Sacramento Kings at Dallas Mavericks
Sacramento and Dallas are not going to make the playoffs, barring a miracle run. So it’s time to let the young guys play and hope for a top pick in late June. The Kings have lost two straight and four of five games, including a 111-106 loss at Minnesota on Sunday. Dallas fell at Houston, 104-97 on Sunday and has lost three of four games. These teams have faced each other twice with Sacramento winning by five on the road in October and the Mavs winning by seven on Feb. 3 on the road.
Fox now runs the show
With George Hill gone to Cleveland last week, 20-year old rookie De’Aaron Fox now runs the show for Sacramento. That’s a good thing for fantasy players who have Fox, but may not a great thing for the Kings. Fox did play well in their loss at Minnesota, scoring 23 points in 35 minutes, but also had five turnovers. Rookie guard Bogdan Bogdanovic now starts as well and had 13 points and a season-high eight assists. Buddy Hield added 16 points off the bench, while Kosta Koufos chipped in with 12 points and 10 rebounds. The Kings shot 47.7 percent from the floor and 10-of-25 from beyond the arc. They also outrebounded the Timberwolves by six. But defense was their downfall. They allowed the T-Wolves to shoot 50 percent from the floor and committed 18 turnovers. They did add Iman Shumpert in the Hill trade, but he’s dealing with plantar fasciitis and is out indefinitely.
Mavs are reeling
Dallas has lost eight of their last 10 games, including their loss to Houston on the road on Sunday. Rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. had 16 points and 11 rebounds going up against future Hall of Famer Chris Paul. He’s getting more time as point guard J.J. Barea (oblique) and shooting guard Wesley Matthews (lower back) are hampered by injuries. Guard Yogi Ferrell led the way with 20 points on 7-of-14 shooting (4-8 3pt), while center Dwight Powell added 18 points and 12 rebounds. With Barea and Matthews out, the Mavs have no bench. Defensively, they did a solid job, holding the Rockets to 43.6 percent shooting (13-45 3pt) and they outrebounded Houston by 10. Harrison Barnes, the Kings’ best player, had just 11 points on 4-of-15 shooting. Barnes averages 18.3 points and 6.6 rebounds per game.
- 1-6 ATS last 7 vs. Southwest Division.
- 4-15 ATS last 19 vs. Western Conference.
- 6-0 ATS last 6 Tuesday games.
- 4-1 ATS last 5 vs. Western Conference.
This should be a fun matchup between Smith Jr. and Fox. But Smith is the better player at this moment. Dallas is the more experienced squad as the Kings are mainly relying on rookies and young players. Take the Mavs at home.