Kings coach George Karl believes playing with great energy is a skill, not just a matter of hard work and desire.
That explains why Karl was so happy with Quincy Acy following Friday’s win over Brooklyn.
Acy had three points, two steals and a rebound in 19 minutes. But the Kings were plus-13 when the 6-foot-7 small forward was on the court. That was the best differential on the team.
“I think when ‘Q’ came in the game, he changed the whole game around,” said Kings forward-center DeMarcus Cousins. “We started off sluggish, lazy – ‘Q’ brought energy and just kind of lifted up the whole team. It just shows everybody in this locker room, they have some type of impact on the game.”
Acy’s energy has been needed more than once this season, but Karl hadn’t turned to him consistently. Acy has appeared in only four games, averaging 10.3 minutes.
“I just go in there and stick my nose in there and do what a lot of people aren’t willing to do,” Acy said.
Acy’s 19 minutes against the Nets were a season high. He had a crowd-pleasing dunk but was just as happy clearing space for Cousins to dunk during his 19-point spree in the third quarter.
I just go in there and stick my nose in there and do what a lot of people aren’t willing to do.
Kings reserve small forward Quincy Acy
“Whatever I can do to make an impact on a game, I’m going to try to do it,” Acy said.
More energy – Ben McLemore lost his starting job after four games as the Kings have struggled to start the season.
His playing time decreased, and McLemore’s confidence clearly was shaken.
But lately, Karl has shown more trust in the third-year guard. Twice he has let McLemore start the second half after strong showings in the first half.
That was the case Friday, when McLemore scored a season-high 15 points. He has looked more comfortable off the bench.
He’s shooting 46.9 percent in six games as a reserve compared with 28.6 percent in four starts.
McLemore said playing in the fourth quarter shows he’s gaining the coach’s trust.
“It’s all about staying ready, being ready,” McLemore said. “And when I’m out there on the bench I’m supporting my teammates, cheering them on and doing whatever I’ve got to do. Once my name is called, I’m out there prepared, watching the floor and doing whatever I’ve got to do to compete and play defense and do whatever it is to win the game.”
Injuries – The Kings did not practice Saturday, so there were no updates on Rudy Gay (stomach virus) and Darren Collison (left hamstring strain).
Gay missed Friday’s game. Collison has been improving but has missed the last four games.