Houston Rockets (0-2) vs. Sacramento Kings (2-0), Jul. 9, 2019, 9:00 p.m. CDT
Location: Cox Pavilion, Las Vegas, NV
SBNation Blog: Sactown Royalty
As they continue their Summer League tournament, the Houston Rockets will return to the court to face off against the Sacramento Kings Wednesday night, in the Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas. Houston will be looking to capture their first win of the tournament after dropping their first two games.
Sunday night was the last time the Rockets took the floor, which resulted in a 97-87 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers. Yet, despite their second consecutive loss, there is one key element the Rockets should carry over into their next match-up.
Thanks to two extraordinary performances by San Antonio Spurs’ Lonnie Walker IV, certainly he is a front-runner for Summer League MVP honors. However, if there is one player whose name should receive some additional recognition, Isaiah Hartenstein should be at the top of the ballot despite a winless record from his team.
Hartenstein has been one of the most impressive players of the entire Summer League thus far, and expect him to continue showing his underrated talents against the Kings. Hartenstein is currently lead the Rockets in scoring, averaging 21.0 points on 50 percent shooting from the field. His best game of the summer came in a 10-point loss to the Trail Blazers, where he recorded 22 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 steals.
With no real defensive presence down in the low-post, one can likely expect another 20-plus performance from the 2019 G-League Finals MVP winner.
In addition to Hartenstein’s play, the Rockets’ additional frontcourt players must step up if Houston would like to record at least one win in Vegas, in particular Gary Clark and Deng Adel. Despite recording 11 points apiece in their last outing, both players have been extremely disappointing so far.
Through the first two games, Adel as shown a lack of aggression when crashing the boards, averaging 3.0 rebounds per game, while Clark looked far from the player that made him a fan favorite, averaging 8.0 points on 26.0 percent shooting from behind the arc.
For the Kings, Sacramento comes into tonight’s match undefeated in their first two games. In their last contest, the Kings came away victorious in a 105-101 win over the Dallas Mavericks. The second round draft prospect, Kyle Guy, is making a strong case for the Kings final roster spot, averaging 20.0 points while shooting 50 percent from deep.
Root for the Houston Rockets to record their first win of the NBA Summer League on ESPN2, tip-off is slated for 9:00 PM CST.