Kings vs Spurs Live: The San Antonio Spurs are back in action against the Sacramento Kings on Friday night. The Sacramento Kings and San Antonio Spurs will be vying for a playoff spot when they play their first game since the regular season. The Sacramento Kings looked to be dead in the water at the beginning of the year as they had lost 15 of 18 games to fall to 15-29,
GAME: NBA 2020
When: July 31,
How to watch: Click Here
before winning seven of their last 10 games to improve to 28-36 before the season was suspended. The Kings come into the season restart with an outside chance of making the playoffs, but they’re going to have to be close to perfect as they currently occupy the 11th spot in the Western Conference standings.
De’Aaron Fox led the team with averages of 20.4 points and 6.8 assists, Buddy Hield averaged 19.8 points and 4.8 rebounds, Harrison Barnes averaged 14.7 points while Marvin Bagley III averaged 14.2 points per game.
Meanwhile, the San Antonio Spurs were going through one of their worst seasons in recent memory and with their second leading scorer LaMarcus Aldridge missing from the lineup, players like Dejounte Murray, DeMar DeRozan and Derrick White will have to pick up the slack on the scoring end. However, the main problem for the Spurs all season was on the defensive end as they allowed an average of 114.9 points per game which ranks 27th in the league.
Looking at the betting trends, the Kings are 5-0 ATS in their last five road games, 8-1 ATS in their last nine games against a team with a losing record and 5-12 ATS in their last 17 games as a favorite. The Spurs are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games playing on three or more days rest, 1-5 ATS in their last six home games against a team with a losing road record and 0-6 ATS in their last six games against a team with a losing record.
Head to head, the Kings are 6-0 ATS in the last six meetings overall and the Kings are 9-3 ATS in the last 12 meetings in San Antonio.
This might not be the biggest game on the card for tonight, but the result of this one has major playoff implications with both teams currently sitting outside the playoff picture looking in. The Spurs were really sputtering before the season suspension while the Kings were playing some of their best basketball of the season. The loss of Aldridge is big for the Spurs who struggle on the defensive end, so I’m sticking with the younger Kings to get the job done in a close one.The first full slate of the NBA bubble gets started Friday night with two teams vying to make it into the postseason in the Sacramento Kings and San Antonio Spurs.
Sacramento is 3.5 games behind Memphis, while San Antonio is four games behind the 8-seeded Grizzlies. The team with the best record that is within four games of the Grizz will have a chance to take them on in the play-in portion of the bubble, so this is an early but important game for seeding.
The two teams split their season series before the hiatus, with the Spurs winning the first matchup by one point in overtime last December and the Kings winning by 20 in February.
Both teams are a bit banged up, but San Antonio may be feeling it a bit more. LaMarcus Aldridge did not make the trip to Orlando after opting for season-ending shoulder surgery. On the other hand, Sacramento big Marvin Bagley will be out for the length of the club’s stay with a foot injury.Sacramento was starting to get rolling just as the season came to a halt. After a putrid start, De’Aaron Fox and Co. began to find their stride and were making a quiet run at the 8-seed. After the All-Star break, the Kings were 7-3 and had a Net Rating of +3.1, the eighth-best mark in the league.
Back to Fox: The lightning-quick guard is the straw that stirs the drink for Sacramento. In that 10-game sample, he put up more than 23 points and nearly six assists on better than 50% shooting. Pair Fox’s performance with 3-point threats in Bogdan Bogdanovic and Buddy Hield, and the Kings were feeling good heading into the suspension.
In the same sample, the Kings were on fire with those three on the floor together, posting an Offensive Rating of 133 points per 100 possession and an effective field goal percentage higher than 60%. There’s clearly chemistry between the Kings and they may just be riding that wave in Orlando based on their scrimmage win over the Clippers.
Fox sprained his ankle in the mini-camp before the Kings headed to Orlando but was able to play in two of three scrimmages over the past week, so he should be all systems go.
While the Bagley injury hurts, the Kings should be in good shape in the frontcourt — Harrison Barnes and Richaun Holmes were both able to play in the scrimmage following their quarantines and are staples of that rotation.
San Antonio Spurs
Looking at the Spurs’ post-All Star break stretch, they posted the worst Net Rating of any team in the bubble with a -3.7 mark. Their democratic offense that’s predicated on ball movement was not able to generate enough firepower to stay afloat as they were falling out of the playoff picture during the winter months.
DeMar DeRozan has been the team’s primary ball-handler and has taken on more of a facilitator role, averaging career-highs in assists since being traded to San Antonio, but a lack of other dynamic threats has left the offense stuck in neutral.
The Spurs’ lack of frontcourt depth and ball-handlers who can beat their man off the bounce seem to have plagued them. The Spurs ranked 30th in the NBA this season in offensive rebounding percentage, which for a team that ranked in the middle of the pack in effective field goal percentage is going to hurt a bit extra. One-shot offensive chances are going to catch up to San Antonio, especially with a lack of playmakers with real shake to generate easy chances often.
Betting Analysis & Pick
The young core of Sacramento was rolling heading into the stoppage and may be in a different head space entering this mad dash to the finish line. On the contrary, San Antonio is missing its reliable big man in Aldridge and may just be going through the motions here in Orlando.
The Kings’ welcoming Barnes and Holmes into the fold for some warm up run is huge. Barnes may not live up to his contract but is a steadying veteran presence for a young Kings team, and Holmes had the best Net Rating of any King who started the season with the team.Further, I see some value in the Kings to make the playoffs at 11/1 (DraftKings). They have a soft schedule and will control their destiny to make the play-in game against (most likely) Memphis. Sacramento owns the tiebreaker over Portland and plays New Orleans twice — all three teams sit 3.5 games behind the 8-seed.
Other than this game and the two against the Pelicans, the Kings take on the Magic, Mavericks, Nets, Rockets and Lakers, the latter of whom may be resting their starters. The path is there for Sac-town to make a run in the bubble, and at 11/1 that is too good of value to pass up.