Sacramento at Golden St.
Time: 9:30 PM CT (NBA LP)
Spread: GSW -9.5
Odds c/o 5dimes
Sacramento’s season has been one of tanking, but also in the mix has been the development of dynamic point guard and Kentucky product DeAaron Fox. Fox is averaging 11 points and four assists per game in his rookie season, but showing many of the signs of a future star, at least according to the eye test. Veteran Zach Randolph leads the team in scoring but averages just 14.8 points per game, and Sacramento averages just 99 points per game as a team.
Former New Orleans Pelican Buddy Hield has failed to translate to a superstar in his sophomore season, averaging just 12 points per game and playing 23 minutes a night. Willie Cauley-Stein has shown some promise as a defensive cog and has his nights offensively, but Sacto largely struggles to score the ball without any developed stars on their team. Randolph was once that but has declined quite a bit.
Sure, he is still an effective power forward and puts up premium production for just 25.8 minutes a night, but Sacto will be on the lookout for a star with its probable high draft pick in 2018. Given that the team needs help at every position, any guesses as to who Sacto will chase in the draft are a bit of a crapshoot. Ostensibly, the team has its backcourt of the future, but its frontcourt could use major upgrades, and a premier scoring wing also ranks high on the team’s list of needs.
Either way, Sacramento is now missing the playoffs for the 11th year straight, and the rebuild rages on even if it seems to utterly lack any defined sense of direction.
Golden State notes:
The Warriors most recently pummeled Russell Westbrook and the OKC Thunder 112-80. Prior to that, it defeated the L.A. Clippers. The Dubs are 46-14 and currently atop the Western Conference.
The Warriors could have sought to improve at the trade deadline, but instead with the “do not fix what has not broken” adage is active in not engaging at the deadline. Instead, the team moves forward with its four All-Stars, and two MVPs, as the prohibitive NBA Finals favorite for the fourth straight season (albeit only two of the previous three resulted in a title!). The Warriors have strung together the most dominant three-run season stretch in NBA history, per wins only, and the fact that the front office realized there is no tinkering with something already balanced was a mature and wise decision overall.
Stephen Curry is leading the team in scoring this year with 26.8 points per game, to go with his 5.3 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 1.62 steals per night. Durant trails him at 26 points per game, but Durant is really close to having a 50/40/90 season, as he is shooting 51 percent from the floor, 42 percent from three and 89 percent at the line. Thompson, too, is close to that precipice but falls shorter at the charity stripe where he is just 86 percent.
Draymond Green is only attempting nine field goals per game, but he leads the team in assists with 7.3 per game, and he is vital in defending a myriad of switched pick and rolls on defense, having the foot speed and agility to switch out onto guards and defend them in the isolation that follows.
Green is one of the best defenders to come through the league in recent seasons, and his stellar ability to disrupt sets is one of the reasons why the Warriors are such a strong defensive team overall. He keeps the defensive lineup active and fast, rather than slowing it down with a traditional 5. Green, of course, starts at center, but he has a lot of positionless traits as an NBA player, and perhaps the league has not seen such a physical specimen with such grace since the late Anthony Mason. Indeed, they are similar type players.