseason. The sooner he has an idea of what he can get out of this season, the better for him and for the team.
The Kings will return there on Tuesday to face the Golden State Warriors in Sacramento. The tip-off is 7:00 p.m. PT.