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Kings vs. Mavericks Preview & Predictions: Round Two, Fight!

The Kings are looking for redemption after Tuesday's blowout.
By | 41 Comments | Mar 29, 2024

Mar 26, 2024; Sacramento, California, USA; Sacramento Kings guard Malik Monk (0) dribbles the ball past Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving (11) during the third quarter at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

The West is as brutal as it gets. A single game can swing teams from 6th to 8th and back again. Tiebreakers are likely to play a big factor in the final seeding for the playoffs, and determining who avoids the play-in tournament. The Kings hold a 2-1 season lead over the Mavericks. The Kings sit in 8th, 1 game behind the 6th place Mavericks. Every game matters, but this one really matters.

Let’s talk Kings basketball!

When: Friday, March 29th, 7:00 PM PT
Where: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, CA
TV: NBC Sports California, NBA TV
Radio: Sactown Sports 1140

Last Time

The Kings got demolished by the Mavericks on Tuesday in Golden 1 Center. The Kings missed open looks, while the Mavericks couldn’t seem to miss even when well-guarded. Sometimes it’s just not your night, but more alarmingly the Mavs simply looked like the better team. I don’t particularly feel like reliving the whole event again, but you can refer to Mirann’s excellent recap for the gritty details.

Three in the Key

Fresh Legs: Last game, the Kings were playing their 5th game in 7 nights, and they were on a back-to-back. The Mavericks were also on a back to back, having traveled from Utah the night before, so this isn’t me making excuses. But the reality is that the Kings looked like they did not have their legs. Both teams have had the last two days to rest and recover in Sacramento (great job, schedule makers, zero notes), so both teams enter this game fresh. No excuses, time to go run them off the floor.

Stars shine bright it in the heart of Sacramento: De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis both need to be better than they were on Tuesday. Domas finished with 12/11/9, which feels kind of silly to be complaining about, but the Mavs really did a good job of taking him out of his flow. Some of that may have been back to back games where Domas took more headshots than Rocky, but Domas needs to dominate. Fox also needs to be better. 18 points on 18 shots just doesn’t cut it. I want to see Fox fully engaged on both ends of the floor tonight.

Go Out And Take It: The Kings tend to play their best against good teams and in big moments. Well this is it. For all the talk from the Kings coaches and players about how they need to be better, how they need to be consistent, now is the time to do it. Go out there and give the Mavs 48 minutes of hell. The tiebreaker is there. The 6 seed is there. Now is the time.

Prediction

The Kings continue their season-long trend of making us wonder “why can’t they do this all the time?” and absolutely destroy Dallas.

Kings 122, Mavericks 103

Fan Predictions

Link to Leaderboard (Updated 2/21/24)

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Jman1949
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March 29, 2024 8:02 am

Tuesday’s game was not a good showing.
At no point was our offense flowing.
The Mavs shut us down,
Playing defense that’s sound. 
Still tonight love to see the beam glowing!

Jman1949
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March 29, 2024 8:04 am
Reply to  Jman1949

+1 Wishing and hoping won’t get it done!

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Jack
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March 29, 2024 9:09 am
Reply to  Jman1949

When the going gets tough the tough get going!

andy_sims
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March 29, 2024 4:48 pm
Reply to  Jack

…won’t get fooled again.

HongKongKingsFan
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March 29, 2024 9:39 am

Key of the game:

Keep aggressive….in every aspects…..

Fight for loose ball, fight for rebound, fight for chance to get into free throw line…

RobHessing
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March 29, 2024 10:04 am

Keys of the game:

Score more.

Give up less.

TerzoM
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March 29, 2024 11:28 am
Reply to  RobHessing

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andy_sims
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March 29, 2024 4:49 pm

Key of the game:

Keegan
Keon

Okay, keys to the game.

ForKingsandCountry
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March 29, 2024 9:45 am

Not to be overly dramatic, but the Kings having any chance at the 6 seed is entirely dependent on tonight’s result. If they lose, they are going to be in the play-in. The only question is which spot they’ll be in. If they win they’ve got the tie breaker over the Mavs and they’ve still got a shot to avoid the play-in. The Mavs are a better team than the Kings so the Kings will need to come out and play a great game tonight if they want to win.

rockbottom
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March 29, 2024 10:07 am

Agree on all points. . This is playoff or playin game decider . I think Kings lost their chance at a top 6 by adding nothing at the deadline . Kings must have their A+ game to have any chance .3

Amonk81
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March 29, 2024 2:45 pm
Reply to  rockbottom

This is yet another chance to see if Kings O and Sabonis, in particular, can adjust and play playoff winning offense.

If Sabonis doesn’t figure this out-start shooting middy and Kings don’t adjust, it will be a wasted trade almost for Hali

Perhaps that’s a bit dramatic but I need to see Sabs learning to play playoff (and Kings) winning hoops or he and they are just regular season stat stuffers.

rockbottom
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March 29, 2024 4:47 pm
Reply to  Amonk81

Sabonis has played well in playoffs . Very effective with Pacers . Tyrese has yet to be outstanding in playoffs since he has never been . Hoping it changes for him and Domas in Sacto .

Adamsite
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March 29, 2024 4:58 pm
Reply to  rockbottom

Right? To say Sabonis can’t perform in the playoffs basing in off one playoff series that went 7 games agains the defending champs is…disingenuous.

