After a buzzing victory for Harrison Barnes in the Valley of the Sun, the Sacramento Kings will look to improve to 3-2 in the young season on Friday night against the New Orleans Pelicans.
Sacramento will continue to rely on Barnes for coherent offensive, although tonight looks as good as any for De’Aaron Fox to get into the rhythm after his subjectively slow start. In three games against the Pelicans last season, Fox was oblivious on the field, averaging 41 points on his All-Star-worthy run in the winter of 2021. A familiar feeling of dominance on the field of Pel might be just what the point guard needs to get back to this style of play.
The Pelicans are without their powerhouse Zion Williamson, who is still recovering from what started as an undisclosed foot surgery in late summer. Sacramento will see players like All-Star Brandon Ingram, Devonte ‘Graham and a big game in the middle with Jonas Valančiūnas. New Orleans struggled to organize during the young season, recording a 1-3 record behind a heartbreaking loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night.
The two teams are in a similar position entering Game 5 of the NBA season: young teams with immense talent who are late to take the leap. New Orleans and Sacramento finished with the same record last year (31-41) and missed a fraction of the play-in tournament. With new coach Willie Green, this will be Sacramento’s first chance to see the Pelicans also looking to form their own brand of winning basketball.
How to watch / listen: NBC Sports California, Sports 1140 KHTK
Opposite perspective: The bird writes
SAC injuries: N / A
GSW injuries: Zion Williamson (foot)