The Sacramento Kings (15-21) have recently won three of their last four games and will look to continue their winning ways against the Golden State Warriors (34-2) tonight.
The Kings entering the new year will face their most difficult challenge yet. The Warriors right now record-wise are the best team in the NBA and are lead by possibly three All-Stars in Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green.
Sacramento has already fallen to the Warriors three times this season, and will have their final attempt to beat them this season tonight. In order for the Kings to achieve this uphill feat, they must follow these three keys to the game.
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Perimeter Defense: The Warriors are the best team in the league in shooting the basketball from beyond the arc. Right now they are ranked 1st in the league in three-point shots made (12.8 a game) and also 1st in the league in three-point shooting percentage (42.6%).
For the Kings to have a chance to win tonight they cannot allow the Warriors to get hot from the perimeter. This means the team as a whole, especially the guards, will have to play aggressive defense by sticking with their opposing players and closing in on shot attempts. If the Kings are able to cause the Warriors to struggle in their perimeter shooting tonight it will help the Kings in trying to stagnant their high-powered offense.
Two Guard Help: A good argument can be made that the weakest position for the Kings is their two guards. For the Kings to have a good chance of winning tonight the team needs them to step up. This means whether it’s Ben McLemore, Marco Belinelli, Seth Curry, or James Anderson, at least, one of them has to make a positive contribution offensively.
Also playing efficient on defense will be needed tonight as well. If the Kings can get one person in the two guard position to play solid ball on both ends of the court it will help the team immensely.
Control the Momentum: Momentum has been a vital key for the Kings this season. When momentum has been on the side of the purple and white they have displayed the tenaciousness to defeat any level of competition. On the other hand, when the Kings lose momentum they can fall to anyone.
Winning the momentum game tonight will be huge for the Kings in trying to win this contest. This means the team needs to find ways to motivate themselves before/during the game, play inspiring defense, and offensively feed the players with the hot hand.
If they are able to do these things, plus have their beloved fans bring the Arco (technically Sleep Train) Thunder tonight the Kings can win the momentum battle and possibly the game.