The Kings had their worst offensive performance of the season Saturday, scoring two points through the first eight minutes of the fourth quarter in their loss to Houston. It was a sobering reminder of how much the team has come to rely on Tyrese Haliburton a few games into his NBA career, as he is the only reliable playmaker Sacramento has to generate offense other than De’Aaron Fox.
While the Kings sputtered on the offensive end, their next opponent finally started to rev up. Stephen Curry put forth the highest-scoring performance of any player in this young NBA season, dropping 62 points against the Portland Trail Blazers in Golden State’s third win of the season. Curry in rhythm is a terrifying prospect for the rest of the league to deal with, starting with the Kings.
Where: Chase Center, San Francisco, California
When: Monday, Jan. 4 at 7 p.m. PT
How to watch/listen: NBC Sports California, NBC Sports Bay Area, KHTK Sports 1140 AM
Opposing perspective: Golden State of Mind
Projected Starting Lineups:
Kings (3-3): De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Harrison Barnes, Marvin Bagley III, Richaun Holmes
Warriors (3-3): Stephen Curry, Andrew Wiggins, Kelly Oubre Jr., Draymond Green, James Wiseman
Kings: Tyrese Haliburton, DaQuan Jeffries — OUT
Warriors: Marquese Chriss, Alen Smailagic, Klay Thompson — OUT
Sacramento faced off against Golden State twice during the preseason, so this isn’t exactly a new opponent (and Curry went off during those two games as well). However, this is the first time the Warriors will have their starting frontcourt of Draymond Green and James Wiseman available against the Kings.
It will be interesting to see the young, athletic Wiseman match up against Marvin Bagley, who has a similar build. And Richaun Holmes has enough veteran savvy to be able to contend with Green’s guile on both ends of the floor. This will also be a good matchup for Hassan Whiteside, who was unable to get on the court against Houston’s spread offense.
The Kings guards will have their hands full with Curry, but Curry and Wiggins/Oubre will also have to contend with Fox and Hield running around the court. Neither team is exactly stout defensively, so this could be an opportunity for some offensive pyrotechnics.
Hopefully, Luke Walton continues to stretch the rotation with Haliburton out. Glenn Robinson III played for the Warriors last year and is familiar with their system, while the Kings desperately need Kyle Guy’s creation. If Guy plays next to Cory Joseph, the defensive trade-off could be manageable.
With an extra day of rest compared to the Warriors, the Kings need to put their foot on the gas early and take advantage of their fresher legs. Sacramento has shown a tendency to falter in the second halves of games so far, so building an early lead will be paramount.
What else are you looking forward to seeing from Kings vs. Warriors?