On deadline day, the Kings will head into a matchup with the Warriors at home with one fewer guard, having shipped Cory Joseph off to the Pistons for Delon Wright. While they wait for Wright to arrive, they’ll be tasked with slowing down a Warriors team that’s been struggling, but showed plenty of positive signs in a loss to Philadelphia on Tuesday. Will the Warriors final right the ship, or will Sacramento just keep on rolling? We’ll tell you where to look at SBR’s top-rated sportsbooks.
Golden State Warriors vs. Sacramento Kings
Thursday, March 25, 2021 – 10:00 PM EDT at Golden 1 Center
Keep the Momentum
The Warriors didn’t beat the Sixers last time out on Tuesday. In fact, looking at the final score, it didn’t look like a particularly good or interesting game. Inside that 48 minutes, however, were some promising signs for the struggling Warriors, and ones they must build on as they head into a matchup with the Kings on Thursday.
In that game, Golden State was down 24 points, a deficit they would come back from to hold a fourth-quarter lead. It wasn’t until the Sixers asserted their dominance inside with the slashing Ben Simmons and active Tony Bradley that they were able to bully their way back into the game. Before that, a staunch Sixers defense was getting torched from deep by the Warriors’ shooters, particularly Andrew Wiggins.
If Tuesday’s any indication, this game should go swimmingly. The Kings rank second-to-last in three-point defense, allowing triples to fall at a 38.9% rate. Golden State managed to finish just 32% from three, but many of those fell late. The Dubs should enjoy some regression against an awful Kings defense.
The Warriors will also continue to enjoy the return of their frontcourt players. James Wiseman, Kevon Looney and Eric Paschall were all able to return from the league’s health and safety protocols on Tuesday and help a good defense get even better.
The Warriors have lost seven of 10 and are playing without the help of Stephen Curry, who’s still out with an injury, so this one’s going to be important to boost their confidence and right the ship. The Dubs have covered just three spreads over that 10-game stretch, and in general sit at 5-10 ATS as the road underdog, as they are on Thursday.
That’s right. The Kings — the team that was on pace to have the worst defensive rating in league history — are now playing a little bit of defense. It could be the fact that they’ve played a few slumping offenses of late like the Celtics, Cavs and Hawks, or the fact that Tyrese Haliburton is back and healthy. No matter the reason, the kings have won four of five games, and rank 14th in the NBA with a 111.2 defensive rating over that span.
This number isn’t all that great, but it’s still surprising and important. Heading into a game against the Warriors, who play defense but not necessarily a ton offense, the Kings are going to need to do at least something on defense.
As far as the Kings at home are concerned, they’re just 8-14 ATS, though they’re now 11-7 ATS coming off a win, as they will be on Tuesday. This is a classic case of bad home team at home against bad road team on the road. Something’s got to give here.
I think, eventually, the Kings defense will be the one to give. The Warriors have been showing signs of life, and the return of almost their entire frontcourt is going to pay dividend on Thursday and beyond. The Warriors have been getting killed on the glass, and should now be able to compete there —and even win the battle — against the Kings. The shooting should also turn for the Warriors, who hit clutch shots in crunch time against Philadelphia. I’m counting on the Warriors’ depth here over the Kings’, and it helps matters that Cory Joseph was just traded, leaing Sacramento thin at guard for this one.
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.