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Kings vs. Suns Preview: Back to basketball

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#1 battles #2 in the first game of the preseason.

NBA: Summer League-Phoenix Suns at Sacramento Kings Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports


The Sacramento Kings are back.

What: Sacramento Kings vs. Phoenix Suns (preseason game 1)

Where: Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, AZ

When: 7:00 PM PT / 10:00 PM ET

The Kings embark on their 34th season in Sacramento tonight against the Phoenix Suns in Phoenix to kick off preseason play. Unfortunately for anyone who won’t be at Talking Stick Resort Arena this evening, neither the Suns nor the Kings will be broadcasting this matchup on local TV. You’ll be shocked to hear this, but ESPN, TNT, and NBA TV won’t be airing it either, so you’ll have to rely on the great Gary Gerould and Sports 1140 KHTK for any live professional coverage of this one.

Allow me to complain for one second here. How is this still a problem in 2018? The NBA is the most fan-friendly league in the U.S. but we can’t figure out a full preseason broadcast schedule? The NBA cut a deal with ESPN last summer to air every single summer league game from Vegas. Summer league! But the preseason debut of the no. 1 overall pick and the no. 2 overall pick doesn’t warrant a TV broadcast? Give me a break.

Oh well. You can also ‘tune in’ to Sactown Royalty’s Twitter account, @SactownRoyalty, because our very own Tim Maxwell will be live tweeting from tonight’s game in Phoenix. The things we do for preseason basketball.

As for the on-court stuff, this should be a pretty fun preseason matchup. The Suns, of course, drafted Arizona mega-prospect Deandre Ayton 1st overall in the 2017-18 NBA Draft back in June, and watching what Ayton can or can’t do against Kings rookies Marvin Bagley and Harry Giles sure would be fun to see if we could see it.

There has been plenty of talk in training camp about the Kings’ revamped offense that is expected to include a faster pace and more 3-pointers. This is their first test.

What lineups will Dave Joerger deploy? Who is starting? Who is in the rotation? Position battles have been wide-open in camp with the Kings having a massive logjam in the frontcourt, and this will be our first glimpse into how things are shaking out up and down the roster.

The Suns will be without star guard Devin Booker who is still recovering from offseason hand surgery. Bogdan Bogdanovic won’t play for the Kings, as he is still recovering from a minor knee procedure that took place in New York last week.

For the sake of discussion and a way to kill time at work on a Monday, let’s hear some starting lineup predictions. Here’s what I’ve got.

PG: De’Aaron Fox

SG: Buddy Hield

SF: Justin Jackson

PF: Harry Giles

C: Willie Cauley-Stein