Harry Giles ready to play tough basketball
So much of Monday's California Classic summer league opener for the Kings was about what to expect from Harry Giles.
The forward from Duke spent his first season rehabbing from knee injuries while teammates and coaches raved about his work in practices. Since those sessions aren't open to the media, all that reporters and fans had to go on was the team's word.
Giles made his debut against the Los Angeles Lakers at Golden 1 Center. He finished with 13 points and three rebounds in a 98-93 victory.
Here are three takeaways from Giles' first NBA action:
Defense, defense, defense
Giles was said to be an explosive athlete and that showed in his defensive activity. He was able to defend on the perimeter and moved well against both bigger and smaller opponents.
The more versatile defensive players the Kings have, the better for the team come the regular season. Defending mobile big men was a problem last season for Sacramento. Perhaps Giles can help in that area.
He has an edge to him
The Kings were way too nice last season. That's fine for community service, but on the court they usually got hit first, and then a few times more, before they hit back.
Giles won't have that problem if Monday was any indication how he'll be in the regular season.
He had no problem getting in the face of Lakers rookie Moritz Wagner when things got chippy in the first half. If Giles has that kind of attitude, maybe it will inspire some teammates to play with more force.
The Kings cannot rely on veteran forward Zach Randolph to be the enforcer. One of the youngsters has to step up.
The game slowed down
As expected, Giles looked hyped to start the game. But he looked more relaxed and under control as the game progressed.
It'll be fun to see how he progresses this summer.