Los Angeles Lakers vs Sacramento Kings 1/12/22: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Betting Odds, Live Stream
Los Angeles Lakers vs Sacramento Kings Matchup Preview (1/12/22)
The Los Angeles Lakers (21-20) travel to face the slumping Sacramento Kings (16-27) on Wednesday night. Prior to their 127-119 loss against the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday night, the Lakers were in the midst of a four game winning streak. The Lakers defeated the Trail Blazers, Timberwolves, Kings, and Hawks through a combination of small-ball lineups and a Malik Monk supernova. Their average margin of victory across those four games was 15.5 points per game. With Anthony Davis close to a return, the Lakers have played inspired basketball recently. The Grizzlies ended Malik Monk’s seven game streak of 15+ points by holding him to a 7 point, 3/13 shooting dud. Monk went scorched earth and averaged 21.8 PPG the last seven games while showing the Lakers they have their 4th option on the roster already. He has established his role as a cog in the main lineup for the playoffs. Westbrook, Monk, LeBron, and Davis are set, but the Lakers may look to the trade deadline to find their last key piece. Nobody else on the depth chart has impressed enough to be the favorite. Carmelo Anthony or Trevor Ariza make the most sense positionally, but both have serious flaws that Western Conference contenders would exploit. For this matchup, Davis (knee) and Kendrick Nunn (knee) will both be out once again. The Lakers may continue to start LeBron at center if Richaun Holmes cannot play for the Kings.
The Kings have lost five games in a row and are currently out of the play-in games. They are 26th in Defensive Rating (113) and 25th in Net Rating (-4.5). Last game for the Kings, they put up a tough fight and lost to the surprisingly good Cleveland Cavaliers 109-108. Tyrese Haliburton had 21 points and 8 assists, while sharpshooter Buddy Hield chipped in 19 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists off the bench. The Kings are spiraling towards a good lottery pick in the draft. Richaun Holmes (COVID) and Tristan Thompson (quad) are questionable to play. In addition, Damian Jones (COVID) is expected to be out. The Kings center rotation looks thin, so Holmes being able to play would significantly bolster the frontcourt. Holmes is on a bargain contract – roughly $36,000,000 over the next three years – and will be a key piece for the Kings going forward. He has one of the best floaters in the NBA and uses it to score 12.6 PPG in 26.1 MPG. He is averaging a career high 8.7 RPG, while adding 1.3 APG and 1.0 BPG. It would be tough for LeBron to compete with Holmes when the Lakers go small, so the Lakers are hoping Holmes is out for one more game.
Los Angeles Lakers vs Sacramento Kings Betting Odds
The Lakers are 2-1 against the Kings this year, with their most recent game being a 122-114 Lakers victory on January 4th. I would confidently bet the Lakers moneyline in the 4th installment because of their recent rejuvenated play. With Monk’s emergence, the Lakers are firing on all cylinders. The Kings have been sloppy and disconnected, leading to a drop in play. For the spread, I would bet up to Lakers -8.5 if Holmes does not play for the Kings. If he does play, then I would bet up to -6.5 since he is a reliable, steady presence in the frontcourt. Look for the Lakers to build an early lead, and then the Kings to play the Lakers to a draw the rest of the matchup.
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Time: 10:00 PM ET
Arena: Golden 1 Center – Sacramento, CA
Channel: NBA League Pass
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Los Angeles Lakers Starting Lineup
Los Angeles Lakers Analysis
Experimenting with a small-ball lineup, LeBron James has started at center the last five games and guarded big men Larry Nance Jr, Naz Reid, Damian Jones, Clint Capela, and Jaren Jackson Jr. Although LeBron has the strength, size, and quickness to guard centers for stretches, it is not a viable long term strategy. He is 37 years old and will be worn out by the playoffs through the increased physicality his body must endure. After this Kings matchup, LeBron will face off against Nikola Jokic, Rudy Gobert, Domantas Sabonis, and Myles Turner all within the next three games. If the Lakers continue this experiment against those elite centers, I do not see them winning. LeBron is extremely versatile, but there is a limit to his defensive abilities. I doubt even prime LeBron would be effective against an opponent as big and dynamic as Jokic. Although the Lakers are not where they thought they would be in the standings, there is still time to make up ground. The Warriors, Suns, and Jazz are probably uncatchable, but the Lakers can still climb to the 4th seed if the Grizzlies regress. Home court is not out of reach, but it is unlikely.
Sacramento Kings Starting Lineup
Sacramento Kings Analysis
The Kings have a plethora of guards – Fox, Haliburton, Mitchell, Hield – but they lack frontcourt options. Harrison Barnes and Richaun Holmes are solid starters, but they are not dynamic offensive options that can consistently control the game. The Kings are contemplating their future and will likely be sellers at the deadline. With rumors that De’Aaron Fox is on the trading block, the Kings could look to construct a trade for Domantas Sabonis, who is averaging 19.1 PPG, 12.0 RPG, 4.6 APG, 1.0 SPG, 0.4 BPG. Of their two main point guards, Tyrese Haliburton is the better option to build a franchise around. Fox is a better scorer, but Haliburton is the better defender, playmaker, and shooter. In addition to their on court attributes, Haliburton has a much smaller contract and would give the Kings salary cap flexibility. Fox is 24 years old and set to make about $135,000,000 over the next 4 seasons. Haliburton, meanwhile, is 21 years old and has a team option for about $4,200,000 next season and $5,800,000 the following season. Trading Fox for frontcourt help like Sabonis would balance the roster and provide a clearer path forward. Davion Mitchell and Buddy Hield are both starter-caliber players who could ensure the Kings still maintain a strong backcourt.
Los Angeles Lakers vs Sacramento Kings Daily Fantasy Picks
For this matchup, I like De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk. Fox is averaging 27 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 6.3 APG against the Lakers, while Haliburton has been decent with an average of 10.6 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 8.0 APG. The Lakers do not have a great perimeter defense, so look towards Fox to exploit this and record a 20/5/5 game. For the Lakers, Malik Monk will have another fantastic game. He has recorded nine 20-point games this season, and three of those have come against the Kings. Monk will get back on track this game and produce another 20 point performance against a shaky Kings defense.