Kings rookie guard Ray McCallum plays in the NBA as if his father, Ray Sr., is still coaching him.

“Playing for my father the last three years (at Detroit Mercy), my whole life he was always on me about turning the ball over,” McCallum said. “He’d take me out of games in college last year if I turned the ball over.”

That might explain why McCallum has been so careful with the ball during his first NBA season.

McCallum has played more than 40 minutes in four consecutive games while Isaiah Thomas recovers from a right quadriceps contusion, accelerating McCallum’s learning curve. During the four games, he’s been more aggressive on offense without the excessive turnovers committed by most rookies.

In the four starts, McCallum has averaged 45.2 minutes, 15.3 points, 7.0 assists and just 1.8 turnovers, and in the last two games he has 18 assists and just three turnovers.

“He protects the ball and he makes good decisions,” Kings coach Michael Malone said. “Whether it’s being a coach’s son, something that’s been instilled in him from an early age – assist-to-turnover ratio, valuing the basketball – that’s your No. 1 job as a point guard. Get your team into an offense, get the best players on the floor the ball where they’re most effective and value the basketball at a very high level, and he’s done that well for us.”

McCallum said being a coach’s son has played a part in that, but so has a seat next to Malone when he makes a mistake.

“I think that’s definitely helped carry me along the way to always have that in the back of my mind,” McCallum said. “If I turn the ball over, I might come out, and I want to play as much as I can, so I try to go in there and take care of the ball and just be efficient.”

McCallum’s poise has impressed his coaches and teammates, especially considering he didn’t play much during the first half of the season.