SACRAMENTO -- After taking one on the chin from the Utah Jazz last week, losing by 39 points in a preseason matchup, no one really knew what to expect coming into Wednesday evening's Sacramento Kings season opener.
It didn't always look pretty, but the home team came out with a fire and energy, giveng the Jazz all they could handle for a full 48 minutes. In the end, the Utah found a way to squeak out a win, besting the home team by a final of 123-117.
While the final outcome wasn't what Sacramento hoped for, it was a very nice effort for a young team trying to find their way.
Here are three takeaways as the Kings start 0-1 on the season.
Cauley-Stein has dollar signs in his eyes
After making the bold statement, "I'm ready to get paid," during media day last month, Willie Cauley-Stein took his first step towards making that a reality.
He was aggressive against Utah's star big man, Rudy Gobert, dropping in 23 points, seven rebounds, four assists and two blocks in 36 minutes of action. He played with force and attacked the best shot blocker in the league.
Willie put his money where his mouth is. Now he just needs to do it 81 more times.
Quick like a Fox
Kings management and coaching staff have raved about De'Aaron Fox's development over the summer. It's really early, but the 20-year-old looks ready for prime time.
He pushed the tempo at every turn, finishing the night with 21 points, seven assists and three steals. Fox energized the crowd and had his teammates flying up and down the court.
If this is the new brand of Kings basketball, they have a chance to be very entertaining this season.
Bjelica is better than expected
A late addition to the Kings roster, Nemanja Bjelica was almost an unknown coming into the season. He spoke about having a limited roll in Minnesota and promised that he was a more complete player.
On Wednesday evening, he was all over the court. He's a high basketball IQ player that can really shoot the ball and Joerger had a tough time keeping him off the floor.
With all eyes focused on rookie bigs, Harry Giles III and Marvin Bagley III, it was the Serbian stretch four that managed to score 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting while grabbing eight rebounds in the loss.