WHEN: Friday @ 7PM, December 14th, 2018.
WHERE: Golden 1 Center — Sacramento, CA
RADIO: 95.7 The Game
Blog Buddy: Sactown Royalty
Shaun Livingston out tomorrow at Kings. Andre Iguodala questionable.— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) December 13, 2018
The Kings Aren’t Horrible Anymore? Ruh roh
If the playoffs started at the time of this writing, the Sacramento Kings would be the 8th seed in the wild wild West. Currently, they have a better record than the Trail Blazers, Pelicans, Spurs, Jazz, Rockets, and Timberwolves. All of those teams made the playoffs last year!
The last time the Kings faced the Warriors earlier this season there was no Stephen Curry or Draymond Green. It took 44 points from Kevin Durant and a gutsy Klay Thompson game winner in Oracle to survive Sacramento’s well-played game.
Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee observed how the Warriors All-Stars are taking note of the young Kings’ early success:
The Kings are off to their best start since 2004-05, when they went 18-9 over their first 27 games and made the playoffs with a 50-32 record. Warriors star Kevin Durant complimented the Kings and coach Dave Joerger for the second time in a matter of weeks on a recent episode of The Bill Simmons Podcast.
“They’re playing fast,” Durant said. “(Joerger) is putting the ball in his players’ hands and ... putting them in great positions to be successful. ... That’s the sign of a good coach and you can tell his players like that.”
“It’s different than what I’m used to and they’re playing the right way,” Klay Thompson said. “They seem very composed for a young team as well. They’ve got a bright future. They’ve got a lot of great young pieces.”
How are the long-suffering Kings so competitive at this juncture? Their offense, led by speedy guard De’Aaron Fox, is legit.
They share the ball (ranked 7th in assists), shoot a very high percentage from the field (ranked 3rd in field goal percentage) and are very selective with the three-pointer (24th in attempts, but 1st in 3PT shooting percentage at 39%).
Their defense is a work in process, with a middling defensive rating of 110.1, which is basically Atlanta Hawks and Chicago Bulls territory. They are ranked next to last in defending the paint, hemorrhaging 52 points per game under the rim. As long as they are giving up that many points so close to the rim, it’s hard to win consistently.
That is, of course, unless they shoot the lights out like they did against the Minnesota Timberwolves in their last game.
Sactown made history from deep against Minny pic.twitter.com/uEb7zDubbl— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) December 14, 2018
Meanwhile in Golden State...
Now I know it’s the regular season and the Warriors are just biding their time until the playoffs start as dynastic teams are wont to do. They await the introduction of former Kings legend DeMarcus Cousins to finally complete the final form of this all-time great roster.
Yet they’re in no great mood. In the Dubs’ last game, they got ran off of their home court by a Toronto Raptors team missing their best player, Kawhi Leonard. The “Splash Bros” combined to make 2 three-pointers.
I’m pretty sure Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are in a foul mood and can’t wait for their next game to tipoff.
I will be shocked if the champs do not do something downright barbaric to the Kings in Sacramento.
Gold-Blooded Prediction: The ornery Warriors pulverize Sacramento with a disrespectful third quarter barrage that provides the Kings with a valuable lesson about the fury of a salty champion.
Warriors 129, Kings 110
All stats per NBA.com as of 12/13/2018