The Sacramento Kings and Minnesota Timberwolves are set to play the first of two games against each other in a five-day span, can the Kings take the first one?
The Sacramento Kings versus the Minnesota Timberwolves, can you feel the excitement in the air? Maybe not, but in all seriousness this is an important game for both the Kings and the Timberwolves.
Currently, the Sacramento Kings are 14-12 and ninth in the West while the T-Wolves are 13-14 and 12th in the conference. That means, that this is an important game for two teams struggling to push their way into the playoff pictures. Both teams are also 6-4 in their last 10 games, suggesting we’re going to have another close game on our hands.
Back in early November, the Kings topped the Wolves 121-110 in the strength of Willie Cauley-Stein’s 25 points and the team’s ability to close out the game late. So, can we expect a repeat?
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We can go ahead and pencil in a “no” for that one, as both teams are markedly different from the last time they met. For starters, the Wolves are no longer with Jimmy Butler and Sacramento now has Bogdan Bogdanovic back from injury, as well as a more confident Marvin Bagley III.
The Sacramento Kings should be able to win in this one, despite the Wolves remaining a solid team after shipping out Jimmy Butler. With the emergence of Marvin Bagley III, coupled with De’Aaron Fox’s breakout play and Bogdanovic’s return should put them over the edge at home in this one.
A strong performance from those three, would likely cement a victory for the Kings in this one. When they can get the De’Aaron Fox that scores in high volume with high efficiency, they’re hard to beat. In fact, when the Kings back court of Fox and Buddy Hield both score over 20 points, they’re 4-1, unfortunately, we’re 26 games into the season and that’s only happened five times.
Fortunately for Sacramento, the T-Wolves are middle of the road defensively, as they rank just 15th in the NBA in total defense. Regardless, playing bad defenses doesn’t make it a given that the Kings back court duo will put up points, as evidenced by their game against Chicago when only one of them scored over 20.
The Kings also haven’t played their best against Minnesota in recent games, as they went 0-3 last season, but did — stop me if you’ve heard this before — beat them in their first meeting this season. Still, the Kings are at home and are arguably the better team and I think they get a win tonight.
Final: Minnesota Timberwolves – 103, Sacramento Kings – 116