New Orleans Pelicans vs Sacramento Kings Preview and Predictions -03-11-2020
When and where: March 11, 2020, Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, CA, 10:30 PM ET
The youth movement will be on full display when the New Orleans Pelicans travel to California for a head-to-head meeting with the Sacramento Kings. Since putting an end to a three-game slump, the Pelicans have bounced back with consecutive wins over The Minnesota Timberwolves and Miami Heat. However, things haven’t been as smooth for a Kings team that has lost two of their last three games to the Toronto Raptors and Philadelphia 76ers.
A Holiday to remember
Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday made sure people remembered his name on Sunday night.
It’s easy to get lost in translation with a team with so many young and burgeoning stars. Rookie forward Zion Williamson remains the A-side of the ticket, and there is still a worldwide infatuation with Lonzo Ball and rest of the Ball family. Brandon Ingram is currently the leading scorer for the Pelicans. It’s an easy list to get buried on for even a talented veteran player like Holiday.
He let his play speak for itself by nearly posting a triple-double against the Timberwolves, finishing the game with a season-high 37 points, eight assists and nine rebounds. The Pelicans covered as 7-point favorites in a 120-107 shellacking.
Next on the itinerary is the Kings.
Despite having the fourth-worst scoring defense, the Pelicans have played better in recent outings with opponents averaging 112.7 points in their last three games. They can find solace in the fact that the Kings don’t wear the crown when it comes to scoring offense. The team is ranked 19th in the league in offensive efficiency, which isn’t good enough to scare the Pelicans’ struggling defense.
Williamson seems to get better with each outing. Hard times are ahead for the rest of the league when he reaches his full potential. He’s already a terrifying force as a student of the game. That force is capable of crushing a Kings defense allowing a 118.0-point scoring average.
The Kings’ royal letdown
After putting together a 4-1 run, the Kings had an opportunity to knock off the defending champion Raptors at home as 5-point dogs, but their perimeter defense failed them when it mattered most. They are neck-and-neck with the Pelicans in their bid to surpass the Memphis Grizzlies for the eighth seed in the Western Conference standings. So Sunday’s loss didn’t do them any favors as far as postseason odds go.
They’ll try to turn it around in Wednesday’s run-in with a dangerous Pelicans team. The impossible task of guarding Williamson now falls on a Kings defense that is allowing an average 47.9 percent shooting in their last three outings.
They’ll have to be more efficient on the offensive end of the floor to make up for the struggles on defense. The team is shooting 45.5 percent on the road and scoring an average 109.0 points per game. It’s worth noting that the Pelicans have the third-best 3-point shooting percentage in the league. That gunslinger approach is one they should consider after watching the Raptors light up the Kings for 19 3-pointers on Sunday.
The Sacramento Kings are an American professional basketball team based in Sacramento, California. The Kings compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the Western Conference’s Pacific Division. The Kings are the only team in the major professional North American sports leagues located in Sacramento. The team plays its home games at the Golden 1 Center. Their best seasons to date in the city were in the early 2000s, including the 2001–02 season when they had the best record in the NBA at 61–21 (a winning percentage of .744).
The Sacramento Kings are the latest and current version of one of the oldest continuously operating professional basketball franchises in the nation. They originated in Rochester, New York, as the Rochester Seagrams (a semi-professional team) in 1923, hosting a number of teams there over the next 20 years. They joined the National Basketball League in 1945 as the renamed Rochester Royals., winning that league’s championship in their first season, 1945-46. They later jumped with three other NBL teams to the Basketball Association of America, forerunner of the NBA, in 1948. As the Royals, the team was often successful on the court, winning the NBA championship in 1951. The team, however, found it increasingly difficult to turn a profit in the comparatively small market of Rochester and relocated to Cincinnati in 1957, becoming the Cincinnati Royals. In 1972 the team relocated again, this time to Kansas City, Missouri, and was renamed the Kansas City-Omaha Kings because it initially split its home games between Kansas City and Omaha, Nebraska. In 1975, the Kings ceased playing home games in Omaha and in 1977 simply became the Kansas City Kings. The team again failed to find success in its market and moved yet again to Sacramento in 1985, where they continue to reside today.