STARTING LINEUPS & INJURIES
The entire Kings roster seems to be healthy. Paul Westphal teased a change in the lineup; we'll see. The only starting spots I'd deem safe are those belonging to Tyreke Evans and Beno Udrih.
The Suns start Steve Nash, Jason Richardson, Grant Hill, Hedo Turkoglu and Robin Lopez. Hakim Warrick, Channing Frye, Goran Dragic and Josh Childress are the major factors off the bench. Everyone is healthy.
Make sure to check out HighTops' full scouting report.
One of the items HT pointed out was Phoenix's extremely porous interior. Only Washington gives up a higher percentage at the rim.
DeMarcus Cousins is 12 of 14 -- 86% -- at the rim this season. Two players who have taken at least 10 shots at the rim this season and play 20 minutes a game or more -- Dunkin' Eric Gordon and Emeka Okafor -- are shooting better than 86% at the rim. Certainly, Cousins ought to be taking more of his shots at the rim. And you could argue he should be getting plenty of playing time in order to do so.
I also sincerely doubt Phoenix can do what Minnesota did to deter Tyreke Evans from attacking. If they do, it is imperative the other Kings aggressively exploit mismatches.
MATCHUP OF THE GAME
Omri Casspi vs. Grant Hill ... assuming Casspi starts. Casspi's offense is a huge dimension for this team, the difference between a mediocre attack and a strong one. Hitting those long-range jumpers and attacking in transition remains vital to opening things up for Evans and the post players. Given his defensive struggles to date, that offense needs to click to justify the bulk of minutes at the position. Hill's a tough dude and smart as a whip. Let's hope Casspi's athleticism, energy and aggressiveness can overcome that.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Cousins, as (almost) always. He hasn't overcome that terribly 3-13 shooting night in an otherwise energetic effort against the Lakers. If he fouls out on charges, that's fine with me. Just be aggressive, and get shots in the paint, where he can dominate.
Sliding at ARCO,
Kings look for life on the road.
Sounds backward to me.
This will be a 6 PM start, because Arizona are fascists who don't believe in Daylight Savings and do everything in their power to confuse me and everyone. Six o'clock. Game threads then and at 7:30. I ASSURE YOU there will be game threads at 6 and 7:30, and I apologize for failing to activate them for Wednesday's game. Comcast SportsNet and KHTK 1140 AM will have the game.