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Kings vs. Magic Preview: Sacramento seeks to break its losing spell at home

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The Kings look to break their four game losing streak and get back to .500

Kimani Okearah - Sactownroyalty.com

The Sacramento Kings have now lost four winnable games in a row by about five points on average, so it must be nice feeling for the Kings players to look at the schedule and see the 17-22 Orlando Magic - a team that is certainly not on the caliber of the Warriors, Trailblazers, or Nuggets. The Magic are, to borrow from their own star Aaron Gordon, “just lazy, undisciplined and soft.” The Magic are struggling where the Kings excel, coming in at 26th in the NBA in pace with a rating of 97.1.

Despite the recent losses, the Kings are still one of the leading teams in pace - coming at #2 in the NBA with a rating of 103.5.

FWIW, the team leading the NBA in pace is... the 12-27 Atlanta Hawks. It’s fine to play fast if there’s a complimentary defensive scheme in place. The Kings are developing that. The Hawks? Well, former King and Magic-man Vince Carter may very well end up as an Eastern Conference All-Star.

Let’s get to the game.

When: Saturday, January 7th, 7:00 PM PST

Where: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, CA

TV: NBCSCA

Radio: KHTK Sports 1140 AM

For Your Consideration

One of the more embarrassing stats for the Kings as a franchise is the average attendance this season. The early success may have caught Sacramento by surprise - I personally know a lot more people making their way to Golden 1 Center to take in a game, but the anecdote doesn’t translate to the numbers. Right now, the Kings are 22nd in the NBA in average attendance. Sacramento averages 16.8k fans a game. The Cleveland Cavaliers average 19.4k. We should have higher numbers than this, especially given that the team is on the rise.

So let’s do our part as Royals of Sactown - Last season, we were able to raise enough money to send over 1200 foster children to a Kings game. As a human being who was displaced early and raised in foster care, this carries a lot of personal weight for me. Basketball provided a fulcrum of stability to my life that I still employ today. So, how about it fans? #HereWeGive!

To donate, just click here and select how many tickets you want to purchase. Once you donate, that’s it! The tickets are automatically sourced, and the Kings and Ticket to Dream will distribute them to deserving youths. The game is on February 4th against the San Antonio Spurs, so even if you can’t donate now, the link will be open for a while and should give us plenty of time. Tickets cost $20 flat without fees, and for every ticket sold, the Kings will match and donate another ticket, so even one donation helps send two kids to the game.

Back to the Magic - if the Kings have a single area they can point to when examining their recent comebacks / collapses, it’s REBOUNDING. Having Marvin Bagley available tonight should help, but the Kings need to tighten up on the boards. Opponents know that if they can have one or two players commit to challenge for every rebound, there’s a good chance the Kings will be too slow / unaware to react. Consistently challenging for (and winning) offensive rebounds is the most effective way to knock the Kings off their desired pace.

On that note, look out for Nikola Vučević. Slower, ground-bound, board-gobbling machines seem to thrive against the Kings, and if he’s pulling in 15 or more, this will be a competitive game. I don’t think we’ll see any Magic player earn that 5x5 statline that Nurkic dropped last week, but Vučević could very well be a problem for Willie Cauley-Stein and Nemanja Bjelica.

What do you think? Check out SactownRoyalty’s prediction thread and let us know!

Prediction

De’Aaron Fox plays at 75% speed and still ends up with 20+ points and 8+ assists, Buddy Hield continues lighting the net on fire, and Justin Jackson turns in another big scoring game - perhaps another new career high? Vucevic finishes with 24 and 13 in a Orlando Magic loss.

Kings 126, Magic 109

Please enjoy this special look at the Bogdan Bogdanovic game-winner from our #Lensface, Kimani Okearah. Please share / retweet if you enjoy the piece!