Sacramento hasn't won back to back games since November and tonight's opponent won't go down without a fight. Dallas enters tonight's game with a record of 26-12 and one of the best offenses in the entire NBA. Today's action tips off at 7:00 pm on Comcast SportsNet California and on KHTK 1140.
3 THINGS TO LOOK FOR
1. The Kings and Mavericks have played just one game this year so far, and it saw Sacramento losing a 24 point lead in Dallas and losing by 8. The Mavericks are an incredibly dangerous team, particularly offensively where they have the second best offense in the league next to the Toronto Raptors. They take and make a lot of three pointers, with 9 players currently shooting 34% or better from three this season. This would not be a good night for Sacramento's defense to take off.
2. Dirk Nowitzki is on an uncharacteristic cold streak. In December he shot just 43.5% from the field and 27.8% from three and so far in January he hasn't been much better at 44.7% and 33.3% respectively. Still, this is one of the greatest shooters and scorers of all time, so the Kings shouldn't be expecting him to continue to struggle.
3. Defensively, the Mavericks have some good pieces, and the addition of Rajon Rondo in particular was a big upgrade over Jameer Nelson. With Chandler and Rondo the Mavericks have two very good defenders patrolling the perimeter and the paint, so while their team defensive rating isn't very high (just 20th per basketball-reference), they do have some lockdown players that could cause issues for Sacramento.
MATCHUP OF THE GAME
Tyson Chandler vs. DeMarcus Cousins
There are very few players in the NBA that can effectively and consistently guard DeMarcus Cousins in a one-on-one situation. Tyson Chandler is one of them. Cousins has struggled against Chandler in the past, both offensively and defensively as the quick footed Chandler is very good in the Pick and Roll. The Kings have proven that they can't win without Cousins, so they'll have to do their best to get him the ball in good situations and he will have to do his best to try not to force the issue when Chandler cuts off some of the options that he's used to having.
The Mavericks ended up with Rajon,
causing Pete to exclaim, "come on!"
But without picks,
and guys that shoot bricks,
Danny Ainge could only stifle a yawn.
Kings 113, Mavericks 81 after Dirk Nowitzki has the worst game of his career because he stayed up all night watching the new Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer over and over again.