The Sacramento Kings played five players with three years of NBA experiences or less on Saturday. Four of those players played at least 30 minutes.
Keeping young players on the court all game, no matter the situation has been the plan for the Kings all year. De’Aaron Fox, Willie Cauley-Stein, Skal Labissiere, Bogdan Bogdanovic and Frank Mason all played major minutes in the fourth quarter in the close game against the Lakers.
“I want our team to go out and learn, I want our team to go out and play the right way and not just run up and down,” head coach Dave Joerger said before the Kings’ game against the Los Angeles Lakers Saturday evening.
And that is what the Kings are doing.
Fox is building chemistry as the starting point guard. Hield has become a great asset off the bench. Cauley-Stein is showing more scoring and rebounding consistency, posting a double-double on Saturday. And after missing a few weeks with a shoulder injury, Labissiere’s defense is really stepping up as he still tries to figure out his offense
“Sometimes it just comes with experience,” Fox said after the 3-point loss to OKC on Thursday. “A lot of other teams, they’ve had the same core and they struggled early on, but with that experience, you get better. You start seeing what guys can do a few years into the league.”