What did you expect with the veteran half of our team sitting out against the Blazers at essentially full strength? Some guys rose to the challenge, others didn't. Some guys showed that they deserve more playing time in the season, others were Buddy Hield. Justin Jackson (B) -- 26 mins, 16 pts, 2 rbs, 1 ast, 0 stl, 1 blk, 3 tov, 4 pf Now that was more like it. After struggling up to now in the preseason, Jackson had a Summer League-esque performance, the smooth drives, clean catch-and-shoots, general "deserves-to-belong"-ness. At the very least Jackson affirmed his place on the young potential-laden team. Skal Labissiere (C+) -- 35 min, 13 pts, 7 rbs, 2 ast, 1 stl, 1 blk, 2 tov, 3 pf On the plus side, Skal looked better than he did last night. He showed flashes on offense and at least seemed to be trying to rebound. Defense continues to be a big problem for Skal, largely because he's still got bird legs and the apparent core strength of a stick bug. Willie Caulie-Stein (C) -- 27 min, 8 pts, 8 rbs, 3 ast, 0 stl, 0 blk, 2 tov, 4 pf Once again, Willie has shown a somewhat frustrating desire to expand his offensive game. While the improved outside stroke probably isn't a bad thing, ideally Willie isn't going to be taking too many of those shots anyways. On defense, Willie seems to have made a bit of progress in both the strength department and the overall awareness department. While it didn't show up in the stat sheet, I thought the team looked better on D when he was on the floor (and when Skal wasn't). Buddy Hield (D-) -- 24 min, 7 pts, 5 rbs, 2 ast, 0 stl, 0 blk, 2 tov, 2 pf So copy and paste my critique of Buddy from last night and put it here. It's not that Buddy isn't trying, it's that he's doing the wrong kind of trying. Buddy is a good shooter, we all know that, but even good shooters can take bad shots and bad shots will be missed more than made. And considering Buddy's overall game at this point in his life, if he's not taking and making good shots, he's not really a "good player". Frank Mason III (B) -- 29 min, 13 pt, 5 rbs, 3 ast, 0 stl, 0 blk, 1 tov, 2 pf In case anyone had forgotten, the Kings have not one but two rookie point guards on the roster and judging off of early performances both seem worth keeping around. As with any short point guard coming into the league, Frank Mason has been compared to IT all summer but watching him play, he reminds me more of Bobby Jackson in his hard-nosed grinding style. While not a fantastic passer, he still sees the floor and makes the right play. If things play out right, he and Fox could be a good point guard tandem for a decade to come. Georgios Papagiannis (C) -- 20 min, 8 pt, 4 rbs, 0 ast, 0 stl, 1 blk, 5 tov, 5 pf As much as a 5 turnover, 5 foul game can be considered progress, Papa played an encouraging game. On offense, he had difficulty setting screens on offense of all things on several consecutive possessions and he still is impatient in the paint. On defense though, I thought he played a pretty good game, probably defending Nurkic the best out of all of our big men tonight. Remember that he's still the third youngest guy on the team. Malachi Richardson (D-) -- 20 min, 5 pt, 3 rbs, 2 ast, 1 stl, 0 blk, 1 tov, 4 pf See the Buddy Hield critique only replace the blind bravado with hesitance and fear. Matt Jones (inc. Not going to be on team) -- Marcus Williams (inc. Not going to be on team) -- JaKarr Sampson (B) -- 11 min, 4 pts, 5 rbs, 1 ast, 1 stl, 1 blk, 0 tov, 1 pf Solid depth wing performance. Really played hard on defense and was active on the boards. Jack Cooley (inc.) -- Elbowed Nurk in the face With all our bigs in foul trouble, Joerger had to turn to Cooley in the second. He promptly rewarded us by elbowing Nurkic in the face and picking up a tech for it and then promptly ended up out of the game for the rest of the night.