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NBA Summer League 2013: Ben McLemore struggles to find shot in Kings debut

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The seventh overall pick in last June's NBA Draft shot just 4-23 from the field as the Kings fell to the Dallas Mavericks in Summer League action.


The stage was set for Ben McLemore to impress in his first appearance as a member of the Sacramento Kings. New owner Vivek Ranadive, general manager Pete D'Alessandro and even boxing champion Floyd Mayweather, Jr. were in the house to watch the Kansas standout. But instead of a great game, McLemore had a bad game, a really bad game. He finished with 11 points on 4-23 shooting, including 1-11 on three-point attempts, in the Kings 76-73 loss to the Dallas Mavericks.

While McLemore didn't play well in his Summer League debut, it's just one game. McLemore is a very good shooter, making 49 percent of his shots and 42 percent from three-point range in college. He did a good job creating open looks for himself coming off of screens in the game, and the five rebounds he grabbed also showed that he stayed engaged in other areas of the game despite the poor shooting performance.

That engagement and the 23 shots taken may be the two most important indicators in McLemore's game. As Jonathan Tjarks pointed out before the draft, McLemore at times can take himself out for stretches.

As an unselfish player without great ball-handling ability, McLemore has the tendency to disappear when the offense stagnates.

Again, it's just one game, but it looks like the Kings are going to be insistent on getting McLemore the ball and making sure he stays aggressive. Fellow rookie Ray McCallum also struggled shooting for the Kings, but did have four assists and eight rebounds while serving as the team's primary ball handler.

Meanwhile, the Mavericks were without first-round pick Shane Larkin, who suffered a broken ankle in a Friday practice. Second-year men Jae Crowder and Josh Akognon, as well as rookie Gal Mekel, led the charge for the Mavericks, scoring a combined 52 of the Mavericks' 76 points.

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