February 14, 2018, 3:38 pm
The Kings travel to Houston for their final game prior to the All-Star break on Wednesday, trying to ground the red-hot Rockets who have won nine straight games.
The Rockets sit at 43-13 on the season and are half a game back of the Warriors for first place in the Western Conference. A win for them tonight, and a Warriors loss to the Blazers would be enough to catapult them into the top spot.
Houston will be motivated to get the job done and secure their 10th straight victory so the Kings are going to have their hands full tonight.
The Kings have always struggled against the up-tempo style of the Rockets, going just 1-7 against them over the past three seasons. Houston currently sits second in the league in points per game with 114.4, behind only the Warriors, while they sit at the top in points differential (plus-8.8) – when the Rockets win, they win big.
The Rockets place emphasis on shooting from downtown, taking 42.7 attempts per game and making 15.7 of those on average. They aren’t shy to bomb away, and in past meetings their eyes have lit up at the prospect of playing the youthful Kings who have proven to struggle defending the three-ball.
A dominant first half helped Sacramento take down Dallas last night, but after leading by as many as 26 points to begin the third quarter, the Kings let their foot off the gas and only held on for a five-point victory.
The Rockets’ starting backcourt may be the league’s best with Chris Paul and James Harden running the show. Their fit was questioned by many analysts when Houston first acquired Paul, but they’ve proven to be a match made in heaven and have flourished playing next to each other.
For De’Aaron Fox, Bogdan Bogdanovic and Buddy Hield, it’s going to be a huge test for them to defend and play against two of the NBA’s most talented players. For this group of young guys, outplaying Paul and Harden shouldn’t be their goal, it should be used as a great learning experience and it should give them some great film to run over during the impending All-Star break.
The Kings, according to ESPN’s Basketball Power Index, have just a 5.8 percent chance to win tonight. Winning at this point in the season, for Sacramento that is, comes second to development and playing against a team like the Rockets is a great chance to do just that.
PG – De’Aaron Fox
SG – Bogdan Bogdanovic
SF – Justin Jackson
PF – Zach Randolph
C – Willie Cauley-Stein
Iman Shumpert (foot) – OUT
Harry Giles (knees) – OUT
Skal Labissiere (shoulder) – OUT
Frank Mason (heel) – OUT
HOW TO WATCH
When: 5:00 p.m. PST (8:00 p.m. ET)
Where: NBCS California
August 20, 2019, 10:33 pmTyronn LuePG, Los Angeles Clippers
Shams Charania of The Athletic is reporting former Cavs championship-winning coach Tyronn Lue has agreed to join the Clippers as their top assistant coach to Doc Rivers.
The Lakers and Clippers rivalry continues to heat up. Lue was very close to a deal with the Lakers in May to become their head coach, but the sides couldn’t reach an agreement. Lue now joins Kawhi Leonard as another person to spurn the Lakers this offseason.
Source: Shams Charania on Twitter
August 20, 2019, 10:28 pmPJ TuckerSF, Houston Rockets
P.J. Tucker says he is optimistic about signing a contract extension soon.
The 34-year-old 3-and-D wing hopes to extend his deal with the Rockets, but a potential extension wouldn't begin until his age-36 season. Houston has him under contract for two more seasons at this point, so they may not be motivated enough to get something done this offseason. However, a maximum Tucker extension would only have him in the $10 million per year range. Even as a 37-year-old, that could be a great deal if he can keep up his current production. Tucker remains a sneaky source of threes and steals late in fantasy drafts or off the wire.
Source: Kurt Helin on Twitter
August 20, 2019, 6:11 pmJaylen AdamsPG, Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks officially announced the signings of guards Jaylen Adams and Rayjon Tucker on Tuesday.
Adams and Tucker have their work cut out for them in their bid to claim a roster with the big club, as the Bucks have a reasonably deep guard rotation. Adams and Tucker are more than likely competing to get playing time in the G-League this season and can be ignored in fantasy.
August 20, 2019, 4:55 pmJeff LedbetterG, San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs have offered summer league guard Jeff Ledbetter an Exhibit 10 deal, but he is still mulling over his options which include playing in Europe.
Ledbetter had a productive summer league and now finds himself with a chance to play for the Austin Spurs of the G-League. Ledbetter is sure to be staring at a bigger payday in Europe, so his choice will be an interesting one. We should have a decision soon.
Source: Nicola Lupo on Twitter
August 20, 2019, 4:49 pmEric MikaC, Sacramento Kings
The Kings announced on Tuesday that they signed summer league standout C Eric Mika to an exhibit 10 contract.
The former BYU big man is now set up to play for the Stockton Kings of the G-League. The Kings have a deep big man rotation, and it's unlikely that we'll see much, if any, of Mika on the roster this season.
Source: Sean Cunningham on Twitter
August 20, 2019, 4:44 pmJA MorantPG, Memphis Grizzlies
Ja Morant (right knee) said that he is completely healed from the minor knee surgery earlier this summer, saying he is "100 percent right now."
Morant will look to get back into the swing of things in the coming weeks as he prepares for his rookie season. Morant has the talent and the role on rebuilding team and is undoubtedly going to cost a pretty penny in fantasy drafts.
Source: Peter Edmiston on Twitter
August 20, 2019, 2:17 pmDerrick AlstonTeam, New York Knicks
The Westchester Knicks have named Derrick Alston as the new head coach, replacing Mike Miller who was promoted to join David Fizdale’s staff.
Alston, a former NBA player, has been an assistant for Westchester for four years. Before that, Alston was a player development coach with the Rockets. This will be Alston’s first head coaching gig as he continues to move up the ladder.
Source: Ian Begley on Twitter
August 20, 2019, 1:21 pmCory JosephPG, Sacramento Kings
Cory Joseph is not expected to play for Team Canada in the FIBA World Cup.
Team Canada has been taking a beating the last few weeks with NBA guys continuing to pull out. This news won't have any effects on Joseph's role heading into the season, but it does create another dent in Team Canada's chances of making noise in the World Cup.
Source: Doug Smith: Raptors on Twitter
August 20, 2019, 1:08 pmMarcus Georges-HuntSG, Free Agent
Jay King of The Athletic is hearing that Marcus Georges-Hunt is in Boston working out with the Celtics for the next few days.
Georges-Hunt last played in the NBA for the Wolves in the 2017-18 season. Last season Georges-Hunt was waived from the Celtics in mid-October and played nine games for the Red Claws. Georges-Hunt is a longshot to make the team and carries no fantasy relevance regardless of the outcome.
Source: Jay King on Twitter
August 20, 2019, 11:55 amDwight HowardC, Memphis Grizzlies
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN is reporting that the Lakers are planning individual workouts to evaluate centers Joakim Noah, Dwight Howard and Mo Speights this week in Los Angeles.
Marcin Gortat is also in the Lakers’ radar as the team is actively looking to sign another big after DeMarcus Cousins tore his ACL last week. Speights spent the last season in China after 10 years in the NBA while Gortat remains overseas and it’s unclear whether he will be back to Los Angeles for a workout with the team.
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter