SACRAMENTO -- The Sacramento Kings return to Golden 1 Center for a one game stop before heading out for a season-long six game road trip. They’ll face a struggling Utah Jazz team that is 4-15 over their last 19 games.
Sacramento has gone young, choosing rotate veteran players for the final 40 games of the season. Zach Randolph and Vince Carter received the dreaded DNP-CD on Monday in OKC. Who will sit Wednesday at G1C?
Utah had the making of a contending team before Gordon Hayward and George Hill departed via free agency. They are rebuilding around rookie Donovan Mitchell, who has been nothing short of phenomenal in his first 41 games as a pro.
Jazz by 4
MATCHUP TO WATCH
De’Aaron Fox vs. Donovan Mitchell -- Fox is showing that he’s ready to take a major step for Sacramento. In seven games since returning from injury, the Kentucky product is posting 14 points and 6.4 assists and is now averaging in double-figures on the season. Mitchell has the run of the house in Utah and he’s taken full advantage. The 13th overall selection from the 2017 NBA Draft is in a dogfight for rookie of the year honors, scoring a huge 18.6 points in 31.4 minutes per game for Utah.
WHERE THEY STAND
Kings: 13-30, fifth place in Pacific
Jazz: 17-26, fifth place in Northwest
Kings: PF Skal Labissiere (left shoulder strain) out, PG Frank Mason III (heel) out, F Harry Giles (bilateral knee rehab) out.
Jazz: C Rudy Gobert (knee) out, SF Thabo Sefolosha (knee) out, Dante Exum (shoulder) out.
THREE THINGS TO WATCH
Take Advantage of the Opportunity -- Sacramento’s youth movement is in full swing, but it comes with a bit of pressure. The 25 and under crowd has a 40 game audition to show that they are NBA regulars. Malachi Richardson and Justin Jackson have struggled to get consistent minutes, but when they get a chance, they need to stay aggressive and follow the game plan.
Show up at Home -- The Kings are about to embark on a six game road trip across the country beginning Friday in Memphis. It’s a one game homestand, but still an opportunity to build some momentum heading into a long stretch away.
Snap the Streak -- Sacramento’s lost five straight and 10 of their last 12 games. Utah is scuffling as well. If the Kings bring energy early, they might be able to ride the wave of the Golden 1 Center crowd and get back in the left hand column.
The Jazz took the season series 3-1 over the Kings last season. Utah leads the all-time series 102-82 and holds a 79-49 advantage during the Sacramento-era.
"Going forward, what I'm going to do is, we're going to play a rotation where two of our five veterans are going to be out every night. It might be some times there'll be three. It's an opportunity for some other guys to get some minutes as we go throughout the course of the season.” -Dave Joerger on the Kings’ youth movement