4. Sacramento Kings
The Dallas Mavericks saw just how much production on offense the Domantas Sabonis-De’Aaron Fox tandem can generate when they combined for 62 points in the Kings’ 129-113 victory over Dallas a few nights ago. Sabonis is an extremely dynamic offensive big whom the Kings routinely run DHOs and trail action with because of Sabonis’ ability to play-make from different areas inside the arc.
This makes things especially problematic for Dallas when they are facing Sacramento because Sabonis typically draws mismatches through these actions and stretches Dallas’ bigs out to the perimeter. Despite how good Dereck Lively II is, actions like that put him in an extremely precarious position given that he is getting switched onto one of De’Aaron Fox or Malik Monk in those scenarios.
Sacramento isn’t the most stout defensively, but they do have very good-sized defenders on the wing in Harrison Barnes and Keegan Murray. Fox put a ton of pressure on Dallas in their first game against Sacramento and he’s playing at an MVP-caliber level to start the season, so Dallas will have to continue to try and stop the dribble penetration and kick-out ability of Fox if they want to slow down another potential three-point brigade from Murray, Barnes, and Kevin Huerter.
The Kings are currently 8-5, but they’ll be a tough matchup for Dallas as we saw in the first game, and Dallas will have to address their defensive issues if they don’t want to keep getting caught up in shootouts with Sacramento come playoff time.