League Pass Team of the Weekend: Sacramento Kings

The Kings have been one of the early season surprises in the NBA.  Many predicted they would challenge for the worst record in the league.  Through 14 games, they are 8-6 and currently 8th in the Western Conference.  This weekend should be a good test to see how they stack up in the Western Conference.

Schedule

Friday: at Memphis Grizzles (8-5), 8PM ET

Saturday: at Houston Rockets (6-7), 8PM ET

Key Stats

The Kings have created a run-and-gun style under third-year coach Dave Joerger.  They rank second in the NBA in pace, third in 3-point shooting, and 9th in scoring.  They are also playing lockdown defense of late.  Over the last 10 games, they rank second in opponent 3-point percentage, third in opponent field goal percentage, and fourth in defensive rating.

Star Watch – De’Aaron Fox

20171002_ha_KingsVsSpurs001

De’Aaron Fox’s ascension has been one of the more exciting stories to start the season.  The second-year pro took a giant leap this season, averaging 19 points, 4 rebounds, and 7 assists while shooting 45% from the three-point line. He is also one of the most efficient scorers around the basket, averaging 70% within the restricted zone.  He looks all the part of the superstar lead guard the Kings hoped they were drafting during the 2017 NBA draft.

Must-See Matchup – Willie Cauley-Stein vs. Marc Gasol

Marc Gasol, Willie Cauley-Stein

Expect Willie Cauley-Stein and Marc Gasol to be actively involved when the Kings meet the Grizzlies on Friday.  Willie Cauley-Stein is off to a career-high start, averaging 17 points and 9 rebounds.  While Gasol looks as polished as ever, leading the Grizzlies to a surprising 8-5 record.  The Grizzlies notched a big win on Tuesday defeating the Bucks behind Gasol’s 29 point effort, including six made 3-pointers.  It will be interesting to watch how they attack one another on offense.  Gasol likes to stretch the floor while Cauley-Stein is strictly a back-to-basket player.  Stylistically, this should be an entertaining game between two upstart Western Conference teams.

Predictions

Kings defeat Grizzlies, 112-105

Kings defeat Rockets, 115-113

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