The Kings and Warriors hook up for the second time this season on Sunday, this time in Sacramento. The game is scheduled for 3 p.m. Pacific on News10 and 1140 AM. Sean Cunningham of News10 will again host our game thread.
MATCHUP OF THE GAME
Derrick Williams vs. Andre Iguodala or Harrison Barnes
(It's not clear whether Iguodala will return. If not, it's Barnes.)
Williams had a nice debut on Friday, shooting 6-13 for 12 points with six rebounds and four assists. He also seemed to play solid defense on Jared Dudley, who is a long-range threat. The best part was the fast break game. Williams said Michael Malone gave him the green light to initiate the break on defensive rebounds. He did so a few times, resulting in marvelous Ben McLemore transition dunks. That's a brilliant fast break combo: both are athletic, Mac is straight-up fast and both seem to be unselfish.
Defensively, Williams has a much tougher task on Sunday. Iguodala isn't going to roam the perimeter looking for open shots. He's going to have the ball in his hands often, and be an integral part of the Warriors attack. That could keep Williams on his heels. If the opponent is instead Barnes, he's a deadly scorer who can spot up or go off the bounce if you overcommit. He hung 26 on Kevin Durant on Friday.
The Warriors commit turnovers at the second most frequent rate in the NBA. That, a distinct lack of offensive rebounding and a lack of foul-drawing hurt their offense. They are ranked No. 12 in offense, but No. 4 in shooting. Clean up your game, Warriors!
3 THINGS TO LOOK FOR SPECIFICALLY SPEAKING
1. DeMarcus Cousins battling Andrew Bogut. Cousins was locked up pretty tight in the first matchup, though he only played 18 minutes (8 points, 7 rebounds). He's been the lion of the Kings' starting lineup, so chances are he'll get his chances. We'll see how it goes. DeAndre Jordan had nine blocks, a few of them on Boogie, on Friday.
2. Isaiah Thomas. Two straight bad games for I.T. Both losses. Needless to say, on a team with a shallow talent pool, getting more out of I.T. is very necessary. The Warriors bench is a bit thin with Toney Douglas' injury and Stephen Curry is a mediocre man defender, so this could be a good opportunity to get back on track.
3. Patterson vs. Thompson. It seems like whichever power forward comes off of the bench automatically plays better. Patrick Patterson has been outplaying Jason Thompson the past couple of weeks; is it just having some room to breathe? Who knows.
INTRODUCING START FOUR
So there's this pretty simple, intuitive new NBA fantasy-ish game called Start Four. The founder, Bill Onderdonk, set up a Sactown Royalty group for us. The game's all about figuring out which four players will have strong performances in the daily game. Here's the catch: you have a budget and can only pick players who add up to that budget. So picking Cousins-Curry-Klay-Isaiah doesn't work. I'll be playing this month. What we'll do is hold a drawing for a prize among everyone who finishes ahead of me for the month of December. Prize to be determined with Start Four -- a Kings team store gift card, possibly. If no one finishes ahead of me, Sactown Royalty becomes a Reno Bighorns blog. Deal? Deal. Please beat me.
For Sunday's game I picked Curry, Barnes, J.T. and Derrick Williams. Came thisclose to taking Salmons over J.T.
Drop the Warriors.
Drop 'em down to .500.
Let's share misery.
Kings 103, Warriors 102.