November 10, 2016, 11:53 am
The Sacramento Kings look to even their record at 5-5 Wednesday night at the Golden 1 Center when they take on the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers were thought to be one of the weaker teams in the Western Conference before the season started, but after a 4-4 start to the season, the team is looking much more capable than most fans had originally anticipated.
Despite their early success, the Kings appear to be the better team heading into the game. The Lakers may be playing better than their projections had indicated, but they are not likely to finish the season near the .500 mark, and will need more sustained success before they are considered a contender for a playoff spot.
Here are some things to watch for in the game:
- The Kings have struggled to defend the perimeter, and the Lakers have tons of depth with their guards. Nick Young has seemingly revived his career as the starting shooting guard for the team, and D’Angelo Russell has shown vast improvement over his rookie seeason. With that combination, plus Lou Williams and Jordan Clarkson coming off the bench, the King’s backcourt will be challenged all night.
- While the Lakers appear to have the advantage on the perimeter, the Kings look to be the stronger team inside. Julius Randle is a good young player, and likely the best player in the Lakers front court, but it doesn’t seem like they will have anyone capable of stopping DeMarcus Cousins. the Kings will want to utilize Cousins early and often to capitalize on their advantage inside.
- Rebounding has been one of the biggest issues for this team so far while the Lakers have been near the middle of the pack in terms of rebounding. The team’s low rebound total could be slightly misleading, mostly because the Kings are 29th in the NBA in pace, but it is still an issue. Sacramento will need to keep an eye on this and adjust their lineups as needed.
A 5-5 record would be a great sign following a disappointing 2-5 start to the season. While the Lakers have played well early, Sacramento will need to beat teams like this consistently in order to be in contention for a playoff spot later in the season.