The Kings head to the capital for their 3rd game in 4 nights to take on the Wizards and try and lock up another winning road trip. With 10 wins in their last 12 games, Sacramento is on a roll, and they’ll be looking for revenge after the Wizards walloped them on December 23rd. Let’s see what the Kings can do to keep their winning streak alive.
The Wizards come into the game with the 17th ranked offense and 19th ranked defense and a 32-38 record. Just like the Bulls, they are fighting for a Play-In spot, needing a win to climb up from the 12th seed in the East. Last time these two teams faced off Kyle Kuzma went off for 32 Points, 9 Rebounds, 2 Assists, 1 Steal, and 1 Block on 60.9% shooting from the field. Kuzma is having a career year for the Wizards, averaging a career high 21 Points per game. He doesn’t shoot great from beyond the arc, sitting at 32.2%, but gets inside well and uses his length to finish at the rim at a decent 69.2% clip.
The Kings will also have to look out for Bradley Beal, a top-notch bucket getter in the NBA, and Kristaps Porziņģis who has had a nice bounce back season, albeit a very quiet one media attention wise. The two of them are averaging 23.4 and 22.8 Points, respectfully. With some quick math, the Wizards get 67.2 Points from the trio of players, but after that there is a drop off to Rui Hachimura’s 13.0 Points per game. Odds are that those three are going to combine for some big numbers, so the Kings will have to try and limit the others from adding too much to the scoring.
Sacramento should have the advantage tonight in the transition game. The Kings are averaging 15.5 Fastbreak Points and 17.7 Points off Turnovers per game, good for 6th and 11th in the league. The Wizards are sitting at 11.7 and 14.9 of each, both of which rank 28th. The Kings are the best team in the league limiting opponents Fastbreak Points, only allowing 11.8 per game. They have done a good job all year of not letting opponents have good games in areas of weakness, and will be key tonight to win that stat coming in with such a large advantage.
For the Kings, they’ll be without the services of Kevin Huerter for a few games and will be looking to fill the starting shooting guard spot. In the past, Mike Brown has kept Malik Monk on the bench in the three games Huerter has missed, opting for Terence Davis to start in the 3 such games and keep the rotations the same. TD has been in and out of the rotation recently, with only 39:54 total minutes played in the last 8 games. Since Kessler Edward addition into the rotation, TD has seemed to be the odd man out, but with the absence of Huerter he’ll have to once again step up to fill in the minutes like he’s done in the past.
In the first matchup against the Wizards, Domantas Sabonis had one of his 11 Triple-Doubles with 20 Points, 15 Rebounds, and 10 Assists, but he did so on 5-of-14 (35.7%) shooting. It’s also the game where he hurt his hand at end of the game, so some revenge might be incoming for the inflicted injury. In the 12 games since the All-Star break, the Kings big man is averaging 20.2 Points, 13.8 Rebounds, and 8.2 Assists on 60.1/44.4/77.4% shooting splits.
That’s not only ridiculous production but also amazing efficiency. He does everything on the court for the Kings and between him and Fox, either one of them is going off pretty much every single game, and sometimes we get the double feature with both having great games. We really are lucky as fans to get to watch such a talented and unique player every night. Soak it up Kings fans, and let’s light the beam!