April 3, 2018, 4:10 pm
After a gritty win Sunday night in Los Angeles, the Kings will look to build a winning streak Tuesday night in Phoenix against the Suns.
The Suns (19-59) have not done well in most of their season series’ this season, but they do have a 2-1 advantage over the Kings entering Tuesday night’s game. The two teams have yet to match up in 2018, and the Kings were a decidedly worse team at the beginning of the season when those three games took place.
With plenty of improvements over the last few months and Phoenix’s 15-game losing streak, there should be enough factors going in the Kings favor to make them the favorites to win, but injuries will also be a factor for the Suns. Devin Booker (hand), Elfrid Payton (knee) and TJ Warren (knee) are all out, and are arguably the three best players on the roster.
While the loss of those three should hurt the Suns’ chances, there are still talented players on the roster. One of the biggest differences that Kings fans can expect this time around will be the improved play of Josh Jackson. Jackson took a few months to adjust to playing in the NBA, but his production in recent weeks has been a nice boost for the Suns, and he can be a dangerous player when locked in. Justin Jackson will likely be asked to guard him to start the game, and should have the mobility to contain him, but the Kings will need to be sure to help when necessary.
The other concern for Sacramento will be Tyler Ulis. His lack of size gives him trouble around the rim and makes him a liability defensively, but his ability to shoot and run the offense makes him tough to take out of a game. De’Aaron Fox and Frank Mason should have the speed needed to keep up with Ulis, but he’s going to be tough to stay in front of for a full game. Either way, this should be a good test for the Kings’ young guards.
The Kings have found a way to stay competitive despite a tough schedule over the last month, so a game against the Suns looks like a good opportunity to get an easy win. With that said, there are still a few players that the Kings will need to contain to make that happen.
PG – De’Aaron Fox
SG – Bogdan Bogdanovic
SF – Justin Jackson
PF – Skal Labissiere
C – Willie Cauley-Stein
Garrett Temple (ankle) – QUESTIONABLE
Zach Randolph (personal) – QUESTIONABLE
Iman Shumpert (foot) – OUT
HOW TO WATCH
Where: NBCS California
When: 7:00 p.m. PST (10:00 p.m. ET)
December 5, 2019, 11:49 amBam AdebayoC, Miami Heat
Bam Adebayo was seen icing his right foot after Wednesday's loss.
Adebayo's not on the official injury report or anything and didn't go into detail beyond saying, "it hurts," so there's no need to worry just yet. Adebayo has early-round upside considering his current top-60 output and a free throw percentage that is well below his career average.
Source: The Athletic
December 5, 2019, 11:39 amJohn CollinsPF, Atlanta Hawks
John Collins is expected to play both power forward and center when he returns from suspension.
This isn't surprising given how well Collins performed as a center in his limited sample this season. It won't affect his fantasy value at all but it could bump one of Atlanta's other centers from the rotation. Damian Jones has been playing well of late as the starter, so either Bruno Fernando or Alex Len stands the most to lose when Collins gets back.
Source: The Athletic
December 5, 2019, 11:37 amTrae YoungPG, Atlanta Hawks
Speaking to The Athletic, Hawks GM Travis Schlenk said that Trae Young's usage should "taper off" over the course of the season.
Young has been absorbing absurd usage so far this season, but that figures to decline as the Hawks get back to full strength. The return of John Collins should take some shots away, while Schlenk specifically mentioned Kevin Huerter (shoulder) as a guy that can handle a primary ball-handling role. Rookies De'Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish should also get more of those opportunities as they continue to adjust to the NBA. Overall, there's no need to be concerned about Young, but he might see some extremely minor dips in production as the year goes on.
Source: The Athletic
December 5, 2019, 11:26 amShake MiltonSG, Philadelphia Sixers
Shake Milton (right hip discomfort) will be available to play on Thursday.
Milton hasn't played in any of the Sixers' last five games, though that's more because he's out of the rotation than due to any injury. He can be left on the wire in all formats.
Source: Keith Pompey on Twitter
December 5, 2019, 11:21 amKyrie IrvingPG, Brooklyn Nets
Brian Lewis of the New York Post spoke to two shoulder specialists who believe that Kyrie Irving (right shoulder impingement) will miss "a few more weeks."
Lewis spoke to two medical sources that are not affiliated with the Nets, so this is still just speculation, but the team has yet to give any real information about when Irving may return. Until they do, speculation will continue to be rampant. "Impingement" is a broad term that could be masking a host of issues — one specialist thinks that it could be a rotator cuff issue and wouldn't be surprised if Irving eventually needed surgery. The Nets will continue to start Spencer Dinwiddie and Garrett Temple in the backcourt until Irving is ready to return, and both players should be in all fantasy lineups until that happens. Irving owners will just have to sit tight and hope for the best.
Source: New York Post
December 5, 2019, 1:08 amCJ McCollumSG, Portland Trail Blazers
C.J. McCollum dropped 33 points in the Blazers' 127-116 win over the Kings on Wednesday night, tacking on four rebounds, four assists, a steal, four blocks and five 3-pointers.
McCollum continues to prove top-50 value and better with nights like this. He is a natural scorer and the blocks aren't too shabby from the guard position either.
December 5, 2019, 1:02 amDamian LillardPG, Portland Trail Blazers
Damian Lillard collected a double-double against the Kings on Wednesday, putting together a line of 24 points, four rebounds, 10 assists, two steals, a block and four 3-pointers.
With games like this, Lillard is proving why he commanded a premium draft pick. Owners can feel comfortable watching him go to work every time he's in the lineup.
December 5, 2019, 12:59 amHassan WhitesideC, Portland Trail Blazers
Hassan Whiteside picked up a double-double on Wednesday night, ending with 22 points, 16 boards, seven assists, and three blocks on 8-of-10 shooting.
Whiteside is now a top-30 player on the season. He is consistently collecting big-man stats and has strong percentages. This looks like the real deal and owners who drafted him should be thrilled with the return they are getting.
December 5, 2019, 12:54 amCarmelo AnthonyPF, Portland Trail Blazers
Carmelo Anthony finished Wednesday's contest with 20 points, five boards and a block on 8-of-16 shooting.
Melo bounced back nicely after his 9-point performance. He can score and has done so with nice percentages so far. In the last two weeks, he has provided mid-round value and has been a serviceable addition to any fantasy team.
December 5, 2019, 12:49 amCory JosephPG, Sacramento Kings
Cory Joseph tallied 11 points, three rebounds and seven assists on 4-of-10 shooting in 33 minutes on Wednesday night.
Joseph wasn't exactly efficient from the field, but was able to add seven dimes to his line. Yogi Ferrell by contrast, came off the bench and scored 13 points on 6-of-7 shooting in 15 minutes. Neither are great adds in Bogdan Bogdanovic's absence, but Joseph appears to be set to get the majority of minutes.