October 21, 2017, 8:08 am
After a hard-fought 93-88 win in Dallas on Friday, the Kings have a quick turnaround as they head to Denver to take on the Nuggets, who are looking for their first win of the season.
On the back of veterans George Hill and Zach Randolph, who was making his Kings debut, Sacramento was able to earn their first win of the year.
The Kings split four games with the Nuggets last season and averaged 118 points in the two wins and just 94 points in the losses.
Denver, who finished seventh in the league in three-pointers made per game last season are currently sixth in the category. However, they’ve only played one contest. The Kings are 17th in that same category.
The Kings will need to get better in that aspect, along with ball movement. The Kings are averaging 19.5 assists per game, which is just 25th in the league.
Rookie De’Aaron Fox put up his first-career double-digit assist performance in Friday’s win as he dropped 10 dimes. If the 19-year-old is able to average even close to that total, he’ll make Sacramento’s second unit a force to deal with.
Willie Cauley-Stein, who’s averaging 15.5 points and 10.5 rebounds through two games, will be looking for his third consecutive double-double. However, it won’t be easy against one of the NBA’s top center’s, Nikola Jokic.
Randolph will have his hands full tonight with big offseason acquisition, Paul Millsap, on the opposing side. Millsap presents all kinds of matchup problems so we could see someone like Skal Labissiere called on to tame the four-time All-Star.
The Nuggets are coming off a 106-96 loss to the Jazz in which they were outscored by 15 in the fourth quarter. However, tonight’s game is Denver’s home opener so they’ll be motivated to come out strong in front of a presumably packed house.
Hill and Fox will have their work cut out for them dealing with youngsters Jamal Murray and Emmanuel Mudiay. Murray and Mudiay didn’t have much to show for themselves in the team’s loss against the Jazz as they combined for just 16 points and four assists, but someone like Murray could present some tough matchup problems.
Murray’s height at the guard position will require the Kings to stay honest on defense due to his ability to find open players, especially those beyond the arc.
The Kings will be looking to move over 500. for the first time in this young season, but playing in Denver on the second night of a back-to-back is one of the toughest assignments in all of sports so this young Kings squad will have to be at their best.
SACRAMENTO PROJECTED STARTERS
PG – George Hill
SG – Buddy Hield
SF – Justin Jackson
PF – Zach Randolph
C – Willie Cauley-Stein
KINGS INJURY REPORT
Bogdan Bogdanovic (ankle) – OUT
Harry Giles (knee) – OUT
WHERE: NBC Sports California
WHEN: 6:00 p.m. PST (9:00 p.m. EST)