Over the breadth of this year Sacramento Kings fans have seen two coaches, a front office overhaul, tens of players come and go, A buzzer beater in Phoenix and 20 technical fouls courtesy of DeMarcus Cousins, and one single, beautiful Omri Casspi Supernova. They've seen a hole in the ground become the Golden 1 Center. They've seen just about the entire gamut of what can be seen in the NBA (save for Larry O'Brien and his trophy) and now, this year in Sacramento Kings' basketball is over. Wednesday night's matchup between the Sacramento Kings and the Philadelphia 76ers at Sleep Train Arena offers the last chance for fans to watch the Sacramento Kings in 2015. As always, this game can be seen on CSN-CA, heard on KHTK 1140 and starts at 7pm. Welcome to the end, my friends. Let's talk Kings basketball.
A Few Things to Consider:
Omri Oh My: By far the best thing to come out of Monday night's game against the Golden State Warriors was the play of Omri Casspi. Hitting seven three pointers in the first half and 9 of 12 for the game, the six year vet ended up with a career high 36 points, 21 of which came in a shootout with the reigning MVP during a second quarter sequence that might have been the most entertaining performance by a Kings player in nearly a decade. Omri had spoken after Sunday night's lost to the Blazers about playing with a sense of urgency and the need to start games well, and he very much seemed to back that up on Monday night against the Warriors. It will be interesting to see how Sacramento heeds that advice going from a two demoralizing losses, now against a Sixers team with the worst record in the NBA.
Blame it on the Boogie: Monday night's performance by DeMarcus Cousins has been talked about at length and in great detail, as it very well should. However, his actions have also put a wrinkle into the Wednesday night's game as well. As Greg Wissinger wrote about on Tuesday, Cousins is likely to be suspended for Sacramento's matchup against Philadelphia and while that would be a problem on any night, it compounds further when you consider that back up center Kosta Koufos may again be out with gastroenteritis, rookie big man Willie Cauley-Stein is still out with a dislocated right index finger, and Eric Moreland is out for the season with a stress fracture in his left foot. Wondering about Duje Dukan? He missed Monday's game with a tibial bone contusion. Cousins absence from Wednesday's contest makes the Kings painfully thin in front court, with the tallest active player on the team being Omri Casspi at 6'9 and Quincy Acy being the only really power forward, standing at 6'7. How the Sacramento Kings plan to defend Philadelphia big men Nerlens Noel and rookie Jahlil Okafor will be one of the big sticking points on whether or not the Kings win or lose this game.
Odds and Ends
-This is the first appearance back in Sacramento for former Sacramento Kings draft pick, Nik Stauskas. Sauce Castillo has had a fairly abysmal season with the Sixers and in his last 5 games has scored 17 points total. He had 17 of those 17 points against Phoenix in a win the day after Christmas all while averaging 13 minutes a game. (For reference, Ben McLemore has scored a total of 31 points in his last 5 games, and average 19 minutes a game).
-Speaking of former Kings, this also marks the return of two time Sacramento King, Carl Landry. The Sixer's are 1-1 when Carl Landry plays. Extrapolate that over an entire season, and the Sixers would be 41-41, their best record since the 2010-2011 season. I'll take that paycheck now, Hinkie.
-Philadelphia has a trainer on their staff named Kevin Johnson. I don't know what you can do with that, but there it is.
Coach Karl's Win Watch
George Karl is still one win back of Phil Jackson, 56 wins behind Pat Riley for 4th all-time and 180 wins back of Don Nelson and that number one spot.
Prediction: Rudy breaks his slump and hits the wood determined to see no "L", Quincy Acy does okay for another night of filling in, and our potent offense grants us a win in this our final game of 2015: Kings 110, Sixers 94.
For the other side of things, head on over to Liberty Ballers.