Kings' Keegan Murray needs to get ball more, Harrison Barnes believes
HB believes Murray should be targeted more on offensive end originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Harrison Barnes knows that if the Kings want to force a Game 7 against the Golden State Warriors, they have to do a better job consistently integrating Keegan Murray into the action.
Barnes spoke of the importance of Sacramento harnessing Murray's quick starts and parlaying that to the rest of the game, not just the first quarter.
"Yeah, that would be ideal," the Kings' veteran forward told reporters after practice Thursday. "Keegan gets off to that great start and I think as a group, we got to do a better job of finding him, right? I mean, that should've been.
"I don't know what number you want to put on it, but it should've been a very special game."
Barnes is referring to Game 5 in Golden 1 Center, when the rookie scored 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting in the game’s opening six minutes. However, Murray didn't attempt a single field goal in the next three quarters, a jarring shift from the start of the game.
"Anytime you get 10 points in eight minutes, you're in a great rhythm," Barnes continued. "We, as a group, have to identify that and make sure that -- not just for him, but just anybody -- making sure that they're in the flor of the offense, getting second touches, continuing to be a threat."
Even Kings All-Star De'Aaron Fox understood the impact Murray could have had if he had been given more opportunities to score.
"I think it was the flow of the game, but at the same time, we have to get him more shots,” Fox said to reporters after the loss. “He’s one of the better shooters in the league. … For us, we have to help him get open.”
In the end, though the Kings won't be throwing the kitchen sink at the Warriors in hopes of winning Game 6 in Chase Center, Barnes knows that if Murray gets going, that will only lead to good things for Sacramento.
"Those are things we can all feed off of and I don't think we did a good job, as a collective last night, of making sure, like I said it was him specifically that night but just in general, we're doing a good job of capitalizing on that," he concluded.
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With Sacramento's season perilously hanging in the balance, the Kings will need everyone to play at their very best if they want to play Game 7 at Golden 1 Center.
That certainly includes Murra. Fans are hoping to see the Kings rookie show out, potentially for the final time this season.