Kings vs. Suns Preview: The ending of a new beginning

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Kings' season ends tonight, but for a nice change of pace, we know there's going to be a next season. And at least 35 more after that.

The 2013-14 season is coming to an end for the Sacramento Kings tonight as they take on the Phoenix Suns (7:30 pm on Comcast SportsNet California and KHTK 1140) in the last game of what has been a season of renewal.  The Kings will be without DeMarcus Cousins however, but to make up for his absence on Fan Appreciation night, the Kings are bringing in Mitch Richmond and Oscar Robertson for the festivities!

MATCHUP OF THE GAME

Isaiah Thomas vs. Goran Dragic Eric Bledsoe

Dragic has been the heart and soul of a Phoenix Suns team that inexplicably almost made it to the playoffs after most prognosticators thought they'd be in contention for one of the top picks in the NBA draft.  Dragic has had a huge year, scoring over 20 points a game and shooting over 50% from the field and 40% from three.  Isaiah Thomas has also had a big year, although without as much team success as Dragic.  These two have had some good games against each other this season, and we'll see who outduels who tonight. UPDATE: Apparently Dragic is out, thus continuing a season-long trend of players that I include in the matchup of the game not playing in said game.

3 THINGS

1. It's criminal that the Phoenix Suns will have to sit out of the playoffs with 47 wins (possibly 48 if they beat us tonight), which is the same record as the 3rd seeded Toronto Raptors in the East (a much easier conference in which to get wins).  The idea of conferences in today's modern day and age is a bit arcane, what with instant communication and private charter jets that can zip to cities across the country within hours.

2. With a Kings win tonight and a very likely loss by Detroit to Oklahoma City, the Kings could end up being tied for 8th in the lottery rather than in sole possession of 7th.  That would not be ideal, and yet I still refuse to root for the Kings to lose.

3. Disregarding trades, this might be the last night in a Kings uniform for some players.  Isaiah Thomas is set to be a restricted free agent, Rudy Gay can opt out of his contract, Quincy Acy's final year is unguaranteed and Aaron Gray is an unrestricted free agent.

PRE-GAME HAIKU

Thank you everyone,
yes, even ElRonToro:
he who hates Haikus.

PREDICTION

Kings 101, Suns 110 as both teams play incredibly hard despite having nothing to play for.  However without DeMarcus Cousins available, the Suns are able to prevail.

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