Fixture: Los Angeles Clippers vs Sacramento Kings
Date & Time: Tuesday, 31 December 2019 (5:00 pm ET)
Venue: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, CA
Last game results
Los Angeles Clippers (23-11): 107-120 loss to the Utah Jazz (28 December)
Sacramento Kings (12-21): 115-120 loss to the Denver Nuggets (29 December)
Los Angeles Clippers preview
The LA Clippers have been one of the top teams in the West despite starting the season without Paul George and continuing to sit out Kawhi Leonard for load management. In their last game though, the Clippers struggled against Donovan Mitchell and the Utah Jazz as they lost by 13 points.
It's becoming more and more apparent that the team is in need of more consistent playmakers when the Kawhi and PG decisions aren't going as planned. They're still winning games though, especially against sub-par defenses.
The Clippers will look to get this road win against the Kings who don't exactly have the personnel to stop Kawhi and PG.
Key Player - Paul George
Paul George will be key in the game against the Kings. He will most likely switch between guarding top scorer Buddy Hield and young point guard De'Aaron Fox. With the lack of playmaking outside the guards of the Kings, containing their back court could help control the whole game.
On offense, George should look to take advantage of the the smaller guards of the Kings, being aggressive and getting it on early in the game. With him being hot, it should keep some focus away from Kawhi, Lou Williams, Montrezl Harrell and his other teammates who have no trouble scoring when given the ball.
George had just two assists in their loss against the Jazz, and he should look to make some more plays to keep his other teammates going.
Clippers predicted lineup
Patrick Beverley, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, Moe Harkless, Ivica Zubac
Sacramento Kings preview
The Kings have yet to find a bright spot this season; with their five-point loss to the Nuggets, they have now lost seven in a row. This is despite the Nuggets missing starters Paul Millsap and Gary Harris due to injuries and Nikola Jokić only playing 26 minutes.
Michael Porter Jr. started for the first time in his NBA career and the Kings' awful defense just couldn't stop the rookie.
It's been a trying time for the Sacramento Kings, who looked hopeful at the start of the season. They did fight until the end but were still unable to make a comeback against the deep roster of Denver.
They will look to pull off an upset against the Clippers, but for that they need to come into the game with more energy and a better gameplan.
Key player - De'Aaron Fox
De'Aaron Fox came back last game after missing the one against Phoenix and only playing a minute against the Timberwolves before leaving due to back spasms. He actually looked great against Denver and was able to tally 18 points, 13 assists and 2 rebounds.
The Kings have clearly been missing the promising point guard the past games, and he would be very important in their next game against the Clippers.
Fox distributed the ball well in their their last game against Denver and he should look to do the same in the next game. The Clippers are a great defensive team, but if Fox can get everybody hot, they could keep the defense guessing.
Fox would try to be more aggressive and get some free throws in to get himself going while challenging Patrick Beverley's defense. The 6'3 guard should also look to keep walking bucket Lou Williams in check when he's matched up against him; that should help the Kings to at least contain the offense of the Clippers.
Predicted Starting Lineup
De'Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Harrison Barnes, Nemanja Bjelica, Richaun Holmes
Kings vs Clippers Match Prediction
The Clippers have one of the deepest rosters in the league. They will also be well-rested coming into this game, and the poor defense and lack of adjustments by the Kings should be no match for the best two-way duo right now in Leonard and George.
Where to Watch Kings vs Clippers?
The game will be telecast on NBC Sports California and FOX Sports West and Prime Ticket. You can also catch it live via NBA League Pass.Published 31 Dec 2019, 02:51 IST