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Kings vs. Warriors Preview and Predictions: For all the In-Season marbles

If the Kings beat the Warriors tonight, they'll advance to the knockout round of the In-Season Tournament. If they lose... then we break out the abacus.
By | 32 Comments | Nov 28, 2023

Nov 1, 2023; San Francisco, California, USA; Sacramento Kings forward Domantas Sabonis (10) holds onto the ball against the Golden State Warriors in the first quarter at the Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The Kings are back home after a 4-2 road trip and who should they play but the Golden State Warriors for what feels like the millionth time this year. Tonight’s the final game of the In-Season Tournament Group Play, and there’s a lot on the line. Should the Kings win, they’ll advance to the knockout stages, but if they lose they could be bumped completely. And of course this is the first game back from suspension for Draymond Green, and it’s a nationally televised game so this should be a fun one with a playoff-like atmosphere.

Let’s talk Kings basketball!

When: Tuesday, November 28th, 7:00 PM PST
Where: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, CA
TV: TNT, NBC Sports California
Radio: Sactown Sports 1140

In-Season Tournament West Group C Standings

1. Sacramento Kings 3-0 (+29 Point Differential)
2. Minnesota Timberwolves 2-1 (-3 Point Differential)
3. Golden State Warriors 2-1 (+5 Point Differential)
*Teams Below Eliminated*
4. Oklahoma City Thunder 1-2 (+27 Point Differential)
5. San Antonio Spurs 0-4 (-58 Point Differential)

Three in the Key

Tourney Tiebreakers

The Kings are in control of their own destiny to advance to the knockout round of the first ever In-Season Tournament. If they beat the Warriors tonight, they’ll claim the #2 seed and homecourt for the first game of the knockout stage. Technically, they still could claim the #1 seed, but they’d have to beat the Warriors by 46 to surpass the Lakers +74 point differential. As much as I’d like to see that happen, it probably won’t.

If the Kings lose though, we enter some weird scenarios. It turns out the first tie breaker is not point differential as I previously thought, but head to head record in the group if it’s only between two teams. If the Timberwolves lose to the Thunder and the Warriors beat the Kings, the Warriors would win the group since they beat the Kings in group play. But if the Timberwolves AND Warriors win, then it heads to point differential. Our own Omer Kahn came up with a handy visual:

Essentially the Kings would likely advance in this scenario as long as the Wolves didn’t beat the Thunder in a blowout and they only lose by 11 or fewer points to the Warriors.

But let’s make things easy and just beat the damn Warriors.

Exorcism

The Warriors are definitely one of the biggest monkeys on the Kings collective back. The Kings and Warriors have played each other more than any other team this year (this is already the third matchup between the two teams in just this season) and most games have come down to the wire. The Warriors are also getting Draymond Green back from suspension which is a boost to their defense and depth and nobody likes playing at Golden 1 Center more than Steph Curry. In his first game here this season, Curry dropped 41 points on a ridiculous 14 of 19 from the field and 7 of 10 from three. That’s after he dropped 50 in Game 7 of the Playoffs last year to knock the Kings out. The Kings almost got the Warriors back in a tight matchup in San Francisco back at the start of the month even without De’Aaron Fox playing, but Klay Thompson made a jumper to beat the Kings with 0.2 seconds left. Both these teams should be fresh, neither having played since last Friday. This is a marquee matchup for both teams regardless of tournament implications. Plus, a loss here for the Kings mean the Warriors have already won the season series, which could be an important tiebreaker for future playoff seeding.

Punch them in the mouth

The Kings have to come out as the aggressors tonight. The Warriors are one of those teams where a small double-digit lead only feels like a tie game and a tie game feels like a deficit because of how quickly they can fill up the bucket. This year they’ve had a bit more trouble than they were probably expecting as only Steph is really performing well, and you don’t want tonight to be the night where Klay Thompson or Andrew Wiggins finally gets going either. The Kings need to put the Warriors on the backfoot early and keep the pressure up all game.

Prediction

Draymond Green gets ejected in pre-game warmups after fighting with Slamson, who came out dressed as a French mime. De’Aaron Fox ends up dropping the first 50 piece of his career as well to lead the Kings to victory.

Kings 130, Warriors 119

Fan Predictions

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Klam
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Nostradumbass 19
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November 28, 2023 11:02 am

After that last heartbreaker game we had to play against the Warriors, I really just want to beat them just to say we beat them after having to play them so many times (from last year’s postseason, to preseason, to the two regular season games). If nothing else, I also want us to spoil Draymond’s return.

Fortunately, since my family recently subbed to Max again, I can stream the game since it included a Bleacher Report add-on. Hoping it’s a good one to watch tonight. 🙂

jwalker1395
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November 28, 2023 12:23 pm
Reply to  Klam

I can watch the game on Max???

andy_sims
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November 28, 2023 1:32 pm
Reply to  jwalker1395

It’s not MAX anymore. They’ve changed the name again, now it’s STRUS.

murraytant
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November 28, 2023 2:39 pm
Reply to  andy_sims

Max ?

aplumley
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November 28, 2023 11:23 am

I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited for a regular season game. I was pretty meh on the IST, but it’s added some intensity to an already heated competition.

PretendGhost
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November 28, 2023 12:59 pm
Reply to  aplumley

A game like today’s is exactly what the NBA hoped for when putting this together. They were smart to end our group with Kings/Warriors and schedule it for a national audience.

