The Golden State Warriors reign as champions are in jeopardy as they trail Sacramento 0-2. Meanwhile, after 17 years out of the playoffs, Sacramento’s ambition is rising quickly to topple Golden State.
Domantas Sabonis of the Kings is questionable for Game 3, suffering a bruised sternum caused by Draymond Green’s foot, who has since been ejected and suspended for this game.
Golden State hosts its inaugural playoff home game since winning the championship, as the Kings face Golden State for a first home playoff series since capturing it. Can Golden State restore their defense or will Sacramento illuminate San Francisco with their own beam in Game 3? Here are my Kings vs Warriors betting preview and prediction.
Don’t take my word for it; Green is at the core of everything this team accomplishes on both ends.
Green’s defensive prowess is well-documented; however, he plays an instrumental role in this team as its de facto point guard and screener. Both Green and Stephen Curry scored with ease down the stretch in Game 2, in the pick-and-roll situation; his presence at center in their small ball lineup is part of Golden State’s winning formula.
Nothing of that matters in Game 3 without Green available.
Golden State has outscored opponents by one point every 5.5 minutes when Stephen Curry and Draymond Green are on the court together this season, outscoring them by +263. With either one-off alone however, the Warriors were net zero after 498 minutes (despite Curry having won 49 games without Green) per Pivot Analysis; without him, though, their net rating drops drastically down to an -8.7 rating with both on or off-court while their defense drops dramatically to 121.3 DRTRG without Green!
De’Aaron Fox has been simply outstanding throughout this series, averaging 31 PPG against Golden State’s drop defense and hitting middies and floaters with ease. Malik Monk had a great Game 1 showing, while Kevin Huerter made up for his rough first outing with a decisive Game two performance; Davion Mitchell continued his relentless defense by being in Stephen Curry’s face all game long.
The Sacramento Kings are making waves on both ends. Their defense has been relentless in pressuring Golden State’s lack of ball handlers without Green to force 22 turnovers in Game 2, while their offense pushed off make-or-miss, tiring out an older and thinner Warriors team by the game’s end. Sacramento also gained an advantage at the line and on the glass.
The Kings have taken off, leaving Golden State reeling. Even as they try to fight back against them, though, Golden State finally feels what the rest of the league experienced for eight years: Kings dominate almost all games while Warriors only keep pace through superior shotmaking ability.
5.5 points is too much to give the Kings in this one. The Warriors are nearing extinction, and don’t be surprised if they get swept. Losing Green is a killer for tonight.
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