No, these teams aren’t rivals. Heck, they aren’t even close to anything approaching a rivalry - but there’s something to this matchup. For me, it’s my coworker. He’s going to be absolutely insufferable if the Sacramento Kings defeat these Golden State Warriors tonight.
For the Warriors, they are probably more focused on just playing right. As we’ve seen, this team can look downright disinterested at times. Generally, those times are relatively rare, and the Warriors are reliably able to fight through any malaise well enough to win most games.
But man oh man... when they don’t summon that burst, it looks ugly.
These Kings play fast, and shoot the deep ball well. Two traits that could make this game fun, or let it get out of hand quickly.
Also, no Shaun Livingston or Andre Iguodala tonight. It will shorten the bench rotation significantly, likely freeing up more time for reserves Quinn Cook and Alfonzo McKinnie.
Andre Iguodala officially out vs Sac with R hip tightness.— Monte Poole (@MontePooleNBCS) December 15, 2018
Matcup to watch: Stephen Curry vs. De’Aaron Fox
As per NBCSBA, Curry expounded a bit on Fox just after the morning’s shootaround. The second-year point guard has been having a great season in Sacramento, and appears to be on the right trajectory to be a core piece of the engine that hopes to drive the Kings back into the playoffs.
He’s expanded his repertoire a little bit, obviously shooting the ball well, seeing the floor, controlling the pace of the game most of the time when he’s in his flow. You’ve got to deal with his speed, first and foremost, but he’s found other ways to use it to his advantage to create space and again, use the guys around him to play-make.
Obviously, he was extremely talented last year, just learning the ropes, but he’s taken another step in the right direction, which is cool to see.
Curry missed the first matchup (when Klay Thompson and a wedged dunk co-conspired to give the Warriors a tough win over the Kings at Oracle) but he’s back along with Draymond Green for a matchup that finally matters a bit. I don’t recall the exact stat, but it has been decades since these two teams faced off with both sides holding a winning record and I for one will gladly welcome a new era of Northern California competition.
Curry played poorly in the game against the Raptors, so I expect him to have a bounce back game.
"Is there anything you liked from last night's game?"— Dieter Kurtenbach (@dkurtenbach) December 13, 2018
Steph: [solid 15-second pause] no
But Fox presents some problems of his own. As Curry alluded to in that quote above, this kid is quick!
So you’ve got a motivated (hopefully) Curry coming off a bad game, going up against a young, quick guard with something to prove.
So grab your beverage, hunker down somewhere warm, and root for the Dubs!
Let’s go Warriors!! (clap, clap, clapclapclap)