Hoping the Kings can start their revenge tour against the Warriors tonight, and then finish it within 6 games in the 2nd round.

AmateurNerd
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November 28, 2023 11:51 am

Idea to raise the IST stakes further: Winners in IST games get tiebreakers for playoff positioning. Who says no?

PretendGhost
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November 28, 2023 12:58 pm
Reply to  AmateurNerd

I don’t hate this

UpgradedToQuestionable
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November 28, 2023 12:58 pm
Reply to  AmateurNerd

No. There, I said it.

Just my opinion:
This is a TV contract positioning ploy and little else. Let’s see how it plays out for at least one year (preferably three) before altering it’s “importance”.

(and yes, I would also do away with the Play-In. That a 36-46 team could knock out a 46-36 team dilutes the importance of the regular season. Maybe that explains why they have an In Season Tournament – to buff up the regular season. And then they added the 65 game minimum to the Player awards. Talk about conflicted. The 9th seeded Miami Heat made it to the NBA Finals! Pure silliness or to voice this in the spirit of the Holidays: Bah Humbug!

Last edited 7 months ago by UpgradedToQuestionable
AmateurNerd
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November 28, 2023 1:06 pm

I agree with getting rid of the play-in.

andy_sims
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November 28, 2023 1:39 pm

Yeah, if two teams never met in the IST, using it as a factor for playoff seeding is simply out of context. The current tiebreakers are simple and understandable, and I don’t like this type of gimmick.

See: MLB All-Star Game deciding home-field advantage in the World Series.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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Nostradumbass 14
November 28, 2023 6:15 pm

Yup, I hate the possibility that a team can knock out a team that’s 10+ games better than them on a one game play-in, especially if injuries play a factor.

To go from a single game elimination to a 7 game series is nonsense when we know the #9 or #10 team is going to get rolled in a 7 game series by a #1 seed. Find a middle ground if you want to expand the playoffs.

Jman1949
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November 28, 2023 11:52 am

With some rest as we’ve come home to Sac
Here’s the first of a tough back-to-back.
It’s the team from the Bay;
Coming in they’ll have Dray.
Shut him down even as he talks smack!

Jman1949
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November 28, 2023 11:55 am
Reply to  Jman1949

+1 Make this win #4 in IST play!

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ForKingsandCountry
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November 28, 2023 12:11 pm

No Keegan Murray tonight I think really hurts against the Warriors so sadly I think we lose this one. We badly need a win against the Warriors because they very much have our number right now. Hoping for the best but my expectations are kind of low.

Last edited 7 months ago by ForKingsandCountry
UpgradedToQuestionable
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November 28, 2023 12:28 pm

Though he had full practice yesterday, last I had seen, Keegan was doubtful for tonight and Keon was UpgradedToQuestionable (!).

Has that changed?

PretendGhost
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November 28, 2023 12:57 pm

Sean Cunningham tweeted that Keegan is officially out for the game unfortunately. No word yet on Keon

UpgradedToQuestionable
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November 28, 2023 1:03 pm
Reply to  PretendGhost

Davion on Steph. Not Keegan, Not Keon. Warriors will try and foul out De’Aaron with Fall down on every shot Curry and Grab and Flop Chris Paul.

Hobby916
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November 28, 2023 3:24 pm

Davion on Steph won’t end well for Davion.

Hobby916
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November 28, 2023 4:11 pm
Reply to  PretendGhost

Keon is available now

TheBaker
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November 28, 2023 12:16 pm

Is there a link to the prediction scores and standings?

TheBaker
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November 28, 2023 1:01 pm
Reply to  Aykis16

Thanks Aykis!

Hobby916
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November 28, 2023 3:24 pm
Reply to  Aykis16

Will there be some kind of in-season prediction tournament???

NorCalKingsFan
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November 28, 2023 4:02 pm
Reply to  Hobby916

that still counts as regular season prediction results!!!

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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November 28, 2023 6:16 pm
Reply to  Aykis16

Thanks for the hard work and time put in!

andy_sims
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November 28, 2023 1:30 pm

If I was on the floor with Draymond, I’d be continuously talking about how Gobert called him a clown, how common that view is, and ask if he buys his red noses in bulk. I could get him to take a swing at me before the first quarter ended.

Green can talk with the best of them, but I’d do all I could do inch him over the edge. It’s doable.

Marty
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November 28, 2023 2:15 pm

I don’t know what a knockout round is,
but if there is such a thing as a douchebag costume, I feel like slapping a Draymond jersey on one and heading to the game.

andy_sims
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November 28, 2023 4:12 pm
Reply to  Marty

I don’t think of Green as a douchebag, as, for me at least, the word carries a sleazy connotation that I don’t think is warranted.

Draymond is, as are many of us, an asshole.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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November 28, 2023 6:16 pm
Reply to  Marty

Douchebag Costume….that’s a great band name.

ForKingsandCountry
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November 28, 2023 4:40 pm

I don’t know if this is an unpopular opinion but I like the IST. Guys play really hard and I want the Kings to win. I don’t see them as having a realistic shot at a championship as currently constructed so I think it would be cool considering we’ve never won anything in the Sacramento era.

Klam
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November 28, 2023 4:53 pm

Are we forgetting our Summer League Championships? 😉

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