The high hopes the Sacramento Kings had when they arrived in Orlando for the NBA’s restart dissipated after a poor start. Now, just like for each of the last 13 years, the Kings are going home at the conclusion of their regular season.
Where: Orlando, Florida
When: Thursday, 10:30 a.m. PT
TV: NBC Sports California, (Interim play-by-play man Gary Gerould, and color commentator Doug Christie will call the games on NBCSC).
Streaming: fuboTV, NBA League Pass
Kings: Marvin Bagley III (out), De’Aaron Fox (out), center Richaun Holmes (out), Kent Bazemore (out)
Lakers: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (out), Alex Caruso (out), Anthony Davis (questionable), LeBron James (probable)
Star point guard De’Aaron Fox (shoulder), center Richaun Holmes (hip), and Kent Bazemore (calf) will all sit this one out. This will give head coach Luke Walton plenty of time to assess the back end of the roster, with Jabari Parker, DaQuan Jeffries, and Yogi Ferrell expected to get some extra minutes. Starters Harrison Barnes and Bogdan Bogdanovic will provide the scoring punch, after combining to score 41 points to lead Sacramento to its victory over New Orleans.
The Lakers are expected to rest superstars James, and Davis, while Caldwell-Pope and Caruso will miss the game with nagging injuries. Los Angeles doesn’t have anything to play for with the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference locked up.
Walton recognized that it is tough for his players to get motivated for the final two games with nothing to play for in the standings, but that he was encouraged by the effort his guys put forward against the Pelicans.
The Kings head coach has also gotten his fair share of criticism for the team’s struggles in their first three games. GM Vlade Divac hasn’t publicly spoken about Walton’s performance in Orlando, and it is doubtful this game will have any bearing on if Walton will be back with Sacramento next season.
Either way, this is yet another disappointing finish to a Kings’ season. The team has some young talent and felt it was being “disrespected” coming into the bubble, but ultimately fell short of its goals. Sacramento was hit hard early by the injury bug, and to make matters worse, the team suffered a slew of positive coronavirus tests, which resulted in missed practice time for several players.
But, this will be another year of postseason-less basketball for the Kings. Hopefully, that changes next season.