The Kings lost the first game of their road trip and look to bounce back tonight against the Washington Wizards (3:00 pm on Comcast SportsNet California and KHTK 1140). The Kings were without Rudy Gay and Marcus Thornton in their first game of the trip, and could be without both again. The Wizards are a tougher opponent this year than most as they seek to make their first real playoff push in years.
MATCHUP OF THE GAME
Isaiah Thomas vs. John Wall
John Wall has become a bonafide star as he's helped lead this Wizards team to a near .500 record and will probably push them to the playoffs this year. With him on the court, the Wizards are an obscene +15.1 points per 100 possessions. That's more than double the impact of any one player on the Kings (Isaiah and Rudy are tied at +7.5). Wall is an extremely tough matchup for Isaiah, as he's taller & more athletic. Isaiah will need help from his teammates to prevent Wall from getting to the rim at will.
1. As we talked about extensively after last game, the Kings need their supporting cast to show up. DeMarcus Cousins and Isaiah Thomas can't do it alone, especially if Rudy Gay is absent once more. The Wizards are better than the Celtics, so if it's a repeat of Friday's effort, this game will be over by halftime.
2. The Wizards actually have some quality big man depth, even when you look past their veteran frontline of Marcin Gortat and Nene. Kevin Seraphin is a solid player in his own right. DeMarcus has experience against Gortat, as well as the two having beef (is it beef week in Sacramento?). I still expect Cousins to do well, but he'll have to work for it, and he won't be able to take plays off on the other end either.
3. In just his second year, Bradley Beal is proving to be a stud. He's averaging 16.6 points while shooting above 41% from downtown. He's also a decent passer in his own right. Together, Beal and Wall make one of the more formidable backcourts in the NBA, and given their youth, they'll be that way for a long time.
John Wall and Boogie,
formerly they were teammates.
Now they must battle.
Kings 105, Wizards 95 as President Obama arrives to the game to meet his favorite former Bull, Aaron Gray. Gray is so inspired he has a whole double-double and everything.