Hey! It's (preseason) basketball! Sharpshooting! Defense! Slick passing! I'm told these are among some of the traits attributed to the sport that is known as NBA basketball. None of these (well, okay, maybe there was some defense being played) was on display in Las Vegas Sunday night. But, hey, it's (preseason) basketball! And Z-Bo is apparently a stretch forward now! Garrett Temple (C+) -- 34 minutes, 12 pts, 4 rbs, 1 ast, 3 stl, 1 blk, Normally, coaches tend to play their rotation players less minutes in preseason than they do in the regular season. Dave Joerger apparently didn't get the memo as Garrett Temple somehow wound up playing 34 minutes (even featuring a stint as point guard after Fox went down), which is probably more than he'll likely see in most games this season. Temple for his part was his usual solid role-player self. He played his typical hardnosed defense and was generally savvy on the offensive end, though his shot was largely off the mark all night. While he's probably too small to play small forward full time, GT is probably the two guard on our roster I'm most comfortable with seeing SF time down the stretch because he's so good on defense. Also, Brandon Ingram still sorta sucks at basketball. Zach Randolph (B-) --28 mins, 16 pts, 6 rbs, 3 ast, 0 stl, 0 blk When Vlade signed Z-Bo in the offseason, they must have obviously included some sort of clause in his contract that required him to shoot several dozen three pointers a game. While he's still certainly capable in the paint, Randolph also spent way more time out on the perimeter than I could remember him doing the last time he was on a Dave Joerger squad. While he'll never blow you away, I thought Z-Bo played solid defense as the game devolved into an even uglier version of good old grit-n-grind. Willie Caulie-Stein (C-) -- 25 mins, 4 pts, 4 rbs, 0 ast, 0 stl, 0 blk While it doesn't show up in the box score, WCS had an encouraging game if you're a member of the Willie should be a defensive role player and nothing more crowd. With Z-Bo doing his thing on offense, Willie, while still taking a couple of ill-advised forces, generally stayed out of the way and contributed on defense, helping making life difficult inside for the Lakers as we "came back" from a double digit deficit. Bogdan Bogdanovic (C-) -- 31 mins, 7 pts, 0 rbs, 3 ast, 0 stl, 0 blk No one (okay, everyone) said that Bogdan's transition to the NBA would be easy. Considering he's been on a year-round basketball schedule for an approximate eight straight years or so, the Serbian's main problem may be that he's too in practice than him being out of it. Bogdan largely plays completely in the flow of the game, occasionally playing Point Bogie and setting up teammates for scores. At this point, Bogdan's shot just seems to be a little off but while the rules and lines on the floor may be different in Europe, the hoops are still the same size. He should be fine when big boy time comes. George Hill (C) -- 34 mins, 7 pts, 8 rbs, 3 ast, 1 stl, 0 blk This is a bit of a tough one. Thanks to Fox screwing up his back in a hard fall pretty early into the night, Hill would up playing 34 minutes tonight and not doing all that much in that time. On defense, Hill is as advertised: a smart veteran on the perimeter who isn't prone to the sorts of errors and mental lapses that most of our guards have been since the days of Ron Ron and Bonzi. I thought the Bogdan/Hill pairing might wind up being a looks we see a lot in the coming season as Hill isn't exactly the purest of point guards and Bogdan has great court vision for his position. Not an inspiring night, but a lot of this might be attributed to tired legs being forced to play regular season minutes a week into preseason. Also good/bad: He was our best rebounder on the night. Vince Carter (B) -- 19 mins, 9 pts, 2 rbs, 0 ast, 1 stl, 0 blk Half old man, half Larry David-esque meh. In terms of performances by 40-year old veteran bench depth swingmen, this was a good one. Provided energy the second he came in, helping the team work off its Vegas hangover before halftime. Being the NBA equivalent of the godfather, was in the ear of the refs, coaches, younger dudes all night, pretty much doing what you hoped he would do when you signed him in the offseason. Most nights, this performance would go unnoticed. It's just that tonight, almost everybody else was in peak preseason form. Buddy Hield (C-) -- 24 min, 7 pts, 2 rbs, 2 ast, 2 stl, 0 blk Wearing the number 24 against the LA Lakers, Buddy kindly decided to pay tribute to the greatest #24 in Lakers franchise history and play like Kobe Bryant, only the crappy zombie version of him in the twilight of his career and not the doom bringer Kings fans are unfortunately familiar with. Buddy has seemingly never seen a shot he doesn't like. This can be acceptable when he's hitting them at a nice clip but when he's throwing up vase-smashers like he's been doing most preseason, it can be nigh-unbearable. To his credit, Buddy tries on defense but he's got the least court awareness of all of the two guards on the roster. De'Aaron Fox (inc.) -- 9 min, 3 pts, 0 rbs, 2 ast, 1 stl, 0 blk Get well soon, De'Aaron. With Lonzo once again a "DNP (scared)", De'Aaron did his best to try to live up to the hype for both guys involved, possibly trying too hard in his 9 minute stint. Playing fast and athletic can be beneficial but it can also result in unfortunate aches and pains (see Gerald Wallace). It can also result in absolutely insane feats of athleticism. Kosta Koufos (B) -- 18 min, 4 pts, 7 rbs, 1 ast, 0 stl, 0 blk Kosta was his usual Kosta self. I'm not quite an expert on Newton's Laws but I'm pretty sure one of them said something like "If you give Kosta at least 15 minutes, he will give you like 5 pts, and 7 boards no matter what." As a solid veteran/trade bait throughout the season, there's something to be said about being able to pencil in 15 minutes of rebounding/team defense/non-annoying offense a night, especially on a team with a bunch of young dudes who play bipolar ball. Skal Labissiere (D) -- 14 min, 0 pts, 4 rbs, 0 stl, 1 blk Let's get this out of the way: It wasn't a good night for Skal. Was just completely passive all night, and seemed to get pushed around by any Lakers big man/ dude over 6'5". The Haitian did, to his credit, make an effort on the boards and he had a nice help block only achievable when you have stretchable arms. Maybe he was just saving himself for the game against the Blazers. And there we have it, first (preseason) grade thread of the post-Brick grade thread era in the books. I'm going to go drain a bottle of scotch and pass out. We do it all again against the Blazers in 24 hours. Don't be late.