Game Preview: Sacramento Kings at Milwaukee Bucks


The Sacramento Kings (5-10) are heading into Milwaukee to face the Bucks (6-8) after a poor defensive performance against the Hornets Monday night. Their woes could continue with the Kings’ defensive anchor DeMarcus Cousins doubtful to play due to a stiff back.

Without Cousins on the floor the Kings will have to figure out how to handle the Bucks’ big man Greg Monroe, who had 20 points and 13 rebounds in their win over Detroit that ended a three game skid on the road.

The Bucks are a talented but young team that is still trying to figure things out. They have an exciting lineup that includes phenoms like Jabari Parker and Giannis Antetokounmpo and Sacramento will need to contain them and be resigned to the fact that those two will likely have a highlight play or two.

More from Kings News

If Sacramento can withstand scoring runs from the Bucks and stick to their game plan, they will have a good opportunity to go into Milwaukee and close out their road trip with a win, somewhat salvaging their November.

The keys to tonight’s game for Sacramento are becoming redundant, but that doesn’t mean that they are any less important. There are only two things the Kings need to focus on if they want to get a second win on this road trip.

Defend, Defend, Defend (Especially the perimeter)

Bucks are a good 3-point shooting team at 38.4%, so the Kings’ guards will need to defend the perimeter and contest shots.

Nov 4, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Sacramento Kings center Kosta Koufos (41) against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. The Suns defeated the Kings 118-97. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

If DeMarcus doesn’t play, it will be up to Willie Cauley-SteinKosta Koufos and backup big men Quincy Acy to make the paint a very inhospitable place for Greg Monroe and the Bucks. The Kings should win the rebounding match up, but they need to be sure to reign in offensive and contested boards.

Defense has been terrible thus far for Sacramento, allowing 108.3 points per game (ranked 29th of 30). Any holes in their defense or problems switching need to be fixed in a hurry.

Coach George Karl has taken some blame by acknowledging that some of his rotations down the stretch in games weren’t the best defensive lineups. Hopefully we will see if Karl or the Kings have figured it out tonight.

Turnovers need to be minimized 

More from A Royal Pain

The Kings are averaging 16.7 turnovers this season. It doesn’t help that the turnovers seem to come in bunches during pivotal points in games. Sacramento needs to take better care of the ball and that means no unforced turnovers from sloppy passes and too much dribbling.

If Sacremento is able to do those two things well, then they should be able to take care of this Bucks team that has been struggling lately.

Expect Rajon Rondo to have another big assist night in Wisconsin after breaking a Sacramento record with 20 against the Hornets. Also expect a lot of isolation plays from Rudy Gay if DeMarcus does not play.

Next: Ben McLemore Finding Niche With Kings

The bench will have to come through like they have been lately with some buckets to make up for Boogie’s missing point production. Expect Coach Karl to start Acy tonight, as he likes his energy and three-year NBA experience over Cauley-Stein.