Just by location the Sacramento Kings and the Golden State Warriors are primed to be an NBA rivalry and lately the league, as well as the players have embraced it. Malik Monk, for example, mentioned that he would love for the two teams to grow a real rivalry.
It all started when the Kings fought the then-reigning champions in one of the more entertaining first-round series of last season‘s playoffs. A heroic fifty-point performance by Stephen Curry in Game 7 eventually decided the series in favor of the Warriors.
Since then, the two teams have met twice in the regular season, including the Kings‘ home opener on national TV. They are also scheduled for a matchup during NBA Rivals Week in late January.
So far, the Kings have struggled to get the better of their veteran opponents, but every game is competitive. Even during the preseason, fans in Golden 1 Center were ready to provide a playoff atmosphere when the two teams faced off.
Tuesday‘s game will be no different, as it is crucial to both team‘s standings in the In-Season Tournament. The Kings are currently still undefeated in group play, sitting on top of West Group C, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they will advance.
They will if they beat the Warriors, or if Minnesota wins their last group game, and the Kings can win the tiebreaker over both the Timberwolves and the Warriors. Just that will make for an interesting game already. On top of that, it also marks Draymond Green‘s return from his five-game suspension for putting Rudy Gobert in a chokehold.
Green has been somewhat of a public enemy number one in Sacramento ever since he stomped on Domantas Sabonis‘ chest during the playoffs. His latest endeavors do not help his case
Draymond Green predicts an intense atmosphere at Tuesday‘s game
Nevertheless, Green told reporters that it would be fun. “I think it will be a lot like Game 7,” he said.
That alone is no surprise. A lot of players surely feel this way, too. The Kings want to beat the Warriors, especially in a high-stakes game like this. It is almost as if the Warriors, who were on top of the Western Conference for so long, are the one obstacle the Kings have to overcome before they can widely be considered a real force in the West.
When asked about his recent suspension, however, Green showed no real regrets and said that he would not change the way he approaches the game. That doesn’t necessarily mean that there will be another incident, but it certainly adds to an already tense situation.
Even if you are not a Kings or Warriors fan, this game should be must-see TV.