It’s a make or miss league, and unfortunately for the Beam Team of Sacramento, they couldn’t make enough shots as they fall 117-110 to the Minnesota Timber Wolves. Here are my takeaways:
De’Aaron Fox may need rest
The potential All-Star guard would finish the night with 29 points and 6 assists, but it was apparent Fox did not have the legs to finish shots the way we’ve seen from the Kentucky product all season. Kayte Christensen-Hunter on the telecast did suggest the team should look at giving Fox a game or two off in order to rest. While there’s no indication that the team would look to sit Fox, his usage and minutes does make it understandable. However, with the west still on their heels for the No. 3 seed, potentially not having your best player on the floor to fight for wins seems risky.
The defense needs to improve for Sacramento
Once again, the Kings defense left more to be desired after giving up 117 points to a Wolves team that is pretty limited offensively. D’Angelo Russell was able to put up 24 points in the first half getting open look after open look behind the three-point line. Naz Reid looked like an All-Star as he was able to showcase his entire offensive bag and putting up 10 points in his first seven minutes. This could be what the team looks to address at the trade deadline, but if no move is made, the Kings’ defense is going to need to improve if they want to be taken seriously as a playoff team.
A six-game stretch to move up the standings
I don’t want anyone to over stress a loss. It’s not like we’re not going to see this Kings team lose another game this season. Again, it’s a make or miss league. Sacramento will get a rematch against this very same team on Monday and it will be interesting to see what adjustments this team looks to make. Over the next six games, Sacramento has a very favorable schedule with matchups against the Rockets (2x), a Zion Williamson-less Pelican’s team and a Tyrese Haliburton-less Pacers team (2x). Only 3.5 games back behind the Memphis Grizzlies, the Kings seem poised to make a statement run over this six-game stretch.