The Sacramento Kings were dealt a brutal injury blow on Monday, as it was revealed that De’Aaron Fox suffered a fractured finger against the Golden State Warriors. The star guard is now expected to be doubtful for Game 5.
The fact that Fox hasn’t been officially ruled out is a promising sign. Nevertheless, the situation is still far from ideal. Game 5 will be a crucial affair for both the Warriors and Kings. Sacramento, despite being ranked higher than Golden State during the season, was regarded as an underdog by many heading into this series. They started out strong and appeared poised to prove the critics wrong.
De’Aaron Fox’s injury will make winning this series, which is currently tied at two games apiece, quite the challenge though. Is there still hope for the Kings to overcome the Warriors?
Without further ado, here are three reasons why the Kings will still win their series against the Warriors.
Warriors aren’t the same as last year
The Warriors won the NBA Finals during the 2021-22 season. They performed well throughout the NBA Playoffs en route to their fourth championship victory in eight years.
Golden State doesn’t feature the same loaded roster this season though.
Jordan Poole, Andrew Wiggins, and Kevon Looney have all endured their share of ups and downs. Wiggins, Poole, and Looney played critical roles in Golden State’s championship year last season. They haven’t proven to be quite as reliable this season though.
Steph Curry is still going to do Steph Curry things and keep Golden State alive. Meanwhile, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green are impactful veteran players. But there’s nothing to suggest that the Kings are destined to lose the series, even amid De’Aaron Fox’s injury concern.
The most problematic factor for Golden State is their woes away from home. The Warriors are just 10-32 on the road, and the Kings have home court advantage.
The Kings feature a good amount of depth on their roster. It tends to get overlooked with the consistent star-studded performances of De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis. However, this all-around talented roster shouldn’t be forgotten.
Keegan Murray, Malik Monk, and Davion Mitchell have all impressed at times during the series. Kevin Huerter has potential to figure things out, and Harrison Barnes is a key veteran.
Sacramento’s offense is strong, ranking first in points per game. They are also second in field goal percentage and third in assists per contest.
The most pressing issue is their defensive effort. The Kings narrowly lost to the Warriors by a final score of 126-125 in Game 4. They need to find a way to contain Golden State’s offensive attack.
If their defense can right the ship, the Kings’ overall depth will lead them to a massive series victory.
Domantas Sabonis’ impact
We’ve discussed the Warriors’ concerns and Sacramento’s depth. But now is the time for Domantas Sabonis to flash his stardom under the bright lights.
Even if Fox ends up defying the odds and plays in Game 5, he will likely be limited. And there’s a strong chance he won’t even be able to suit up for Game 5. As a result, Sacramento is going to need Sabonis to set the tone.
Sabonis, a three-time All-Star, finished the 2022-23 regular season with 19 points per game. He added 12.3 rebounds per contest and 7.3 assists per game. Sabonis was efficient as well, shooting 61.5 percent from the field and over 37 percent from beyond the arc.
If the Kings are going to upset the Warriors amid Fox’s injury, they will require a monster effort from Domantas Sabonis.
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