The NBA is set for a busy Saturday night of action. Eight games of action are set to tip off on January 12. One of these games will be a cross conference matchup between the Charlotte Hornets and the Sacramento Kings. Both teams are on the edge of their respective division’s playoff picture right now. This game is set to tip off at 10:00 PM Eastern time.
The Hornets have started the season with a record of 19-22, which has them eighth place of the Eastern Conference right now. Charlotte lost their last two games to the Los Angeles Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers. The Hornets have lost four of their last five games. Charlotte will look to bounce back with a road win against the Kings on Saturday night.
Sacramento has started out the season with a 21-21 record. The Kings are currently sitting in ninth place of the Western Conference standings. Sacramento is coming off a victory to the Detroit Pistons and have won two of their last three games. The Kings will look to build a winning streak with a victory against the struggling Hornets.
Saturday night’s game will be the first matchup of the season series between the Hornets and the Kings. These two teams will meet again on January 17. This means that these two teams will meet in a very short period of time. Both of these teams are trying to battle their way into a playoff spot, which should lead to a tightly contested matchup on Saturday night.
Last Season’s Matchups
The first matchup of last season’s series was hosted by Sacramento. Zach Randolph put up 24 points and 10 rebounds. De’Aaron Fox had 17 points, while Skal Labissiere had 17 points and 15 rebounds. Nicolas Batum dropped 21 points and the Hornets starting lineup combined for 71 points. Jeremy Lamb, Johnny O’Bryant and Frank Kaminsky combined for 44 points off the bench to give Charlotte a 131-111 win on the road.
The second game of the season series last season shifted to Charlotte. Skal Labissiere had another solid night as he dropped 23 points off the bench. Buddy Hield had another 18 points off the bench for the Kings, but it was not enough. Kemba Walker dropped 26 points, while Jeremy Lamb had 18 off the bench. Nicolas Batum, Dwight Howard and Marvin Williams each had 14 points to give the Hornets a 112-107 win at home.
The Kings have lost three games in a row against the Hornets and five of their last six to Charlotte. I believe that Sacramento can turn that around on Saturday night. The Kings have been playing much better as of late in comparison to the Hornets and they will look to ride that momentum to a home win. Charlotte is also coming in off a game on Friday night, which could lead to a little fatigue on Saturday.
Three Point Shooting
The Hornets have been a solid team at both shooting and defending the three ball this season. Charlotte has been able to make around 35.7 percent of their three pointers attempted. The Hornets have stopped opposing teams around 34.8 percent of the time from behind the arc. Charlotte will need that defense to step up to slow down the Kings three point shooting.
Sacramento has been even better from behind the arc this season. The Kings have been able to sink around 39 percent of their three point shots attempted, which is second in the NBA. Sacramento’s defense behind the three point line has also been stellar. The Kings have held opposing teams to a 34.6 percent three point percentage this season.
The Kings are the better team from behind the arc and a lot of it has to do with their good ball movement. Sacramento also has a lot of quickness on the outside, which allows them to move fluently to help guard behind the arc. The Kings will look for this to give them an edge on Saturday night.
Kemba Walker has been the leader for this struggling Charlotte squad this season. Walker has averaged 25 points and 6 assists per game this season. Jeremy Lamb is averaging 15 points and 5.5 rebounds per game this season. Malik Monk has done a good job coming in off the bench. He has averaged 11 points per game. Marvin Williams is averaging 10 points per game this season.
The Kings have been led by their backcourt duo of Buddy Hield and De’Aaron Fox this season. Hield is averaging 20 points per game from the Shooting Guard spot. Fox has averaged 18 points and 7.5 assists per game this season. Bogdan Bogdanovic has done a good job coming in off the bench as he averages 15 points per game this season. Willie Cauley-Stein has averaged 13.5 points and 9 rebounds per game from the Center spot.
I believe that Sacramento’s speed in the backcourt gives them a big advantage in this game. I also really like how well Cauley-Stein lines up with Willy Hernangomez at the Center spot. These two matchups alone could help lead to the Kings getting a win on Saturday night. The battle between Bogdanovic and Monk off the bench could be a good matchup as well.
Sacramento has not had a lot of success against the Hornets in the last couple seasons, but they could change that with a win on Saturday night. The Kings have some key matchups in the lineup that could help them get the win. Sacramento has also been lethal from behind the arc, which could help lead to a win for the Kings.
BetOnline has Sacramento listed as a -4 against the spread on Saturday night. The Hornets are coming in off a game on Friday night, which I believe could lead to a tired outing for Charlotte. This could give the Kings the final edge they need to pull off the win. Sacramento has been playing better as of late and I am taking the Kings against the spread on Saturday night.