The road's been unkind.
No, wait -- it's been a real jerk.
Satan, more or less.
The Kings suffered another beatdown on the road Tuesday, foreshadowing a cruel stretch of calendar in which the team has seven more games on the road out of the next eight. This would be a brutal string for a team that wasn't losing by an average of 23 points per game on the road. For a team that is losing by an average of 23 points per game on the road? It's almost torture.
Thankfully, the Raptors are not good.
Dwane Casey has the team buying in on defense to a degree (No. 19 in the NBA, up from No. 30), and Andrea Bargnani is playing fantastic ball. But this squad is rather bad. They lost to the Wizards on Tuesday, and Gandalf nor Merlin even played! Toronto also lost to the Nets by 12 on Friday. Good teams ain't losing to the Nets and Wizards in the same week. Two of T-Dot's four wins have come over the Cavs. There was also one over the Amare-less Knicks and the Wolves. This is not a good team.
As such, it presents the Kings' best opportunity to earn a win -- just one -- during this stretch. At the very least, it presents the Kings' best opportunity to not lose by 20. It's unclear whether Marcus Thornton will be ready to go; if not, Jimmer Fredette is going to have his hands full with the crafty, productive Jose Calderon. Whoever guards Bargnani -- I'd guess J.J. Hickson, who at least has the quickness and length to jump out, but isn't exactly fundamentally sound -- will be in for an exhausting night. But I'm not sure exactly how Toronto can hold on DeMarcus Cousins on the offensive glass -- Bargs is an atrocious rebounder, and Amir Johnson is but one man -- and Tyreke Evans has an opportunity to slice a lot here. If the Kings play exactly the way they did in the first half against Philly, they should be in a position to win down the stretch. (Whether they get it or not, who knows?)
Game threads at 4 and 5:30. Let's go Kings!