The Sacramento Kings’ surprising resurgent season continued in their first-round series against the Golden State Warriors by winning Game 1 and Game 2. The Kings earned the third seed in a highly competitive Western Conference but were still the underdogs against the underachieving Warriors.
Despite that, the Kings’ historic offense could be too much for the defending champion Warriors. Led by All-Stars De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis, they have managed to torch teams, but it has yet to be fully tested out in the playoffs. There are also some big defensive concerns that they must address if they hope to knock off Golden State. That being said, who will start Game 3 for the Kings?
Projected Kings starting lineup vs Warriors Game 3:
- De’Aaron Fox
- Kevin Huerter
- Harrison Barnes
- Keegan Murray
- Domantas Sabonis
The Kings’ starting lineup has largely remained intact for most of the season. In fact, all five of the team’s starters have started at least 75 games this season. That type of continuity could help offset the collective youth of the starting five. Small forward Barnes is the oldest of the group and does have championship experience, while Fox and Murray have no playoff experience whatsoever.
That may not ultimately matter with a balanced offensive attack and homecourt advantage against the Warriors, who struggled mightily on the road this season. Still, they will need to rely on their stars to show up against Golden State, particularly Sabonis, who will spend time being guarded by two of the Warriors’ better defenders.
Projected Warriors starting lineup vs Kings Game 3:
- Steph Curry
- Klay Thompson
- Andrew Wiggins
- Jonathan Kuminga
- Kevon Looney
The Warriors’ rotation was finally intact in time to play the Kings in the first round of the West playoffs. Unfortunately, Draymond Green got himself suspended for Game 3, forcing the Warriors to shuffle their starting lineup.
They have a few options, including going small and adding Jordan Poole to the starting lineup, in hopes of jumpstarting their offense. Or, they could go with second-year forward Jonathan Kuminga. Kuminga has made big strides on the defensive end this season and could approximate some of what Green brings to the table.
All in all, despite the underseed Warriors being the favorites in the series, the Kings have been the better team all season. Additionally, they match up well against the Warriors when comparing starting lineups.