NBA

They’re Back: Kings Face Pacers In Mumbai For Preseason Opener

Oct 2, 2019, 10:08 AM | Updated: 10:09 am
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(Getty Images)
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Sacramento will take part in the first-ever NBA game in India at 6:30am on Friday morning

The wait is over: Sacramento Kings basketball is back.

After five long months, the Kings will be back in action early on Friday morning when they open up their preseason slate against the Indiana Pacers in Mumbai, India.

It will be the first NBA game ever to be played in India.

Sacramento enters the preseason with high expectations for the 2019-20 season after winning 39 games last year and finishing ninth in the Western Conference. Led by breakout seasons from De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield, the young Kings gained respect around the league after hanging around the playoff race into late March. Sacramento faltered down the stretch and finished nine games back from the final playoff spot with a 39-43 record.

It was the Kings’ best record since 2005-06 when they went 44-38 and clinched a playoff berth.

Forward Harrison Barnes inked a long-term deal that will keep him in Sacramento through 2022-23, while the Kings also signed Cory Joseph, Trevor Ariza and Richaun Holmes to deepen the roster. With Marvin Bagley III and Harry Giles III back for their second seasons in the NBA, the Kings have their deepest team on paper in over 13 years.

Bogdan Bogdanovic might have had the best summer out of any King, taking the FIBA World Cup by storm while playing for the Serbian national team. The 27 year-old was widely regarded as the best player in the tournament, scoring 22.9 points per game while hitting 53-percent of his three-point field goals to go along with 4.1 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game.

The third-year guard feels ready to make a similar impact in the NBA this season after two years that saw him average 12.9 points per game while shooting 43-percent from the field.

โ€œThis is the first time Iโ€™m healthy. I feel really good,โ€ Bogdanovic told James Ham of NBC Sports. โ€œI was really working hard this summer, like never before, I can tell you that. Especially condition-wise on my body. I really feel good and excited.โ€

New head coach Luke Walton will begin his tenure with the Kings on Friday morning after three seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers. Walton drew praise from his time with the Golden State Warriors when he filled in for an ailing Steve Kerr and coached the team to a 39-4 record over 43 games. The 39 year-old coach wants to rely heavily on the three-ball, stating that the Kings should take 35 three’s per game this season.

That shouldn’t be a problem for a team that attempted 29.9 three-pointers per-game last season.

Sacramento is ready to make waves in a wide-open NBA, and it all starts on Friday morning in Mumbai, India. Tune into NBATV on Friday morning at 6:30am PST to see De’Aaron Fox and company face Malcom Brogdon and the Indiana Pacers.

NBA

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