Kings rookie guard Nik Stauskas followed up tying his career high of 15 points in New York on Tuesday by scoring seven points in Wednesday's loss in San Antonio.
Not spectacular but the Canadian, who is averaging 3.7 points per game in 53 games in Sacramento, is seeing the floor again.
“I don’t know how much time I’m going to get him,” George Karl told Grant Napear on KHTK on Thursday regarding his rotation. “I don’t want to expand the experiment to 10 and 11 guys on a game to game basis. I like to keep it at nine, maybe 10.”
The eighth pick in last year’s draft has averaged 17 and a half minutes per night over his last two games after not playing in four of the first five games in the Karl era in Sacramento.
“I just thought the New York game was a good chance to get him in . . . and San Antonio same thing,” Karl shared. “ I don’t know if that’s a guarantee that he’ll get 15-20 minutes (per game) the rest of the season. I’m hoping to get vast majority of games where I feel good about him.”
Sacramento (21-38) has been a bottom five team in the NBA this season in 3-point shooting percentage and assists. Stauskas has the opportunity to fill the gap, but has clearly struggled in his rookie campaign.
Stauskas is shooting 27 percent from 3-point range for Sacramento, after shooting 44 percent from downtown at Michigan.
After two weeks on the job with the Kings, Karl shared his observation on last year’s Big 10 Player of the Year, who entered the league with a reputation of being not just a swisher but also a disher.
“The thing I like about him is I think he’s a better playmaker than some of our guards,” Karl said. “He makes good decisions with the pass as much as he spaces the court well with his shot.
“His defense, he’s got to do the concepts at a high level to compensate now, maybe for his lack of strength. I think that strength will come hopefully this coming summer and spend a lot of time in the weight room and get a little bigger, a little bulkier, a little tougher. He’s got a good basketball IQ and sometimes I think our basketball IQ needs that type of player when we’re on the court."
Karl admits that he will continue to tinker -- and he’s gone to veterans early.
“Every player has a different script, a different personality and coming in in the middle of the season . . . I guess gravitated toward the veteran guy . . . and let Nik earn his moments by how he played in practice,” Karl acknowledged. “We’re definitely in the stage of experiment in these next 23 games . . . hopefully get 50 percent of them in the win column.
“Sometimes those experiments that I make are probably going to confuse sometimes and we’re going to have a bad game; but I also think you’re going to see games like New York, where we played with good flow and good toughness and good sense.”
Stauskas is also hoping to see more games like New York.