On Oct. 11 the Sacramento Kings will take on the Utah Jazz in their fifth game of the preseason at Golden 1 Center.
The Sacramento Kings will be playing the Jazz I’m a preseason game, six days before opening the regular season against them. Last season, the Kings went 0-3 against the Jazz losing by an average of nine points.
The Kings may not be expected to knock off the Western Conference’s no. 5 seed from a year ago in the season opener, but they could very easily take them down a note in Thursday’s clash.
A win could also give Sacramento some added confidence in the season opener, something that could go a long way for a young team. Regardless, there will be plenty for Kings fans to watch for in Thursday’s game, starting with a battle between two high-profile guards.
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What to watch for
First on the list has to be how De’Aaron Fox is able to play against Donovan Mitchell’s Jazz team.
Last season Fox struggled mightily against the Jazz, shooting just 36 percent from the field for 11.3 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. By comparison, Rookie of the Year candidate Donovan Mitchell short 58 percent against Sacramento for 29.6 points, 2.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.6 steals over their three games.
It’s unfair to put Mitchell and Fox on the same level as Mitchell has a far-superior team surrounding him as well as a better coaching staff; but it would go a long way toward believing Fox can take the next step if he’s able to perform at a high-level against a team he’s struggled with in his career.
Itll also be important to see how Marvin Bagley III plays in this one. The Jazz are a good defensive team and Bagley has struggled in the postseason thus far, seeing him right-the-ship in this one would certainly be a good sign.
Preseason should always be taken with a grain of salt, but it’d be nice to see Bagley put up some solid numbers in this one. Statistically, he’s been alright averaging 11.3 points, 7 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game but he’s struggled to convert from the field, shooting just 40.6 percent.
On the opposite side of that, Kings fans should watch to see whether or not Harry Giles can continue his strong play. So far, he’s averaging 15.25 points, 6.25 rounds, 2 assists and 1.25 blocks on a stellar 57.5 percent from the field.
Of course, as mentioned earlier, preseason should be taken lightly but, Giles sat at all of last season recovering from a torn ACL in college and this is the first time we’ve seen him getting extended run on the floor. Seeing him come out and play so well is arguably the biggest takeaway of the preseason.
Will he keep it up? Hard to say but he looks like he has all the tools to be successful at the NBA-level performing well against a great Jazz team would just further that notion.