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Kings vs. Warriors Preview: Battle of I-80

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Warriors are currently the best team in basketball which is not something I thought I'd ever be saying.  Sacramento faces a tough test today in one of the toughest environments.  Hopefully they're up for the challenge. Today's action tips off at 7:30 pm on Comcast SportsNet California and on KHTK 1140.


1. Golden State is currently the best defensive team in basketball.  If you had told me a few years ago that that would be the case for a team led by Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, I would have called you crazy, but there it is.  Their offense isn't too shabby either at 9th in Offensive Rating.  The Warriors gave the Kings one of their worst defeats of the season in the home opener, holding Sacramento to a season low 77 points on just 30.8% from the field.  The Kings will have a difficult time cracking open this defense even playing perfectly, let alone committing unforced turnovers or settling for bad shots.

2. The biggest difference between tonight's game and the home opener is that Golden State will be without Andrew Bogut.  Bogut is one of the few players in the NBA who can handle DeMarcus Cousins one on one.  Without him, the Kings have a decided advantage in the middle, as Cousins will be up against the likes of Festus Ezeli and Marreese Speights.  Cousins will likely see double and triple teams, and it will be up to him and his teammates to take advantage of the opportunities this creates.

3. It's hard to pinpoint a weakness in this Warriors team.  They're among the league leaders in several categories.  One thing Golden State doesn't do well is get to the line, at just 28th in the league in Free throws made and attempted.  Sacramento on the other hand is first in both those categories.  The Kings need to have a healthy Free Throw advantage to make up for the probable disparity of three pointers that Golden State will have on them.


Stephen Curry vs. Darren Collison

The Warriors are a very deep team, but Stephen Curry is still the head of the snake.  He's averaging 23.9 points, 7.6 assists, 2.0 steals with a ridiculously efficient .620 True Shooting Percentage.  Collison has given Curry trouble in the past, and for the Kings to have a chance, he'll have to do so again by attacking him relentlessly on both ends.


The Golden State Warriors are for real,
a win against them would be a steal.
It won't be easy,
not with Boogie still wheezy,
but a win before Christmas would be just ideal.


Kings 198, Warriors 0 as Golden State mistakenly thinks this is a road game and heads to Sacramento only to find the doors to Sleep Train arena locked.