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Hield struggling through preseason

Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield, right, drives against San Antonio Spurs forward Davis Bertans during the second half of an NBA preseason basketball game Monday, Oct. 2, 2017. Hield and a number of Bahamian top players are expected to be unavailable when The Bahamas takes on Canada next month in its first game of the 2019 FIBA World Cup qualification process, and for some of the other early qualifying games. AP

It has been tough sledding for Grand Bahama native Chavano “Buddy Hield” and the Sacramento Kings up to this point of the 2017-2018 National Basketball Association (NBA) preseason.

The Kings are currently 1-3 overall and to make matters worse, De’Aaron Fox, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, suffered a minor back injury that has forced him to miss the Kings’ last two games. This year’s Summer League has been extremely tough for Hield, who is now just 5-for-22 from the field over his last two games.

In Sacramento’s 97-83 loss to the Portland Trailblazers on Monday Hield managed just seven points on 3-for-11 shooting from the field, and 1-for-3 from behind the three-point line.

Hield’s struggles come following a good start to the preseason. His best game so far was a 12-point effort in a 113-93 loss to the San Antonio Spurs last Thursday. Hield also pulled down four rebounds, handed out two assists and came up with two steals in the loss. Hield and the Kings have a chance to get back on track today when they take on the Los Angeles Clippers.

Hield said in an interview this week that he knows the team is counting on him being a key shooter on their youthful roster.

As a rookie, Hield averaged 10.6 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.5 assists. However, his role grew once he got to Sacramento, scoring 15.1 points and getting 29.1 minutes in 25 games with 18 starts.

Hield said he’d try to do the best he can to be a leader on a team that lacks experience.

“We’re experienced but we’ve still got to experience a lot more,” Hield said. “Going into my second year I have to learn a lot more. I don’t know it all. I’m trying to figure out and I’ve just got to keep competing hard.”
The Kings only win of the preseason came on October 2 in a 106-100 win over the Spurs. Hield also had 12 points and four rebounds in that game as well. Hield had seven points in a 75-69 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on October 8.


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