yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyy Bogdan Bogdanovic (C+) -- 21 min, 7 pt, 4 rb, 0 ast, 0 stl, 2 blk, 2 tov, 2 pf Bogy belongs, that much we know. But even with it being clear that he's an NBA player, there are still times where growing pains will rear their ugly heads much as they did during the first half of the Thunders game. On offense, Bogdan spent most of the first quarter overmatched by NBA athleticism in its full glory. On defense, Bogdan was active and surprisingly blocked a few shots for good measure. In the second half, seemingly realizing that whatever he was doing in the first half wasn't working, Bogdan's wiley craftiness was on full display and he added a few buckets to the strong third quarter effort. With Buddy and Justin both playing their best games of the season, the Serb was relegated to bench duty in the fourth quarter but that's not really a knock on the man. Zach Randolph (B-) -- 26 min, 18 pt, 8 rb, 3 ast, 2 stl, 0 blk, 6 tov, 2 pf And here we had it. Z-Bo in all his ridiculous, inefficient, semi-out-of-control glory. Like your best friend's date to senior prom, Z-Bo showed up to the gym drunk, loosened up, and ready to go... And then he puked on his shoes and went to cry in the bathroom for a hour. But then, when it was time for the slow dance to begin, he reemerged from a toilet stall, eyes red from the crying, mascara hastily and drunkenly reapplied, and gave his boyfriend the dance of his life. Then, when the lights went up and it was time to call it a night, he tripped over his own two feet and ripped his dress and cried until he passed out in his date's backseat. It was, nevertheless, a night to remember. Willie Caulie-Stein (C+) -- 21 min, 7 pt, 5 rb, 2 ast, 1 stl, 2 blk, 2 tov, 2 pf Willie's been getting a lot of flack around these parts for a while now so I think it's probably only fair if I came out and admitted to being a bit of a Trill apologist. While I can see how the perceived lack of aggression and failure to provide the "as advertised" two blocks a night and rim protection can be completely grating, I believe that Willie is still nowhere near as broken a prospect as some posters here would like you to believe. With his occasionally odd demeanor, strange insistence on developing his offensive game, and misunderstood artistic outlook (see his trip to Vietnam this summer), Willie is the 2017 Sacramento Kings equivalent of J.D. Salinger. By the end of the day, you're going to have a definitive opinion, good or bad. As he's turned into a better offensive player than defender in his short professional career, good defensive nights like tonight can serve as a reminder of the unique role Willie can serve on a good team going forward. Garrett Temple (C+) -- 30 min, 8 pt, 5 rb, 2 ast, 0 stl, 0 blk, 2 tov, 2 pf By a certain point, you run out of things to say when a guy's been as solid as Garrett Temple has been for the Kings during the entirety of his time with the franchise. This season, Temple has been our most prolific three point shooter, which may be more of a sign that our offense is sputtering than anything else, and he was largely money on those catch-and-shoot threes from the corner against the Thunder. While a lot of the Thunder's struggle can be attributed to the too many cooks syndrome that can sometimes affect a superteam, GT played the collection of all-stars as well as any player really could. George Hill (C-) -- 24 min, 1 pt, 5 rb, 3 ast, 0 stl, 0 blk, 1 tov, 2 pf So this grade gave me a lot of trouble. On one hand, your highly paid starting point guard only giving you one point is less than acceptable. On the other hand, it's hard to say that George was particularly bad. On defense, he and GT pestered Russ all night and, on offense, he was never out of sync with the rest of the team (aside from everyone being out of sync with everyone in the first quarter) in the same way that Buddy was when he was being horrible at the starting two spot. When he was randomly brought in to close the game with less than a minute left, he managed to score his first and only point of the game on a free throw attempt. He then badly missed the second one. Such was George Hill's night. -- De'Aaron Fox (B-) -- 23 min, 10 pt, 2 rb, 8 ast, 0 stl, 1 blk, 5 tov, 2 pf Poor, fat Raymond Felton. Somehow finding a way to remain in the league as a backup point guard despite being a national object of ridicule since his stint in New York seemingly 100 years ago, it must have hurt whatever was left of Felton's pride to have completely lapped by De'Aaron Fox in the head-on competition of backup point guards. In the first half, De'Aaron was a facilitator, coming into the game after the starters completely diarrhea-ed all over themselves. With