Hey look! It’s a team with a fantastic mix of young, talented guards and bigs to go with solid veteran leadership and just a year out of trading their superstar! It’s the playoff bound Indiana Pacers! Yes, the Pacers are in town and only a game out of the third seed in the Eastern Conference playoff race, so what a fantastic time for them to be healthy, happy and headed to Sacramento for a game on Thursday night. The Kings have chipped away at their high draft pick in recent weeks, sporting a 6-8 record in the month of March, all while winning mostly on the backs of the talent from their youth movement. For those anxious about draft standings, you’ve forgotten. The Kings are still very much the Kangz, and will ruin your hopes regardless of what you had in mind. Let’s talk Kings basketball!
When: Thursday, March 29th; 7:00 pm PST
Where: Golden 1 Center; Sacramento, CA
Radio: KHTK Sports 1140 Am
For Your Consideration
Victor-y and De’feat: If you’ve heard anything about Indiana this season, it’s probably due to the breakout play of Victor Oladipo. After spinning his mega-talented wheels in Orlando and Oklahoma City, Victor has exploded onto the scene, averaging 23.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.2 rebounds all while shooting almost 47% from the field and over 36% from deep. The kid has been one of the best stories this year, is a lock for Most Improved Player, and even if the Pacers don’t get themselves up to the third spot, Oladipo should be in the Top 5 for MVP votes. He’s been an absolute pleasure to watch and should absolutely be able to dominate tonight.
Another Pacer that’s having himself a year is former Sacramento Kings point guard, Darren Collison. Doing exactly what Darren Collison has always done, the guy is averaging 12.5 points, 5.4 assists but has kicked his three point shooting up a tick (or five). Collison is currently shooting 45% from behind the arc and 49.5% from the field overall. His match-up with De’Aaron Fox will be of great interest to me tonight. Collison has always been my acceptable floor for what Fox could become, and knowing how the Kings let teams shoot from deep, I’d like to see the Fantastic Mr. Fox contain Collison in the minutes they get to match up against one another.
The Pacers are a fun team, and the type of team the Kings would be lucky to be molded after. With young guys and vets mixed in well (I didn’t even mention Myles Turner this entire time because, well, I’m a hack) their rebuild after the loss of the Paul George was more like a quick retooling. I’m not jealous, I’m totally not jealous.
Prediction: Buddy Hield monstars the talent from Oladipo, Willie Cauley-Stein takes it from Myles Turner, Kings get to the second round of the playoffs next year.
Kings: 104, Pacers: 103