As they say, three's the Magic number, and the Kings hope that's the case tonight as they face the Houston Rockets (7:00 pm on Comcast SportsNet California and KHTK 1140) for the final time this season. The Kings have surprisingly won two of the three games against the Rockets so far this season. Their last loss to the Rockets saw injuries to both DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay early in the game that knocked both out for quite a few games.
MATCHUP OF THE GAME
DeMarcus Cousins vs. Dwight Howard
1. The Rockets are one of the hottest teams in the league, having won 9 of their last 10 and 17 of their last 22. Dwight Howard is becoming a force again, James Harden is as good as ever, and the roleplayers aren't bad themselves. The Kings have been stepping up their defense as of late (they're now 24th in defensive rating) but the Rockets are one of the better offensive teams the Kings have played as of late.
2. DeMarcus Cousins seems to step it up a notch when going up against Dwight Howard. In fact, in their 8 matchups to date, the Kings have been 4-4, despite Howard's teams being much better than the Kings during that time. Cousins will have to step it up on the defensive end against Howard though, especially off the ball, since Howard's a master finisher in the Pick & Roll, one of Cousins' biggest defensive weaknesses.
3. The Kings bench hasn't been of much help lately. I would really like to see Derrick Williams have a good game attacking the basket. He can be a great bench player if he sticks to his strengths and doesn't try to do too much.
Two games of our contest down and two more to go. Check out this FanPost for details!
It's like Tom Hanks said:
"Houston, we have a problem"
"His name is Cousins"
Kings 108, Rockets 104 as Dwight Howard gets distracted mid-game by a "Joke-Off" with Kings minority owner Shaquille O'Neal.