After a worn out Sacramento Kings squad found themselves down and out against a young Portland Trail Blazers squad on Monday night, their tired eyes turned from the scoreboard to their calendars, to their day off on Wednesday and finally, to their Thursday night game in New Orleans. New Orleans comes into the matchup still fighting injuries to a majority of their starters. With the possibility of having Tyreke Evans, Eric Gordon and Anthony Davis out, the Kings should be looking at a game they should be able to win. Which means exactly what you think it does. Sigh. This game will be available to watch on CSN-CA, and can be heard on KHTK 1140. Tip-off's at 5 p.m. Pacific. Let's talk Kings basketball.
Something to Consider:
Birdseye View: After starting the season at 3-14, the Pelicans have had their a turnaround all their own, winning six of 15 games in December and playing to an even .500 in January at 6-6. Here are the six games they lost in January: Lost by 9 to the Mavericks, 5 to the Pacers, 3 to the Clippers in OT, 4 to the Lakers, 2 to the Grizzlies and they lost by 1 to the Rockets on Monday night. The point of that list is to show that the Pelicans are indeed surging at the moment. Losing a month's worth of games to the tune of 24 points total and against 5 current playoff teams is no small feat, and if the Kings believe that they can walk into the Smoothie King Center and come out victors, well they're going to have another fight on their hands. Games like this are crucial come the end of the season, and if the Kings hope to end a playoff drought that's spanned a decade, they're going to have to start taking advantage of games where the opposing teams solid better players are out.
Revenge Factor: The Pelicans embarrassed the Kings the last time these two teams met, blowing them out on their home floor. That loss came after the Kings had several days off to prepare as well. Hopefully that loss is fresh in their minds. These games are incredibly important now, and the Kings need to avoid going on multi-game losing streaks if they hope to make up ground in the West and stay in the playoff conversation.
Odds and Ends:
The injury situation for each team goes as follows:
Kings: Rudy Gay (Out, Corneal Abrasion), Eric Moreland (Out, Frature of Fifth Metatarsal) Duje Dukan (Out, Tibial Contusion)
Pelicans: Tyreke Evans (Questionable, Right Knee Tendonitis), Anthony Davis (Doubtful, Concussion), Eric Gordon (Out, Broken Finger)
Prediction: The tired Kings vs. injured Pelicans game is a wreck, but Ben McLemore is the one guard on fire, and Boogie cleans up all night on the glass: Kings 110, Pelicans 101.
As always, for the other side of the coin: The Bird Writes