Keegan Murray lights the world on fire, to the point he’s praised by Charles Barkley on The Bill Simmons Podcast this week. Talk about rocking the hell out. Let’s go!
Murray burst onto the scene with an uber-impressive first week in the National Basketball Association.
Keegan did not miss a beat after his head-turning summer, logging 19 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 blocks in 33 minutes off the bench. He shot 7-10 from the floor (3-6 from 3) and made both of his free throws. This is a game Sacramento should have won, but they were 15-26 from the foul line. Very Kings of them.
Keegan Murray's debut: 19 points on 7/10 FG off the Kings bench. Confident catch-and-shoot 3s, a transition lob, decisive catch-and-go attacks, mid-range touch. Also had two transition blocks. Here's the tape. pic.twitter.com/EhGbzbVQRY— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) October 23, 2022
Keegan again came off the bench for Game 3, a trip to the defending champion Golden State Warriors. No big deal for Keegan again, as he went for 16 points, 4 rebounds, and a steal in a team-leading 38 minutes. Murray was 6-14 from the floor and 4-10 from 3, but the Kings couldn’t dig out from under an 89-point (!!!) first half from the Warriors en route to a 130-125 loss.
Take a look at Murray from the Golden State game:
It's no secret that shooting is the key to his offensive success. He's taken a healthy 8.7 threes per game in his first three, aided by a quick release relative to his 6'8" frame. This speeds up the window in which Draymond Green can effectively close out pic.twitter.com/R2Ly8SRGPJ— Charlie Cummings (@klaytheist11) October 25, 2022
This one is especially sexy:
He's not shy to let it go off the dribble when the opportunity presents itself. Draymond is pushing him baseline into Looney's help after the handoff, allowing a small window for the pull-up two going left. Easy take and make for a shooter of his caliber pic.twitter.com/txJGoZ3yXC— Charlie Cummings (@klaytheist11) October 25, 2022
Make sure you go through that whole thread. There’s good defensive action from Murray in there too, especially against Andrew Wiggins when the Kings tightened things late on. Wiggins is on a heater as possibly the second-best player on that team, so Keegan going toe-to-toe with him after Wiggins tortured the smaller Kings wings is eye-opening.
Gambling corner: It’s early. I’m not worried yet. But I definitely wagered over Kings 33.5 wins, so 0-3 is a bad start. They can still find their way there, of course, but unfortunately for them, the Western Conference still looks absurd. Some of the teams I thought they could leap frog or would go tumbling down the standings - San Antonio, Portland, and Utah, given the trades they made in the offseason - might be good (San Antonio less so; this won’t last). Portland has Damian Lillard back and they look athletic. I am NOT a Jerami Grant fan - if any of my friends read this, they have the receipts on my thoughts regarding Grant and him choosing Detroit over Denver right after a West Finals appearance with the Nuggets; very unserious basketball move by Grant there - but he’s a fit with the Blazers. Utah traded Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell and not only did they get draft bounty, they also got real NBA players back with guys like Lauri Markkanen, Kelly Olynyk, Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Collin Sexton. That’s good shooting bigs, a guard that is a total snipper in Beasley, Sexton shows legit flashes, and then Vanderbilt is a total dog, especially on the glass. If there’s one bit of good news for the Kings, it’s that they can definitely pass the absolutely putrid Lakers. They STINK.
As far as Rookie of the Year - I also placed a wager here - this was a great start for Keegan. However, Paulo Banchero was next level in his first run of games. Keegan might need Orlando to continue to tank while the Kings make a run from 0-3 to a play-in spot to get this award.
Next: The schedule doesn’t relent for the Kings, as they face Memphis tonight and Miami October 29 before they head east for road games at Charlotte October 31 and a return date in Miami November 2. At least this dropped Wednesday afternoon:
Keegan Murray will start tomorrow per Mike Brown.— Deuce Mason (@DeuceMason) October 26, 2022
Jordan Bohannon, Luka Garza, and Joe Wieskamp
As mentioned last week, Garza is on a two-way deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Iowa Wolves. Joining him is Jordan Bohannon. Shocking, but it might move some tickets in the Des Moines area. After getting cut by San Antonio, Joe Wieskamp was drafted by the Wisconsin Herd in the G-League.
Maybe the Wolves can make a move for Wieskamp eventually? Re-establish the Holy Trinity?
Jordan Bohannon, Joe Wieskamp, and Luka Garza on the Iowa Wolves next year. pic.twitter.com/zRyezXFjRk— Dallas Jones (@DallasJonesy) October 17, 2022