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Kings vs. Nets Preview and Predictions: Still salty this wasn’t a 2002 NBA Finals matchup

The Kings are getting a rare Eastern Conference opponent as Mikal Bridges and the Nets come into town.
By | 9 Comments | Dec 11, 2023

Mar 16, 2023; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Sacramento Kings guard De'Aaron Fox (5) looks to drive past Brooklyn Nets forward Mikal Bridges (1) in the second quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

We’re about a quarter of the way through the NBA season and tonight’s game against the Nets will only be Sacramento’s second game against an Eastern Conference opponent so far.  Brooklyn is firmly in the playoff hunt in the East thanks to Mikal Bridges, Cam Thomas and their bevy of wings, but this is still a matchup the Kings should win, especially at home.

Let’s talk Kings basketball!

When: Monday, December 11th, 7:00 PM PT
Where: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, CA
TV: NBC Sports California
Radio: Sactown Sports 1140

Three in the Key

Protect the Three Point Line

The Nets are currently the best three point shooting team in the entire NBA, making 38.7% of their total attempts and shooting the 7th most attempts per game.  They have seven rotation players averaging at least two makes from three a game; By comparison the Kings only have four.  Where the Kings have a dearth of wings, the Nets seem to be almost entirely comprised of wings, and wings that can shoot no less.  Dorian-Finney Smith is probably their best shooter, making 44.9% of his nearly six attempts a game, but someone like Cam Thomas (averaging 23.7 points to lead Brooklyn in scoring) can get really hot really quickly.  The Kings will need to do their best to keep the Nets from getting quality looks from deep.  So far this season the Kings are allowing opponents to shoot 37.5% from three, the 6th worst percentage in the league.  While the percentage isn’t great, they are 4th best in allowing the fewest three pointers in the league.

Dominant Domantas

Nic Claxton is a very good shotblocker and a solid rebounder, averaging 12 points, 9.3 rebounds and 2.4 blocks a game in just 27 minutes as Brooklyn’s starting center.  However past Claxton, the Nets don’t have much size.  Day’Ron Sharpe is is Brooklyn’s backup Center and he is a bit heftier than Claxton (265 lbs compared to Claxton’s 215) and Kings fan favorite Harry Giles also provides some depth for the Nets.  Regardless, this is a matchup that should heavily favor Domantas Sabonis.  Sabonis tends to do really well against skinny shotblocker types who don’t have the strength to deal with him down low and last year that was definitely the case as Sabonis had one of his best games of the year against Claxton, scoring 24 points to go with 21 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 blocks in their second matchup.  I would look for Domas to be aggressive early and often.

Next Man Up

De’Aaron Fox has been incredible this season, but one thing that does tend to bother him is when the opposing team puts a long rangy wing on him.  Herb Jones has given him fits this season, and the Nets have a bunch of wings they can throw at him, starting with Mikal Bridges. Much like Sabonis dominated in the team’s second matchup with the Nets last year, Fox struggled, scoring 18 points but shooting 5-16 from the field and that’s largely thanks to the defensive work done by Bridges. Fox also shot poorly in the only other game against Bridges that season, scoring 11 points on 4-12 shooting in an early season loss to the Suns back when Bridges was still on the team. This is a tough matchup for De’Aaron, and if he isn’t able to get to his usual spots or is struggling with his shot, the other Kings will need to do their best to help him out.

Prediction

The Kings blow out the Nets early enough that Harry Giles is able to make an on-court appearance to a raucous standing ovation from the Sacramento crowd. Harry goes on to score a double double for the Nets in his appearance with the crowd cheering every basket.

Kings 131, Nets 107

Fan Predictions

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TheBaker
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December 11, 2023 11:24 am

Rip down the Nets!

Jman1949
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December 11, 2023 12:08 pm

In one more of those back-to-back sets,
First at home we will take on the Nets.
Watching Fox in the clutch,
As happens so much,
G1C will be loud as it gets!

Jman1949
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December 11, 2023 12:10 pm
Reply to  Jman1949

+1. Flix the Nets!

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DutchKingsFanInUK
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December 11, 2023 1:06 pm

Looking forward to see Sabonis vs Claxton. I remember I felt sorry for him last year when Sabonis would just go at him over and over again.

UpgradedToQuestionable
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December 11, 2023 1:14 pm

As was said to previous owner (Prokhorov) Nyet the Nets!
To current owner Close Sesame (deny Tsai?)

BuiltToSpill
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December 11, 2023 2:56 pm

We really need to get this one. The NBA handed us the second of our likely schedule losses in the from of SeGaBaBa’s vs. the Clippers tomorrow. Boy, that’s frustrating.

Last edited 7 months ago by BuiltToSpill
BuiltToSpill
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December 11, 2023 3:01 pm
Reply to  BuiltToSpill

Interesting, just thought to look at the Clips’ schedule and they play tonight, too. That evens the playing field. Gotta hope their old legs get tired tomorrow.

RPO
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RPO
December 11, 2023 4:14 pm

this is still a matchup the Kings should win

I get nervous every time I start thinking like this.

Mike120
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December 11, 2023 4:46 pm

Just gimme a W. Not fussy how it happens.

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