The Sacramento Kings will face off against the Orlando Magic tonight. Can the Kings be successful and up their record to 5-3?
After coming off a game against the Miami Heat last night, the Sacramento Kings are now in Orlando as they face off against the Magic. The Kings are currently on a three-game winning streak where they find themselves with a 4-3 record in the NBA standings. Can they get another victory in their second part of a back-to-back?
To me, it is very possible that the Kings can leave the Amway Center with a victory. But they will need to achieve two things tonight in order to do so. Let us dive into those two things the Kings need to focus on for tonight’s contest.
Up The Tempo
Through seven games, the Kings are scoring 117 points a night and are ranked 11th in offensive efficiency amongst the league. Their offense has vastly improved compared to last season, and the main reason for it is due to the team playing at a faster pace.
According to ESPN, the Kings record a pace factor of 108 which is ranked fifth in the league. For the case of the Magic, they are on the opposite end of the spectrum as they have a pace factor of 102.5 which is ranked 25th in the NBA.
Whichever team is able to control the pace of the game will have the advantage tonight. The Kings need to run every chance they get so they can make the Magic defense uncomfortable. This means the guards of Sacramento, especially De’Aaron Fox, will need to have good games tonight. Get defensive stops and run the floor when they get on offense.
Control Orlando’s Bigs
The strength of the Magic this season has come from their frontcourt. Guys like Nikola Vucevic, Aaron Gordon, Jonathan Isaac, and others have helped the Magic be competitive when they have this year.
For the Kings to have the upper hand tonight, they need to limit the play of Orlando’s big men. Guys like Willie Cauley-Stein, Nemanja Bjelica, and Marvin Bagley III need to have solid performances. On offense, they need to be able to score in the paint efficiently, and on defense, they need to give the Magic fits in the paint and win the rebound battle.
It is a lot to ask of Sacramento’s frontcourt to completely dominate Orlando’s big. But if they are able to force them to underperform, it will help the Kings’ defense immensely.