The Kings lost their preseason opener to the Los Angeles Lakers, 103-84, Tuesday night at Honda Center.
But the final score means nothing, especially for a Kings team that finished the game with three rookies in the fourth quarter.
My five takeaways from the game:
- Life at shooting guard – Arron Afflalo had 14 points in 18 minutes. The Kings don’t need a superstar outing from their shooting guards every night, but they need something, which hasn’t always been the case in recent years. If Afflalo is reliable, that will go a long way in helping the offense flow.
- Triple-double Boogie – DeMarcus Cousins was on pace for a triple-double with 11 points, six rebounds and four assists in 15 minutes. He’ll have the chance to fill up the stat sheets this season while playing more as a facilitator.
- Ball movement – The starting lineup had eight assists, four from Cousins and three from Rudy Gay. Kosta Koufos had the other. If Gay and Cousins are good passers, the offense has the potential to be dynamic.
- Aggression needs to be consistent – The Kings were not able to maintain the defensive intensity they showed to start the game in the second half. Some of this can be attributed to lineups, but the defensive aggression has to be maintained. It’s not as if the Kings didn’t try. The attempts to be aggressive probably contributed to some of the fouls they picked up in the second half.
- The rookies have a ways to go – Skal Labissiere, Georgios Papagiannis and Malachi Richardson all had moments where they looked out of place. No surprise at all. The Lakers were playing several players with NBA experience in the second half and the Kings weren’t. They’ll have to learn how to deal with the physical nature of the NBA game, which only comes with time.