After a 98-94 loss at home over the Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento now turns its sights to the Bay Area, and the Golden State Warriors. At 28-1 this season, the Warriors hold the NBA's best record, the #1 seed in the Western Conference and the reigning MVP. Sacramento is only a single game out of the 8th seed for the Western Conference. If the Kings continue their trend of rising and sinking to the level of their competition, this should be a well contested game, but the 2015-2016 Kings aren't about trends. They win the games they're supposed to lose and lose the games they're supposed to win. Being the underdogs, they should lose this game. Which means they'll win. Which means they'll lose. Schrödinger's Kings will both win and lose at the same time and the NBA will call the season due to paradox. This game will be featured on CSN-CA and on KHTK 1140 and starts at 7:30pm.
A Few Things To Consider:
Taking a Steph Back: In his last seven games Stephen Curry's three point shooting average has been under 32%. Now every shooter goes through slumps over the course of an 82 game season, and while thats only three percentage points under league average, its a drop of over 12% for Curry. For a Kings team hungry for victories in a game at Golden State, having Stephen Curry continue to slump could be a sizable help in their attempt to hand the Warriors only their second loss. That being said, Sacramento's defense is currently 29th in the league in three point shots allowed, 27th in the league in three pointers made, and allow teams to shoot over 35% from the arc. Something has got to give in the meeting between Curry's slump and the Kings' three point defense, and if the Kings are to have a chance in this one, they will need some renewed urgency in guarding the reigning MVP at the three point line.
DMC-You-At-The-Game: This game will mark the first that DeMarcus Cousins has faced up against the Golden State Warriors this year. The Splash Cousin averaged 24 points a game in four losses against the Splash Brothers last season, but has been sidelined with injury for each of the first meetings this year. DeMarcus holding down the center position for the Kings adds a significant wrinkle that has been missing from the previous two engagements, and it will be interesting to see how Boogie handles something like Golden State's ultra small-ball lineups and how Golden State will adjust to arguably the best big man in the league.
Triple Double, Double Trouble: With a combined eight of the NBA's eighteen triple doubles this season, Monday's meeting between Rajon Rondo and Draymond Green will be a meeting of the league's very best at filling the stat sheet. At roughly a third of the way through the regular season, King's point guard Rondo and Golden State's power forward Green are tied for the league high with four triple doubles a piece. Two things that stand out for each of their respective positions: Rajon Rondo is currently the second best rebounding guard in the league (.2 rebounds a game behind Russell Westbrook) at 6.7 rebounds a game, and Draymond Green is the best big man and seventh in the entire NBA when it comes to assists, dishing out just over seven assists a game. Monday's game may ultimately be won on the backs of a Curry and Cousins, but it won't be without the efforts of two triple double machines.
Coach Karl's Win Watch
With Sunday's loss against the Portland Trailblazers, George Karl is still a game back of Phil Jackson for 5th all time, with 1,155 wins. Coach Karl is 56 wins behind Pat Riley for 4th all time and is 180 wins back of all time leader, and former Warriors coach, Don Nelson.
Prediction: DeMarcus curries favor with the basketball gods, The Warriors' golden shooting turns to clay and the Kings rush out of the Bay Area with Vivek proud he spent his green on the capital city: Kings 105, Warriors 104