SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Jacque Vaughn has identified protecting the paint as the top priority on defense when his Orlando Magic face the Sacramento Kings tonight.
And for good reason.
The Kings rank fourth in the NBA in points in the paint, averaging 46.1 per game.
Center DeMarcus Cousins and power forward Jason Thompson, both 6 feet 11, should present some challenges for Magic center Nik Vucevic and power forward Glen Davis, as well as Gustavo Ayón, Andrew Nicholson and Josh McRoberts off the bench.
“We’re just going to match their intensity, try to play as hard as possible, stay within ourselves and be as disciplined as we can tonight and not play into their game,” Davis said after the Magic completed their shootaround at Sleep Train Arena.
“I think one of the most important things is rebounding the ball as much as we can and play one-on-one post defense as best we can, get the loose balls in the paint and defensively help each other.”
A victory tonight would guarantee the Magic a winning record on their West Coast road trip. After wins against the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors, they fell to the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night.
Josh Robbins covers the Orlando Magic and the NBA for the Orlando Sentinel. You can reach him via e-mail at email@example.com and connect with him on Facebook at facebook.com/JoshuaBRobbins. Follow him on Twitter at @JoshuaBRobbins.