Chris Duarte to start in place of Kevin Huerter against Golden State

Oct 14, 2023, 3:42 PM

Chris Duarte #3 of the Indiana Pacers looks on from the bench in the third quarter against the New ...

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 11: Chris Duarte #3 of the Indiana Pacers looks on from the bench in the third quarter against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on January 11, 2023 in New York City. The New York Knicks defeated the Indiana Pacers 119-113. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Chris Duarte has been wearing the starter’s black practice jersey for the last two days, while Kevin Huerter was wearing the grey second-unit penny. The day before their preseason home debut against the Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings’ head coach Mike Brown confirmed that Duarte will temporarily replace Huerter in the starting five.

In the last game, with Keegan Murray unavailable, Sasha Vezenkov was placed in the starting lineup. It allowed the reigning EuroLeague MVP to showcase his off-ball movement alongside distributor Domantas Sabonis. The decision to move Duarte into that starting group follows a similar logic.

“Last game, I threw Sasha in the starting lineup to take a look at him,” Coach Brown said. “Duarte will start tomorrow in Kevin’s spot. It’s normal, for me at least, trying to experiment and take a different look at different guys with different lineups.”

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Remember, he recently said that the starting five is expected to remain the same this season. But, Brown is always willing to make changes that help the team. This decision is more about testing out Duarte rather than replacing Huerter. Duarte had a sense of physicality against the Los Angeles Lakers, especially defending pick-and-rolls that the coaching staff tirelessly emphasized.

“With Duarte, what he did in the last game, he did exactly the things that I’m asking,” he said. “Those aspects, defensively, when it comes to being physical defensively, he did very, very, very well. He did it at a high level and that’s what we’re going to expect from all of our guys throughout the course of the year.”

Murray has been practicing with a wrapped thumb, but his status is currently unclear heading into Sunday’s matchup. Vezenkov got his chance to play with the starting group in preseason game two, now it’s Chris Duarte’s turn.

Sacramento Kings 2023-24 Preseason Schedule

  • Sunday, October 15th – Sacramento Kings vs. Golden State Warriors – 6:30 PM PST
  • Wednesday, October 18th – Sacramento Kings @ Golden State Warriors – 7 PM PST
  • Thursday, October 19th – Sacramento Kings vs. Utah Jazz – 7 PM PST

Sacramento Kings 2023-24 Regular Season Schedule

  • Tuesday, October 24th – NBA regular season begins
  • Wednesday, October 25th – Sacramento Kings @ Utah Jazz – 6 PM PST (Season Opener)
  • Friday, October 27th – Sacramento Kings vs. Golden State Warriors – 7 PM PST (Home Opener)
  • Sunday, October 29th – Sacramento Kings vs. Los Angeles Lakers – 6 PM PST
  • Wednesday, November 1st – Sacramento Kings @ Golden State Warriors – 7 PM PST

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