NBA 2020-21 action continues as the LA Lakers will take on the Sacramento Kings tomorrow at the Golden 1 Center. The LA Lakers are coming into this game on the back of a disheartening defeat at the hands of fellow championship contenders Milwaukee Bucks. Meanwhile, the Kings suffered a loss at the hands of Gregg Popovich's San Antonio Spurs in their last fixture.
Fixture: LA Lakers vs. Sacramento Kings | NBA Season 2020-21.
Date & Time: Friday, April 2nd; 10:00 PM ET (Saturday, 3rd April; 7:30 AM IST).
Venue: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento
LA Lakers Preview
Despite their recent struggles after LeBron James was injured, the LA Lakers have managed to hold on to fourth spot in the Western Conference. They have a 30-18 record, but if James and Anthony Davis don't return to the starting lineup per their return schedule, things could take an ugly turn for the LA Lakers.
The LA Lakers have been stellar on the defensive end, managing the league's best defensive rating (106.1). They have also shown active hands on the defensive glass, averaging 35.5 boards at that end per game.
However, the offense has looked stale and predictable. Dennis Schroder and Montrezl Harrell will have to do some heavy lifting over the next few games to compensate for James and Davis' absence.
Key Player - Dennis Schroder
Off-season acquisition Dennis Schroder has assumed point guard responsibilities with LeBron James sidelined, and it won't be controversial to suggest that he has done a good job. The former Atlanta Hawks star has averaged 15 points, 5 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game, along with 1.2 steals.
However, Schroder's shooting has been quite poor, as he has shot a dismal 32% from downtown and 43% from the field. Schroder was brought in to provide much-needed playmaking and a scoring punch. The LA Lakers need him firing more at this juncture of the campaign than they ever have.
LA Lakers Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Dennis Schroder, Shooting Guard - Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Small Forward - Kyle Kuzma, Power Forward - Marcus Morris, Center - Montrezl Harrell
Sacramento Kings Preview
The Sacramento Kings have the 10th-best offense in the league this season with a solid 114.8 offensive rating. But they have been a fragile unit at the defensive end, allowing a league-worst 118.5 points per game. The Kings have also been a poor defensive rebounding team, grabbing just 32 defensive boards per game - the league's third-worst mark.
The Sacramento Kings' front-court duo of Richaun Holmes and Marvin Bagley III have looked in impressive touch this campaign, tallying 14.4 and 13.9 points per match, respectively.
Harrison Barnes has also made a major contribution, putting up 15 points and 6 rebounds per match.
Key Player - De'Aaron Fox
After an underwhelming 2019-20 season, De'Aaron Fox is back to his best this campaign. Fox has put up 24.7 points and 7.2 assists, along with 1.3 steals every game. The 23-year-old leads the Sacramento Kings in both points and assists this season.
However, De'Aaron Fox has shot poorly from the three-point range and charity stripe - he is shooting 33% and 70% from these zones.
Fox's contribution on the offensive front has been stellar, and shooting efficiency is the only weakness in his game, which he will have to polish as he enters his prime.
Sacramento Kings Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - De'Aaron Fox, Shooting Guard - Tyrese Haliburton, Small Forward - Buddy Hield, Power Forward - Harrison Barnes Center - Richaun Holmes
Lakers vs. Kings Match Prediction
Despite playing without LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the LA Lakers will be the clear favorites to win this game. The Sacramento Kings have a poor defense, and their offense is simply not good enough to overpower the number one defense in the league.