The Kings suffered their seventh loss of the season at the hands of Boston Celtics who dominated them in their 113-86 win. No player could put up 20 points individually, with Buddy Hield coming off the bench and contributing 17 points to go with seven rebounds, three steals and two assists.
As a whole, the team struggled again from the perimeter, only shooting 30% from the area. On the other hand, they allowed their opponent to shoot 41.3% from the same area. They were also dominated on the boards, where Boston doubled them in total rebounds, 52-26. Both of those areas will need to improve for the Kings to get their second win of the season.
Andre Drummond continued his scintillating early season form by posting 24 points, 15 rebounds, two points and a steal in the team’s impressive win 105-96 win over the Bucks.
Avery Bradley seems to be fitting in fine with his new team putting up another fine performance with 23 points, including three three-pointers, as well as some trademark defense where he added three steals and a block.
Despite shooting worse from the perimeter (30.8% to 40%) and only marginally better from the field (47.4% to 47%) it was Detroit’s accuracy from the charity stripe that got them the win.
They shot 23/28 from the free throw line with Drummond continuing his consistency from the area by nailing 14/16 of his shots. The Bucks, on the other hand, were only able to get to the line a mere nine times.
Three keys to the game
Defending the mid-range – The Kings have the greatest portion of their shots that come from the mid-range in the NBA (19.1%), however they’re not really dangerous from the area, only nailing 38.6% of those shots. The Pistons will need to be wary of that and stay active defensively to prevent Sacramento from getting in the area.
Kings’ starters standing up – The reserve unit for Sacramento is key to their success; their bench players average almost 49 points per game. For the Kings to stand a chance against the Pistons they’ll need their starters to lift their game. Guys like George Hill and Zach Randolph need to make an impact, especially as leaders of this building squad.
Offensive rebounding – The Pistons have one of the best offensive rebounding percentages in the league at 25.1%. The Kings will need to ensure they box out their opponents to stop Detroit from getting easy second chance possessions and points. If they can keep it relatively even on that end of the floor then they can at least make the game competitive.
Matchup to watch
Willie Cauley-Stein vs Andre Drummond – Cauley-Stein has shown signs of his budding talent so far this season. He’s the team’s leading rebounder (6.8) though he could show improvement on the defensive side as he’s averaging less than a block per game (0.88).
Drummond has rediscovered his past form, namely on the defensive end and from the free throw line. His mentality seems to have changed too; he looks more engaged and confident on all areas of the floor. Both guys have a heap of talent and it will be fun to see them battle it out.
Sacramento Kings projected starting lineup
PG – George Hill | SG – Garrett Temple | SF – Bogdan Bogdanovic | PF – Zach Randolph | C – Willie Cauley-Stein
Detroit Pistons projected starting lineup
PG – Reggie Jackson | SG – Avery Bradley | SF – Stanley Johnson | PF – Tobias Harris | C – Andre Drummond
No Sacramento player has averaged over 27.6 minutes per game (George Hill) so picking a guy for your fantasy squad will be a tough ask. De’Aaron Fox is your best pick in this one.
George Hill has struggled to find his role as the starter while his young teammate is leading the team in points (12.5) and assists (5.1) despite coming off the bench for the majority of the season.
The Pistons are 8.5-point favorites in this matchup which seems a little high given they’re taking on the Kings in a back-to-back. Look for the Kings to make it closer than those odds suggest.
The total scoring consensus is at 197; expect this one to go over. While the Kings are one of the worst scoring teams in the NBA right now, they’re coming off a few days rest, and the Pistons have scored over 100 in their last two wins.
The early season form of Detroit is too hard to look past for this game. Home court advantage helps (though the crowds have been poor) too and Sacramento are still working out the chemistry between their young guys and veterans.
They’ve rarely clicked this season but if Coach Dave Joerger can get the right lineups gelling in this one, they have a chance of the upset. Ultimately, the Pistons win this 106-100.
Catch this one on league pass, NBC Sports California and Fox Sports Detroit. Tip off is at 7pm ET at Little Caesars Arena.
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