The Denver Nuggets are coming off a big win against the Phoenix Suns but immediately hopped on a plane after winning last night and headed to northern California for a game tonight against the Sacramento Kings. The show rolls on. The Kings were the surprise story of last season. After not making the playoffs for nearly two decades, Sacramento finally broke through last season as a three seed in the West. They are led by their guard and big man duo of DeAaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis. The Kings are once again off to a good start this season, albeit with some ups and downs.

The Essentials

Who: Denver Nuggets (14-6) at Sacramento Kings (10-7)

When: 8PM MST

Where: Predatory lending under the guise of community Center. Sacramento, CA.

How to watch/listen: Denver Stiffs does not condone piracy….unless it’s the romanticized 18th century type. Altitude TV where available (Altitude TV is available on DirecTV, DirecTV Stream & Fubo TV). NBA League pass for those not in the Nuggets market. Altitude Radio 92.5FM. Show up with a laugh track of a little girl, play it, and claim to be the medium for May Woosley who actually became a huge Kings fan in the afterlife.

Rival blog: The Kings Herald

The Matchup

Position Nuggets Kings Advantage
PG Reggie Jackson DeAaron Fox Kings
SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Chris Duarte Nuggets
SF Justin Holiday Kevin Huerter Even
PF Michael Porter Jr. Harrison Barnes Nuggets
C Nikola Jokic Domantas Sabonis Nuggets
Bench Christian Braun, Julian Strawther, Peyton Watson, DeAndre Jordan Damion Mitchell, Malik Monk, Javale McGee, Sasha Vezenkov, Trey Lyles Even

Injury Report*: Jamal Murray – questionable (ankle), Aaron Gordon – questionable (heel), Vlatko Cancar – out (knee), Jay Huff – out (G-League), Jalen Pickett – out (G-League), Braxton Key – out (G-League); Keegan Murray – questionable (butt), Alex Len – out (ankle). *The Denver Nuggets official injury report was not submitted at time of writing.

The Three Things

Key matchup: Nikola Jokic vs Domantas Sabonis

Feb 26, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) and Sacramento Kings forward Domantas Sabonis (10) battle for a rebound in the fourth quarter at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

No doubt the premium matchup tonight is between the bigs (though if Jamal plays his matchup with Fox is quite juicy as well). Jokic is coming off a night where he didn’t score a ton but racked up the assists. That might be the play again if Jamal and Aaron Gordon are out as teams will look to either double team him or play a zone, two things Joker picks apart with his passing not his shooting. Sabonis provides a worthy matchup as a big with a great combination of skill and strength. The best way to combat Jokic is to get him in foul trouble so don’t be surprised to see Doma go after Joker early in the post to try and get him some fouls.

The thing to remember: Both team could be finding some health

Murray and Gordon were both listed as questionable last night, didn’t play and still came on this quick two game road trip. If you read between the lines it seems like both would have a good chance of playing tonight given those facts. Nuggets fans were teased with a little over twenty minutes of Murray this week but he tweaked his ankle in his first game back from a hamstring injury and sat out last night. I think he’s the less likely of the two Nuggets starters to play but we’ll see. The Kings meanwhile will have Trey Lyles back but more importantly could get the return of Keegan Murray tonight. The dynamic sophomore has missed the past four games with an SI joint injury but is listed as questionable on the injury report.

The thing to bet: DeAaron Fox under 28.5 points (-120)

Not a ton of lines out at the time of writing given the back to back so we’ll go with Fox hitting the under on his points at -120 (not great). He’s likely to draw Kentavious Caldwell-Pope as his matchup so a decent chance of him not getting his point total. That being said, in general road B2Bs are games I stay away from, way too much variance.