Preview: Kings to begin five-game trip against NBA-worst Pistons

Jan 9, 2024, 9:20 AM | Updated: 10:53 am

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 03: De'Aaron Fox #5 of the Sacramento Kings looks on against the O...

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

The Sacramento Kings need a get-right game following Sunday’s embarrassing loss to the New Orleans Pelicans–a game that saw the Beam Team trail by as many as 50 points during a 133-100 loss at Golden 1 Center.

If the Kings (21-14) are searching for an opportunity to get back into the win column, Tuesday’s matchup against the Detroit Pistons comes at an ideal time as Sacramento opens up a five-game road trip.

Detroit has been one of the NBA’s most notable stories this season, but not for the reasons most would think. The Pistons tied an NBA record for the longest losing streak in league history (28 games) this year as they will enter play against the Kings holding the worst record in the NBA at 3-33 (2-14 at home).

As we have learned with this Sacramento team, there are no guarantees regarding “preferable” matchups.

The Kings have already lost to several teams that have taken the floor without its best players, dropped a game to the Charlotte Hornets last week–a team they will face again on Wednesday night, and suffered a blowout loss to the struggling Portland Trail Blazers.

On a night that will see the Pistons suit up without star guard Cade Cunningham (knee), there are no excuses for Sacramento on Tuesday, especially with a predominantly healthy roster.

YouTube video

Sacramento Kings vs. Detroit Pistons Game Info

When: 4:00 PM PST

Where: Little Caesars Arena – Detroit, MI

TV: NBC Sports California

Radio: Sactown Sports 1140 AM – Coverage starts at 2:30 PM on Game Night

Line: Kings -10.5, O/U 245.5

Be sure to tune in right here on Sactown Sports 1140 for all of your Kings vs. Pistons coverage, beginning at 2:30 PM PST on Game Night before a 4:00 PM PST tip-off from downtown Detroit.

No Excuses

As mentioned in the opening, there are no excuses for the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night.

Sure, it’s the NBA, and any team is capable of beating another on any given night. For the Kings, though, they need to make a statement following its latest submission for ‘worst loss of the season.’

The Pistons are the worst team in the NBA, ranking near the bottom of the league in several categories, and will be without Cunningham, a player that has looked like a budding star in his second season (22.8 points and 7.3 assists per game.

With recent losses to Charlotte and Portland still fresh on their minds, Sacramento can’t afford to drop a game to Detroit–not now, as they play the first night of a back-to-back and look ahead to daunting matchups against Philadelphia and Milwaukee at the end of the week.

Good teams take care of business against bad teams. So far, the Kings haven’t proven that they are capable of doing so.

Sacramento’s next two games (Detroit and Charlotte) give themselves a chance to improve their place in the standings and quiet some of the ‘playing down to their opponents’ chatter.

All Eyes on Fox

During Sunday’s loss to the Pelicans, De’Aaron Fox quickly got the Kings on the board with a triple during the first minute of action.

That would be the only contribution from Fox over 25 minutes of play.

It’s been a rough stretch for Fox, who has overall played at an All-NBA level this season as the guard holds averages of 14.0 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 5.0 assists on 32 percent shooting from the field and 16 percent from three-point land over the past three games.

While it’s been speculated that Fox has been battling injury, the All-Star–as well as Sacramento head coach Mike Brown–brushed off the notion during the end of the Kings’ homestand.

Fox, who hasn’t looked like himself over the past week, stated that it’s just the bumps and bruises of the regular season and that what he is experiencing is nothing out of the ordinary at this point in the regular season.

A matchup against Detroit could be just what Fox needs to get back on track before Sacramento faces teams with elite guards like Milwaukee and Philadelphia later in the week.

Kings vs. Pistons Injury Report


  • Trey Lyles – AVAILABLE (right ankle sprain)
  • Jordan Ford – OUT (G-League)
  • Jalen Slawson – OUT (G-League)


  • Cade Cunningham – OUT (left knee strain)
  • Monte Morris – OUT (right quad strain)
  • Isaiah Stewart – OUT (toe sprain)
  • Jared Rhoden – OUT (G-League)
  • Stanley Umude – OUT (G-League)
  • Malcom Cazalon – OUT (G-League)

Upcoming Schedule

  • Tuesday, January 9th – Sacramento Kings @ Detroit Pistons – 4:00 PM PST
  • Wednesday, January 10th – Sacramento Kings @ Charlotte Hornets – 4:00 PM PST
  • Friday, January 12th – Sacramento Kings @ Philadelphia 76ers – 4:30 PM PST
  • Sunday, January 14th – Sacramento Kings @ Milwaukee Bucks – 4:00 PM PST
  • Tuesday, January 16th – Sacramento Kings @ Phoenix Suns – 4:00 PM PST

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