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Kings vs. Raptors Preview & Predictions: O Canada, we stand on guard for threes

Sacramento starts a three-game Eastern Conference Road Trip with a visit to our northern neighbors in Canada.
By | 12 Comments | Mar 20, 2024

Jan 5, 2024; Sacramento, California, USA; Sacramento Kings guard Malik Monk (0) looks to pass the ball during the second quarter at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

The Kings are going International!  Sacramento is in Toronto tonight to take on a very shorthanded Raptors squad. Surely nothing can go wrong.

Let’s talk Kings basketball!

When: Wednesday, March 20th, 4:30 PM PT
Where: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, ON
TV: NBC Sports California
Radio: Sactown Sports 1140

Last Time

The Kings faced the Raptors shortly after the New Year when they still had Pascal Siakam but shortly after they had acquired Immanuel Quickley and RJ Barrett.  The Kings got off to a hot start but a strong second half from Toronto got them back into the game before the Kings ultimately held them off and won 135-130.  All five Kings starters finished in double digits, led by Domantas Sabonis with a 24 point, 15 rebound, 11 assist triple double.  Every single Raptors player finished in double digits aside from Jalen McDaniels who finished with two.

Three in the Key

Soft Stretch

Tonight’s game against the Raptors is one of two games in a row against bad teams as they head to Washington to take on the Wizards tomorrow.  The Kings have a very tough schedule to finish the season so these are not games they can afford to drop.  The Raptors are going to be extremely shorthanded tonight, missing Scottie Barnes, RJ Barrett, Jakob Poeltl and Immanuel Quickley. That’s four of the five normal starters for Toronto.  Kelly Olynyk and two-way player Jontay Porter are the only players over 6’9 that the Raptors will even have available.  This is a golden opportunity for the Kings. Please, I’m begging you Kings, just take care of damn business for once and don’t screw this up.  A blowout win will also save some much needed energy for the second night of a back to back tomorrow.

Ellis Island

Kevin Huerter is probably out for a while, if not the remainder of the season, due to the dislocated shoulder he suffered in Monday’s win against the Grizzlies.  That means Keon Ellis is probably in the starting lineup for the foreseeable future.  Ellis has been phenomenal for the Kings of late, and is still undefeated as a starter at 6-0.  On Monday night he put together a 5 block performance (the most ever by a Sacramento Kings guard) while shutting down Desmond Bane down the stretch.  With so many players out for Toronto tonight he probably won’t have one specific player he focuses on but regardless, Sacramento’s defense with him on the floor has been excellent; Since the All-Star break, the Kings have a 105.2 defensive rating when Ellis plays.  That would be a league best mark for the entire season.

Attack the Paint

The Raptors have not been good at protecting the paint all season, and that was before they traded two of their best defenders and are now missing even more players due to injury.  Kelly Olynyk is the tallest player the Raptors have, and the other big men available for the Raptors are relatively inexperienced.  Domantas Sabonis should be able to feast inside but I’d also like to see the other Kings join in as Toronto doesn’t particularly have any elite perimeter defenders to bring to bear either.  Take the open threes if they’re there, but this is a game where the Kings should be able to thrive inside if they focus on it.

Prediction

In honor of Sacramento’s resident Canadian Trey Lyles, De’Aaron Fox drops 41 points in only three quarters and the Kings win comfortably at the start of this short Eastern Conference Road trip.  Former King Jahmi’us Ramsey leads Toronto in scoring with a career-high 23 points.

Kings 129, Raptors 115

Fan Predictions

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UpgradedToQuestionable
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March 20, 2024 11:17 am

Ruin the Raptors!
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Klam
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Nostradumbass 18
Nostradumbass 19
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Nostradumbass 19
March 20, 2024 11:45 am

Playing a bad team that has lost seven games in a row?
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TerzoM
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March 20, 2024 3:26 pm
Reply to  Klam

Reverse jinx – scheduled loss

Jman1949
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March 20, 2024 12:08 pm

To Toronto and most would agree,
On this road trip we could win all three.
There’s no room for error
And no effort to spare, or
Just accept in the play-in we’ll be!

Jman1949
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March 20, 2024 12:10 pm
Reply to  Jman1949

+1 Can’t fall asleep on the Raptors!

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Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
March 20, 2024 12:36 pm

Let the King Keon era begin. Hopefully these next two games establish a new defensive identity for the squad.

Hippity_Hop_Barbershop
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March 20, 2024 2:10 pm

Any update on Sasha for tonight?

Hobby916
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March 20, 2024 2:14 pm

He is out

aplumley
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March 20, 2024 3:07 pm

Sasha is now listed as out.

TerzoM
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March 20, 2024 3:30 pm

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Career high for one Raptor but we eeek out a win

Last edited 28 days ago by TerzoM
WiltLives
March 20, 2024 4:05 pm

When Sasha injured his ankle, it did not look that bad. It must have been pretty darn bad to keep him out this long. Chris Duarte — come on down! We need you. Also Kessler Edwards is likely to start seeing some minutes.

Yakshi
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March 20, 2024 4:23 pm

The Kings are bigger favorites in this game than the last one in Sacramento.

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