March 6, 2017, 10:23 am
Following a tough overtime loss to the Utah Jazz in Sacramento, the Kings will head to Denver for a rematch with the Nuggets. These two teams matched up following the All Star break, with Sacramento coming out on top decisively in a 116-100 victory.
Following a rough stretch for the team offensively, the Kings were able to get their offense going early on against the Jazz following a three day break. The team had clearly benefited from the extra practice time, and showed the ability to work well as a unit offensively.
Utah’s experience together ended up being a deciding factor, helping the team mount a comeback against a talented but young Sacramento roster. Close games like that serve as a great learning opportunity, despite not earning the victory.
The team’s last matchup against Denver was likely their best showing since the trade of DeMarcus Cousins. The team will likely be looking to replicate some of that success Monday night, but with Denver eyeing the postseason, it certainly won’t be easy.
Here are some notes heading into the game:
- Skal Labissiere registered just one minute in the team’s overtime loss to the Jazz, and much of that was due to early foul trouble. Labissiere was known for his tendency to pick up fouls quickly at Kentucky, so the hope there would be that he used it as a learning opportunity. Given his recent play, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him playing 10-15 minutes per game again starting tonight. The team could certainly use his shooting and athleticism.
- Nikola Jokic is emerging as one of the best young players in the NBA, and can be nearly unstoppable when he’s at his best. His ability to score in multiple ways while also running the team’s offense makes him on of the most dynamic big men in the game, and is sure to be a great challenge for Willie Cauley-Stein. Cauley-Stein has been a terrific presence defensively in recent games, so it will be interesting to see what he can do against Jokic tonight.
The Kings are currently stuck in a four game losing streak, but with plenty of young players ready to go off at any moment, they will definitely have a chance to end it. Denver will do all that they can to maintain their lead on the eighth spot in the conference, so the team will need to maintain the improvements that they showed Sunday night.