The upstart Sacramento Kings versus the Devin Booker-less Phoenix Suns. Should be an easy win, right?
The 11-11 Sacramento Kings against the 4-19 Phoenix Suns missing their best player; you’d think that should be an easy win, but nothing is certain with the Sacramento Kings. There’s no such thing as a sure thing in the NBA (or professional sports in general), but even less so when the Kings are likely to be without key contributor Marvin Bagley III for a second-straight game.
Unfortunately, with Bagley likely out for this contest, we won’t see a matchup of the 2018 NBA Draft’s top-two picks on Tuesday night. In that game, top-Pick DeAndre Ayton went for 24 points and nine rebounds, while Bagley was limited to just seven points and two rebounds.
Bagley has looked like a totally different player in the regular season than he did in preseason, but he’s gonna have to wait a little longer to get another shot at the Suns this season.
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Also working against Sacramento: they’re on the road for this one. They are, however, coming off a big win over the Indiana Pacers at home and have some positive momentum heading into this one. The Suns, meanwhile, have dropped five-straight games and are just 2-8 over their last 10 games.
It’s also hard to ignore recent history between these teams, as the Sacramento Kings went 0-3 against the Suns last season and haven’t won a game in Phoenix since March of 2015. Of course, as has been mentioned in nearly every game preview to date, this year’s Sacramento Kings and last year’s are completely different.
The Kings have a legitimate All-Star candidate in De’Aaron Fox and one of the better back-court duos in the league with Fox and Buddy Hield, something they didn’t have last season. That’s gonna be a key for the Sacramento Kings in this one. The Suns aren’t exactly a pushover team, they’ve pushed the Thunder, 76ers and Pacers to the limit and topped the Bucks as well, so the Kings can’t go into this one thinking it’ll be an easy win.
If the Kings want to be a good team and be taken seriously, they’re gonna have to win the games they’re expected to win and that starts here. The Kings are at .500 and coming off a tough win against Indy and should be able to easily handle this Suns team and if they can’t it would be a blow to the confidence this team is currently playing with.
Aside from needing strong performances from their starting back-court, there’s added importance for Fox to regain some of the efficiency and scoring he had to open the season. Fox hasn’t shot over 50 percent in a game since Nov. 17 and hasn’t scored over 20 points since Nov. 16. He’s still be a solid player in these games, but not the high-volume, high-efficiency scorer he was to open the year.
One smaller storyline to keep an eye one: Troy Williams’ recent play. Williams has put together a couple strong performances after receiving a bump in minutes two games ago.
Against the Pacers, Williams went 4-6 from the field for 12 points and three rebounds and was a plus-four in 16 minutes. Against the West-leading Clippers, Williams was just a minus-one in a game the Kings lost by 12 and had six points and two rebounds in 23 minutes of play. He’s added plus-defense to a team that sorely needs it.
The Sacramento Kings are in a good spot to tack on another win to their one-game win-streak and I think they get it done on the road.
Final: Sacramento Kings 128, Phoenix Suns 119