Can the Sacramento Kings right the ship against San Antonio?

SACRAMENTO, CA - DECEMBER 23: Bogdan Bogdanovic
SACRAMENTO, CA - DECEMBER 23: Bogdan Bogdanovic /

How can the Sacramento Kings knock-off the San Antonio Spurs?

The Sacramento Kings went 0-4 against the Spurs last season, but things were much closer when the two battled in California’s capital city.  In two home games, the Kings lost by an average of eight points, compared to 14 points when they played in Texas.

Those were also last year’s Sacramento Kings. It’s abundantly clear that those Kings aren’t the same as these Kings and because of that, Sacramento has a legit shot to grab a win against the Spurs.

To do this, the Kings will have to keep pushing the pace. If you haven’t heard and have been living under a rock, the Sacramento Kings play a fast paced brand of basketball (second in the NBA). Contrarily, the Spurs rank 26 in the league in pace, giving the Kings a massive advantage they can use to snag a victory.

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Sacramento also has been the better shooting team this season, ranking ahead of San Antonio in both effective field goal percentage and true shooting percentage. The Kings, however, have their work cut out for them.

The Kings score 17.7 percent of their total points off turnovers and lead the league in fast break points, on the flip side of that, the Spurs are tops in the NBA in protecting the ball and top-10 in keeping opponents from scoring off turnovers. One good sign for the Kings, though, is that San Antonio ranks bottom-10 in opponent fast break points allowed per game.

Statistically, the Sacramento Kings have quite a few advantages of the Spurs in some key areas, but that won’t make it easy for them to grab a win. There are a few other tidbits of information that could swing the outcome of this game, however.

Other Notes

The Sacramento Kings will be without reserve center Kosta Koufos in this one, as he’s out with calf soreness, according to NBCS California’s James Ham.

This, of course, opens the door for Harry Giles to make a return to the rotation after a solid one-game detour in the G-League. Giles was assigned to the Stockton Kings after the Kings loss to the Lakers on Saturday night and was subsequently recalled on Monday. He’s struggled thus far this season, but a solid G-League outing could signal a return to preseason-form for the young big-man.

Bogdan Bogdanovic is going to play in his third-straight game following a return from offseason knee surgery.

Buddy Hield shoot just 3-17 against the Lakers in one of his worst games of the season, it’ll be interesting to see if that impacts his confidence at all heading into tonight.

Rudy Gay is returning from a three-game absence for the Spurs to face his former squad tonight, fingers crossed the Kings don’t fall victim to a Rudy Gay revenge game.

Final Score Prediction: San Antonio Spurs – 97, Sacramento Kings – 101

Next. Pride and Patience: 11 games into the season. dark

Note: all stats courtesy of unless otherwise noted