Kings All-Star guard De’Aaron Fox already missed the last two games with an ankle sprain that he suffered late in the fourth quarter of Sacramento’s overtime win against the Lakers. Both games ended in losses for the Kings, one heartbreaker against the Golden State Warriors and one slugfest against the Houston Rockets.
Now, the Kings are set for a rematch against said Rockets tonight, and it has to go much better than the first meeting between the two teams. Looking absolutely lost without their star point guard and lacking intensity defensively, the Kings didn’t even crack the 90-point mark on Saturday.
If the Kings really want to be a contender in the West, they have to win the games they are supposed to win—with or without Fox. The Rockets got some veteran help and a new coach over the summer, which already helped improve the team, but the Kings should still be the better team in the matchup.
Is De’Aaron Fox playing tonight?
De’Aaron Fox is officially listed as out for tonight’s game on the NBA injury report, missing his third straight game. Trey Lyles is also still out with a calf strain that has already held him out of the first five games of the season.
The Rockets will be without Tari Eason, Victor Oladipo, and Amen Thompson.
Who will take over Fox’s minutes?
So far, Davion Mitchell has started every game Fox missed and will most probably do so again tonight. This means that the Kings will play with a starting lineup of Mitchell, Kevin Huerter, Harrison Barnes, Keegan Murray, and Domantas Sabonis.
Malik Monk, JaVale McGee, and Chris Duarte should be the main guys off the bench with some minutes also going to Colby Jones and Sasha Vezenkov. How the actual minute distribution pans out really depends on how the game is going and how everyone plays. Usually, when Fox is out, Monk becomes the go-to guy in crunch time, so we should see plenty of him tonight.
When is Fox expected to make his return?
Last week, Shams Charania reported that Fox could be back as soon as the first matchup against the Rockets. That was obviously not the case, but Fox himself already said that he feels like he is almost there. In the past, Fox has been very resilient when it comes to injuries so we should expect him to be back sooner rather than later.
His next chance to suit up will be Wednesday against the Portland Trail Blazers.