• 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:

    Team defense

    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.

    Back-to-back

    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.

    Wenyen Gabriel

    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.

    PROJECTED STARTERS

    PG – De’Aaron Fox

    SG – Buddy Hield

    SF – Justin Jackson

    PF – Skal Labissiere

    C – Willie Cauley-Stein

    INJURY REPORT

    Kosta Koufos (hamstring) – OUT

    Bogdan Bogdanovic (Knee) – OUT

    HOW TO WATCH

    When: 7:30 p.m. PST (10:30 p.m. ET)

    Where: ESPN

Fantasy News

  • DeMarcus Cousins - C - Golden State Warriors

    DeMarcus Cousins is expected to practice with the Santa Cruz Warriors of the G-League on Monday.

    Cousins continues to work his way back into shape after suffering an Achilles tear last season. He's aiming to return around Christmas and all reports about his progress have been positive so far. Him working in an actual team setting is another big step in the process, even if it is in the G-League. He's worth scooping up if you think you can make it through the next month without production from one of your roster spots.

    Source: Marc J. Spears on Twitter

  • Frank Ntilikina - G - New York Knicks

    Frank Ntilikina scored 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting with four 3-pointers as the Knicks lost to the Hornets on Sunday.

    He outplayed starter Emmanuel Mudiay, who scored six points with three rebounds and four assists on 3-of-9 shooting. The Knicks’ point guard situation is a mess and minutes change frequently, so neither of them are worth owning in fantasy.

  • Noah Vonleh - F - New York Knicks

    Noah Vonleh did not play well against the Hornets on Sunday with only three points on 1-of-5 shooting, but he did contribute 10 rebounds and a career-high nine assists.

    Vonleh has seen consistent minutes as the starting power forward for the Knicks and his value currently sits right outside the top-100. He is a must-own in deep leagues and will provide solid late-middle round value this season. However, head coach David Fizdale's rotations can change at any moment, which means Vonleh's minutes can change so keep an eye on the Knicks' rotation from game-to-game.

  • Kyle Lowry - G - Toronto Raptors

    Kyle Lowry fell to a new low with his 0-for-5 shooting night on Sunday against the Bucks.

    This is the first time in Lowry's career that he's been held under 10 points for five straight games. To call this a slump would be unfair. Luckily as a point guard, Lowry does more than just score and has been returning top-120 value over his last four games despite shooting under 15 percent during that stretch. Lowry finished tonight's game with zero points, five boards, seven assists and a block in 34 minutes.

    Source: Chris Black on Twitter

  • Trevor Ariza - F - Phoenix Suns

    The Lakers are one of the teams making a run at Trevor Ariza, they're currently in discussions to swing a three-team deal.

    Ariza might struggle as a fantasy asset in Los Angeles given how many swingmen they have. If you own Ariza you're hoping that he finds his way back to the Rockets. The Suns are hoping to get a young guard and a draft pick in any deal for Ariza and the Lakers seem to be searching for a suitor willing to take on Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

  • Mitchell Robinson - C - New York Knicks

    It was reported that Mitchell Robinson suffered a shoulder injury on Suday before halftime of the Knicks game.

    Robinson has played his regular allotment of minutes in the second half and hasn't looked hurt at all. Maybe we'll learn more on this after the game.

    Source: Stefan Bondy on Twitter

  • Enes Kanter - C - New York Knicks

    Enes Kanter did not play well on Sunday with six points and four rebounds on 3-of-6 shooting in 18 minutes in a loss to the Hornets.

    He is the best player to own on the Knicks roster right now at top-70 value, but people were hoping for more from Kanter and David Fizdale's rotations are crushing those hopes. He will have inconsistent performances due to varying minutes, but he will still provide middle-round value as long as he is typically seeing minutes in the 20's.

  • Kevin Knox - F - New York Knicks

    Kevin Knox saw 41 minutes on Sunday and put up 26 points and 15 rebounds on 10-of-25 shooting in a loss to the Hornets.

    He made four 3-pointers and added on steal to the box score as well. This is one of his best games of the season, but he is still not worth owning in fantasy due to the possibility that head coach David Fizdale could play him low minutes next game. The rotations are inconsistent for the Knicks and makes owning any player a difficult task. Mario Hezonja was awful in this game with zero points on 0-of-3 shooting in five minutes. Look to see if Fizdale starts Knox over Hezonja going forward.

  • Jeremy Lamb - G - Charlotte Hornets

    Jeremy Lamb scored 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting in 28 minutes as the Hornets beat the Knicks on Sunday.

    Lamb continues to play well and is cruising to top-50 value on the season. He appeared a bit shaky to start the season, but his buy-low window quickly closed and he started returning early-middle round value. Credit to owners who bought low on him or remained patient after his rocky start as his solid play is definitely paying off.

  • Cody Zeller - F/C - Charlotte Hornets

    Cody Zeller had an all-around good game on Sunday with 12 points, seven rebounds and four defensive stats on 5-of-5 shooting as the Hornets beat the Knicks.

    The four defensive stats were three steals and one block, and he was also able to add two assists as well as shoot a perfect 2-of-2 from the line. Marvin Williams added 13 points and five rebounds on 4-of-9 shooting. Both of these guys will have to be on top of their games for the Hornets to stay competitive in the East. Zeller is the preferred option to own in fantasy as of right now.