• 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

  • Hamidou Diallo - G - Oklahoma City Thunder

    Hamidou Diallo puts his stamp on the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest by beating Dennis Smith Jr., John Collins, and Miles Bridges.

    Diallo arguably delivered one of the greatest performances in Slam Dunk Contest history by jumping over the seven-footer Shaquille O'Neal and throwing down a vicious elbow dunk. He left the crowd mesmerized and gave them a moment to remember in an otherwise lopsided contest. As incredible he might be tonight, fantasy owners shouldn't really give him a look unless they're in deep leagues.

  • Joe Harris - G/F - Brooklyn Nets

    Joe Harris was scorching hot during the entirety of Saturday's 3-point shootout as he bested Stephen Curry with 26 made three-point shots in the final round.

    Harris put an end to Curry's storybook ending of winning the 3-point contest in his hometown of Charlotte by besting him and Buddy Hield. It's no surprise that Harris was a dark-horse candidate entering the contest since he's been hot all season long from behind the arc, making 47 percent of his shots. In the past week, Harris has been rewarding his owners with top-20 value with averages of 22.7 points with 4.7 threes per game on 67.6% shooting. If you could sell high on him, now would be the perfect time.

  • Jayson Tatum - F - Boston Celtics

    Jayson Tatum clinched the Taco Bell All-Star Skills Challenge by draining a half-court shot to beat Trae Young in the finals of the competition.

    Tatum sealed the deal in this one and is responsible for one of the most exciting finishes in Skills Challenge history. For the past month, Tatum has been posting Top-40 value with 16.2 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.1 blocks and shooting 46 percent from the field. He's currently cruising as an early-middle round guy and should be even better once the Celtics find their footing.

  • Jayson Tatum - F - Boston Celtics

    Jayson Tatum clinched the All-Star Skills Challenge by draining a half-court a half-court shot to beat Trae Young in the finals of the competition.

    Tatum sealed the deal on this one and is responsible for one of the most exciting finishes in Skills Challenge history. For the past month, Tatum has been posting Top-40 value with 16.2 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.1 blocks and shooting 46 percent from the field. He's currently cruising as a early-middle round guy and should be even better once the Celtics find their footing.

  • Hasheem Thabeet - C - Oklahoma City Thunder

    Hasheem Thabeet worked out for the Rockets, Raptors and Pistons while the teams were in Charlotte for All-Star weekend.

    Thabeet was the second overall pick in the 2009 draft by the Grizzlies and was quickly one of the biggest busts in NBA history. He was the highest overall pick to be sent to the then D-League until Anthony Bennett secured the top spot. Thabeet is somehow still only 31 years old, and 7'2" centers can certainly provide value in today's NBA, but it's unlikely Thabeet finds his way back into the league. He's currently playing in the Japanese B-League.

    Source: Keith Pompey on Twitter

  • Dirk Nowitzki - F - Dallas Mavericks

    Dirk Nowitzki said he has not made any final decision on if this is his last season.

    "I haven't said this will be it," Nowitzki said, "I'm going to wait and see the last couple of weeks, how my body feels and if I continue to see improvement and I'm still having fun, we'll see." While Dirk has been treating this season as a retirement tour, there's still a chance we see him playing next season.

    Source: Brad Townsend on Twitter

  • Anthony Davis - F/C - New Orleans Pelicans

    Anthony Davis (left shoulder contusion) said he is unsure if he will play in the All-Star game on Sunday.

    Davis said the plan is to play, but we will have to wait and see if he's feeling okay. He's certainly not worried about saving himself for the second-half of the season.

    Source: Tim Bontemps on Twitter

  • Kyrie Irving - G - Boston Celtics

    Kyrie Irving (right knee strain) says he is healthy and plans to play in Sunday's All-Star game.

    Irving missed the Celtics' last two games but fantasy owners shouldn't expect him to miss any more with the current injury. Terry Rozier was a hot pickup when Irving initially went down but now goes back to being a handcuff. Irving has put up top-10 per-game value this year with no holes in his fantasy game but he has already missed 11 games. He has missed at least 10 games in seven of his eight NBA seasons so this is something fantasy owners should already be used to.

    Source: Gary Washburn on Twitter

  • Anthony Davis - F/C - New Orleans Pelicans

    Anthony Davis said that the Celtics are on his list of preferred destinations.

    Moreover, Davis added "they were never not on my list," though he also confirmed that the initial reports of his list including the Knicks, Lakers, Clippers and Bucks were true. Initially it had been said that the Celtics are not a preferred landing spot, and Davis' dad would rather his son play elsewhere. It sounds like everything is on the table now that his push to end up on the Lakers has failed, as Davis also said "all 29 teams" (sorry New Orleans) are on his list. Get ready for more updates on AD's thoughts as the season rolls on.

    Source: Tim Bontemps on Twitter

  • Nikola Jokic - C - Denver Nuggets

    The Nuggets have agreed to extensions with president of basketball operations Tim Connelly and GM Arturas Karnisovas.

    The Nuggets haven't reached the playoffs in the last five seasons but will surely end that streak this year. Their abundance of talent and depth currently has them in second place in the Western Conference although Paul Millsap, Gary Harris, Will Barton and Isaiah Thomas have all been injured for much of the season. Their draft choices and player development over the years has been a big catalyst for this as one could look at Nikola Jokic and the breakout seasons of Jamal Murray, Torrey Craig, Monte Morris and Malik Beasley, all of them having been with Denver since their first day in the NBA.

    Source: Denver Post