The Sacramento Kings will be up against the Boston Celtics for the final time this season. This is the second to last matchup of a four game homestand in which the Kings play four of the league’s premier teams.
The last time the Kings faced this squad, the loss shattered any remaining hope of ending the playoff drought. The Celtics handed the Kings one of the worst losses in franchise history, beating the Kings 128-75. Are the Kings looking to avenge themselves?
Some Celtics defensive numbers:— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) March 17, 2022
-Opponent FG% - 43.1% - 1st
-Opponent 2P% - 49.3% - 1st (only team under 50%)
-Opponent 3P% - 33.5% - 1st
-Defensive Rating - 106.2 - 1st
It's complete and utter dominance for the Boston defense this season.
(All stats per @bball_ref)
The Celtics are winners of 17 of their last 20 games. They currently sit at the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference and could very well move into third or second before the season’s end. Most people know the Celtics for having the dynamic duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown who can both score at will. But their success this season is due to their collective defense and its leader, Marcus Smart. If the Kings wish to stand any sort of chance tonight, they will have to find and take advantage of any weakness this defense may have.
De’Aaron Fox is coming off of his worst performance, though it was not a bad game by any means, in the month of March due to a hand injury he suffered in the game. He will likely need to have one of his better performances of late if he hopes to lead his team to victory.
Since it will be seemingly impossible for the Kings to shock the Celtics defense into submission, they will have to try and match them with their own defense. In their last game against the Bucks, the Kings allowed two players to score 30 points and one to score 20. If this happens tonight without the Kings being able to impose their will upon the Celtics defense, they will lose again.
How to Watch/Listen: NBC Sports California, Sports 1140 KHTK
Opposing Perspective: Celtics Blog
SAC injuries/absences: De’Aaron Fox - DTD (Hand), Jeremy Lamb - Out (Personal), Terence Davis - Out (Wrist), Richaun Holmes - OFS (Personal)
BOS injuries/absences: Aaron Nesmith - Out (Ankle)
Spread: Celtics -11 (-110), Kings +11 (-110)