Preview: Kings hope to snap skid, get back on track against Magic
Jan 9, 2023, 9:37 AM| Updated: 11:05 am
(Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)
The Sacramento Kings’ five-game home stand has not gotten off to an ideal start after losing two-straight games to the Atlanta Hawks and Los Angeles Lakers.
Another sub-.500 opponent will face the Kings on Monday night as the Orlando Magic (15-25) arrive at Golden 1 Center on the heels of an impressive 115-101 win over the Golden State Warriors.
The Kings (20-18) have squandered an opportunity to pad themselves in the Western Conference standings as the teams around them have continued to lose over the past week of action.
Although teams like Phoenix, the Los Angeles Clippers, and the Warriors sit below Sacramento in the Pacific Division, the time is now for the Kings to help their case during what was widely seen as an easier stretch of the regular season schedule. Since holding a 19-15 record on New Year’s Eve, Sacramento has lost three of their past four games, including two at home against teams with sub-.500 records.
Sacramento has an opportunity to relieve some concerns on Monday night as they look to keep this losing skid from reaching three games.
Sacramento Kings vs. Orlando Game Info
When: 7:00 PM PST
Where: Golden 1 Center – Sacramento, CA
TV: NBC Sports California
Radio: Sactown Sports 1140 AM – Pregame coverage starts at 5:30 PM PST on Game Night
Line: Kings -6.0, O/U: 237.5
Tickets: Click here
If the Kings want to get back on track, they have to pick it up on the defensive end.
Sacramento has looked like a revolving door on the defensive end over the past 10 games as they have allowed 122.3 points per game during that span. Opponents are scoring at will, and the Kings need to make a stand sooner or later.
“Defensively, we are not good…at all,” Kings head coach Mike Brown said of his team’s defensive struggles following Saturday’s 136-134 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers had its best shooting performance (61%) and second-best scoring output of the season against a non-existent Sacramento defense.
“It’s going to be hard to beat somebody when they are shooting 60% from the field during a whole game. We just have to do a better job of being consistent when it comes to getting stops.”
The last time that the Kings faced Orlando, they struggled to match up against the size of the Magic’s frontline of Paolo Banchero, Franz Wagner, Wendell Carter Jr., and Bol Bol as they surrendered 123 points on 54 percent shooting.
With Bol out (health and safety protocols), Sacramento has one less big to worry about as they will aim to contain a Magic offense that is averaging nearly 120 points per game over their past three contests.
A New Face In Town
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Kings signed defensive-minded guard PJ Dozier to a 10-day contract on Sunday afternoon.
As Brown said following Sacramento’s loss to the Lakers, the Kings are not a good defensive team. By bringing in a player like Dozier to join forces with Davion Mitchell and KZ Okpala, Sacramento now has three above-average defenders that can be deployed to make opponents’ lives difficult.
Dozier, 26, has logged five NBA seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Boston Celtics, and Denver Nuggets, with his best season coming during 2020-21 when he averaged 7.7 points and 3.6 rebounds per game while shooting 41 percent from the field and 31 percent from deep.
The South Carolina alumni has a career defensive rating of 112 thanks to his 6’6 frame and seven-foot wingspan. Brown will be able to use Dozier at the guard or forward spots on defense as the Kings aim to turn the page on their defensive woes.
Kings GM Monte McNair moved quickly to bring Dozier in after the team announced that they had waived forward Chima Moneke on Friday night. Sacramento will now have 10 days to decide if they want to retain Dozier for the remainder of the season.
- Keon Ellis & Chima Moneke are on assignment with G-League affiliate Stockton.
- Chuma Okeke – OUT (left knee surgery)
- Jonathan Isaac – OUT (left knee injury recovery)
- Bol Bol – OUT (Health & Safety protocols)
- RJ Hampton and Kevon Harris are on assignment with G-League affiliate Salt Lake City.
Sacramento secured a thrilling 126-123 overtime win over the Magic in Orlando back on November 5th thanks to De’Aaron Fox’s incredible near-half-court buzzer beater (see the video at the top of the post).
The Kings have won three-straight games against the Magic, with their most-recent defeat taking place back on February 12, 2021.
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Upcoming Sacramento Kings Schedule
Monday, January 9th – Sacramento Kings vs. Orlando Magic – 7:00 PM PST
Wednesday, January 11th – Sacramento Kings vs. Houston Rockets – 7:00 PM PST
Friday, January 13th – Sacramento Kings vs. Houston Rockets – 7:00 PM PST
Sunday, January 15th – Sacramento Kings @ San Antonio Spurs – 4:00 PM PST
Wednesday, January 18th – Sacramento Kings @ Los Angeles Lakers – 7:30 PM PST