Kings Blog

Kings notes: McCallum plays a waiting game

Sacramento Kings guard Ray McCallum steals the ball against the Denver Nuggets at Sleep Train Arena on Wed., Nov. 5, 2014.
Sacramento Kings guard Ray McCallum steals the ball against the Denver Nuggets at Sleep Train Arena on Wed., Nov. 5, 2014. hamezcua@sacbee.com

Ray McCallum knows his job is to wait patiently for his next opportunity.

That’s life as the Kings’ third point guard. McCallum was a solid contributor in Monday’s win at Denver, playing the entire fourth quarter.

But that doesn’t guarantee more playing time with Darren Collison and Ramon Sessions playing most of the minutes at the point.

“Every game, we’ll see how the game unfolds,” coach Michael Malone said. “And if there’s an opportunity to get Ray in like there was (Monday), we’ll get him in.”

McCallum played shooting guard in the fourth quarter to help defend Denver guard Arron Afflalo.

If Ben McLemore and Nik Stauskas continue to struggle with their shooting, McCallum might get more minutes at the off guard.

Last season, McCallum didn’t play extensively until late when Isaiah Thomas was injured, and he is willing to get on the court anywhere to help.

Malone said he has “trust” in McCallum based on how he played last season and a strong showing during summer league. It’s just hard for a coach to play three point guards because it prevents them from having enough time to develop a rhythm.

“I’ve been through this before last year,” McCallum said. “I think going through all that, having that experience helped me a lot.”

Against Denver on Wednesday, McCallum checked into the game with 1:27 left in the first half. His defense was a factor in that decision, as he was immediately assigned to Nate Robinson, who already had 10 points in 11 minutes off the bench.

No props – The Kings have received a lot of praise nationally for starting the season 3-1, largely because of the low expectations most have for them.

Malone isn’t exactly overjoyed about the acclaim.

“We haven’t done a damn thing yet,” Malone said. “So let’s not get too happy about being 3-1 in an 82-game season.”

Malone offered a bit of perspective to his players.

“I told them (Wednesday) morning Philadelphia started out 3-0 last year,” Malone said. “Big deal, so what, right?”

The 76ers finished 19-63, the second-worst record in the league, and tied the NBA record for the longest losing streak at 26 games.

Back on the road – Wednesday’s home game was a break in a stretch of six of seven games on the road.

Malone stressed the importance of Wednesday’s game because of the competition on the four-game trip that begins Friday against Phoenix and includes stops in Oklahoma City, Dallas and Memphis. All four teams had winning records last season and only Phoenix did not make the playoffs, but injuries have depleted Oklahoma City’s roster this season.

Follow The Bee’s Jason Jones on Twitter @mr_jasonjones and read more about the team at www.sacbee.com/kings.

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