Can the Sacramento Kings Complete the Sweep?
CAN THE SACRAMENTO KINGS COMPLETE THE SWEEP – The Sacramento Kings and Golden State Warriors have become the talk of the NBA Playoffs so far. The Warriors entered the playoffs as the 6th seed in the Western Conference and fresh off of an NBA title a year ago.
The Kings have been one of the most electrifying teams in the league, and the Light The Beam has been a joy to watch.
Suddenly, the Kings have rushed out to a 2-0 series lead, and they have to feel great about their chances of moving on.
How The Kings Went Up 2-0
Despite the Kings being the 3rd seed, they entered this series as underdogs, generally speaking. The Warriors got the Splash Brothers going, and Andrew Wiggins made his long-awaited return to the team. On top of that, this Golden State team just won the Larry O’Brien Trophy a year ago, so there was a lot going their way.
However, the Kings have held tough through the first two games. In Game 1, Sacramento won 126-123. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson combined for 51 points, and Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole each chipped in 17 points off the bench. While that’s usually a recipe for success, the Kings saw a 38-point outing from De’Aaron Fox in his playoff debut and another 32 points from Malik Monk.
In Game 2, things were much different. Andrew Wiggins moved to the starting lineup, and Poole was nowhere to be found with just 4 points on 1-7 from the field. The Splash Brothers still combined for 49 points on 16-34 from the field, although Curry shot just 3-13 from three-point land in a strange game all around for Golden State.
Fox scored 24 points with 9 assists, and Domnastas Sabonis added 24 points with 9 rebounds, as Malik Monk had 18 off the bench.
However, the biggest story of the night was Draymond Green stomping on Sabonis, leading to an ejection and, ultimately, a Game 3 suspension for Green. Moreover, Sabonis is dealing with a sternum contusion, making his status for the game – and the series – a giant question mark for Sacramento.
Despite that, the Kings sustained and won the game 114-106.
What Lies Ahead
The Kings did what they had to do – win both games at home. Now, the series moves to San Francisco, although the absence of Draymond Green and all of the drama surrounding the team will be tough to ignore.
The Warriors had one of the best home records in the NBA during the regular season, finishing with a 33-8 mark. However, the Kings had one of the best road records, finishing the regular season at 25-16.
It’s with noting that the Kings lost both games in San Francisco this season, so that doesn’t help their case.
Who had the Kings entering Game 3 with a 2-0 lead? Not many, yet here we are. The status of Sabonis is a huge issue for the Kings, and if he is unable to go, Trey Lyles and Alex Len will be forced to fill his role. Nonetheless, this team runs through the Monk-Fox pairing, and Kevin Huerter, Davion Mitchell, and former Warrior Harrison Barnes are also integral parts of this group.
The Warriors bench in Game 2 scored 21 points, with Gary Payton II scoring 13 of those. With Green out for Game 3, it will be interesting to see how Steve Kerr manages the minutes, but the Splash Brothers should continue to combine for 50 points on a nightly basis, and a Jordan Poole bounceback is likely on its way as well.
Initially, I had this series going seven games. Now, I think it goes to six, at most. The Warriors get this much-needed win in Game 3 before the Kings win Game 4, head back to Sacramento, and send the Warriors home in Game 5 in Sacramento.