The Washington Wizards and the Sacramento Kings will both be gunning for a victory on 3/10/2017 at 10:35 PM when they meet in a game matchup.
Washington Wizards vs Sacramento Kings
When: 10:30 PM ET, Friday, March 10, 2017
Where: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, California
|515||Washington Wizards||8 (-110)||213.5 (-110)||-360
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, NBATV, CSN Mid-Atlantic (Washington), CSN California (Sacramento)
PREDICTION: Wizards 124, Kings 113
Oddsmakers currently have the Washington listed as 8 point favorites versus the Sacramento, while the game’s total is sitting at 213.5.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Maybe it’s a testament to the historic turnaround the Washington Wizards have shown this season that they aren’t focusing on the result but rather the standard to which they play.
And despite three consecutive victories, two of them to start a five-game Western Conference road trip, and a third-place standing in the Eastern Conference, the Wizards aren’t entirely satisfied with their recent contests.
“I’m happy that we’re 2-0,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks told the Washington Post after a 123-113 win at Denver on Wednesday. “But I do see definitely room for growth.”
More specifically, the Wizards coach wouldn’t mind seeing his team apply the defensive clamps a bit more effectively, starting with Friday night’s contest against the Sacramento Kings at the Golden 1 Cener.
Washington (39-24) has allowed at least 113 points in all three victories and in four consecutive games. They’ve held an opponent below 100 in only one of their past eight.
Such a trend is enough to cause concern for a team despite a turnaround that already is the greatest in NBA history. The Wizards’ victory over Denver made them the first team ever to reach 15 games over .500 after a 2-8 start to the season. They also are 24-8 since Jan. 1, the NBA’s second-best mark.
But to a man, Washington believes the defensive side of the ball must get more consistent if the Wizards are to chase down the Boston Celtics for the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Washington beat Denver despite allowing the Nuggets to shoot 52.9 percent, and opponents are firing away at 50.8 percent clip during the winning streak.
“We just had some slippage on defense,” guard John Wall told reporters after the win over Denver. “But we did a good job of showing some maturity, showing some poise, and withstanding their runs.”
Wall and Bradley Beal continue to carry Washington’s offense, with Wall averaging 22.8 points and 10.8 assists per game, and Beal averaging 22.9 points. But Washington’s strength is its depth in the frontcourt with Marcin Gortat, Markief Morris and Otto Porter, and the three ended a recent three-game gold spell by combining for 44 points and 24 points against the Nuggets.
In Sacramento, the Wizards will see a team that will take points any way it can get them. The Kings (25-39) have lost six consecutive contests, their longest skid since November 2015, and they squandered a 28-point lead in Wednesday’s loss at San Antonio.
Sacramento, which lost 101-95 in overtime in Washington on Nov. 28, has produced a 20-point scorer in only two of seven contests and has reached 100 points just twice in that time since trading franchise forward DeMarcus Cousins during the All-Star break.
“We’ve got to play with pace,” Kings guard Darren Collison told the Sacramento Bee. “If we don’t have that pace, then we’re not going to very good. Our only chance is to get up and down the floor and try to create havoc, get into the paint and kick it out.”
One bright spot for the Kings since the trade — the play of forward Skal Labissiere. The rookie scored a career-high 15 points against the Spurs and is averaging 9.8 points and 6.5 rebounds in the past six games in which he’s received more than five minutes of playing time.