Game 21 Preview: Utah Jazz at Sacramento Kings

Ben-McLemore-Gordon-Hayward


Game time: 7:00 p.m. PDT

Where: Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, CA.

Broadcast Information: KHTK Sports 1140 (Radio), Comcast SportsNet California (Local Television)


Sacramento Kings Probable Starters (10-10)

PG: Darren Collison
SG: Ben McLemore
SF: Rudy Gay
PF: Jason Thompson
C: Reggie Evans

Utah Jazz Probable Starters (5-15)

PG: Trey Burke
SG: Alec Burks
SF: Gordon Hayward
PF: Derrick Favors
C: Enes Kanter


Three things to ponder

1. The long ball

The Kings added Darren Collison, Ramon Sessions, Nik Stauskas and Omri Casspi in the offseason with the sense they’d improve the team’s 3-point shooting. Through 20 games, the quartet is hitting less than 30 percent of their triples, while Sacramento ranks dead last in the NBA in 3-point makes. The Kings hope to get going from long distance against a Jazz club who’s fourth-worst in the league in opponent 3-point accuracy (38.6 percent).

2. Guarding the paint

Sacramento makes a living inside, but so does Utah. Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter, Trevor Booker and Rudy Gobert are all physical bigs who are making over 50 percent of their field goals this season. The Kings’ frontcourt, minus DeMarcus Cousins (virus), will have their hands full defending the rim and avoiding foul trouble.

3. Better bench

Both Sacramento and Utah’s benches have struggled mightily this season. The team that can limit mistakes and squeeze enough offense out of the crucial early second and fourth quarter stretches will have a much easier path to the win. Keep an eye on the backup point guard duel between veteran Ramon Sessions and rookie fifth overall pick Dante Exum.

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About: Rui Thomas

Rui Thomas is a writer and reporter for Cowbell Kingdom. He previously covered the Sacramento Kings and the NBA for Sports Out West. He is published by Sports Illustrated’s Truth and Rumors and Yahoo Sports NFL among others.