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Kings vs Sixers Preview: Making a Mess of The Process

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The Kings are in Philly to take a crack at ringing the Sixers’ bell for a second time this season.

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Sacramento Kings Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Another day, another reminder that all good things erode into nothingness the Kings are a young growing team with tons of potential! They’re in Philly today as part of their East Coast swing and rearing to get themselves a win against the 14-15 Sixers. Led by the most electric Benjamin to come out of Philly since some old fart made his kid hold a kite with a key attached during a storm, the Sixers have a discernible shot at making the playoffs if Simmons and fragile-but-deadly Joel Embiid can stay health. Their November 9th face off against the Sixers was probably the most watchable game of the season for the Kings when they mounted a furious comeback to beat the Sixers on a De’Aaron Fox jumper with 13 seconds to go. Fox is probable for this game and his back court running mate George Hill is out with an illness. Que that victory music! Let’s talk Kings basketball!

When: Tuesday, December 19th; 4:00 pm PST

Where: Wells Fargo Arena; Philadelphia, PA

TV: NBCSCA

Radio: KHTK Sports 1140 AM

For Your Consideration

For the Kings to come away with a victory Wednesday against the Sixers they’re going to have to do some things different than the last time around. I don’t foresee Justin Jackson coming out and scoring 19 points this game off the bench for the Kings as he isn’t currently in the rotation. Just reading that opinion caused a couple of fans to click off of this preview, snort a line of cocaine and pick up their pile of darts to throw at Dave Joerger’s face on a dart board to relieve their troubled minds. You might expect me to also list how the Kings are to replace George Hill’s production from their previous game against Philly, but, November 9th’s game featured Hill at his most mountainous: 2 points, 3 rebounds, 7 assists in 19 minutes. So the second leading scorer in that game (Jackson) is no longer in the rotation and their starting point guard in that win is now sick: what’s a team to do?

1) The City of Buddy-ly Love: November 9th’s game against the Sixers was a seemingly bad game for Buddy Hield. 3-10 shooting for 8 points, to go along with 4 rebounds and 4 assists in 20 minutes. This game was before Buddy started catching fire from the bench, and so right there, a big difference will be made up. In a game where JJ Redick was 6-13 from the field for 14 points, and their small forward Robert Covington went 6-12 from behind the arc, a hot shooting game for Hield would be a boon for the Kings who have struggled to score all season. Buddy isn’t the same player that he was back in November and can absolutely ball out today, against the likes of a Redick or bench guard Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot.

Williedelphia: Willie’s game against Philly was a big reason for the Kings win last time around. His 15 points on 6-11 shooting was nice. The 4 rebounds are, not. But it’s what Cauley-Stein did on the defensive end of the floor that sealed the victory for the Kings with 2 huge clutch blocks late in the fourth quarter, and getting out on Joel Embiid and forcing him into an awkward free-throw line fadeaway to try to win the game. Willie is coming off a back injury and still trying to find his comfort level again, but if he can stay the course defensively and use his athleticism and length in a focused 26 minutes of play, he can bother Joel Embiid or Richaun Holmes. A defensively focused Willie is a potent and dangerous tool. He proved that last time. Now lets see him do it again.

A Free Mason: Frank “The Stud Muffin” Mason was the only player on the Kings to not get a single minute of playing time against the Sixers last time around. I mean, Malachi Richardson got seven minutes last time around. So, suffice to say this game might be swayed now that he’s not only playing, but operating as the best point guard on the Kings roster. Can Mason guard Ben Simmons for extended periods of time? Hell no. But what he can do is make TJ McConnell’s life a living hell. Mason’s size limits him against a freak like Simmons, but if Mason can be productive against his matchup and provide a presence on the court when De’Aaron Fox is out, the Kings could make a dent in Philadelphia’s backcourt/

Prediction

Joel Embiid sprains his thumb pregame typing out some fire for Twitter and is out the rest of the season. Frank Mason actually, physically breaks Ben Simmons ankles on a spin move that starts a small friction fire on the court. Bob Covington hits 14 three pointers against the pourous Kings defense but Sacramento still comes away with the victory. Greg doesn’t fire me for a couple of my titles sounding awfully similar to 80’s adult movies.

Kings: 105, Sixers: 101