Sacramento rebounded from a tough opening night to beat the Portland Trail Blazers for their first victory of the season. Now the Kings head to the road for an early afternoon matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers. There's no love lost between these two teams, and it's sure to be a hard fought game. Tonight's action tips off at 12:30 pm tonight on Comcast SportsNet California and on KHTK 1140.
3 THINGS TO LOOK FOR
1. DeMarcus Cousins has had a rough start to the season offensively. He's shooting just 33.3% from the field over his first couple games, and it's a big reason Sacramento's offense has struggled. The Kings need their big man to be at his best. Cousins always gets hyped up against the Clippers, so hopefully he gets back on track.
2. Blake Griffin is always a force to be reckoned with, and he's added a new weapon to his game this summer in a reliable mid-range jumper. Jason Thompson and the other Kings big men will need to respect that jumper, as well as Griffin's passing and driving ability. This is not someone who only dunks anymore.
3. Sacramento's offense has noticeable stalled when the bench unit has come in. Nik Stauskas hasn't yet found his shooting rhythm but that's easily attributable to being a rookie. Ramon Sessions on the other hand, should be playing much better as a veteran. The Clippers bench is pretty deep, so the Kings can't afford another non-showing from their own.
MATCHUP OF THE GAME
Darren Collison vs. Chris Paul
It's a classic case of Master meets Apprentice. Collison has spent two seasons in the NBA studying behind the NBA's preeminent Point Guard including last year in Los Angeles. Now it will be up to him to keep Paul under control, not an easy task. Collison has been very good for Sacramento in his first two games, running the offense well and also playing good defense against two very tough Point Guards in Stephen Curry and Damian Lillard, and Paul's tougher than either since his passing is even more dangerous than his scoring. Defending Paul isn't a one-man job; It will be up to Collison's teammates to cut off some of his passing lanes and take away as many of his weapons as possible. I don't expect that Paul will be completely stopped, but to at least slow him down might be enough.
Hickory dickory dock,
there's four seconds on the clock.
Paul falls down,
acts like a clown,
and the ref blows his whistle in shock.
Kings 104, Clippers 102 after DeMarcus Cousins blocks Spencer Hawes' game winning shot attempt so hard that it goes into the other basket for the win.