• The Sacramento Kings will be playing in one of their toughest games of the season Friday night when they square off with the Golden State Warriors in Oakland.  The Warriors will be without Kevin Durant, but the team still has plenty of talent on their roster.

    Sacramento is no longer much of a threat as a playoff contender, but the team won’t use that as an excuse to back down in a game like this.  A win over a team like the Warriors would be a tremendous confidence boost for the rookies, and should give them plenty of learning opportunities regardless.

    The Warriors have struggled, at least by their standards, since losing Kevin Durant, but the team has been playing better in recent games.  The team will come into Friday night’s matchup having won their last five games, and appear to be out of the mini-slump that they were in.

    Here are some notes heading into the matchup:

    • The Warriors play small and fast, often times operating without a true center on the floor, so the Kings will need to try and take advantage of their size whenever possible.  Georgios Papagiannis could be a matchup nightmare for the Warriors in short bursts, but he will need to keep up with them defensively to make that happen.  Willie Cauley-Stein and Skal Labissisere should both be able to handle the up-and-down style, and may end up being the best tandem for the Kings tonight.
    • Buddy Hield and Skal Labissiere have had some great games offensively over since the trade deadline, but both will be facing off against tremendous defenders.  Draymond Green and Klay Thompson will make it incredibly difficult for the rookies to to get their offense going, so both will need to choose their spots wisely.

    Sacramento may not be able to keep this game close, let alone win, but neither would be impossible by any stretch.  Golden State doesn’t make many mistakes on either end of the floor, so the Kings will need to be on top of their game to make it happen.

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