It's a new day for the Sacramento Kings. After years of struggles, the team has won four straight and they sit at 5-3 on the season. They are brimming with confidence and looking to throw away old records.
The Kings' win over the Heat marked the first time in team history that they've won back-to-back years in Miami. When they knocked off the Orlando Magic the next night at the Amway center, it was the first time the team had swept an away series in Florida in consecutive years.
Coach Dave Joerger and his young group will look to set a new precedent Thursday when they walk into Phillips Arena to face the Hawks. The Kings have lost 11 straight games on the road in Atlanta dating back to March of 2006 and they are just 5-25 in the ATL since moving to Sacramento in 1985.
Pregame show on NBC Sports Bay California begins at 4:00 p.m., with tip-off scheduled for 4:30 pm.
The Kings finish off their four-game road trip in Milwaukee on Sunday before returning home to take on the Toronto Raptors on Nov. 7. Following the Bucks game, the Kings will have completed a brutal stretch of seven out of 10 on the road to start the season.
Line: Kings by 2
Projected Starting Lineup
PG De'Aaron Fox
SG Buddy Hield
SF Iman Shumpert
PF Nemanja Bjelica
C Willie Cauley-Stein
PG Trae Young
SG Kent Bazemore
SF Taurean Prince
PF Vince Carter
C Alex Len
PG De'Aaron Fox (lower back) PROBABLE, SG Bogdan Bogdanovic (left knee) OUT, SF Troy Williams (ankle) OUT.
PF John Collins (ankle) OUT, F Justin Anderson (leg) OUT, F Alex Poythress (knee) OUT.
Winning cures all. Well, not really. With the team off to a good start, Joerger has tightened his rotation as of late. Eight players are seeing substantial court time with veteran Kosta Koufos stealing six or seven minutes per half as a ninth.
With Iman Shumpert resting in Orlando, two-way player, Troy Williams filled in and made a huge impact at the wing. The 23-year-old forward played with energy on both ends of the floor in the win, finishing with 12 points and five rebounds in nearly 34 minutes of action.
Unfortunately, Williams will miss the game in Atlanta with a sore right ankle. Rookie Harry Giles has sat out the last two games as a healthy scratch. Zach Randolph is out of the rotation and has yet to play this season.
Atlanta is in rebuild mode. New head coach Lloyd Pierce is playing 11 players 14 minutes or more on the season, led by high scoring rookie guard, Trae Young. He has a pair of versatile wings in Bazemore and Prince, but his depth on the frontline is in question.
Vince Carter, 41, starts at the four and plays nearly 22 minutes a game after spending last season in a Kings uniform. Alex Len is starting at the center position for Atlanta in his first season with the team.