March 27, 2018, 4:04 pm
The Kings’ six-game homestand continues on Tuesday as the Dallas Mavericks come to town.
The Mavs have lost five straight games and sit 13th in the Western Conference, one spot below the Kings. Dallas currently hold an 8-27 record on the road, one of the worst road records in the league. Like the Kings, they’re rebuilding and have their sights set on the draft lottery, playing younger guys more often and focusing on the development of their future.
Tonight’s meeting will be the fourth and final encounter between the two teams. The Kings have come away victorious in two of the three prior meetings, however, all three games have been tightly contested.
All eyes will be on the point guard matchup, as rookies Dennis Smith Jr. and De’Aaron Fox are set to square off. There wasn’t much separating the two in the previous meeting. Fox compiled 11 points, four rebounds, seven assists and one steal on 5-of-12 shooting from the field (1-of-3 from three), while Smith recorded 17 points, three rebounds, three assists and one steal on 6-of-15 shooting (2-of-9 from three).
Smith’s inefficiency has plagued him a little all season long, but it’s a common occurrence for rookies to struggle in this department. He’s shooting 39.2 percent on the season, but over his last four games he’s managed to shoot 42.1 percent from the field, a slight improvement.
Bogdan Bogdanovic will be looking to break out of his shooting slump tonight. Over the last two months he’s shooting just 39.0 percent from the field, however, his hot shooting early on in the season still has his season shooting percentage at 44.4 percent. Bogdan has never played a season as long as this in his career, so it’s certainly possible that fatigue is a factor in his shooting struggles of late.
With obvious draft lottery implications in play tonight it’ll be interesting to see how the two coaches decide to operate. Both coaches have experienced a ton of success in the past so they’re going to have that winning mentality in mind, however, deploying their youth for extended periods to satisfy their respective front offices wouldn’t be a surprise, either. Mavs owner Mark Cuban has even admitted that “losing is our best option” and was subsequently fined as a result.
PG – De’Aaron Fox
SG – Bogdan Bogdanovic
SF – Justin Jackson
PF – Zach Randolph
C – Willie Cauley-Stein
Garrett Temple (ankle) – OUT
HOW TO WATCH
Where: NBCS California
When: 7:00 p.m. PST (10:00 ET)