The Kings homecourt will look a little bit different tonight as they face off against the Boston Celtics in Mexico City Arena. The Celtics are a good squad, helmed by former Kings guard Isaiah Thomas, and will provide a tough test. Today's action tips off at 7:00 pm on CSN California and on KHTK 1140.
1. How much will the altitude affect this game? A lot is made about playing in altitude, especially when teams visit Denver or Salt Lake City. Mexico City is higher than both of those cities with an average altitude of 7,382 feet above sea level. Given that both teams like to push the pace (Kings are 2nd and Boston is 5th in pace), we could see guys get winded extra early tonight. Hopefully the couple days off before tonight's game will have helped.
2. How much time will Seth Curry get? The Kings have recently introduced Seth Curry to the main rotation although part of that was because of the continuing struggles of Ben McLemore and an under-the-weather Marco Belinelli. Still, Curry made a definite impact in his minutes in both of the last two games and I'm interested to see where George Karl goes from here with regards to Seth.
3. Can the Kings take care of the ball? The Celtics are the #1 team in the NBA in both steals and opponent turnovers. That's a bad sign for the Kings who are one of the worst teams at taking care of the ball even when the other team isn't particularly good at taking it away. Sacramento needs to avoid any unforced errors because Boston is going to create some problems of their own regardless.
MATCHUP OF THE GAME
Rajon Rondo vs. Isaiah Thomas
We all know Isaiah Thomas is going to try to drop 40 points on the Kings, even if they're not actually playing in Sacramento. Rajon Rondo has returned to form on offense, but he's still struggled mightily on defense. I expect we'll see the Kings throw a few looks at Isaiah, but they need to be careful of the Pick & Roll, one of Isaiah's favorite weapons. If the Kings can keep Isaiah in relative check, they should be in decent shape, as Boston only has a few other players averaging double digits.
Kings 94, Celtics 87