clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Kings vs. Nets Preview: Never fear, Brooklyn is here

New, comments

The Kings have a shot to get to a .500 record and tie the Phoenix Suns for the eighth seed in the Western Conference tonight. 

Kimani Okearah

In the 1992 cinematic classic Newsies, Jack “Cowboy” Kelly (played by a young, smoldering Christian Bale), leads a strike against the greedy owners of the local newspapers in order to increase their wages or lower the cost of the papers they sell. Realizing his crew cannot afford to be the only newsies on strike, as the owners will just bring in other underprivileged boys to take their place, Kelly reaches out to Spot Colon of the Brooklyn gang to lend support. Initially, Spot is reluctant to join Jack’s mad plan, but when the strikes turn violent and Kelly’s guys are just about to be overwhelmed by the evil Delancey brothers, Spots arrives in the nick of time, sporting a devilish smirk and an all too accurate slingshot. As Colon saves his fellow newsies, the cast breaks out into song (it’s a musical after all), and one key line stands out: “Have no fear, Brooklyn’s here!”

Sacramento should have no fear, now that Brooklyn is here. The Nets aren’t exactly in the Same Ol’ Situation as the start of the season, as a rash of injuries to Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Caris LeVert have reduced their core to a motley crew of Spencer Dinwiddie, Jarrett Allen, and a handful of role players. On the season, they’re just about average in every category, ranking 19th in offensive rating and 18th in both defensive and net rating. One thing to note: Brooklyn loves to shoot three-pointers, as they’re sixth in the league in attempts with 36.7 coming per game, but they’re not particularly accurate, knocking down just 34% of their attempts. Sacramento’s perimeter defenders should feel comfortable giving space to most of their outside shooters, sliding back to prevent paint penetration. If the Kings can play with the focused mindset of the last eight games, they should be able to take advantage of a struggling team to kick off their four game road trip.

When: Friday, November 22nd, 4:30 PST

Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY

TV: NBCSCA

Radio: KHTK Sports 1140 AM

For Your Consideration

Do you miss the good old days of Kings basketball when they frequently played a veteran, defensive-minded shooting guard at small forward because for whatever reason every front office we’ve ever employed ignores the wing position? If so, you’re in luck tonight! Two old (both figuratively and literally) friends will take the court tonight against their old team, as Garrett Temple is currently starting for the injury-ravaged Nets and Iman Shumpert, he of ‘The Scores” fame, recently signed with Brooklyn as well. Spencer Dinwiddie, Jarrett Allen, Taurean Prince, and sharpshooter Joe Harris will round out the starting lineup for the Nets, while their bench mob consists of DeAndre Jordan, the aforementioned Shumpert, Theo Pinson (that’s not a real person), and Dzanan Musa (also a 2K generated player).

Brooklyn may be struggling with key players out, but the Kings aren’t exactly healthy, either. Marvin Bagley III will not return to the court on this road trip, De’Aaron Fox is out for the projected future, Trevor Ariza is rehabbing a hip injury and isn’t with the team due to personal reasons, Bogdan Bogdanovic is listed as questionable due to a hamstring issue, Cory Joseph is also questionable with a left heel bruise, and Kyle Guy isn’t available to play. If Bogi and Joseph both miss the contest tonight, that will leave Luke Walton with Yogi Ferrell and DaQuan Jeffries to handle the ball; things could get a little ugly at times. Buddy Hield will likely need to have a big scoring night and put the squad on his shoulders to generate enough offense for a win.

If the Kings are able to pull off a victory tonight, several things will happen. They will have officially worked their way back to playing .500 basketball despite the 0-5 start to the season, and more importantly, they’ll enter into a tie with the Phoenix Suns for the eighth seed in the Western Conference. From a historical standpoint, a win would push Sacramento into a 7-2 record over their last nine games, the team’s best nine-game stretch since their 8-1 run from February 27th to March 14th back in 2006. That was 13 years, 8 months, 3 weeks, and 5 days ago. The starting lineup was Mike Bibby, Kevin Martin, Metta World Peace, Kenny Thomas, and Brad Miller. I’m fairly certain Sanjesh hadn’t even been born yet. It’s not out of pocket to say the Kings may very well be playing their best basketball since the playoff drought began.

Prediction

Bogdan Bogdanovic plays and dominates, scoring more than 20 points and recording more than 10 assists, while DeAndre Jordan takes a nap in the middle of multiple defensive positions.

Kings 111 – Nets 99