For fans of the Sacramento Kings, here are three things you should be on the lookout for when your team faces off against the Denver Nuggets tonight.
The Sacramento Kings have finally won a game in their 2018-19 campaign as they defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder last Sunday. Now having a record of 1-2, the Kings are looking to add another dub to the win column as they will play against the Denver Nuggets tonight.
For the Nuggets, they have been impressive so far. They are currently undefeated with a record of 3-0 and are coming off a statement win against the Golden State Warriors.
Tonight’s game should be exciting as two offensive forces will be battling it out in the Pepsi Center. With that being said, here are three things that Kings fans should focus on while watching this contest.
Focus on the Pace
The Kings’ offense has been awesome this year. In three games, Sacramento has averaged 125.7 points a game (ranked second in the league) and have recorded an offensive efficiency rating of 114.4 (tied fourth in the league).
A big reason for the Kings’ offensive success is due to the team playing faster. Sacramento currently has a pace factor of 111.4 which is ranked second amongst NBA teams. And as a result, the Kings have been able to score at ease.
It will be interesting to see how Sacramento’s offense performs tonight. Because the Nuggets’ arena has a higher elevation level than the other NBA facilities, it might cause the Kings to get tired earlier than usual. It will be up to De’Aaron Fox and the other Kings guards to make sure they are playing at a pace that will not get them and their teammates too winded while still being effective.
Focus on Denver’s Guards
What has made Denver a good team in the last few years has been the play of their guards. Guys like Will Barton, Gary Harris, and Jamal Murray have been big for the Nuggets as they have shown to be explosive on the offensive end at times.
Fortunately, for the Kings, Will Barton will be sidelined due to a hip injury. But Murray and Harris are still available. Both players can shoot the ball well and get hot at any time, so the Kings need to make sure that does not happen. The group of Fox, Yogi Ferrell, Buddy Hield, Frank Mason III, and Iman Shumpert will need to have a solid defensive performance tonight in order for their team to be successful.
Focus on Willie Against Jokic
Although the guards for Denver will be a focus for the Kings, so is Nikola Jokic. The Nuggets star in on his way to stardom as he is currently averaging 26.3 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 7.3 assists a night while shooting 63.2% from the floor. Jokic has been a monster this season and needs to be the main focus for the Kings defensively today. This means Willie Cauley-Stein has a big assignment ahead of him.
Although Dave Joerger will throw different players at Jokic throughout the game, Cauley-Stein is going to be the main guy to defend him. It is close to impossible to completely shut down Jokic for 48 minutes, so if Willie can at least prevent Nikola from going off, it would help the Kings’ defense immensely.