Coming off of a wild De’Aaron Fox putback dunk game winner in Miami, the Kings have found themselves staring down a little win streak and some growing confidence. Thankfully for all those fans wanting to hear Sacramento called up on draft night in the first half an hour, the Kings have found themselves in San Antonio for an afternoon skermish against the Spurs. This afternoon the Spurs will be without Rudy Gay, without Manu Ginobli and without The Claw himself, Kawhi Leonard. Pay no mind to those positive thoughts however, for Davis “King Slayer” Bertans is healthy and hungry. If you didn’t pick up the latest edition of Kings Tattoos were hoping to just catch the newest bit of ink on Willie Cauley-Stein’s forehead during the game tonight; you goofed up big-time. The Kings slick, stylish center is out this game and next with a bone bruise in his knee. You hear that labored and thunderous thudding off in the distance? Those sweet, sweet Papa G minutes approach! Let’s talk Kings basketball!
When: Sunday, January 28th; 4:00 pm PST
Where: AT&T Center; San Antonio, TX
Radio: KHTK Sports 1140 AM
For Your Consideration
The Fury of Spurious Hope: All things considered, the Spurs should not be in the third seed of the Western Conference right now. The weird Kawhi Leonard never-healing-leg issue, the fact that Tony Park, Manu Ginobli and Pau Gasol still play meaningful minutes for team, the fact that just a season ago it was reported that de-facto Spurs best player LaMarcus Aldridge wanted out: all of these things would destroy a lesser franchise, with a lesser coach. But Gregg Popovich and his staff have thrown spaghetti at the wall all season, and all of it has seemed to stick. The Kawhi rumors though suspicious have remained a non-issue for the team in terms of distraction, the old guys have made way for the new seamlessly and Pop did a rare thing in admitting that he was wrong in the way he used LaMarcus last year, and corrected said mistakes himself.
The Spurs are a well-oiled win machine, and we all know that. I could have written a comparative analysis of La La Land, Noturnal Animals and previous relationship here instead of a preview for this game and you’d have all still gotten the exact same amount of data that points to a Kings victory in San Antonio. The Kings have even done rather well against the Spurs this season, with losses of just nine points (the Pau Gasol Triple-Double game) and seven points (the Davis Bertans is Galactus game). There isn’t much to say that hasn’t already been said about the Spurs. Wonderful coach, unselfish players, a long history of success in the regular season and playoffs and the draft and the community... I have to take a cold, basketball-related shower.
If the Kings ARE going to have a chance tonight, it’s going to be on the backs of three point shooting. The Spurs as a team don’t take many, and don’t make many, opting instead for one of the higher rates of two point attempts in the league: taking the fourth most two’s in the league and the sixth least amount of threes. So if the Kings can keep the Spurs from hitting over their 8.8 three point attempts per game, and can turn the corner and hit a few more three’s themselves, Sacramento can keep this game interesting. Giving up big games to random players is going to happen with a team this young and weird, but mitigating that we extra points down on the other end can make a Davis Bertans or a Dejounte Murray irrelevant. The Spurs don’t foul (second fewest in the NBA) and block 5.5 shots per game (third best in the league) and being able to stretch the defense out away from the rim will give guys like Skal Labissiere and Zach Randolph a bit more room to work with. This paragraph concludes your “so you’re saying there’s a chance!” moment of the day.
Prediction: The Kings hit 16 three pointers tonight on the back of Buddy and Bogi the Amazing Trey Duo each goin for four plus threes. De’Aaron Fox gets tested by a long, spindly Murray and Papagiannis headnods Davis Bertans back to the bench early on and the Sacramento Kings beat the Spurs for the 40th time in literally 130 tries.
Kings: 104, Spurs: 96