After the Sacramento Kings spent Thursday night toying with every emotion their fans had left in their bodies, the Kings look to rebound from a disappointing second half against the Los Angeles Lakers by facing the ... oh. OH.
Well, the Warriors are in town for a Saturday night match up against the Sacramento Kings and are looking for a season sweep this season against the the Kings. With the San Antonio Spurs nipping at their heals, the Warriors 30 game championship victory tour is well behind them and they are looking to do one thing and one thing only: win games, in the hopes of putting some distance between them and the field. Last time around, the Kings walked into Oracle Arena and stole a lead going into half time on the back of Omri Casspi and his sudden ascent into a walking supernova. To start the second half, Kings fans were treated to a DeMarcus Cousins ejection, a 17-0 run by the Warriors and a demoralizing loss. With the Kings seemingly playing with more focus in the new year, this game again will be an intriguing matchup for all those who tune in. This game can be seen at Sleep Train Arena or on CSN-CA, can be heard on KHTK 1140 and begins at 7. Let's talk Kings basketball.
A Few Things to Consider:
Stepping on the Cass-pedal: The last time Omri Casspi played was January 2nd, in a game against the struggling Phoenix Suns, in which the Kings scored 142 points. Since then, Casspi has missed three games due to what they're calling back soreness. In his absence, the Kings turned to their bench, starting Quincy Acy, someone who's brand of basketball couldn't be further away from Casspi's. In the wake of losing the sharpshooter, Quincy has filled in admirably, providing toughness and hustle down low, all while averaging 10 points a game in his three starts, and hitting 12 of his 13 shots from the field. However, in a game against two of the greatest shooters in the NBA today, the Sacramento Kings are going to need Omri back and in good shape to have a solid shot at giving the Warriors their third loss of the season. In the 19 point loss to the Warriors back on December 28th, the Kings hit 13 three pointers, nine of those coming from Casspi, while the Warriors ended the game with 20. It will be interesting to see how the Warriors approach Omri Casspi on Saturday night after he torched them in the previous game. Remember, he hit seven of those nine three points in the first half, and saw a much tighter defense on him in the second half, essentially making him invisible until the game was already in the bag.
Up Jumps Da Boogie: This may be a bit of a retread from their previous game against the Warriors, but the Kings still have yet to see a game this year where DeMarcus Cousins played any sort of meaningful minutes against the Warriors. While the first two games this season have injuries to blame for DeMarcus being absent, December 28th's contest can be blamed on one thing and one thing alone: DeMarcus Amir Cousins. After early foul trouble quickly bled over into the second half, DeMarcus decided that his best course of action was to argue the calls that had been made, and then erupted into a fit after a technical was given. After a second technical and an ejection was assessed to DeMarcus, it was painfully obvious just how much of the momentum his tantrum had destroyed. Immediately following his departure, the Golden State Warriors went on a 17-0 run, effectively stepping on the collective throats of the Kings. It might seem overly obvious to state this, but the Sacramento Kings need DeMarcus Cousins to play well in order to have a chance against the defending champs. It's tough to see DeMarcus Cousins' attitude be just as important to a game as his skill level, but here we are.
Odds and Ends:
This game will see the return of the Sacramento Kings all time leader in games played, Jason Thompson. After playing an average of 77 games a season for the Kings, Jason has played in only 18 of Golden State's 36 games. He's averaging 6.66 minutes in those 18 played games and already has seen more wins this season with Warriors than in any of his 7 seasons with the Kings.
Prediction: Kings rush out to a quick lead on a bored Warriors team, DeMarcus stays composed and easily scores 30, and Sacramento earns their livings tonight when they shock the world and beat the defending champs: Kings 122, Warriors 120.
For the other side of things, turn your attention to our friends at Golden State Of Mind.