March 13, 2017, 10:08 am
The Sacramento Kings will have a good opportunity to end their current eight game losing streak Monday night when they welcome the Orlando Magic to the Golden 1 Center. Orlando has quite a bit of young talent on their roster, but much like the Kings, they have yet to put it all together and generate wins.
The Kings, who currently sit six games out of the final spot in the Western Conference playoffs, are likely out of the playoff picture at this point, but will still look to compete on a nightly basis. Stringing together a few wins would be a good way to teach some of the younger players on the roster how to finish out games, and could help considerably with their development.
For the Orlando Magic, a team who planned to make a run at the postseason, this last stretch of games will allow them to figure out what direction they want to go in moving forward. it also gives the organization an opportunity to finish on a good note heading into the offseason.
Here are some notes heading into the matchup:
- Nikola Vucevic and Bismack Biyombo, the two main players that will play center for Orlando tonight, are two of the larger and more physical big men in the league. Kosta Koufos will likely be asked to guard them quite a bit of the time, but this should also serve as a chance for Willie Cauley-Stein to learn how to deal with some of the larger players in the league. Cauley-Stein has struggled on the glass this season, and would benefit greatly from learning how to be a more effective rebounder. This should be a tough matchup for him, and one that is definitely worth focusing on.
- Buddy Hield has been terrific as a shooter and scorer for the Kings since the trade with New Orleans, but he still needs to develop as a facilitator. Hield has turned the ball over at an alarming rate, and has generally struggled to generate offense for his teammates. Despite this, Hield was able to generate three assists on Saturday, and should continue to focus on that aspect of his game. Evan Fournier isn’t a great defender, so Hield will have plenty of chances to show what he can do tonight.
Since the trade, the Kings have struggled to get multiple players going in a game, and that has contributed to their losing streak. A game against another struggling team should give them a chance to build some confidence before this final stretch of games.