Kings

Gameday: Kings open homestand against shorthanded Nuggets

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AP

Gameday: Kings open homestand against shorthanded Nuggets

SACRAMENTO -- Home cooking. For the first time this season, the Sacramento Kings will play three straight games at Golden 1 Center, beginning Monday evening against the Denver Nuggets. In a scheduling anomaly, the Kings have already played three three-game road trips and 10 of their first 16 games away from home.

Denver is coming off a 127-109 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday. They’ll take on a young Kings team on the second night of a back-to-back and they’ll have to do so without both of their starting forwards.

Expect plenty of small ball, three guard sets as the Nuggets try to turn up the pace and run the Kings off the floor.

BETTING LINE

Nuggets by 6

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Willie Cauley-Stein vs. Nikola Jokic -- Since being relegated to the bench two games ago, Cauley-Stein has become a monster. He’s posted 20 points and 9.5 rebounds over his last two outings and seems to have found himself with the second team. After a slow start to the season, the Joker has found his game. He’s posting 15.6 points, 11.3 rebounds and a team-high 4.5 assists. Jokic is one of the best passing bigs in the NBA and he’s knocking down 41.5 percent of his three-balls.

WHERE THEY STAND

Kings: 4-12, fifth place in Pacific

Nuggets: 9-7, third place in Northwest

INJURY REPORT

Kings: SG Buddy Hield (sprained ankle) out, F Vince Carter (kidney stones) out, PF Harry Giles (bilateral knee rehab) out until January.

Nuggets: SF Wilson Chandler (low back) out, PF Paul Millsap (left wrist) out.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

FINDING THE BOTTOM OF THE NET -- While Cauley-Stein has flourished with the reserves, Skal Labissiere has fallen on hard times with the starters. The second-year big has taken plenty of high quality shots, they just don’t want to settle in. He’s too talented of a player to continue missing shots, but over his first two starts, he’s hit on just 1-of-15 from the field and scored three total points. The Kings could use a breakout performance from their starting power forward.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR OPPORTUNITY -- Frank Mason has played roughly 21 minutes per night since Dave Joerger shook up his lineup last Friday. He’s done a nice job of holding down the reserve point guard minutes while George Hill has shifted to the shooting guard spot. The Kings need their rookie to continue to grow into his role and supply leadership with the second unit.

CONTINUE TO BUILD ON THE DEFENSIVE END -- For stretches over the last two games, the Kings have looked like a defensive juggernaut. They are long, quick and athletic. They need to find a way to hit shots to stay in ball games, but the effort has been there, especially on the defensive end.

SERIES HISTORY

Denver leads the season series 1-0 after an early season win at the Pepsi Center. The Nuggets hold a slim lead the all-time series 89-88, but the Kings are up 65-64 during the Sacramento-era.

Kings select Marvin Bagley III with No. 2 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft

Kings select Marvin Bagley III with No. 2 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft

SACRAMENTO -- The pick is in. With the second overall selection in the 2018 NBA Draft, the Sacramento Kings select, Marvin Bagley III, power forward, Duke University.

After weeks of speculation and analysis, Sacramento pulled the trigger Thursday evening, selecting Bagley over European star, Luka Doncic and Missouri’s Michael Porter Jr.

Bagley, 19, spent one season at Duke, averaging 21 points, 11.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game under head coach Mike Krzyzewski. He shot 61.4 percent from the field and 39.7 percent from behind the arc. 

At 6-11, 236 pounds, the former Blue Devil has the versatility to play both the power forward and center positions and the Kings believe he can fit alongside the other bigs on the roster. 

Bagley is expected to fly to Sacramento on Friday and meet the media sometime on Saturday.

Source: Kings locked in on Marvin Bagley III with No. 2 overall pick

Source: Kings locked in on Marvin Bagley III with No. 2 overall pick

SACRAMENTO -- Welcome to the 2018 NBA Draft, not to be confused with the 2018 World Series of Poker. In any other year, the Sacramento Kings, sitting at the No. 2 overall selection, would be set. But this year feels decidedly different with multiple options to consider. 

Barring a crazy shake up at the top, big man Deandre Ayton appears to be headed to Phoenix with the top spot. The Kings are on the clock and with just hours remaining, Sacramento has locked in on Duke big man, Marvin Bagley III and are expected to select him with the second pick.

According to a league source, the Kings love Bagley’s motor and aggressive style. He posted big numbers in his lone season at Duke, dropping in 21 points and 11.1 rebounds per game under coach Mike Krzyzewski.

At 6-foot-11, 234 pounds, the Kings believe Bagley can play both the four and five at the NBA level. The First Team All-American selection and Wooden Award finalist is an elite athlete, but a work in progress on the defensive end. 

If Sacramento selects Bagley at No. 2, as expected, they have a glut on the front line. More changes are in store for a team that won just 27 games last season.