What happened in Phoenix last night? The new-look Kings lost by a margin of 29 to a Suns team that won just 19 games last season. With all the excitement brewing, it is safe to say that was not the way Kings fans imagined their team starting off the season.
Fresh of off his new extension, Buddy Hield was the glimmer of hope in a truly awful group performance. Fox, Bagley, and Bogdanovic all struggled, and Harrison Barnes, at times, struggled to handle routine passes. The four of them shot a combined 15 for 44 (that’s a measly 34% shooting) from the field with Bogie alone hitting only 1 of 10.
Deandre Ayton proved his place as a number one draft pick in 2018 with a double-double as the Kings struggled to find an answer for his rebounding and scoring. The rest of the Suns starting lineup also had solid games with Oubre scoring 21, Booker scoring 22, and Rubio scoring 11 while dishing out 11 assists.
The Kings defense looked subpar at best. The team looked lethargic when trying to guard the Suns’ players and the stat line shows: Phoenix had a combined 31 assists on top of outshining the Kings on the other end of the floor with 13 steals as a team.
But the worst part, as is typically the worst part of any loss, were the turnovers. Oh lord, not the turnovers! The Kings had 26 turnovers to their 17 assists and, boy, were they bad. At times, lacking basic fundamentals, they were reminiscent of grade school turnovers: lazy passes, dropped passes, offensive fouls — the Kings put on a clinic demonstrating all the ways to turn the ball over.
So Kings fans, is it time to panic?
Of course… not. It’s 1 game in an 82 game season. While yes, I will have to go buy a new TV after throwing the remote at mine last night, there is no need to worry.
Fox, Bagley, and the rest of the team will get on track. There’s a lot of talent on this roster and new teams need time for their players to develop with one another.
It was certainly a frustrating way to start off the season, especially to a poor team, but hey, it happens. Let’s look to Friday as the Kings will play with an extra edge against the Portland Trailblazers in their home opener. There’s no need to panic in Sacramento, there is a long season ahead. Buckle up and enjoy the ride because this team will prove themselves to the league.