In a showdown which will hold massive implications for the Western Conference preseason title hopes, the Sacramento Kings take on the Los Angeles Lakers at the Honda Center in Anaheim tonight, as Crypto.com Arena was unavailable due to being nothing more than a fantasy arena that holds no true value in actual society.
Ways to Watch/Listen:
Sactown Sports 1140 AM
Things to Watch:
Duarte’s Performance: After a hot start to his rookie season, Chris Duarte struggled last season in Indiana, due to both injuries and a shifting role, and his poor play continued in his infinitesimally small sample size in one part of one preseason game. In his time on the floor, Duarte struggled with both decision-making and shooting, and considering his lack of defensive expertise, the Kings need him to excel in both of those areas if he can act as a reliable backup wing.
Vezenkov’s Minutes: In a somewhat controversial move, Mike Brown was non-committal in his comments regarding Sasha Vezenkov’s minutes in the rotation earlier this week. Considering the recruiting efforts and salary thrown Vezenkov’s way this offseason, it would be surprising to see Vezeknov slip out of the rotation, especially after his 12 points in 11 minutes in his preseason debut. The Kings need production off of their bench, and Sasha seems more capable than most in that realm.
Keegan’s Aggression: The Kings weren’t hyper-aggressive in finding rotational additions in the offseason, meaning they’re mostly relying on internal growth and cohesion to improve, and Keegan Murray sits at the very center of those plans. In 15 minutes on Sunday night, Keegan scored 11 points on 10 shots, despite knocking down only one of his five three-point attempts. One of the barometers of Murray’s evolution this season will be his two-point attempts and makes increasing at a significant pace, and there’s no better time than preseason to continue to push that measure.
Lakers Role Players: The Lakers playoff hopes certainly depend on the health of Anthony Davis and LeBron James, as they do every season, but Los Angeles still went out and improved their role player brigade this summer, handing them a bit more insurance than usual. Gabe Vincent, Christian Wood, Taurean Prince, and Jaxson Hayes are all the caliber of player that a team such as Sacramento would have loved to have added to their roster, and it will be interesting to watch all of those pieces try to come together for the Lakers.