It’s rare that the Kings face off against a team with more internal instability than they have, but such is the case tonight. Sacramento is playing on the second night of a back-to-back, and it’s an open question of who will be in Indiana longer: the Kings or Pacers coach Nate Bjorkgren?
There appears to be an insurrection brewing in Indiana, perhaps something short of an outright mutiny, but there is definitely discord between the players and the head coach and the front office, as originally reported by ESPN Tuesday and further confirmed by The Athletic Wednesday. It’s worth noting that the follow-up also listed Luke Walton as a coach who’s on the hot seat, but that’s basically been the case since he got the job.
Anyway, it’s hard to know how the Pacers will respond to these reports. Will they lay down to confirm their displeasure with their coach? Will they bind together to prove that they don’t care about the outside noise? There are a lot of options on the table.
Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
When: Wednesday, May 5 at 5:00 p.m. PT
How to watch/listen: NBC Sports California, KHTK Sports 1140 AM
Opposing perspective: Indy Cornrows
Projected Starting Lineups
Kings (28-37): Delon Wright, Buddy Hield, Moe Harkless, Marvin Bagley III, Richaun Holmes
Pacers (30-34): Edmond Sumner, Caris LeVert, Oshae Brissett, Doug McDermott, Domantas Sabonis
Kings: Harrison Barnes (left adductor) — DOUBTFUL; Chimezie Metu (low back soreness) — QUESTIONABLE; De’Aaron Fox (health and safety protocols), Tyrese Haliburton (left knee), Robert Woodard II (low back soreness) — OUT
Pacers: Goga Bitadze (left ankle), Malcom Brogdon (right hamstring), Jeremy Lamb (left knee), Edmund Sumner (left knee) — QUESTIONABLE; JaKarr Sampson (concussion), Myles Turner (right toe), T.J. Warren (left foot)— OUT
The last time these two teams met was one of my personal favorite Kings games of the year, a Richaun Holmes block party with Domantas Sabonis as the guest of honor. Sacramento will once again need that level of defensive tenacity, because the Kings are missing several offensive weapons. A balanced attack with five players scoring 13 or 18 points got the job done against OKC, but the Pacers are a better defense, and their games have stakes. Indiana is almost a lock for the play-in, though seeding is still at play.
Some areas that the Kings should key in on are the offensive glass, getting to the foul line, and scoring in the paint. That once again makes this an important night for Holmes, especially because Myles Turner is out.
Enjoy the game, and comment below!