1. Does Domantas Sabonis star in the playoffs?
The three-time All-Star big man is an elite rebounder, playmaker, and offensive weapon in the regular season, but he has been unable to translate his production to the playoffs. Last season, he averaged 2.7 fewer points, 2.6 fewer assists, and his rebounds were down 1.2 each night. Things tighten up in the playoffs, but Sabonis got shut down by the Dubs. It furthered a trend of three postseason appearances where he has seen his production dip.
The 27-year-old is just entering his prime and needs a breakout postseason. Perhaps the All-Star snub and playoff struggles will push Sabonis to a new level. He will be an elite rebounder, but can he maintain the playmaking and scoring as defenses stiffen? It is on 6’10 big man to star in those situations.
The Kings have Keegan Murray, Malik Monk, and Harrison Barnes to pick up the offensive slack if Sabonis is struggling. They need the big man on the floor to anchor their defense, especially against a team like the Nuggets with Nikola Jokic. Sabonis stepping up is key to the Kings making a run.
The Sacramento Kings plan on returning to the playoffs, but can they win their first series since 2004? They have the talent but need the breakout performance. The Kings will likely have to do it as the lower seed, and finding answers to these questions will help them achieve their goals.