The Kings face the Bulls at home tonight (7:00 pm on Comcast SportsNet California and KHTK 1140) as they come home for a couple games before heading back out on the road. The Bulls are of course without injured superstar Derrick Rose, but are still managing to stay in the playoff race thanks to being in the Eastern Conference and a commitment to playing defense.
MATCHUP OF THE GAME
DeMarcus Cousins (if he's playing) vs. Joakim Noah
I honestly don't know if Cousins is playing, but it seems like he's been closer to coming back during the last two games as he's participated in practices and also warmed up before the games. If he does choose to come back this game, he'll face a tough test in going up against Joakim Noah, one of the better defensive bigs in the game. Noah's also not a slouch on the other end of the court either, where he's been phenomenal passing the ball (21.5% assist rate) and is a great offensive rebounder.
1. Much like the Memphis Grizzlies, the Bulls like to play really slow so as to take advantage of their excellent halfcourt defense. As such, it would benefit the Kings to get out in transition, as long as they're not giving up transition points themselves. I thought the Kings defense did very well in spurts against the San Antonio Spurs, and we'll need that same type of effort tonight.
2. Sacramento's offensive execution without DeMarcus Cousins has not been great. Isaiah Thomas had probably his least efficient stretch of basketball with both Cousins and Gay out, and even with Gay back, Thomas has at times tried to do too much and taken too long to get the team in its offense. Hopefully with Cousins back we'll see the offense settle down a bit.
3. Jimmer will likely be back healthy for this game, but I wonder if we'll get a chance to see Ray McCallum play again; I feel as if he earned a shot at the backup PG spot with his play against the Spurs on Saturday. McCallum scored 5 points in 10 minutes and played solid defense. One thing he didn't do though was set up his teammates, a primary job at the position.
Oh please, oh please Cuz,
we need you for this game man.
End the losing streak.
Kings 143, Bulls 91 as DeMarcus Cousins and Aaron Gray form a new strategy in which Cousins rides upon Gray's shoulders and drops the ball into the hoop.