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Kings vs. 76ers Preview & Predictions: Ring the Liberty Beam

The Kings are back home for a five-game homestand, starting tonight with a visit from the Philadelphia 76ers.
By | 23 Comments | Mar 25, 2024

Jan 12, 2024; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Sacramento Kings guard Malik Monk (0) drives for a shot against Philadelphia 76ers forward Paul Reed (44) during the third quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

By the time you read this, I’ll probably be just getting on a plane to Hawaii for a week but I’ll be leaving you in Greg’s very capable hands for the rest of the week.  The Kings are back home tonight to face the Philadelphia 76ers for the start of a five-game homestand.  With just 12 games left in the season, every game matters more than ever as the playoff race gets closer and closer to the finish line.

Let’s talk Kings basketball!

When: Monday, March 25th, 7:00 PM PT
Where: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, CA
TV: NBC Sports California, NBA TV
Radio: Sactown Sports 1140

Last Time

Joel Embiid missed the last contest between these two teams as well but it was no problem for Philadelphia as they took care of business against the Kings, winning 112-93 behind Tobias Harris’ season-high 37 points.  De’Aaron Fox led the way for the Kings with 21 points but shot just 5-15 from the field and only three other Kings (Keegan Murray, Malik Monk & Domantas Sabonis) scored in double digits.  It was the worst shooting game of the Kings’ season, as they only made 33.7% of their total field goal attempts.

Three in the Key

Buck the trend

It feels like every time the Kings come back from a road trip this season, they’ve laid an egg in their first game back.  Since the new year, the Kings are 2-5 in the first game after a road trip; The losses to Detroit and Charlotte were among that group, as well as a losses to the Pacers without Tyrese Haliburton & Pascal Siakam, the Miami Heat without Jimmy Butler & Tyler Herro, and a loss to the Bulls where they gave up a 20 point late third quarter lead.  For whatever reason, this Kings team has been terrible in those first home games after road trips.  Tonight they’ll be taking on a 76ers team that remains without Joel Embiid but is still desperate for wins considering they sit 8th in the Eastern Conference Playoff race.  The Kings can’t afford to look over this game because of two important games against Dallas on Tuesday and Thursday. Every game matters at this point and the Kings have a prime opportunity to take advantage of the Sixers coming into Sacramento without their best player.  Don’t make the same mistakes.

The Terrible Ts

The 76ers might not have Joel Embiid but Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris are very dangerous in their own right. Tyrese Maxey has become a legitimate star, averaging 25.8 points, 6.2 assists and 3.7 rebounds in 37.2 minutes a game as he’s taken on a bigger offensive load in the wake of Embiid’s injury.  Tobias Harris has been a solid scorer for over a decade now, capable of taking over games both inside and out, as evidenced by his performance against Sacramento last season.  Outside of those two, the Sixers don’t have a ton of offensive threats so if the Kings can keep them in check, they should have a decent chance to come out ahead.

Strong start

The 76ers are going to be on the second night of a back to back after playing the Clippers last night. It’s imperative that the Kings get out to a strong start to make it that much harder for the Sixers to try to get back into the game.  The Kings don’t want to be the team trying to dig back from an early hole.  Tyrese Maxey played 44 minutes against the Clippers and Tobias Harris was at nearly 38.  Take advantage of that, get out and run and wear out their legs early and often.

Prediction

With me not only not in the arena but off the actual US mainland, the Kings put together their best performance in years and utterly dominate the 76ers en route to a blowout victory.

Kings 143, 76ers 109

Fan Predictions

Link to Leaderboard (Updated 2/21/24)

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Ellis5
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March 25, 2024 9:50 am

Off topic but kind of on topic… I’ve been watching a bit of the tournament and at the end of some of the games I’ve heard the “Light the Beam” chants. Just kind of funny.

Jman1949
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March 25, 2024 10:23 am

Back at home tonight we face Philly.
Hoping Domas goes off, but will he?
They’re still missing Embiid
So down low we should feed.
Yet predicting our team just seems silly!

Jman1949
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March 25, 2024 10:30 am
Reply to  Jman1949

+1 First game home after a road trip; Embiid out; Sixers on a b2b…do I look worried?

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Klam
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March 25, 2024 10:52 am

OT: Looks like we got another national televised game added.

BeTheBall
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March 25, 2024 11:50 am
Reply to  Klam

Disappointed about now having to listen to a broadcast team even worse than ours. At least with ESPN games, I don’t have to listen to their garbage crew.

Klam
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March 25, 2024 1:19 pm
Reply to  BeTheBall

Heh, I remember on that November game against the Warriors on TNT it was literally nonstop Warriors talk.

UpgradedToQuestionable
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March 25, 2024 11:03 am

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Cowbell > Liberty Bell

ForKingsandCountry
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March 25, 2024 11:11 am

This feels like a classic Kangz game.

Klam
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March 25, 2024 11:15 am

Philly beat us badly earlier this season even without Embiid. I’d be very surprised if we were able to win today.

Daydreamer
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March 25, 2024 11:31 am
Reply to  Klam

Prepare to be surprised. Keon guards Maxey. Keegan guards Harris. Kings are serious but confident.

Klam
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March 25, 2024 11:37 am
Reply to  Daydreamer

I definitely hope they prove me wrong!

Jman1949
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March 25, 2024 11:37 am
Reply to  Klam

Just need to keep Fox and Keon on the floor together for the full 48 minutes:

The Kings are now 8-1 (5-0 against teams that currently have winning records) in games that Ellis has started and they’ve outscored their opponents by 13.3 points per 100 possessions in 258 total minutes with him and De’Aaron Fox on the floor together.

eddie41
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March 25, 2024 3:58 pm
Reply to  Klam

Bball Paul defended Sabonis well.

Jman1949
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March 25, 2024 11:27 am

Outside of those two, the Sixers don’t have a ton of offensive threats so if the Kings can keep them in check, they should have a decent chance to come out ahead.

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Jman1949
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March 25, 2024 11:48 am

Akis—thinking about updating the leaderboard:

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Aloha!

jwalker1395
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March 25, 2024 11:49 am

Taking a look at the schedule, after this 5 game home stand, I don’t know where the wins are going to come from. Thunder, Pels, Knicks, Celtics is bit of a murderer’s row for this Kings team. So if the Kings plan on securing playoff position, this home stand is where they do it.

I don’t really care about whether or not it’s fair to ask of them, this team needs to go 4-1 over this stretch if they want even an outside shot at #6. Otherwise, we’ll all just have to pray they don’t fumble the bag in the play-in. Starting off against a short-handed opponent that’s been stumbling recently? No doubt about it – it’s another must win.

Klam
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March 25, 2024 12:00 pm
Reply to  jwalker1395

And at the VERY minimum, they need to split the two games against Dallas if they want to have the tiebreaker on them. But given that Dallas has a MUCH easier rest of schedule than the Kings do, I would like for us to beat them both times to give us some cushion.

jwalker1395
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March 25, 2024 1:15 pm
Reply to  Klam

Yup. Put up or shut up.

Ellis5
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March 25, 2024 5:23 pm
Reply to  jwalker1395

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RikSmits
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March 25, 2024 12:31 pm

For an unbiased observer, this tight race in the West is awesome.

As a Kings fan, it’s agony.

Last edited 26 days ago by RikSmits
RobHessing
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March 25, 2024 1:19 pm

To beam, or not to beam, that is the question. – James Hamlet

MichaelMack
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March 25, 2024 1:43 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

“Verily, permit me to present six fleeting musings..”

UpgradedToQuestionable
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March 25, 2024 2:19 pm
Reply to  MichaelMack

“…The rest is silence”

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