Throughout the season, Jason Jones answers readers’ questions about the team in a weekly Twitter mailbag. Tweet your questions with the hashtag #JonesHoldsCourt.
Q: Why did Jackson DNP 2 str8 games?
– burner flavor2, @flapdown77
A: Justin Jackson’s decreased playing time is a result of the Kings starting two point guards, De’Aaron Fox and George Hill, and another, Frank Mason III, in the rotation. That bumped Garrett Temple to small forward and he essentially splits those minutes with Bogdan Bogdanovic or Buddy Hield.
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It also appears Joerger will turn to Vince Carter in spots ahead of Jackson. Don’t forget Jackson was playing some power forward against stretch fours, too. Skal Labissiere is getting minutes there and Willie Cauley-Stein is playing more power forward, too.
Dave Joerger doesn’t want to go to an 11-man rotation, so for now, Jackson is the young player that’s going to be watching a lot more than playing. The only other reasonable way to get playing time for Jackson would be to not play Carter at all and probably cut Temple’s minutes.
Temple is the Kings’ best perimeter defender, so that’s not happening.
Q: Will there be a point in the season where we will see more Papagiannis than Koufos? What’s the plan with George at this time?
– David F-W, @LowBrassDude93
A: Barring injury, that’s probably going to happen in the spring after G League season ends. Going back to last season, Joerger said Papagiannis would need a lot of playing time with the Reno Bighorns to continue his development.
There really aren’t any minutes for Papagiannis with the Kings right now, especially with Zach Randolph playing center. The best way for Papagiannis to develop, for now, is as a Bighorn.
Q: Why did the Kings draft Jackson over Kuzma?
– Swaggy Porter Jr., @SwaggyPorter
A: The boring answer is they had Jackson rated higher than Kyle Kuzma on their draft board. They also had Harry Giles ahead of Kuzma, too.
It’s not as if the Kings did not know about Kuzma, who was taken 27th overall after Jackson at 15 and Giles at 20. He was impressive at the NBA draft combine, and the Kings hosted Kuzma for a pre-draft workout.
Joerger gushed about Kuzma before the Kings played the Lakers, having been familiar with him through his relationship with Kuzma’s coach at Utah, Larry Krystkowiak.
Still, the Kings went with Jackson and Giles ahead of Kuzma.
I wouldn’t bury the Kings for passing on Kuzma just yet, especially without seeing Giles in a game. But if the Kings had selected Kuzma, I doubt we’d be having the small forward discussions right now.
Q: What’s the best Kings lineup right now?
– Alex Calinsky, @AlexCalinsky
A: Great question. It forced me to look up the plus/minus for various Kings lineups this season. What I learned is, for nearly every lineup that’s played significant minutes over multiple games, there hasn’t been much success. Not surprising considering how many lopsided games the Kings have been on the wrong side of this season.
Here are things I do like from a “best” lineup: Randolph playing center when he’s on the floor with multiple playmakers. That could be Fox and Hill or Mason and Bogdanovic. Temple is good for defense and smarts, too.
I’d love to revisit this in a couple weeks.
This week’s non-Kings question:
Q: If you had to choose 1 vegetable to go in Mac which would it be?
– megalutou, @megalutou
A: None. Vegetables do not go into macaroni and cheese. Thanksgiving in 2017 seems to have brought out a mad race among cooking shows and internet cooks to prove they can ruin macaroni and cheese. Perhaps the most disturbing trend is people adding carrots, Brussels sprouts, squash and other random shenanigans.
Now if you want a vegetable casserole, I have no problem with that. Just don’t call it macaroni and cheese. Call it a vegetable casserole.
Let’s not make this mistake again next month when the holidays come around.
The Kings are finding their way at home. Sacramento is 4-4 at Golden 1 Center – the four wins coming in the last five outings there. It’s a small, positive step in the development of the team.
The offense still struggles most nights, so the defense has to catch up fast to give the Kings a chance. Sacramento is one of two teams that averages less than 100 points this season (Chicago is the other).
Monday is the first regular-season matchup between the Kings and the Golden State Warriors. It will be a nice (or maybe not-so-nice) way for the Kings to see just how far they have to go to become an elite team.