Kyle Guy update: Inside that buzzer-beating three on TNT

Kyle Guy

Kyle Guy at the Final Four in 2019. Photo by Chris Graham.

The final seconds counting down, Sacramento down by two, 113-111, Kyle Guy had it in his head. “It’s preseason. Go for the win. Don’t try to tie it up.”

He got a screen from Chimezie Metu just inside the Kings logo to free him up from Golden State rookie guard Nico Mannion.

Warriors forward Kaleb Wesson forced him to pump-fake.

The line drive splashed at the buzzer.

Guy, all smiles, was mobbed by his teammates.

“That’s probably the best part of all, just how happy they were for me,” said Guy, whose game-winning three finished his night with 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting, 6-of-10 from three.

This, after a nice outing in Sunday’s 121-106 win over Portland, in which Guy had 14 points on 4-of-8 shooting, 3-of-7 from three, in 23 minutes off the bench, has the NBA preseason buzzing.

Guy, a second-round pick in 2019 out of Virginia, spent the bulk of his first season as a pro in the G League, where he averaged 21.5 points per game, shooting 41.3 percent from the floor and 40.1 percent from three for the Stockton Kings.

That year shuttling between Stockton and Sacramento did Guy some good.

Physically, “I found about 10 pounds,” said Guy, now listed at 6’1”, 167 – still light, by NBA standards.

The biggest adjustment: playing the point, after getting the bulk of his minutes at Virginia at the two, alongside another future NBA player, Ty Jerome, a first-round pick last year by Phoenix, now in Oklahoma City.

“In high school, I had the ball in my hands a lot, and then when I got to college, I was kind of like a little bit more off the ball. We had Ty Jerome and Kihei (Clark), so I was forced to be off the ball more, and so I’ve always had it, and just getting back in the groove of it was what again, the G League helped,” Guy said.

He’s still more Steph Curry than John Stockton – averaging 17.4 shots per game in Stockton in 2019-2020, as he dished out 4.8 assists per game.

The NBA hasn’t been about point guards dumping the ball into the post and dropping back on D since the days of Stockton-to-Malone.

Guy fits well into the modern landscape. He just needs somebody willing to give him a look.

Kings coach Luke Walton put some water on the fire postgame.

“What he’s doing is he’s building confidence in his in his teammates and his coaches as far as trusting him, and you know, I think that’s why it’s great that the NBA has gotten to this place now, where you have two-ways, and you have a G League system, so maybe someone like Kyle, who physically isn’t ready last year, can spend a year, really get a feel for it,” Walton said.

“Now as far as the regular season is concerned, if we’re fully healthy, there’s probably not a lot of minutes every night for him. But if we’re having an off-night or guys are out, he’s somebody that we can throw in there and count on,” Walton said.

Not exactly a ringing endorsement there, but it at least sounds like Guy is going to get a chance to be a contributor, maybe at the end of the rotation, if things work out for him.

“As far as being ready for the moment, I think that is who Kyle Guy is,” Walton said. “You know, it seems that, that’s who he was in college. I don’t know his high school career, but he likes the moment, and he’s a tough player. He’s a smart player. His teammates love him. And you know, it’s great to see him, these last two games, kind of start to play with that confidence and aggressiveness that he’ll need to play with to succeed at this level.”

Guy, for his part, is ready.

“I’m looking forward to hopefully being able to do more. I’m just really thrilled with, you know, the opportunities that I’ve gotten in this preseason,” Guy said. “I didn’t play all that well in the first Portland game, those, you know, seven, eight, nine minutes I played, and you know, I took that to heart, just tried to come back the next day, or the next game, and be better and, you know, focus on those things that I was messing up on, or whatever that was, and they gave me more time in the next Portland game, which, you know, was kind of shocking to me. But again, I tried to be ready. If you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready.”

Story by Chris Graham


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