SACRAMENTO KINGS

Preview: Kings aim to get back on track vs. Pacers

Jan 18, 2024, 9:37 AM | Updated: 9:46 am

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 30: Malik Monk #0 of the Sacramento Kings reacts after he made a ...

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Following back-to-back gut-wrenching losses, the Sacramento Kings will return home for a two-game homestand that is set to tip off on Thursday night against the Indiana Pacers at Golden 1 Center.

The Kings’ past two losses–a one-point loss and a two-point defeat in Phoenix–have sent Sacramento (23-17) down a rough path as the ‘Beam Team’ has lost three straight games. Another loss would give the Kings its first four-game skid since opening up last season with an 0-4 record.

Standing in Sacramento’s way of snapping the streak will be a Pacers team that will be shorthanded in some capacity during Thursday’s action.

Indiana (23-17) is finalizing a deal for two-time All-Star forward Pascal Siakam, but the 29-year-old will not be available to suit up at Golden 1 Center. Former Kings guard Tyrese Haliburton (hamstring) is among ten Pacers players currently listed as questionable or out as the trade goes through the NBA’s completion process.

Shorthanded or not, Sacramento is in no position to let their guard down after suffering multiple losses to shorthanded teams this season. Even if Indiana has a handful of players available, they have proven to pose a problem for opponents on the offensive end.

A fully healthy Kings team will hope that Thursday will mark the start of a new chapter instead of continuing down the dark path of defeat as Sacramento looks to jump back into a top-five spot in the Western Conference standings.

Sacramento Kings vs. Indiana Pacers Game Info

When: 7:00 PM PST

Where: Golden 1 Center – Sacramento, CA

TV: NBC Sports California

Radio: Sactown Sports 1140 AM – Coverage starts at 5:30 PM on Game Night

Line: Kings -7.5, O/U 248.5

Be sure to tune in right here on Sactown Sports 1140 for all of your Kings vs. Pacers coverage, beginning at 5:30 PM PST on Game Night before a 7:00 PM PST tip-off from downtown Sacramento.

Tickets: Click here

De-Fense

Like last year’s Sacramento Kings team which set an NBA record for the highest offensive rating in a single season, this Pacers team knows how to score in a hurry.

Indiana enters play on Thursday leading the league in points per game (125.6), offensive rating (122.1), and second in pace (102.9).

Of course, a significant reason why the Pacers have been an offensive juggernaut this season has been Tyrese Haliburton’s ascension to stardom, as the former Kings guard leads the NBA in assists per game (12.5).

While Haliburton was initially expected to be sidelined for another week due to a hamstring strain, the All-Star has been upgraded to questionable, meaning there is a chance we will see him take the floor at Golden 1 Center.

If Haliburton is available, it only adds to the Pacers’ impressive plan of attack that also includes Myles Turner, Buddy Hield, and Bennedict Mathurin.

YouTube video

Indiana is 1-10 this season when being held under 120 points, meaning the Kings have somewhat of a score target on Thursday night.

If Sacramento faces a Pacers team that is missing multiple significant pieces, there are no excuses–especially when facing their longest losing streak since two seasons ago.

Attack The Paint

As impressive as Indian’s offense has been this season, their defense has been just as impressive for different reasons.

The Pacers, who hold several top-three ranks in offensive categories, rank near the bottom of the NBA in nearly every defensive category:

  • Points in the paint allowed: 61.0 (30th)
  • Points allowed per game: 123.5 (29th)
  • Defensive rebounds per game: 30.6 (28th)
  • Defensive rating: 120.0 (26th)
  • Offensive rebounds allowed per game: 11.2 (24th)
  • Opponent 3PT%: 37.7 (21st)

Sacramento’s offense isn’t quite what it was last year, but they have tapped back into their 2022-23 form over the past eight games.

The Kings are averaging 122.4 points per game on 48 percent shooting from the field and 39 percent from three-point land while handing out 31.3 assists per game over the past eight contests.

Thanks to Domantas Sabonis’ impressive stretch and De’Aaron Fox bounce-back performances during the end of the road trip, Sacramento should be geared up for a busy night in the paint against a Pacers defense that struggles to protect the rim.

YouTube video

Indiana has allowed 60+ points in the paint in consecutive games (both losses).

If Sabonis and Fox attack the paint and cause the Pacers’ defense to collapse in, it will free up the perimeter for players like Malik Monk, Keegan Murray, Kevin Huerter, and Harrison Barnes.

Expect Sabonis to go at his former front-court mate Myles Turner in the post on Thursday in a matchup of past Pacers teammates.

Notes

  • With a double-double on Thursday, Domantas Sabonis will break his own Sacramento era record for longest double-double streak. Sabonis, who has 23 consecutive double-doubles, leads the NBA with 36 on the season.

Kings vs. Pacers Injury Report

Sacramento

  • No players listed

Indiana

Upcoming Schedule

  • Thursday, January 18th – Sacramento Kings vs. Indiana Pacers – 7:00 PM PST
  • Monday, January 22nd – Sacramento Kings vs. Atlanta Hawks – 7:00 PM PST
  • Thursday, January 25th – Sacramento Kings @ Golden State Warriors – 7:00 PM PST
  • Saturday, January 27th – Sacramento Kings @ Dallas Mavericks – 6:00 PM PST
  • Monday, January 29th – Sacramento Kings @ Memphis Grizzlies – 5:00 PM PST

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