A win is a win, especially when you run an inexperienced group out on the floor for their first preseason game. The Sacramento Kings pushed the tempo and played a fun brand of basketball Monday evening in Phoenix, which ended with a 106-102 win over the Suns.
Preseason means nothing in the grand scheme of things, but for a young Kings team, it's an opportunity to get out and work against someone other than their own teammates. They tried plenty of new plays and they pushed the tempo at almost every opportunity.
Here are some notes from the preseason opener.
Yogi loves the long ball
Ferrell should be a Dallas Maverick, but the Kings are more than happy that he's not. The 25-year-old guard made a splash in his preseason Kings debut, dropping in 6-of-9 from behind the arc on his way to a game-high 26 points. Ferrell attempted 359 3-pointers last season for Dallas. He's a lightning-quick, combo guard that might be the perfect fit for a team looking to push the tempo.
De'Aaron Fox and Frank Mason set the pace
Head coach Dave Joerger lost his voice yelling at his team to run during training camp. Fox and Mason took the message to heart in the opener. Fox dropped in 12 points, five assists and three rebounds in 26 minutes of action. Mason added 11 points and three assists in 21 minutes. As a team, the Kings finished with 24 assists and 16 turnovers, which isn't bad for a first showing with a group with very little experience together.
Harry Giles III is fun
The charismatic rookie redshirted last season and is now 100 percent healthy and ready to play. In his first chance to step on the floor outside of summer league, the 20-year-old big got in foul trouble early and eventually hit the bench with six personals. But when he was on the floor, he was active and made an impact on the Kings. Giles finished with 14 points on 5-of-12 shooting and added six rebounds and three assists in 23 minutes of action. He took an ill-advised three-pointer and heard it from his head coach. Moments later, Joerger ran a play for him to take another triple. Giles ran the play to perfection and drilled the long range shot. It was a nice coaching moment that worked out for Sacramento.
You can't knock a guy for trying
Joerger broke the internet when he ran Mason out on the floor flanked by four bigs. It didn't last long, but the Kings coach is going to mix and match lineups all season as he searches for answers. Giles, Marvin Bagley, Skal Labissiere and Willie Cauley-Stein are all versatile players, but it's unlikely the jumbo look will come out very often once games count.
Bagley struggles, but comes up big when it matters
Labissiere started at the power forward position for Sacramento, giving Bagley a chance to take in a few minutes of the game before making his debut. The prized rookie played a total of 24 minutes, but never looked comfortable on the floor. He finished the evening with seven points on 2-for-7 shooting and grabbed two rebounds. While his performance was mostly forgettable, he had a moment late in the game when he blocked Deandre Ayton in the post to help seal the win. Bagley needs some seasoning, but the all the tools are there.
Last season the Kings ranked last in the NBA in scoring at 98.8 points per game. Scoring 106 is an improvement, but it's also an extremely small sample size against a team that finished last season with a 21-61 record. For a team that's just coming together, the Kings played well as a team. They shot 47.6 percent from the field, 44 percent (11-for-25) from deep and they went to the line a surprising 28 times. They also scored 65 points off the bench in the win with the help of Ferrell's big night.