April 18, 2012; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings point guard Isaiah Thomas (22) shoes read "IT FACTOR" during the third quarter against the San Antonio Spurs at Power Balance Pavilion. The San Antonio Spurs defeated the Sacramento Kings 127-102. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE
The Sacramento Kings beat the Oklahoma City Thunder at home earlier this season, overcoming monster performances from Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka to seal a comeback in front one of the more raucous crowds of the past decade. The Kings weren't so successful last week in OKC; most would expect a performance tonight at Power Balance Pavilion more similar to that given that the Thunder are so good and the Kings so bad.
OKC does still have stuff to play for: both the No. 1 seed in the West and in the NBA remain up for grabs. Including tonight, the Thunder have two games left against Sacramento in the final week -- they have to consider those high-probability games. The Kings are just looking for pride at this point, as the free agents to be (Jason Thompson, Donte Greene and Terrence Williams) have made their cases (or not).
There are some other storylines surrounding the game. Namely, Oscar Robertson will be present, which is a huge deal for the franchise -- he really is the pre-Sacramento franchise. He'll also be awarding Isaiah Thomas with the 10th annual Triple-Double Award for production, sportsmanship and commitment to community. It couldn't go to a better guy.
I hope fans in attendance feel the appreciation; section214 has noted how the fortunes of the fans at these events have faded along with the Maloofs' bank account. I certainly know our knowledgeable fan base will shower The Big O with love, and Kevin Johnson should get a pop. Hell, KJ should get a chant. Nothing would make the Maloofs squirm in their seats more than that. (Hell, maybe The Big O himself, no fan of NBA ownership over the years, can lead the way.)
Game's at 7 (assuming this nightmare manhunt in West Sacramento doesn't render the area unnavigable all day). Game threads at 7 and 8:30. Let's go Sacramento!