3 Keys For The Game: Sacramento Kings (11-16) at Washington Wizards (11-14)


After starting the road trip with a discouraging loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Sacramento Kings were able to bounce back with a convincing win over the Toronto Raptors, sweeping the season series.

The Kings will continue onto their road trip tonight in Washington D.C., as they face the Washington Wizards.

The Wizards have solid talent on their team, which consists of players like John Wall, Bradley Beal, and Marcin Gortat. However, their record has been surprisingly poor this season, considering that they have been a top-tier team in the Eastern Conference in recent history.

In order for the Kings to keep adding on to the Wizards struggles this season, they must follow these three keys to the game:

Let The Threes Rain: The Wizards are currently ranked dead last in the league in opponents 3P%, allowing their oppositions to shoot 40.4% from beyond the arc. The Kings need to take advantage of this, especially since they are a team that is ranked 5th in the league in 3P% shooting at 36.7%.

This will mean shooters like Darren Collison, Ben McLemore, Omri Casspi, and Marco Belinelli should have good looks to take from perimeter, and when do they better be ready to make them.

Win The Turnover Game: Both teams are ranked in the bottom third in the league in turnovers per game, Washington averaging 15.2 and Sacramento averaging 15.8. Whichever team takes care of the ball better on offense may play a pivotal part in deciding the outcome of this game.

Turnovers remain to be an issue for Sacramento, duly based off careless mistakes like miscommunication passes and knucklehead decisions. These unforced turnovers have to be limited tonight, and you know what, lets make this a trend for the entire season. 

Stop The Backcourt: The backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal play a central part in the Wizards offense, although Beal still may be out with a leg injury he suffered recently. The duo together average 39.7 points per contest, making up a significant portion of the points scored by Washington on a gamely basis. In order to cause havoc for the Wizards offense, the Kings must do a good job in defending the backcourt of the Wizards in tonight’s game.

This means players like Collison, McLemore, and Rajon Rondo will have the responsibility tonight to guard yet again another lethal backcourt duo on back-to-back nights. Last night in Toronto, the Kings did a fairly good job in defending Toronto’s backcourt in DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry, mainly because Lowry was ejected in the third quarter. If the duo of Washington is going to be available to play, the Kings better be ready to play efficient defense against them.

Final Thoughts: Overall, the Kings need to make their threes, take care of the ball, and stop the Wall-Beal pair from scoring major points. If the Kings are able to fulfill these keys to the game they have a great chance of coming out with the victory, winning their second consecutive game.

If Sacramento win tonight’s game, and the Utah Jazz lose against the Phoenix Suns tonight, the Kings will be tied for the 8th spot in the Western Conference with Utah. So despite the Kings record looking alarming right now, the Kings chances of making the playoffs still seem hopeful and realistic.