Opponent Scouting: Sacramento Kings. (20-21)
Tonight at 10:00pm EST the Pistons will continue their road trip into Sacramento to play the Kings. The Pistons are on the second night of a back to back after losing to the Lakers, meanwhile the Kings are on one day of rest after losing to the Suns.
The Kings come into the game with the 15th best offensive efficiency in the NBA, though that number is a bit misleading since they get more points out of transition than any other team. Essentially meaning that in the half-court they struggle quite a bit, still though, 15th is a big stride for this team. On the other end they have the 24th defensive efficiency.
They are led by De’Aron Fox, who currently looks like the best point guard out of his draft. His sheer speed and tenacity is the driving force behind their blinding speed. Hunting transition points at every opportunity, off of misses, makes, and even free throws. He’s scoring 18 points and dishing 7 assists per game, he doesn’t shoot a lot of threes but he’s hitting enough of them and he defends. Fox is the real deal and may be the guy to finally lift the Kings out of misery.
After Fox, the Kings have a bunch of really good young players. Buddy Hield is scoring 20 points per game and is shooting 44% from deep on over 7 attempts per game. Willie Cauley-Stein doesn’t really excel at anything and has never come close to his defensive hype out of college, but he plays hard and does the basic big guy stuff. Bogdon Bogdonovic is your, now typical, swiss-army knife wing out of Europe. Nemanja Bjelica is a decent stretch four.
Justin Jackson is a serviceable wing player, same with Yogi Farrell at point guard. Ben McLemore can shoot a bit. Marvin Bagley has shown his talent but I think he’s hurt.
They are young, they run like crazy, and have some talent. If you keep them out of transition though, their offense can clog up and their defense isn’t good enough to compensate for that.
Matchups to watch:
Blake Griffin vs. Minimal resistance: Said this yesterday and it didn’t work out so well but whatever. Griffin should find minimal resistance against him from the Kings and as long as he doesn’t let Bjelica score 40 they should be in good shape.
Pistons vs. Fox: Once again, this dude is the real deal. My guess is Bruce Brown spends a lot of the night on him which would be fun to watch a pair of hyper-aggressive athletes go at each other.
Pistons vs. Pulling it back: Once again, if they don’t start winning soon they will fall too far out. Even in this conference there’s only so far you can fall. If they lose many more games I will be ready to officially declare the season a lost cause.
Dwane Casey vs. No more waiting: Rather than give more quotes about how it takes time and hear about how these players don’t really fit the system, maybe last season’s coach of the year could make even a minimal effort to do something with the roster he currently has.
So in conclusion…
Everything is terrible.