March 1, 2012; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (15) reacts after dunking the ball against the Los Angeles Clippers in the third quarter at the Power Balance Pavilion. The Clippers defeated the Kings, 108-100. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-US PRESSWIRE
When the Lakers and Kings last met, Sacramento used insane crowd support and incredible swagger to take out the visiting rivals. The setting has changed, as the Kings visit Staples this time around. The Kings have been bad on the road, the Lakers have been great at home, and this looks a lot like trouble.
But stranger things have happened, and Isaiah Thomas has the opportunity to mix this up in a bad way.
The Lakers struggle at the point, with Derek Fisher and Steve Blake making Mike Bibby and Jason Hart circa 2007 look like CP3 and Billups circa January. Isaiah will be the quickest player on the court (as is the case most nights), and Fisher is going to be relying on his backstops of Zeke frees up on the pick and roll. Andrew Bynum can block shots (and deliver body blows), but Isaiah has shown an ability to avoid confrontation at the rim and make good plays.
The other factor at the rim, of course, is DeMarcus Cousins, who had his eighth 20-10 game of the season against the Clippers on Thursday. Cousins remains No. 2 in total rebound rate, based on being No. 2 on offense and No. 5 on defense. He's also still top-10 in usage rate ... man takes a lot of shots.
How Cousins handles Bynum (who didn't play in that first game) should play a major factor in the game.
Game's at 7:30. Game threads will pop at 7:30 and 9. Let's go Kings!