Preview: Kings at Magic

THE OPPONENT

Why do the Kings have so much trouble with the Magic?

Unit

Rim Freq.

Rank

Rim Eff.

Rank

3P Freq.

Rank

3P Eff.

Rank

ORL Offense

30%

23

.620

7

36.3%

1

.544

6

SAC Defense

33.6%

22

.639

27

19.4%

3

.536

19

"Rim" constitutes shots taking from a distance of five feet or less. "Frequency" is percentage of all FGAs taken from a specific distance. "Efficiency" is effective field goal percentage, which is ([3PM x 0.5 + FGM]/FGA).

The Magic take a ton of threes. The Kings do well to prevent threes (likely because the book on the Kings is to attack the paint), but give up a higher percent than league average. The Magic shot really well from deep. PROBLEM!

Also, while the Magic surprisingly don't get a ton of shots off at the rim (thanks in part to both HACK-A-DWIGHT and IGNORE-A-DWIGHT), they convert them well. The Kings don't deny the post, and don't defend the post. PROBLEM!

Within five feet and from behind the arc are basketball's most efficient field goal attempts. PROBLEM PROBLEM PROBLEM!

Also, the Magic are quite good, and the Kings are not quite good, or even somewhat good. "Occasionally decent" might be the right verbiage.

(Data from HoopData.com, of course.)

LAST TIME

The Kings held a lead entering the fourth quarter in Sacramento just 10 days ago. Then I, as well as all 14 members of the Kings roster, blacked out. (You can't blame Hilton Armstrong for that one, you vultures!)

KEY BATTLE

Tyreke Evans vs. Jameer Nelson. Evans has a nasty habit of acting like a defensive driver when a screen is coming on defense. He needs to get some road rage in them bones. Fight through the screen, fight around the screen ... fight. Get out on the shooter, unless you're switching. Nelson can shoot, and isn't a stellar penetrator, so Evans should be staying up on him.

On the other end, Howard obviously showed he could react to Evans' length in the paint, so it will be key for Evans to find the Kings big men Howard is leaving at the rim, and for those big men to finish quickly. Flip it up off the glass, take it up with no dribble ... just don't let Howard (or Rashard Lewis/Matt Barnes/Mickael Pietrus) react in time.

BOLD PROCLAMATION

Kevin Martin will outscore Anthony Johnson. Anthony Johnson will outscore Sean May.

BOLD BROCKLAMATION

Brandon Bass will never be the same again.

DETAILS

Another 4 PM start! Good grief. One Game Thread for the Friday evening affair (4 PM), followed with a post-gamer at 6:45.

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