The Kings believe their last two first-round draft picks can make an impact as scorers in the NBA.
That just hasn’t been the case to start the season.
The Kings have received little offensive production from their two young shooting guards, Ben McLemore and Nik Stauskas.
The duo have shot a combined 9 of 36 (25.0 percent) through four games.
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Both are also expected to be among Sacramento’s better three-point shooters, but they have made only 5 of their 21 three-point attempts (23.8 percent).
Kings coach Michael Malonesaid he isn’t worried, pointing out that McLemore has played strong defense.
“Obviously we’d love for Ben and Nik to be shooting at a higher percentage,” Malone said. “I’m thrilled with the defense and how Ben has really grown up in a year. You can see the difference and confidence he has on that end of the floor. But they are shooting guards, so I’d love to see the shooting guards knock down a couple of shots, and they will.”
McLemore is averaging 3.8 points on the season after going scoreless in the season opener. Stauskas, who played only 11/2 minutes and had three fouls Monday, is averaging 3.0 points.
It would help if both players could get some easy baskets or get to the free-throw line.
Stauskas is 4 of 17 (23.5 percent) from the field this season, and three of the rookie’s made shots have been three-pointers. He is 1 of 1 from the free-throw line.
McLemore is 5 of 19 (26.3 percent) from the floor. Three of his makes have been threes, and he is 2 of 2 from the free-throw line.
“There’s no concern on my part at all,” Malone said. “Once they settle down, get a rhythm, get used to playing with each other, I don’t foresee that being a problem.”
Return trip – Kings general manager Pete D’Alessandro traveled with the Kings on this two-game trip that began in Los Angeles.
It was D’Alessandro’s first game in Denver since he left that organization to work for the Kings.
D’Alessandro spent three seasons with Denver as an adviser and was vice president of basketball operations during the 2012-13 season.
Sacramento assistant general manager Mike Bratz also came to the Kings after three seasons with the Nuggets. He was Denver’s director of player personnel before coming to Sacramento.
See you soon – The Kings play the Nuggets again Wednesday in Sacramento. That will be the only stop at home before the Kings start a four-game road trip that begins Friday at Phoenix.