Color Sacramento Kings coach Dave Joerger a believer in Rodions Kurucs after getting his first look at the Brooklyn Nets’ second-round draft pick, who torched the Kings for 16 points by going to the rim with purpose.
Kurucs told the media via Brian Lewis of the New York Post that the rookie made a difference with his offensive game.
"“Kurucs really hurt us and it was our first time seeing him, but it was layup, layup, layup first half. He’s a nice player. That was a very good pickup.”"
Whether cutting to the rim for easy feeds or doing it himself off the dribble, Kurucs was aggressive with his penetration game all afternoon.
He is effective because he is so effective with his combination of size, length and an explosive first step.
He blows by defenders who aren’t prepared for that sort of quickness, then is able to finish creatively at the rim by using his 7-foot-2 wingspan to fend off defenders and reach past attempts to knock the ball free.
Jarrett Allen had another strong game on the glass for the Nets, but had some difficulties offensively with the quick hands of the Kings.
Against small, quick defenders, bigs can struggle when they try to put the ball on the floor and Allen proved that axiom true with a team-high four turnovers in just 23 minutes.
Allen also struggled at time with the size and length of counterpart Willie Cauley-Stein, who got free for a couple of massive dunks over Allen, who just didn’t have the strength to keep Cauley-Stein off his spots.
That is a situation that should change as Allen continues to mature and gain strength.