Before Kings center Domantas Sabonis racked up 28 points, 23 rebounds, and seven assists in Sunday’s loss to Charlotte, head coach Mike Brown said there’s “no question” that the big man should be an All-Star this season, according to Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. Sunday’s performance increased Sabonis’ season-long averages to 18.0 PPG, 12.0 RPG, and 6.4 APG. He’s also shooting a career-best 62.7% from the floor.
“If you don’t vote for him to be an All-Star, in my opinion, you don’t know basketball because what he’s doing, it’s almost on a historic level, and I’m not just talking about his ability to score or his ability to pass,” Brown said.
As impressive as Sabonis has been, the Kings are still seeking a reliable backup at the center position. The team began the season with Richaun Holmes playing that role, then turned to Chimezie Metu. On Sunday, two-way player Neemias Queta got a look, playing seven minutes in just his second appearance of the season. Brown said on Sunday that Holmes and Queta will get more opportunities, per Anderson, and that he expects to continue experimenting until he finds a reliable option in that spot.
“I can’t run Domas 40 minutes every night,” Brown said, according to Chris Biderman of The Sacramento Bee. “So I need to find a guy in that spot who’s going to defend, run the floor, spell Domas for six, eight minutes a half, and play as hard as he as can while following the game plan. Not fouling, boxing out, doing all the little things that need to keep that group solid for those six to eight minutes. We’ve found it in spurts. But I want to get to a point where it can be a little bit more consistent, so I’m going to keep searching until I feel like that person is there.”
Here’s more from around the Pacific:
- Although Suns owner Robert Sarver was suspended and fined by the NBA and is now planning to sell the team, a number of current and former Suns employees are still wondering whether other executives who contributed to creating a toxic workplace will face any punishment, reports Baxter Holmes of ESPN. CEO Jason Rowley is among those accused of mistreating staffers. As Gerald Bourguet of PHNX Sports tweets, the club put out a statement claiming that there are “factual inaccuracies” in Holmes’ report and that the franchise’s leaders have taken accountability for the allegations found to have merit.
- Suns head coach Monty Williams blamed himself for the groin injury that sidelined Devin Booker on Monday. “Let’s be straight, I played him way too many minutes,” Williams said (Twitter link via Bourguet). “I can’t look at anybody else when I put players in harm’s way.”
- Suns point guard Chris Paul brushed off a taunt from Lakers guard Patrick Beverley on Monday, writes Dave McMenamin of ESPN. Beverley made a “too small” gesture when he converted an and-one against CP3 that cut L.A.’s deficit from 26 points to 23. “You can’t pay attention to that stuff,” Paul said. “That ain’t new. He ain’t come up with it. But just play basketball, man.” Beverley was suspended three games for shoving Deandre Ayton the last time the two teams faced one another.