Since returning, Trey Lyles has provided effort and energy off the bench
Nov 28, 2023, 2:04 PM
(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Since being traded to the Sacramento Kings at the 2022 deadline, Trey Lyles has continued to expand as an individual and mold into a solid fit under head coach Mike Brown.
With Detroit, he could be guilty of pump-faking despite being open and slowing the offensive momentum. One of Brown’s offensive staples is playing in the ‘point five,’ making decisions within point five seconds, whether swinging the ball, attacking the basket or letting it fly.
Trey Lyles has fully embraced that. Last season, the 6’9 forward knocked down 36.3 percent of his 3.2 three-point attempts per game en route to an average of 7.6 points and 4.1 rebounds in 16.9 minutes of playing time.
With Euroleague MVP Sasha Vezenkov being added to the mix this season, it was unclear how that may affect Lyles’s role in 2023-24. Unfortunately, Trey Lyles suffered a right calf strain while warming up in preseason, causing him to miss the first 13 games of the regular season.
Debuting in the final two games of Sacramento’s recent six-game road trip, Trey Lyles was focused on what is within his control.
“One thing that I know I can bring to the team whenever I’m on the court is my energy and my effort,” he said Monday afternoon. “Whether it’s scoring, playing defense, or rebounding, whatever the team needs. I just felt like the team needed a little extra spark.”
That spark was felt quickly. Trey Lyles knocked down three triples in the fourth quarter of their second straight matchup against the New Orleans Pelicans in the first few minutes of the fourth quarter while Sacramento attempted to make a comeback.
Trey Lyles returned to the rotation for the first time this season last night and helped ignite the squad’s 25-15 run with three straight 3-pointers in the final frame. pic.twitter.com/z1qKmFn5uA
— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) November 23, 2023
With Vezenkov (thumb) and Keegan Murray (lower back) unavailable since his return, he’s done his best to fill their void — returning the favor, in a way. “It just shows the depth we have on this team, and that next-man mentality is really at the forefront when (injuries) happen,” Lyles said.
Through two games, he’s tallied 21 points and 15 rebounds on 6/13 from three in roughly 36 minutes. All but one of his field-goal attempts during that stretch have come from beyond the arc, and they’ve gone down at an impressive rate early on.
Coach Brown always emphasizes the lineup versatility Barnes and Murray provide by being able to slide up and down positions. Lyles provides a similar aspect with his ability to play small-ball center and both forward spots.
According to basketball-reference, 40 percent of the Kentucky alum’s minutes came at the center last season, and he’s already shown that ability since returning to action. With Alex Len (ankle) expected to be sidelined for a few more weeks, Lyles and JaVale McGee will provide some options for the coaching staff.
Now, Vezenkov has returned, and Murray seems to be close as well. As the Kings regain their roster availability, it will be interesting to monitor the role that Trey Lyles fills moving forward. Still, his impact and contributions early on have been encouraging and apparent.
When is the next Sacramento Kings Game?
Did someone ask for more Kings vs. Warriors?
Sacramento will wrap up its Group Play portion of their NBA In Season Tournament schedule on Tuesday night when Draymond Green and the Golden State Warriors travel to Golden 1 Center for a matchup that will air nationally on TNT.
After playing six-straight games on the road, the Kings will open up a four-game home stand–although the home stand could be interrupted by a brief trip to Las Vegas if Sacramento can defeat the Warriors and claim a spot in the Knockout Round.
Be sure to tune in right here on Sactown Sports 1140 for all of your Kings vs. Warriors coverage, beginning at 5:30 PM PST on Game Night before a 7:00 PM PST tip-off from downtown Sacramento.
- Tuesday, November 28th – Sacramento Kings vs. Golden State Warriors** – 7:00 PM PST
- Wednesday, November 29th – Sacramento Kings vs. Los Angeles Clippers – 7:00 PM PST
- Saturday, December 2nd – Sacramento Kings vs. Denver Nuggets – 7:00 PM PST
- December 3rd-10th: NBA In-Season Tournament Week (Schedule TBD)
- Monday, December 11th – Sacramento Kings vs. Brooklyn Nets – 7:00 PM PST
- Tuesday, December 12th – Sacramento Kings @ Los Angeles Clippers – 7:30 PM PST
** NBA In-Season Tournament Group Play