October 5, 2018, 3:42 pm
The Kings will be looking to upset the defending champs Friday night when they take on the Warriors in Seattle.
While a game against the Warriors presents its own challenges, Sacramento will also be dealing with their first back-to-back set of the season. The team has placed an emphasis on pushing the pace this preseason, so the players will need to keep extra focus on running the floor and maintaining a high level of energy.
Playing in Seattle will also add an interesting wrinkle to the exhibition. Kings fans surely haven’t forgotten the relocation saga, but they won’t be the only team with a Seattle connection. Kevin Durant will also be returning to the city that he started his career in.
With the interesting location and a tough opponent, there should be plenty to watch for. Below are some of the Kings things to keep in mind heading into the matchup:
The Warriors have some of the top scorers in the league at four positions, making them one of the most difficult teams to defend. Any mistake that the Kings make defensively will be exploited.
Playing effective team defense is the only answer against a team as talented as the Warriors. That should be difficult to do with so many young players on the Kings, but it should also be a great test to see how they respond.
Playing on consecutive nights can be hard for any team, but it’s especially difficult for a team this young so early in the year. Golden state will be pushing the pace, so the Kings will need to find a way to keep up the energy to keep this game close.
Plenty of players received rest last night, but it will still be interesting to see if the team can continue to push the pace. If they’re able to bring the same energy that they did in Los Angeles, it would be a great sign that this team should be more than ready to push the pace in the regular season.
While it’s only been two games, the Kings have struggled to find a consistent contributor at small forward. With Justin Jackson struggling mightily and a general lack of size on the perimeter, it may be time to give Gabriel a shot to earn a spot in the rotation.
The sample is small, but Gabriel was impressive in his 16 minutes against the Lakers. He finished the night with 10 points on 4-for-6 shooting while also contributing two steals and a block. Jackson should still have a shot to earn the starting spot, but Gabriel should also be given a chance. A strong outing against the Warriors would surely help his case as well.
PG – De’Aaron Fox
SG – Buddy Hield
SF – Justin Jackson
PF – Skal Labissiere
C – Willie Cauley-Stein
Kosta Koufos (hamstring) – OUT
Bogdan Bogdanovic (Knee) – OUT
HOW TO WATCH
When: 7:30 p.m. PST (10:30 p.m. ET)
June 19, 2019, 9:04 amGordon Hayward - F - Boston Celtics
Jackie MacMullan of ESPN cited Brad Stevens “force feeding” Gordon Hayward to help him come back from his gruesome ankle injury as what started the Celtics' chemistry issues that seemingly plagued the team all year long.
“You hate to pick on Gordon Hayward because he was coming back from injury and he was doing the best he could, but I really think that’s where it started," said the longtime reporter. Basketball is a game of chemistry, and the Celtics seemed to lose theirs over the course of the year. At least externally, it appeared that Boston was disintegrating and now we might have some confirmation of this rift. Hayward returned and never really looked like himself, and Stevens devoting his faith to his former Butler Bulldog was obviously misplaced. The Celtics are trying to pick up their pieces from the aftermath of a disaster offseason so far as Kyrie Irving is likely gone and Al Horford is rumored to sign elsewhere once free agency begins on June 30th.
Source: NBC Sports Boston
June 19, 2019, 8:54 amTomas Satoransky - G/F - Washington Wizards
As expected, Tomas Satoransky was included in Czech Republic’s preliminary squad for the FIBA Basketball World Cup which will take place in China this summer.
The 20-man roster also includes former first round pick Jan Vesely and big man Petr Herman, who is back in Europe after playing four years of college basketball at Loyola Marymount. Czech Republic will participate in Group E against the United States, Turkey and Japan. Sato is entering free agency this summer and it’s likely that he is able to secure a deal before the start of the World Cup.
June 19, 2019, 8:33 amAl Horford - F/C - Boston Celtics
A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston, is reporting that a team to keep an eye on in the Al Horford sweepstakes is the Nets.