Buddy and Jackson absolutely erupting against the fleshy Thunder bench underbelly, Fox was completely willing to feed the hot hand and play solid defense on the backend. In his second half stint, De'Aaron made his mark as a scorer, his speed and great off-the-ball action leading to several highlight plays. As a capper, Fox made a nice wrap-around pass on the drive to Z-Bo, essentially killing any OKC hope of winning the game. Good defense, solid offense in almost every facet of the game. The only negative came in the form of his five turnovers but, once again, what more do you want from a 19-year-old rookie? Justin Jackson (B+) -- 30 min, 16 pt, 4 rb, 0 ast, 0 stl, 0 blk, 0 tov, 3 pf And welcome to the NBA, Justin Jackson. On a night where he would be facing two of the best small forwards in the league in Paul George and Carmelo Anthony (now really more of a 4 than anything), the rookie wound up looking more than up to the task. The key thing to realize about Jackson is that while he isn't the most explosive athlete in the league, he is an incredibly smooth player who moves well off the ball and can operative perfectly within the confines of a team game. Though his outside shot largely continues to evade him, Justin was in the perfect position for the catch-and-shoot at almost every available opportunity and just seemed to make all the right cuts for De'Aaron to deliver perfect passes to him all night. On defense, largely held his own against the much bigger and stronger Carmelo and George, which is probably more than you should rightfully expect from a dude who looks like he's trying out for your local high school's JV team next week. Buddy Hield (A) -- 27 min, 21 pt, 7 rb, 1 ast, 1 stl, 0 blk, 3 tov, 3 pf Well that's more like it. When Buddy was sent to the bench, I, conditioned to expect a Kings shooting guard's production to crater the second his butt hit bine, feared the worst would happen. Buddy, much to his credit, appears to have eschewed the Marcus Thornton/Marco Bellinelli route of sucking eggs and sulking as a bench guy and has rather embraced the role of second unit scorer guy. And score he did, only taking nine shots to achieve an incredibly efficient 21 point night, also snagging 7 boards for good measure. Buddy's also shown a surprising commitment to the defensive end of the court this season and didn't look particularly outmatched going against the Thunder perimeter guys (although he spent more time on the benignly terrible at offense Andre Roberson than anyone else). If this is what Bench Buddy looks like, that's one less problem Joerger and his staff has to worry about going forward. Kosta Koufos (inc.) -- 9 min, 2 pt, 3 rb, 0 ast, 0 stl, 0 blk, 0 tov, 0 pf Played a short stint in the first half then left as Joerger went small with either Z-Bo or Willie as the only big on the court. Came back into the game midway into the second half and was summarily smashed in the face by Russell Westbrook and left the game before he could get into any sort of rhythm. On the night, with Z-Bo looking like Memphis Z-Bo, wasn't particularly needed either way. Skal Labissiere (D) -- 10 min, 2 pt, 3 rb, 0 stl, 0 blk, 1 tov, 4 pf Ugh. After a promising start to the season, Skal, much like the Kings team as a whole has leveled off some, all of his faults completely on display. While Skal can at times be a smooth, efficient scoring machine, he can also be alternatively a weak, no rebounding skinny dude with absolutely no feel for the game of basketball. It was unfortunately the latter that was on display against the Thunder as the Haitian wracked up three fouls in his first stint and just sorta disappeared from there. Skal spent most of his time matched up Patrick Patterson, which considering P-Pat's outside-in game, should have been an ideal matchup to hide the man on defense. While Patterson didn't really explode, Skal's continual lack of basketball awareness resulted in him misplaying several plays and those aforementioned fouls. Vince Carter (C) -- 14 min, 2 pt, 1 rb, 2 ast, 1 stl, 0 blk, 1 tov, 2 pf The ancient one gave another solid, workman-like vet performance tonight. While spectacular is probably out of the man's vocabulary as a basketball player at this point in his career, Vince was a steadying force on a night where youthful exuberance and an occasionally out of control Z-Bo ruled the night. In his short time as a King, Carter has found a role not as our backup small forward but rather as a smallball power foward, something that Joerger can get away with in the modern NBA where all the skilled big men are either centers or dead. The numbers haven't been spectacular but Vince has earned his contract as the seminal glue guy out to make sure the kids get to bed on time.