The Kings got their revenge against Phoenix on Tuesday night after falling to them in a season-opening blowout. Three Kings had career nights as they stepped on the throttle and never looked back.
Richaun Holmes set his career-high in rebounds (15), Corey Joseph set his career-high in assists (14), and Bogdan Bogdanovic set his career-high in points (31) and three-pointers made (7).
The Kings have played exceptionally well in the month of November, posting a 6-2 record after going winless in October.
All of these wins have come with second-year player, Marvin Bagley, sidelined due to a broken thumb and three of the wins have come without the help of Fox, who is expected to miss several more weeks with a sprained ankle.
In their absence, unlikely players have stepped up to push the Kings to victory. Most notably Richaun Holmes, who has held down the center position with poise, and Cory Joseph, whose defensive prowess has slowed down opposing guards.
So what will happen if Bagley and Fox return from their injuries and the Kings continue to play well?
Unfortunately, for the likes of Joseph and Holmes, their roles might have them come off the bench.
Although Holmes is arguably Sacramento’s best big man besides Marvin Bagley, his inability to spread the floor makes him a good candidate to be a bench player.
Bjelica and Dedmon are the two bigs who can hit the long ball, but Bjelica has been outperforming Dedmon in all statistical categories excluding blocks. So it would not be surprising to see Bjelica get the start alongside Bagley and to see the duo of Holmes and Dedmon come off the bench.
Bjelica’s performance, like that of Holmes, has not gone unnoticed this year, and his game will better compliment Bagley, who prefers to play down low.
With Holmes’ tendency to play down low and Dedmon’s range, the Kings will have a similar pairing off the bench.
As for Joseph, his superb defense is capturing the attention of fans rather than his sparse scoring. Unfortunately for him, however, the player he is replacing is the franchise cornerstone who will definitely get the starting job back when healthy.
Not to say Joseph’s time at the starting point guard position was for nothing. The way he locks down his opponents has likely left an impression on Walton’s crunch time strategies.
Needless to say, things have turned around pretty quick for the Kings. Sacramento sure has a lot to look forward to in the coming weeks. The team is winning games despite not being anywhere close to full strength, and it seems things can only get better.