March 20, 2017, 7:45 pm
The Kings are coming off a fairly solid week in which they finished 2-2. This week, things get a lot tougher with two top-tier Western Conference teams on the slate as well as a young, athletic Bucks team that currently sits seventh in the Eastern Conference.
The Bucks visit Golden 1 center to begin the week in what will be the Kings’ most winnable contest. However, with that being said this game is far from winnable, it’s just a testament to how good the next two opponents are. The Kings will then travel to Oakland to play the Golden State Warriors and then they make a short trip down to Los Angeles to take on the Clippers. This week could turn out quite ugly, but either way it will be a great experience for the young players to get some heavy minutes in against some very tough competition.
Wednesday, March 22 – vs. Milwaukee Bucks (34-35)
As mentioned earlier the Bucks are young and athletic. They will be tough to handle and the Kings have experienced that once already this season in Milwaukee. Sacramento got bounced in that one and the same could happen again. While the losing sucks, wins and losses aren’t the vocal point as the season comes to an end, it’s the development of the younger players so that will be the focus in this game and all the other games moving forward.
Giannis Antetokounmpo presents all kinds of match up problems as the Kings have no one who can comfortably stay in front of the Greek Freak. Khris Middleton has been great since returning from his injury and will be a tough cover on the perimeter too. Sacramento has their own fair share of length and height too with the “thin towers” down low, Skal Labissiere and Willie Cauley-Stein (all credit to Hoop-Ball founder, Aaron Bruski, for that one by the way) and also Papa G, Georgios Papagiannis and his huge frame off the bench.
Friday, March 24 – @ Golden State Warriors (56-14)
Some of you may have forgotten that the Kings actually have a win under their belt against the NBA best, Golden State Warriors, this season. That seems like an age ago and the chances of them winning again are as close to zero as humanly possible.
The Warriors could very well choose to rest their key guys for this one which would not be a surprise at all. Either way, there is going to be blood, and a lot of it. However, as discussed earlier this isn’t about winning anymore, it’s about getting these young guys reps. Who knows, if the Warriors decide to rest their stars, the Kings could catch them off guard and take the cake; but that is highly unlikely at this point.
Sunday, March 26 – @ Los Angeles Clippers (41-29)
This will be the third meeting between the two teams this season. The Clippers have taken both of the prior games and they will likely take the third too. Like Friday’s game, the Clippers could choose to rest their starters such as Blake Griffin, Chris Paul etc. but that remains to be seen.
Hopefully the Clippers choose to go full strength against the young Kings lineup to really test them out. Skal Labissiere vs. Blake Griffin would be a joy to watch; and it would be no surprise to see Blake have some trouble handling Skal on both ends. This game could be somewhat exciting if the Kings come out with energy.
- Ty Lawson may not be able to play in Wednesday’s game against the Bucks due to an alleged court hearing he has to attend. There have been various reports on the matter but just be prepared if Lawson does sit out this one because he may have to iron out some legal issues over the next week or so. If things go south for him, the Kings may move swiftly is taking action.
- Malachi Richardson is getting closer and closer to a return and some reports suggest he could be back this week. The Kings are in the midst of an extended period of time off before their next game so the medical staff will likely be running tests over the next couple of days to see if he’s ready to roll. His return would add to the logjam at shooting guard but you can assume that Langston Galloway would lose minutes as a result.
Rudy Gay (torn left Achilles) – out for the season
Malachi Richardson (partially torn hamstring) – could return this week
Tyreke Evans (ankle) – day-to-day
Arron Afflalo (personal) – day-to-day
Ben McLemore (personal) – should return this week