March 1, 2012; Sacramento, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul (3) drives past Sacramento Kings guard Isaiah Thomas (22) in the first quarter at the Power Balance Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-US PRESSWIRE
The Kings comeback effort fell short against the Suns on Tuesday, as Sacramento couldn't overcome the dominance of Steve Nash. Tonight the Kings host another elite point guard in Chris Paul as the Clippers come to town. The Kings actually will face the Clippers both tonight and again in Los Angeles on Saturday. Enormous consequences, people.
For the Clippers this is the second game of a back to back, fresh off last night's nationally televised loss to the Lakers. The Clippers are all but a lock for the playoffs, currently sitting fourth in the West. Last night's loss also marks L.A.'s first loss in their last seven games. At this point it would take a historic collapse down the stretch to miss the playoffs. The Kings lost their only other meeting with the Clippers this season, and will once again be considered the underdogs.
The Kings are expected to once again be without leading scorer Marcus Thornton, who injured his calf Monday against Minnesota. The Kings are 1-7 this season in games without Thornton. To buck that trend the Kings will need big games from Isaiah Thomas and particularly Tyreke Evans. Wednesday's loss to Phoenix showed that even if DeMarcus Cousins has a monster game (which is becoming the standard rather than the exception), the Kings need their guards to step up in order for the Kings to win.
I'll once again be watching DeMarcus Cousins, and seeing if Coach Smart matches him up defensively against Blake Griffin. Griffin and Cousins are both double-double machines. Cousins is one of the best players in the league at drawing charges on opposing players. Hopefully he can use this skill to limit Griffin's effectiveness, even if it does result on a few Griffin highlights.
The game's at 7. Game threads are set for 7 and 8:30. Let's go Kings!