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Kings vs. Raptors Preview: Playing the meteor to Toronto’s Raptors

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The Sacramento Kings seek their third win in a row. 

Kimani Okearah

The Sacramento Kings have won two games in a row. I repeat, THE SACRAMENTO KINGS HAVE WON TWO GAMES IN A ROW. CELEBRATE, PEOPLE.

That being said, the Kings face an incredibly tough challenge in Toronto tonight. Between the lack of freedom in the air, the disgustingly affordable health care system in which you can actually call an ambulance instead of an Uber without going bankrupt, and french fries covered in gravy, our hometown team needs to execute at an extremely high level to pull off their third consecutive win this evening.

When: Wednesday, November 6th, 4:30 pm PST

Where: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Canada

TV: NBCSCA

Radio: KHTK Sports 1140 AM

For Your Consideration

Although the reigning champions lost their best player to the Los Angeles Clippers this past offseason, they still hold the Larry O’Brie(h)n trophy and have amassed a record of 4-2 through their first six games of the year. That win/loss column looks awfully impressive to start, but their wins have come against non-playoff teams, the Pelicans, Bulls, Magic, and Pistons, while their losses were against two contenders, the Celtics and the Bucks. They’re still a bit of a mystery in the post-Kawhi era.

The one area that isn’t a mystery for Toronto is their shooting, which is a bit analogous to what fans had hoped the Kings would be able to do this season, as the Raptors have posted the fourth-best three-point shooting mark at 38.6% and the sixth-most attempts with 36.7 heaves per game. That accuracy from deep is mostly attributed to their starting lineup, as their worst shooter among that group is Marc Gasol, who’s knocking down almost 37% of his triples. To put that in a team-to-team context, Nemanja Bjelica and Buddy Hield are the only Kings players to knock down a higher percentage of three-pointers than Toronto’s worst-shooting starter. Sacramento will have to aggressively and effectively defend the three-point line, something they’ve struggled to accomplish to this point in the season.

For the Kings to pull off a win tonight, they’re going to need to execute on every level throughout the entire 48 minutes. They cannot afford another third quarter letdown. De’Aaron Fox must continue to aggressively attack the rim as we’ve seen over the past couple of games, as getting to the free throw line and sending Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet to the bench with foul trouble would disrupt Toronto’s game plan. When Fox is able to penetrate the lane, Sacramento’s shooters need to start hitting their open outside shots, specifically Dewayne Dedmon and Bogdan Bogdanovic. To date, the team is hitting just 33% of their open three-point opportunities. If the Kings can stay focused through all four quarters, they’ve got a shot at a Canadian-flavored victory tonight.

Prediction

Bogdan Bogdanovic finally breaks out of his scoring slump and leads the team in scoring, Cory Joseph seeks his revenge against his homeland, and the Kings win their third game in a row, prompting multiple streaking arrests in the downtown Sacramento area.