As the Kings face the Nets this afternoon (3:00 pm on Comcast SportsNet California, NBA TV and KHTK 1140) it's crazy to think that on this seven game road trip, the Kings will face 7 players who were on the roster at the beginning of the season. This team has been changed so much in so many ways, and yet changed so little in others.
MATCHUP OF THE GAME
Rudy Gay vs. Joe Johnson
Gay and Johnson don't play the same position, but I'll be surprised if they aren't matched up against each other. In a way, they're similar players: Talented scorers who excel in isolation. Both have a reputation for coming through in the clutch, and neither has ever been known as a great defender. Johnson is probably the better passer, but on a team led by Deron Williams he doesn't have to run point very much. Johnson tends to score the same amount in wins or losses, but his efficiency is much different, at 47% in wins and just over 40% in losses.
1. The Nets are a much better team than the one the Kings blew out early in the season. Everyone expected this Nets team to be very good or at least good after they acquired Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Andrei Kirilenko. Now they've added Marcus Thornton to that mix. On Jan. 1st, the Nets were 10-21. Since then, they've gone 20-9. Their defense, once the worst in the league has improved to 19th.
2. A big reason for Brooklyn's improvement has been moving Kevin Garnett to Center and Andrei Kirilenko's health. The Garnett switch was unintentional thanks to Brook Lopez's season-ending injury. Kirilenko has troubled the Kings in the past, but I don't think Garnett's defense is as good as it once was. DeMarcus Cousins will be a load he's not used to seeing. This Brooklyn advantage might not be as big against a big team like the Kings.
3. Our old friend Marcus Thornton hasn't been doing all that much better in Brooklyn than in Sacramento although he's had a couple of big games. The problem with Thornton has never been his ability to get going, but rather his consistency. It's almost all or nothing with him, although I have a feeling we'll see more than nothing today since he's going up against his former team.
Buckets and Jay-Z,
Living it up in Brooklyn,
a shot at a time.
Kings 100, Nets 147 as Marcus Thornton decides to not miss a shot at all.