Head coach Alvin Gentry believes the key defensively will be to slow down De’Aaron Fox, Sacramento’s dynamic young point guard who is averaging 26.7 points and 6.0 assists through three games in the bubble.
“I think they’ve played a lot of games without De’Aaron Fox, so they’re a different team with him on the floor,” Gentry said in pregame. “Obviously, he’s a one-man fast break. He does a lot of attacking in transition in the open floor. They have some wing players that can get out and space the floor, with Buddy (Hield) and guys like that, that can shoot three-pointers, so your transition defense has to be really good.”
The responsible of slowing down Fox will likely fall on the shoulders of Lonzo Ball and probably Jrue Holiday at times too so they’ll have to place a priority of staying in front of him at all times.
“I think his dribble penetration [is what we need to limit],” Gentry said. “We have to keep him out of the paint. He’s very good at getting the ball to the paint and creating shots for himself. Also, he’s a very good kick-out guy as far as getting to the paint and creating three-point shots for (Nemanja) Bjelica, [or] for Buddy Hield. They just have a bunch of guys that can line up and make three-point shots, so we have to be careful about over-helping [on defense], but we have to do a good job as far as keeping him out of the paint.”
Slow down Fox. Get big games from Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram again. Yes please.
For more on today’s matchup against the Kings, please give Preston’s preview a read.
Who: Sacramento Kings vs New Orleans Pelicans
When: August 6, 12:30 p.m. Central
Where to watch: NBATV, FSNO
Where to listen: ESPN 100.3 FM