Marvin Bagley, the second-overall NBA draft pick to the Sacramento Kings, will sit at least one more game tonight, as his Sacramento Kings visit the Washington Wizards (7 p.m. EST, NBC Sports Local). The rookie center has missed the last 4 games, but has resumed basketball activities, reports Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee.
“Bagley has been ruled out for the second stop on Sacramento’s four-game East Coast trip,” Anderson writes, “but he will be listed as day-to-day going forward.”
The 6-foot-11, 234-pounder collapsed after a knee injury late in a 141-140 overtime loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Feb. 27. The next day, the team released a statement stating their rookie center would miss 1 to 2 weeks with a sprain.
Bucks forward Malcolm Brogdon blasted Bagley on a screen, forcing him to writhe on the floor before being helped off the court.
This is the video of the collision:
His recovery time looks to be on the latter end of projections, as he could be available for the trip to Boston on March 14. He missed the 111-109 loss to the Celtics at Golden One Center last Wednesday.
The Injury’s Impact on the Sacramento Kings’ Roster
On the season, the former Duke Blue Devil has appeared in 47 games this season, accumulating averages of 13.9 points (50.9 percent shooting overall), 7.2 rebounds, 1 assists and 1 blocks in just under 25 minutes of play a game.
Bagley had recently put together a very strong month of February. He notched a quartet of 20-point games, including a 32-point outburst on Feb. 10 in a double-digit win over the Phoenix Suns.
As Heavy’s Anthony Koon wrote Wednesday night, Bagley is, “an athletic rebounder with an arsenal of post moves much more mature than your average 19-year-old.
“Bagley has been a dominant force for the Kings since the All-Star break,” he continues. “With a streak of three double-doubles heading into tonight and averages of 24 points and 11.7 rebounds per game during that stretch, Bagley was a driving force in the Kings win over the Thunder and close loss to the Warriors.”
The Kings now sit 4 games back from the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference Playoffs. Head coach Dave Joerger has resorted to a small-ball look, with the only froncourt presence coming from Willie Cauley-Stein.
The former Kentucky Wildcat has averaged 12.7 points per game in Bagley’s absence, including a pair of double-digit outings versus the Celtics and Clippers. He’s seen some support from power forward Harry Giles III, who has chipped in 11 points per contest and some defense over the recent stretch.
NBA Playoff Implications
Once Bagley returns, the Kings can continue pushing for their first playoffs since 2005-06.
According to Playoff Status, Sacramento possesses an 8 percent chance of making the postseason. That splits up into a 6 percent chance at the 8-seed and a 2 percent chance at the 7-seed.
Those chances have plummeted over the last month. According to Scout back on Feb. 6, the playoff chances were at 33 percent. ESPN’s BPI is even less generous, giving the Kings just over 1 percent odds.
Tonight’s game is absolutely critical for Sacramento per Playoff Status. A Wizards upset plummets the postseason chances to just 5 percent, including a paltry 1 percent at the 7-seed. A win boosts the overall chances to 11 percent.
After tonight, the Kings hold the third-easiest remaining schedule out of Western Conference teams according to Playoff Status. That consists of 9 games against teams currently under .500, including 1 each versus the Bulls, Suns, Cavaliers and the tanking Lakers.
They have 5 home games with a 61 percent chance or more of leaving with a win, according to Team Rankings. These games are against Dallas, Cleveland, Phoenix, Chicago and Brooklyn.
Pencil these in at must-wins, and road trips to Houston, San Antonio and Utah as necessary to flip the odds.