There is no trend in one series.

RikSmits
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March 29, 2024 10:28 am

comment image

Have to agree. I don’t like the “must win”-tag, but they simply cannot lose. If they do, it will be an uphill battle to avoid the play-in, IMO.

Jack
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March 29, 2024 10:38 am
Reply to  RikSmits

I agree. If we can play a relatively good game on offense then IMO when it counts it will be Fox, Ellis and Murray on defense that will swing the game. PS Monk needs to be consistant and not turn the ball over so much. GO KINGS!

JoeEnzyme
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March 29, 2024 1:33 pm
Reply to  Jack

We’re going to the game tonight from Grass Valley. If you’re going we could caravan. 🤣

Klam
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Nostradumbass 19
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March 29, 2024 10:45 am

Agreed on everything. Today is an absolute must win for the team. If they win, they hold the tie breaker against Dallas and, and Dallas will have the same amount of losses as the Kings and Phoenix, so it still gives you breathing room to possibly nab the 6th seed.

They have had two days off, so no excuse to play an A+ game.

Ellis5
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March 29, 2024 10:45 am

I kind of wish this was an away game.

RikSmits
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March 29, 2024 11:18 am
Reply to  Ellis5

I wish we were a little bit taller…

MauricePWhippoorwill
March 29, 2024 12:56 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

I wish we were ballers…

Ellis5
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March 29, 2024 3:51 pm

I wish we all had 6 – 4 Impalas

Klam
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March 29, 2024 11:26 am

I wonder how soon Trey Lyles will be able to come back.

RobHessing
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March 29, 2024 11:31 am
Reply to  Klam

This has become a bit of a lost season for poor Trey.

andy_sims
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March 29, 2024 4:50 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

Just keeping it fresh for the playoffs.

Amonk81
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March 29, 2024 2:40 pm
Reply to  Klam

Would love to see Vez back. Certainly taking king enough.

RikSmits
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March 29, 2024 11:31 am

Question; if we lose, the season series against the Mavs is 2-2. What is the next tiebreaker?

Klam
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March 29, 2024 11:38 am
Reply to  RikSmits

I think it’s your standing in your division? (but I don’t know if this applies since Dallas and Sac are in different divisions)

The criteria used in Tie-Break to determine the final position in the standings are as follows:

1. Head-to-head record

2. Position within one’s Division

3. Higher winning percentage within the division if the teams are in the same division

4. Higher winning percentage in the conference

5. Higher winning percentage compared to playoff-qualifying teams in one’s conference

6. Higher winning percentage compared to playoff teams in other conferences

7. Highest point differential (points scored minus points allowed)

So either it’s number 2 or number 4?

RikSmits
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March 29, 2024 11:40 am
Reply to  Klam

Thanks!

The way it’s written it seems that if the Kings are 2nd in their division and the Mavs 3rd in theirs, the Kings have the tiebreaker, no?

Klam
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March 29, 2024 11:42 am
Reply to  RikSmits

That’s what I’m reading from it now that I look closely. Dallas is currently 2nd in theirs, and the Rockets are behind them and probably not catching them. Phoenix is 2nd in the Pacific division currently with Sac right behind them at 3rd.

RikSmits
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March 29, 2024 11:44 am
Reply to  RikSmits

That’s not good; the Mavs have the 2nd place tied up in their division, and may even overtake the Pelicans. We are third in our division, and oh you already posted…

Sacto_J
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March 29, 2024 4:59 pm
Reply to  Klam

Per the TNT broadcast team, Conference record would be the next metric used.

Kfan
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March 29, 2024 12:19 pm

We lose tonight, I think we may end up 9th and host the Rockets or Dubs

Adamsite
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March 29, 2024 4:43 pm
Reply to  Kfan

…and that won’t go well.

UpgradedToQuestionable
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March 29, 2024 1:07 pm

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Ten games until season end. If the Kings go 6-4 they will match last season’s 48-32 record.

VAking
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March 29, 2024 1:46 pm

Will have to throw up before this one.

RikSmits
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March 29, 2024 2:00 pm
Reply to  VAking

Are you sitting courtside?

Kfan
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March 29, 2024 4:03 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Nice one

BeTheBall
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March 29, 2024 2:33 pm

Ugh….

12bbg8-2404579900
bjax1
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March 29, 2024 3:19 pm

Just saw a post on espn that Heurter is having surgery and is done for the season. Is that official? Definitely hurts our depth and shooting.

Sacto_J
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March 29, 2024 5:07 pm

I’m already over the “must win game” drama.
It is not. At all.
It would be nice, yes. It would show our ability to bounce back from a shit loss, yes. But it is not, in any way, a “must win game when we still play the Clips, the Pels, and the Suns, all of which have just as much bearing on our playoff positioning as this one.
Win this one and we control a little bit more of our destiny, for sure, tho, so lets….
Go Kings!!!
+1, would be nice to see ShaVez off the bench and provide some spark off the bench on both sides of the floor again, especially if it contributes to a win.

Last edited 3 months ago by Sacto_J
SomedayKing
March 29, 2024 6:00 pm

Ready for a much better effort on both ends of the floor tonight with fresh legs! Go Kings!

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