As the Sacramento Kings take on the Los Angeles Lakers for the first time this season, what should you watch for?
The Sacramento Kings and Los Angeles Lakers. A California powerhouse versus the 10th place Lakers, so who’s got the edge and what should you watch for?
The Kings will be on the second night of a back to back for just the second time this season and will face off with the Brandon Ingram-led Lakers. The Kings are 1-0 on SEGABABA’s, and have a good chance to keep that streak alive against a struggling Lakers team.
These two teams met in the preseason, and Sacramento fell 128-123 in a game where no Kings starter played more than 20 minutes. Marvin Bagley III led the Kings in that one with 19 points and 10 rebounds, but it’s safe to say this game won’t follow that script.
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Notably on the Lakers side, marquee free agent pickup’s Javale McGee and LeBron James played less than 21 minutes and Lonzo Ball didn’t suit up either. While the two former things will likely change, Ball may not play in this one either due to an ankle injury.
The Sacramento Kings and Los Angeles Lakers are both top-three in the NBA in pace, and Sacramento is 3-2 against teams top-10 in pace this season. This game, however, is going to be decided by Sacramento’s guard play.
With Ball potentially out for tonight’s contest, the Lakers are down one of their best defenders, opening the door for either De’Aaron Fox or Buddy Hield to take over in this one. Both Kings backcourt-mates are coming of double-doubles (16p, 10a for Fox, 15p, 10r for Hield) and will be instrumental in guiding the Sacramento Kings to a win in this one.
Aside from that, the Kings are going to need some contribution out of the small forward position. Against the Timberwolves, Iman Shumpert played well, going for 17 points while Troy Williams chipped in eight off the bench. The Kings will need similar production, as well as somebody to at least slow down LeBron James.
According to ESPN’s Basketball Power Index, the Lakers are a 59.8 percent favorite, despite the Sacramento Kings sitting prettier at 7-5 and being at home, which is fair. The Kings shouldn’t be favored against a LeBron James led team, but they’ve proved they can hang with just about anyone in the league (save for Milwaukee) and they’ll get their chance to prove their legitness again in a marquee matchup on Saturday night.
Final Score: Los Angeles Lakers – 113, Sacramento Kings – 121