A series-swinging Game 5 takes place on Wednesday when the Golden State Warriors take the short trip to Sacramento for what will be a battle with the Kings.
Golden State Warriors Vs. Sacramento Kings Betting Odds
For this pivotal, potentially series-changing Game 5, the Golden State Warriors are slight 1.5-point road favorites, despite the fact that De’Aaron Fox said he will be available to play. Fox was previously listed as doubtful due to a fractured finger in his shooting hand.
However, he has stated his intentions to take the floor. Matthew Dellavedova is the only other Sacramento player listed on the injury report; he will not be available for Game 5.
Meanwhile, Golden State will only be without Andre Iguodala and Ryan Rollins, two players who have not been significant contributors for the Dubs off the bench this season. Their key rotation will be completely healthy once again.
Golden State Warriors Vs. Sacramento Kings Prediction
It takes a particular type of superstar in today’s NBA to play through a fractured finger, especially on their shooting hand, but that is exactly what De’Aaron Fox plans to do. Despite being originally listed as doubtful for Game 5, Fox cleared all speculation by stating that he will be playing regardless of how his finger feels. He’s tough.
The question surrounding this game then is no longer whether or not he is playing but how effective he will be in his minutes on the floor. Can he still shoot at a high level, making tough shots over and around defenders? Or can he handle the ball without turning it over with such a nagging injury? It is difficult to tell, as there is no sample size for this situation with Fox.
However, we do know that Golden State’s defense on the road has been an atrocity this season, boasting a 119.9 defensive rating throughout the 2022-23 campaign. Not much changed in the Warriors’ first two games on the road against Sacramento, as its defensive rating was still poor (117.0.) As a matter of fact, despite the Kings shooting just 30% from behind the arc, they still beat Golden State in both games.
While Fox may struggle with shooting, particularly from long distance, that is not necessarily a huge part of his game anyway. He would not play if he struggled to even handle the ball, and his elite quickness and speed should help him create for others. Sacramento knows how important this game is for its chances to advance, and Golden State’s horrendous play away from Chase Center only provides more proof that the Kings have an edge in this spot.
- Golden State is 1-3 ATS in the 2023 playoffs
- Golden State is 11-33 ATS on the road for the entirety of the 2022-23 season and playoffs
- Sacramento is 3-1 ATS in the 2023 playoffs
- The over record on the point total is 2-2 during this series in the 2023 playoffs
Our key matchup for Game 5 between the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings revolves around Domantas Sabonis and Kevon Looney. See if Sabonis can step up and help Sacramento grab a huge Game 5 win at home or if Looney will continue to hold him below his averages.
Kevon Looney vs Domantas Sabonis
During the 2022-23 campaign, Domantas Sabonis racked up his third All-Star award while leading the NBA in rebounding; he averaged 19.1 points and 12.3 rebounds per game on an incredibly efficient 62/37/74 shooting split. That kind of efficiency was only rivaled (bested) by Nikola Jokic, who had yet another MVP-caliber season. Needless to say, Sabonis’ importance to this Kings team is significant.
However, during this first-round series against Golden State, Sabonis has struggled a lot relative to his usual output and efficiency. In the first four games, he has averaged just 16.3 points on 48.2% shooting from the field and 61.1% from the charity stripe. These issues have been largely caused by the physicality of Kevon Looney.
Meanwhile, Looney has posted seven points and 9.3 rebounds per game on 63% shooting this season. Obviously, his impact is greater than what shows on the stat sheet, but Sabonis is a better player. Still, Looney has pulled down 12.5 rebounds per game in this series, and even though he is not scoring much, the Warriors are competitive on the glass with Sacramento because of him.
While Looney has been able to mitigate Sabonis’ impact in several games of this series, this should be a prime opportunity for Sabonis to step up offensively with Fox’s injury. Advantage: Sabonis.
Golden State Warriors Starting Lineup
Sacramento Kings Starting Lineups
Golden State Warriors Injuries: Andre Iguodala (Out), Ryan Rollins (Out)
Sacramento Kings Injuries: Matthew Dellavedova (Out), De’Aaron Fox (Q)