STOP THE BLEEDING
The Kings have now lost five straight with good opponents continuing to roll in. The Brooklyn Nets haven't lived up to their on-paper hype but they're still a team that features five All-Stars in the starting lineup and one on the bench. Coach Michael Malone has said he is going to change the lineup and rotation for this game, after several lackluster efforts by the previous group. While no hints have been given as to who is being replaced, three guys stand out as struggling: Patrick Patterson, Marcus Thornton, and John Salmons. I'm guessing that Ben McLemore is replacing Thornton in the lineup and Mbah a Moute is replacing Salmons. I'm not so sure about Thompson replacing Patterson in the lineup just yet but I wouldn't be surprised either.
The Nets came into the season with a lot of hype. They acquired Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry from Boston, and then they signed Andrei Kirilenko. In a very surprising move they also hired Jason Kidd as their head coach about a week after he officially retired from the NBA. So far the Nets have been severely underwhelming. They beat the Heat, which is good, but their only other win comes against the winless Utah Jazz. Losses to Cleveland, Washington and Orlando are not in line with Brooklyn's expectations. They'll be coming to prove a point just as much as Sacramento will be so the Kings need to be ready to play.
MATCHUP OF THE GAME
DeMarcus Cousins vs. Brook Lopez
For all the flashy names on the Nets roster, Brook Lopez might be their actual best player. Lopez is one of the most talented offensive centers in the league, and is averaging 20.2 points on an exceedingly efficient 58.8% from the field. DeMarcus Cousins got abused by the last offensively gifted center he faced (Al Horford) so he'll need to do a much better job against the taller, younger Lopez. Offensively, Lopez probably isn't as good a defender as someone like Horford but he's got length and good instincts. The Kings need Cousins to win this matchup or at least keep it close to have a fair chance at taking this game. Lopez is not a good rebounder, so this is an area where Cousins can excel.
From Brooklyn they came
D-Will, KG and the Truth
In Sactown they'll fall!
Brooklyn 95, Sacramento 90 (Yeah I don't believe my Haiku either)