Kings seek adjustments in second preseason game vs. Lakers
Oct 11, 2023, 8:05 AM
(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
As the NBA preseason moves on, head coaches around the league will begin to ramp up key players and sort out rotations.
Following Sunday’s game against the Toronto Raptors in Vancouver, Canada, the Sacramento Kings will look to make some adjustments during their next exhibition game on Wednesday night.
The Kings will face their Pacific Division rival, the Los Angeles Lakers, at the Honda Center in Anaheim for another tune-up game as we move closer to Opening Night on October 25th.
While LeBron James will not suit up for Wednesday’s action in Southern California, the goal remains constant for head coach Mike Brown and the rest of Sacramento’s coaching staff: Plug, play, and evaluate.
Here are some storylines to keep an eye on as we get set for another night of Sacramento Kings preseason basketball.
Mike Brown shed some light on where Sasha Vezenkov stands in making Sacramento’s opening night rotation.
While Vezenkov’s shot was impressive during Sunday’s preseason opener, the defensive end could determine how much the EuroLeague MVP sees the floor.https://t.co/iL42HzEaAt
— Frankie Cartoscelli (@FCartoscelli3) October 10, 2023
Be sure to tune in right here on Sactown Sports 1140 for all of your Kings vs. Lakers coverage, beginning at 5:30 PM PST on Game Night before a 7:00 PM PST tip-off from Southern California.
Sacramento Kings vs. Los Angeles Lakers Game Info
When: 7:00 PM PST
Where: Honda Center – Anaheim, CA
TV: NBA TV, NBA League Pass
Radio: Sactown Sports 1140 AM – Coverage starts at 2:00 PM on The Drive Guys
Line: Kings – 2.0, O/U 224.5
The Second Unit
Following Tuesday’s practice session at Golden 1 Center, Malik Monk said that a goal for Sacramento’s next preseason game would be for the second unit to continue building chemistry.
During the Kings’ preseason opener against Toronto, Monk and the second unit could have done a better job holding the Raptors in check, as Sacramento was outscored 34-20 during the second quarter.
“We just gotta keep building chemistry in the second unit and encouraging each other,” Monk said when asked what his goal was for Wednesday’s game against the Lakers.
Brown’s second unit on Sunday included Monk alongside Davion Mitchell, Chris Duarte, Trey Lyles, and JaVale McGee. While those five players appear to be on their way to securing spots in the second unit, Brown may shake things up during Wednesday’s game at the Honda Center.
“We’re just taking a look at different combinations,” Brown said on Tuesday when asked about what his rotations will look like as the preseason continues. “We may throw Sasha [Vezenkov] in with the second five and [Chris] Duarte with the third five. There’s only one thing that may not happen, and that is I don’t think I’ll mess with the starting five. The second and the third five can change at any time.”
More Sasha Vezenkov?
Kings fans were left scratching their heads as there was no sign of Sasha Vezenkov mid-way through the third quarter of Sunday’s preseason opener.
Vezenkov, the reigning EuroLeague MVP, finally checked in for his unofficial NBA debut at the 6:16 mark of the third period and almost immediately drilled his first attempt from beyond the three-point line.
The 6’9 Bulgarian finished the night with a team-high 12 points on four-of-seven shooting from the field and two-of-four from three-point land over just 11 minutes, causing some to question why he hadn’t checked in sooner.
Following Tuesday’s practice, the plot thickened regarding Vezenkov’s status in the rotation when Brown said he was unsure if the sharpshooting forward would be a part of his opening night rotation.
“I don’t know if he will be or not,” Brown answered when asked if Vezenkov will be in the rotation come October 25th. “He’s just got to keep fighting his behind off and getting better every opportunity that he gets, whether it’s in practice and shoot-around or in a game.”
Brown pointed to Vezenkov’s defense as an area that the rookie will need to work in as he continues to adapt to the NBA game speed and play style. Although Brown told the media that he could look to shake up his rotations during Sacramento’s upcoming exhibitions, Vezenkov was playing with the third-stringers at Tuesday’s practice.
Whenever Vezenkov checks in against Los Angeles, keep an eye on how the forward defends as he hopes to continue building trust with Brown on that end of the floor.
Nowell’s Spot To Lose?
The Kings waived veteran forward Jeremy Lamb on Monday in a move that trimmed the preseason roster from 21 to 20 players.
One open roster spot remains, and the following players will continue to battle for the Sacramento’s lone vacancy during the final four preseason games:
- Jaylen Nowell
- Chance Comanche
- Deonte Burton
Nowell seems to have a leg up in the race as the 24-year-old is coming off a four-year run with the Minnesota Timberwolves that saw the guard average 9.1 points per game over 184 appearances.
Following Terence Davis’ departure, Nowell could be a depth piece for Brown that can act as insurance if Kevin Huerter or Malik Monk were to miss time.
Sacramento Kings 2023-24 Preseason Schedule
- Wednesday, October 11th – Sacramento Kings @ Los Angeles Lakers – 7 PM PST (in Anaheim, CA)
- Sunday, October 15th – Sacramento Kings vs. Golden State Warriors – 7 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 (Season Opener)
- Friday, October 27th – Sacramento Kings vs. Golden State Warriors – 7 PM (Home Opener)