Preview: Kings to begin final lengthy road-trip of season in Chicago
The Sacramento Kings will begin its final extended road trip of the season on Wednesday night when they face the Chicago Bulls at United Center in the first stop of a four-game trip.
Following this four-game, week-long trip, the Kings will not go on another road trip longer than two games during the final three weeks of the regular season.
Sacramento (40-27) is fresh off an impressive stretch of games against the New York Knicks, Phoenix Suns, and Milwaukee Bucks, in which they posted a 2-1 record. The Kings have been one of the best teams in the NBA since returning from the All-Star break, as they hold an 8-2 record since February 21st.
Chicago (31-36) enters play on Wednesday in a tie with Washington for the 10th and final postseason spot in the Eastern Conference, meaning that every one of its remaining 15 games holds immense importance.
The Kings took a hit to its second unit this morning when the NBA announced that forward Trey Lyles would be suspended for one game due to his role in Monday’s altercation with Bucks center Brook Lopez.
Lyles, who has averaged 11.6 points and 5.6 rebounds while shooting 55 percent from the field and 42 percent from three-point range over the past 13 games, will not suit up against Chicago, meaning that Sacramento’s already short rotation will be without a key member.
Sacramento Kings forward Trey Lyles has been suspended one game for his role in Monday's altercation with Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez.
Lyles will not play tonight when the Kings face the Chicago Bulls.https://t.co/sAzCnUWQ3c
— Sactown Sports 1140 (@Sactown1140) March 15, 2023
Sacramento Kings vs. Chicago Bulls Game Info
When: 5:00 PM PST
Where: United Center – Chicago, IL
TV: NBC Sports California
Radio: Sactown Sports 1140 AM – Pregame coverage starts at 3:30 PM PST on Game Night
Line: Kings -1.5, O/U: 235.5
Can Sacramento Break Through Another Tough Defense?
The Kings scored 124 points on 42 percent shooting from beyond the arc on Monday night against an impressive Milwaukee Bucks defense that entered play with the NBA’s third-best defensive rating.
Wednesday night’s matchup will feature another tough matchup for Sacramento as they will face a Bulls defense that ranks sixth in defensive rating (112.7) and 10th in opponent points per game (112.4) under head coach Billy Donovan.
During the only previous meeting between the two teams this season back on December 4th at Golden 1 Center, the Kings were held to 110 points on 30 percent shooting from deep, but were able to pull out a nine-point win after holding Chicago to 101 points.
Outside of Zach LaVine’s 41 points on 16-of-28 shooting, the rest of the Bulls offense scored just 60 points on 37 percent shooting from the field.
While Chicago’s defense has arguably been its greatest strength this season, its offense has been one of the worst in the league as the Bulls sit at 24th in offensive rating (113.4) and 20th in points per game (113.2).
Sacramento’s high-powered offense has shown that it can cut through some of the best defenses in the NBA, and you can expect them to be up for the challenge against a Chicago defense that has allowed 114.4 points over the past five games (the Kings have averaged 131.5 points per game since returning from the All-Star break).
Don’t Let The Stars Shine
As previously mentioned, Bulls star Zach LaVine single-handedly kept Chicago alive the last time these two teams played one another.
LaVine has averaged 32.0 points per game over his last for matchups against Sacramento, meaning that the Kings should look to hold the two-time All-Star in check on Wednesday night.
Sacramento has a knack for letting opposing stars get hot, and while that isn’t necessarily a rare occurrence in a star-fueled league, it would be nice to see the Kings hold players like LaVine and DeMar DeRozan to respectable scoring outputs in this one.
As the playoffs approach, Sacramento will need to prove that they can slow down opposing stars if they want a chance at making a deep run in their first postseason appearance in 16 years.
LaVine has been on an absolute heater over the past five games as the 28-year-old is averaging 35.0 points on 56 percent shooting from the field and 51 percent from three-point range.
Chicago holds an 11-5 (.687) record when LaVine scores 30+ points, meaning that the Kings will want to keep the guard in check if they want to leave the Windy City with a W.
- Sacramento has not defeated the Bulls in Chicago since January 24, 2020
- The Kings are 4-5 against the Bulls over the past nine matchups between the two teams
- Richaun Holmes – QUESTIONABLE (non-COVID illness)
- Trey Lyles – OUT (suspension)
- Keon Ellis – OUT (G-League)
- Neemias Queta – OUT (G-League)
Be sure to get all of your Kings vs. Bulls coverage right here on Sactown Sports 1140 beginning at 3:30 PM PST on Game Night with Scott Marsh and Henry ‘The High Flyer’ Turner before a 5:00 PM PST tip-off from Chicago.
Upcoming Sacramento Kings Schedule
Wednesday, March 15th – Sacramento Kings @ Chicago Bulls – 5:00 PM PST
Thursday, March 16th – Sacramento Kings @ Brooklyn Nets – 4:30 PM PST
Saturday, March 18th – Sacramento Kings @ Washington Wizards – 5:00 PM PST
Monday, March 20th – Sacramento Kings @ Utah Jazz – 6:00 PM PST
Tuesday, March 21st – Sacramento Kings vs. Boston Celtics – 7:00 PM PST
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