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Why has Skal Labissiere been on the Kings’ bench recently?

Detroit game is 'great experience' for rookies Fox and Mason, says Dave Joerger

The Kings coach hopes exposure to tough opponents will be educational for his young players.
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The Kings coach hopes exposure to tough opponents will be educational for his young players.

Skal Labissiere played a season-low six minutes in Saturday’s 108-99 loss to the Detroit Pistons.

This came after not playing in the first half of Wednesday’s loss in Boston. He played 16 minutes after halftime in the 113-86 loss to the Celtics.

The Kings aren’t down on their second-year power forward. Matchups have made it tough to find time for Labissiere with teams using small forwards in the power forward spot.

“It’s hard when all these teams are playing threes as fours and they’re stretching you out,” Kings coach Dave Joerger said. “It can be difficult sometimes. As he learns and gets experience, he’ll be able to play on the perimeter defensively. He’ll be able to take a guy down low if he has a mismatch down there.”

Labissiere was scoreless with three fouls and and two rebounds against the Pistons. Detroit’s starting power forward is Tobias Harris, a 6-foot-9 player who would be a small forward on a lot of teams.

When Boston went to a small lineup, the Celtics used Jayson Tatum at power forward. The rookie is a natural small forward.

It’s not the only kind of mismatch that could be problematic for Labissiere, who at 6-11 can struggle against bigger power forwards, too.

“I’m comfortable with him a little bit playing on the perimeter offensively, but the game gets going really fast,” Joerger said. “And (Detroit) is a very physical team; it seems like we’ve played a couple in a row. It’s just one of those things.”

Labissiere is averaging 9.7 points, fifth on the team, in nine games (two starts).

Jason Jones: @mr_jasonjones, read more about the team at sacbee.com/kings.

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