SACRAMENTO -- How will they react adversity? That has been a lingering question with the Sacramento Kings and after their third straight loss, it's time see what they are made of.
Against the Clippers, the Kings were slow to react and even slower to adjust. They allowed the top team in the Western Conference to jump all over them early and when the game was on the line, the Kings couldn't come up with the stops they needed.
The Kings currently stand at 10-11 on the season after the 133-121 loss to the Clippers. Here are two positives and two negative from the game:
Bogdanovic Takes Over
Bogdan Bogdanovic finished last year as the Kings' most valuable player on the court. His absence over the first 10 games of the season allowed other players, like Buddy Hield, to step forward. The 26-year-old guard is finally healthy and ready to take on a bigger role and coach Dave Joerger has a plan.
According to Kings' head coach, Bogdanovic is going to take on the reserve point guard spot and play in a three guard rotations with Hield and De'Aaron Fox.
Bogdanovic is a seasoned sophomore with years of EuroLeague experience. He is comfortable playing multiple positions, including the one, two and three. Against the Clippers, he set a new career-high in points with 26 and he added six assists and four rebounds in 35 minutes of action.
Regardless of position, Bogdanovic is one of the team's best players and the Kings needs him on the court for as many minutes as possible.
Marvin Bagley missed most of the fourth quarter with a back issue and his availability for Saturday's game against the Pacers is still unknown. When he did play against the Clippers, the rookie was very good.
With every game, the 19-year-old's confidence is building. Against LA, he posted his third double-double in the last five games, finishing with 18 points on 8-of-15 shooting to go with 10 rebounds and two assists.
Over his last six games, the No.2 overall selection in the 2018 NBA Draft is averaging 16.3 points and 10 rebounds over 28.5 minutes per game. You can see him developing chemistry with the Kings' guards and he plays with energy and aggression that leads to rebounds and easy buckets.
The Kings give up a ton of points. They rank 28th in the league in defense, allowing 117.5 points per game to their opponents. Some of that is due to the Kings' pace of play. Sacramento is 23rd in the league in defensive rating, but that has varied greatly from one week to the next early in the season.
Against the Clippers, the Kings' defense was not good at all. They allowed Los Angeles to get in the paint and score at will, leading to 133 point outburst for the veteran team.
If they are going to allow teams to shoot 55.6 percent from the field and 42.9 percent from three, Sacramento is not going to win many games. They need to do a better job of slowing penetration and improve their communication. They have a lot of young players in the rotation, but eventually they have to learn how to read and react to what the opposition is running at them.
Montrezl for the Win
Montrezl Harrell sat on the free agent market way longer than he should have. When he did sign back with the Clippers, it was a modest two-year, $12 million deal.
The 24-year-old is having a breakout season with Los Angeles, averaging 16.3 points and 7.2 rebounds in just under 26 minutes per game. He's a bruiser that loves to bang in the post and he's shooting nearly 65 percent on the season.
Against the Kings, Harrell did damage, finishing with 24 points on 8-of-10 shooting to go with six rebounds over 27 minutes of play. When Sacramento challenged in the fourth quarter, Harrell stepped up, scoring eight of his points in the final frame.