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Kings vs. Suns Preview: A matter of effort

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The Kings host the Suns tonight. The result will depend on which Kings team shows up.

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

The Sacramento Kings host the Phoenix Suns tonight at Sleep Train Arena.  The Kings enter the game at 2-7, while the Suns enter the game at an unfathomable 5-4.  The Suns were expected to be among the league's worst teams this season.  Despite their hot start, they could still end up there by season's end, but their start has been impressive.

The Kings should match up well with the Suns, particularly in the post.  The Suns don't really have an answer for DeMarcus Cousins, although Miles Plumlee has been much better than expected this season.  The Suns may have an advantage in the back court, as both Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic are capable of lighting up the Kings.

Watching the Suns, the biggest thing that jumps out at you is their effort.  They are the anti-Kings in that regard.  Where Sacramento has struggled to show consistent effort on the court, the Suns are fast and active on both ends of the floor.  They remind me of a cinderella squad in March Madness.  They're fighting above their weight class, but they're too foolhardy to know it.  It's actually pretty fun to watch.

The Kings can win this game, but it'll depend on how the team responds to Coach Malone's message.  Malone benched most of the Kings starters for most of the second half against the Grizzlies on Sunday.  Will the Kings hang their heads?  Or will they come out with a fire lit under them?  That will decide this game.

Prediction: Kings 95, Suns 87

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