There’s a time to be aggressive.
Knowing when to has been an adjustment for Bogdan Bogdanovic as he shifts from playing in Europe to the NBA.
On Monday night, Bogdanovic had no hesitation on when to attack and gave the Kings the lead in what became a 110-106 victory over the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena.
Bogdanovic drove to his right against Draymond Green, the reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year, and scored on a 6-foot bank shot with 12.6 seconds to play that put the Kings up 108-106.
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In that moment, Bogdanovic knew what to do with the game in the balance.
“All my life I’ve had confidence in taking the last shots,” he said.
Bogdanovic rebounded Klay Thompson’s missed 3-pointer with 2.4 seconds left and made two free throws for the final result.
Trying to keep Bogdanovic in attack mode has been a goal of coach Dave Joerger this season. He said before the season the Kings were going to be a team that would struggle to score at times, so Bogdanovic’s scoring and playmaking would be important.
He’s a rookie, but his seasons in Europe make him far from a typical first-year NBA player.
Still, it’s not easy to just step in and play the NBA style, which sometimes calls for making a play against a defender rather than relying on the play called to win a game.
“I’m just trying to be ready every single moment of the game,” Bogdanovic said. “Coach keeps telling me be aggressive, stay aggressive, you’ve got to be more aggressive. But that’s the thing I think I need to get used to. The pace of the game here is different than it is in Europe.”
Bodganovic scored 12 points and was one of six Kings in double figures.
There are nights the Kings would love to see Bogdanovic shoot more. He tried just seven on Monday, and that’s part of the adjustment Bogdanovic is still making.
Vince Carter said it’s not a matter of Bogdanovic not putting in the work, but rather getting over mental hurdles when shots aren’t falling.
“Sometimes we play the mental game with ourselves,” Carter said. “… We just talked about some things. I felt like he should exaggerate his shot a little bit until you see it go in then you can go back to your free-flowing shot.”
Carter said Bogdanovic let him know the advice helped recently after seeing a jumper go through the hoop.
Joerger said part of his message to Bogdanovic has been to stay encouraged because he has the support of the coaching staff, even when he struggles.
“Be positive, and it’s not a short-term motivation speech,” Joerger said. “We’re going to be in this for the long haul. There are some things we could get better at, but you’ve got my confidence.”
Bogdanovic’s shot looked just fine over Green. He was intent on getting a good shot off.
“I’m focused on my thing, how to score the easiest that I can,” Bogdanovic said. “I wasn’t focused on his defense.”
Willie Cauley-Stein led the Kings (6-14) with 19 points, eight rebounds and a career-high-tying six assists. It was the first time the Kings had won at Oracle since March 27, 2013.
The Warriors (15-6) played without All-Stars Stephen Curry (right hand contusion) and Kevin Durant (sprained left ankle). Klay Thompson led all scorers with 21 points.