Kings

Gameday: Will skidding Kings tighten the rotation against rolling Pistons?

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AP

Gameday: Will skidding Kings tighten the rotation against rolling Pistons?

Death spiral or a blip on the radar? No one said it would be easy when the Sacramento Kings entered the season with 10 new faces and five rookies on the roster. But after dropping their third straight in blowout fashion and their sixth in a row overall, the Kings are searching for answers.

Coach Dave Joerger mixed up his starting lineup Wednesday against the Celtics and found success early. But when the wheels came off the bus in the second and third quarters, the veteran coach had no answer. Sacramento has scored 83, 83 and 86 points in the last three games. The offense has been out of sync and the defense is scrambling to make stops.

Detroit is fresh off a 105-96 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday evening. They’ll face a Struggling Kings team, but on the second night of a back-to-back. Did the scheduling gods throw Sacramento a bone?

BETTING LINE:
Pistons by 9

MATCHUP TO WATCH:
Willie Cauley-Stein vs. Andre Drummond -- Can you find two players at the same position in the NBA that any more different. Drummond is coming off a 24-point, 15-rebound performance in Milwaukee and he currently ranks third in  the league in rebounding at over 14 rebounds per game. Cauley-Stein just posted a three rebound night against the Celtics and his season average is down to 6.8 rebounds per game. If Cauley-Stein can’t keep a body on Drummond, the Kings are in for a long night in Motown.  

WHERE THEY STAND:
Kings: 1-7, fifth place in Pacific

Pistons: 6-3, first place in Central

INJURY REPORT:
Kings: PG George Hill (personal) out, PF Harry Giles (bilateral knee rehab) out.

Pistons: PF Jon Leuer (ankle) doubtful.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH:
IS IT TIME TO TIGHTEN THE ROTATION? -- Dave Joerger has turned to 10 and sometimes 11 players in his rotation with varying degrees of success. With the team in a slide, is it time to get back to the basics with a core eight or nine players and trying build some momentum? Who plays in this scenario is anyone’s guess. Veterans and a couple of young players might do the trick and then expand from there.

DID BUDDY HIELD FIND HIS GAME? -- Hield finally started hitting shots in the fourth quarter in the Kings’ blowout loss to the Celtics. Those points came against third string players, but the second-year guard finally found some success from the field. He’s shooting 38.7 percent from the field and an abysmal 25.7 percent from behind the arc. Those numbers need to improve if the Sacramento are going to continue to feature the former Oklahoma product.

WILLIE REBOUND OR WON’T HE? -- Cauley-Stein burst onto the scene with back-to-back double-doubles to start the season. It’s gone dramatically downhill from there. The Kings drafted WCS as a defender and rebounder. They need him to reconnect with his identity or look for veteran Kosta Koufos to start eating his minutes.

SERIES HISTORY:
The Kings swept the season series 2-0 last year, including a 109-104 win at the Palace at Auburn Hills in late January. Detroit holds a 133-119 advantage over the Kings all-time and a 36-26 edge during the Sacramento-era.

After getting stitched up, De'Aaron Fox cleared to play in Rising Stars Game

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USATSI

After getting stitched up, De'Aaron Fox cleared to play in Rising Stars Game

De’Aaron Fox ran the gamut of emotions Wednesday. He got the call early in the day that he was added to the Rising Stars Game as an injury replacement for the Los Angeles Lakers point guard, Lonzo Ball. But a spill late in Houston in front of his hometown crowd put everything on hold.

After being evaluated by the Kings medical staff this morning in Sacramento, the team has tentatively cleared their young guard for action in this weekend’s All-Star festivities. 

“Barring any changes in his condition, Fox is expected to play in the Risings Stars Game in L.A. on Friday evening,” the team said via text.  

With 34.3 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, Fox hit the floor hard, banging both his chin and forehead on the Toyota Center floor. The Kings starting point guard required stitches above his right eye and on his chin. 

The 20-year-old out of Kentucky is posting 11.3 points, 4.3 assists and 2.7 rebounds in 27.2 minutes per game for Sacramento. 

He, along with Bogdan Bogdanovic and Buddy Hield are scheduled to play in the Rising Stars Game together, giving the team three players in the event for the first time in franchise history.

De'Aaron Fox's All-Star weekend plans in limbo after late spill in Kings' loss

fox-us.jpg
USATSI

De'Aaron Fox's All-Star weekend plans in limbo after late spill in Kings' loss

Good news, bad news. De’Aaron Fox ran the gamut of emotions Wednesday. He got the call early in the day that he was added to the Rising Stars Game as an injury replacement for the Los Angeles Lakers point guard, Lonzo Ball. But a spill late in Houston has everything on hold.

With 34.3 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, Fox hit the floor hard, banging both his chin and forehead on the Toyota Center floor. The Kings starting point guard required stitches above his right eye and on his chin. 

There is no word yet from the team on his availability going forward, including Friday’s Rising Stars game in LA. 

The 20-year-old out of Kentucky is posting 11.3 points, 4.3 assists and 2.7 rebounds in 27.2 minutes per game for Sacramento. 

He, along with Bogdan Bogdanovic and Buddy Hield are all scheduled to play in the Rising Stars game, giving the team three players in the event for the first time in franchise history.