After a promising start to the season, the Sacramento Kings are reeling going into Wednesday’s game against the LA Clippers.
Sacramento is 2-8 over its last 10 games as the defense continues to be the team’s weak point. The Kings 120.5 defensive rating is by far the worst in the league, and the issues with protecting their own end have only been exasperated during the recent slide.
Opponents are feating on Sacramento’s defense. The Kings allow the opposition to shoot 50.3 percent from the field and 40.2 percent from beyond the arc; both marks are the worst in the NBA.
Sacramento has the firepower to compete with Los Angeles offensively. The Kings are the ninth highest-scoring team in the league at 114.3 points per game, just behind the Clippers, who average 114.9 per contest.
This will be the second meeting in six nights between the two teams. L.A. put a 138-100 beatdown on Sacramento last week. It was only an eight-point game at the half, but the Clippers outscored the Kings 37-16 in the third quarter to put things away.
Head coach Luke Walton has to make some adjustments to the team’s defensive scheme. Whether the team begins to implement some zone defense or Walton tinkers with his rotations, it’s clear something needs to change.
The Clippers have won four in a row and sit second overall in the Western Conference at 10-4. Paul George and Kawhi Leonard combine to average 49.1 points per game and will be a handful for the Kings’ wings.
If Sacramento wants to get back on track, it all starts on the defensive end.
Where: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, California
When: Wednesday, Jan. 20 at 7 p.m. PT
How to watch/listen: NBC Sports California, KHTK Sports 1140 AM
Projected Starting Lineups:
Kings (5-9): De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Harrison Barnes, Marvin Bagley III, Richaun Holmes
Clippers (10-4): Patrick Beverley, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Serge Ibaka, Nicolas Batum
Kings: Hassan Whiteside (left hip soreness) — QUESTIONABLE; Jahmi’us Ramsey (groin), DaQuan Jeffries (ankle) — OUT
Clippers: Lou Williams (hip) — QUESTIONABLE