Sacramento is riding high after their first win of the George Karl era but the going gets rough starting tonight as the Kings head to Los Angeles to play the Clippers. While Blake Griffin is not available, the Clippers are still a formidable team. 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 haven't won more than one game in a row since November when Mike Malone was coach and before DeMarcus Cousins fell ill with viral meningitis. That's a long time to have gone without back to back wins. The upcoming schedule isn't very favorable for Sacramento, so given that Blake Griffin is out, this might be their best chance in a while.
2. Turnovers were the biggest issue in George Karl's debut. The Kings gave up 24 while forcing just 11 themselves. That game probably should have been a blowout if Sacramento had been able to take care of the ball. Growing pains are expected when learning a new system, but even still, Sacramento can't be as sloppy when facing a veteran Clippers team that will not allow Sacramento to make up big deficits.
3. I thought Sacramento's bench came alive for the very first time this season in Friday's game against the Celtics and I'm eager to see if they can continue to provide good minutes under Karl. Every bench player had a positive +/- and we also saw the return of an aggressive Omri Casspi. Casspi finished just 2-9 from the field but was a game-high +21 and had 12 rebounds (including 5 offensive) and a team-high 6 assists. That's the kind of contribution that wasn't surprising from Omri earlier this year but was missing under Corbin as his minutes dipped. Andre Miller was also fantastic, running the offense well in his 23 minute stint.
MATCHUP OF THE GAME
DeMarcus Cousins vs. DeAndre Jordan
The last time these two teams played, DeMarcus Cousins was not available. Before that though, Cousins diced up the Clippers in a dominant performance for 34 points, 17 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 blocks. No team gets Cousins more fired up than playing the Clippers, and even though DeAndre Jordan has improved a lot as a defender, he hasn't done well historically against Cousins. Cousins on the other hand will have to do a better job defensively than he did against Tyler Zeller on Friday.
Blake Griffin is injured and out,
sitting in his KIA with a pout.
Kings should come in,
get the upset win,
and end our winning streak drought.
Kings 109, Clippers 101 as a new quirk of George Karl's system is that the score has to be the same every night.