The Sacramento Kings host the Utah Jazz on Jan. 17. This article previews the potential matchup between De’Aaron Fox and Donovan Mitchell.
The Sacramento Kings and Utah Jazz do battle for the first time this season on Jan. 17. The Western Conference foes battle two more times after tonight. The first game of the series allows us to deep dive on a potential matchup that has me salivating for this game to start.
Rookie guards lock horns
No player is producing more surprising numbers than Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell. Mitchell is a combo guard that was drafted 13th overall. After heading to Utah, many figured he would play sparingly with Ricky Rubio, Dante Exum, Rodney Hood, and a handful of other options to play in the backcourt. That just has not been the case, though. Mitchell is averaging 31.4 minutes a night and producing 18.9 points, 3.3 assists, 3.3 rebounds, 1.5 steals. 2.3 3-pointers made, and 2.5 turnovers per game. He is shooting 44.0% from the field and 85.9% from the free throw line as well. Expect Mitchell to play well over 30 minutes this evening and be the Jazz go to scorer whenever he is on the floor.
The Kings recent decision to shift towards youth should have the team spotlighting De’Aaron Fox. His development as the lead point guard and the engine is paramount to Sacramento’s success. Fox also needs to grow into a plus defender to slow down the plethora of elite point guards in the conference. Do not be surprised to see George Hill rest in this game and that will put an even more extensive workload on Fox’s back.
Watching him run the length of the floor for an easy deuce is nearing the top of my plays I hope to see list, though. Below is a highlight video of just the play I mentioned.
Fox and company need to slow down Mitchell. If Fox can produce 15 points and ten assists, it will go a long way in Sacramento snapping their five-game losing streak tonight.
The Kings and Jazz are set to do battle inside the Golden 1 Center tonight. Both teams are on the outside looking in at the playoffs and figure to be expecting a victory this evening. Please tune in and enjoy the game.
It is worth nothing two news items for any Kings’ fan. Skal Labissiere is questionable with a left shoulder injury. Be sure to check on his status as tipoff approaches. Also, the Kings plan on sitting at least two veterans in each game moving forward. You can read the full story here. Monitor that situation as well.
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