Coming off of a buzzer beating win from Harrison Barnes in the Valley of the Sun, the Sacramento Kings will look to improve to 3-2 on the young season Friday night vs. the New Orleans Pelicans.
Sacramento will continue to rely on Barnes for consistent offense, although tonight seems as good as of a time as any for De’Aaron Fox to get in the groove after his subjectively slow start. Through three games vs. the Pelicans last season Fox was unconscious from the field, averaging 41 points in his All-Star worthy run in the winter of 2021. A familiar sense of dominance on the Pel’s court might be exactly what the point guard needs to get back to that style of play.
The Pelicans are without their powerhouse Zion Williamson, who is still recovering from what began as an undisclosed foot surgery late in the summer. Sacramento will see the likes of All-Star Brandon Ingram, Devonte’ Graham and a big-time matchup in the middle with Jonas Valančiūnas. New Orleans has struggled to put it together in the young season, garnering a 1-3 record behind a heart-breaking loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night.
Both teams are in a similar position entering the fifth game of the NBA season: young teams with immense talent who are overdue to make the leap. New Orleans and Sacramento finished with same same record last year (31-41) and missed out by a fraction on the play-in tournament. With new coach Willie Green, this will be Sacramento’s first opportunity to see the Pelicans who are also looking to form their own brand of winning basketball.
How to Watch/Listen: NBC Sports California, Sports 1140 KHTK
Opposing Perspective: The Bird Writes
SAC injuries: N/A
GSW injuries: Zion Williamson (foot)