Horford is close to head coach Kenny Atkinson while the team has the cap space to offer him a max contract but this is simply a rumor at this point. The belief around the league is that Horford already knows there is a four-year contract worth in excess of $100 million waiting out there for him on June 30h and that’s why his negotiations with the Celtics fell apart. The sudden appearance of the Dominican center in the free agent market seems to have caught many of us off guard but it’s likely that some NBA teams have been preparing for this turn of events.
Source: A. Sherrod Blakely on Twitter
June 18, 2019, 10:44 pmKevin Love - F/C - Cleveland Cavaliers
According to Brian Windhorst, Kevin Love has been in some trade talks and the chances that he's on the Cavs next season are 50/50.
Windhorst mentioned that it's hard to find the right deal for Love, who is set to start a 4-year $120 million contract this fall, but that's a much bigger chance of him leaving than had been recently reported. The Cavs likely have some summer deals to make, but as it sits now, the fantasy values of Larry Nance Jr. and Ante Zizic would be on the rise with a Love departure.
Source: Aaron Goldhammer on Twitter
June 18, 2019, 10:01 pmBobby Portis - F - Washington Wizards
Bobby Portis, who will likely become a restricted free agent after the Wizards extend a qualifying offer, is expected to be pursued by at least 5-10 teams once free agency begins.
Among the teams that are reportedly interested in Portis are the Lakers, Clippers, Jazz, Bucks, Magic and the Knicks among others. If the Wizards extend the $3.6 million qualifying offer to Portis, they will have the chance to match any contract offer Portis receives from another team.
Source: NBC Sports
June 18, 2019, 8:55 pmKyrie Irving - G - Boston Celtics
Marc Stein of The New York Times is reporting that the Nets believe they are the favorites to land Kyrie Irving in free agency.
Irving to the Nets has been on overdrive the past few weeks, and it's looking almost certain that Irving will be on the Nets, Lakers or Knicks come July 1st. D'Angelo Russell may be playing elsewhere next season if the Nets acquire Irving in free agency. Stay tuned.
Source: Marc Stein on Twitter
June 18, 2019, 8:20 pmRob Pelinka - Team - Los Angeles Lakers
Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the Lakers are aggressively pursuing the purchase of second-round picks in Thursday’s draft.
In addition to trying to unload additional bench players, the Lakers would like to acquire a few second-round picks to round out their roster with minimum salary players. If the Lakers can get any late picks, it will give the team even more breathing room in free agency. The Lakers’ master plan after signing LeBron James last offseason is starting to shift into high gear.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter
June 18, 2019, 8:13 pmAnthony Davis - F/C - Los Angeles Lakers
Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the Lakers are trying to expand the Anthony Davis trade to open up a max salary slot on July 6, by offering up Mo Wagner, Jemerrio Jones and Isaac Bonga to additional teams.
The Lakers got their guy in AD, but they also want more wiggle room for another max guy and role players to fill out their roster. It seems that the team will do whatever it takes to get that third max player spot, aside from moving Kyle Kuzma. It seems very likely that another team will join in on the deal.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter
June 18, 2019, 7:56 pmKyrie Irving - G - Boston Celtics
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, since the season ended, Kyrie Irving has been communicating forthrightly with Celtics' officials both privately and publicly signaling that he will leave the team in free agency.
It has been widely expected that Irving would leave the Celtics for a bit now, with the Nets being the team most analysts are pegging Irving end up with. With the news that Al Horford is going elsewhere, there is little reason to believe that Irving would stick around. We should have an official update on Irving's intentions soon enough.
Source: Shams Charania on Twitter
June 18, 2019, 7:35 pmAl Horford - F/C - Boston Celtics
Sources close to Al Horford have told Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald that his camp is no longer discussing a new contract with the Celtics and he is expected to sign a 4-year deal elsewhere.
A few short months ago the Celtics were pegged as the favorites to land Anthony Davis, and forming a new big three of there own. Flash forward to now, and Davis is on the Lakers, and it looks like both Horford and Kyrie Irving are set to leave. The Celtics couldn't have foreseen a worse start to the offseason.
Source: Steve Bulpett on Twitter