The Kings lost their home opener on Thursday to the San Antonio Spurs but nobody was too upset with the result. The Kings played tough and just didn’t have enough gas at the end to overcome the veteran Spurs and Kawhi Leonard’s best Michael Jordan impression. But the time for good effort, good loss is over. Tonight’s game is a matchup the Kings have to win, against a team in a similar tier. The Wolves are better than they were last year and they ended up sweeping the season series against the Kings last year. The Kings will also have to prove they are better than last season by taking care of business on its home floor.
Let’s talk Kings basketball.
When: Saturday, October 29th, 7:30pm PST
Where: Golden 1 Center; Sacramento, CA, CSN-CA, KHTK Sports 1140
A Few Things to Consider:
The Thib-erwolves: The Wolves didn’t make any huge additions to their roster this year but they did add former Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau as their GM/Coach. Thibodeau hasn’t coached since being let go by the Bulls but was still one of the most coveted coaches on the market. He has a reputation for defense first, much like Dave Joerger, and now that he’s also got control of basketball operations, he’ll be able to pursue his vision exactly as he wants it. He’s got a hell of a foundation to work with already, but this Wolves team is a lot younger than the veteran Bulls team he took over so we’ll see how quickly they can adapt his principles.
The KAT’s in the cradle: Two years ago, Andrew Wiggins came to Minnesota in the trade of Kevin Love and was immediately expected to be their savior. That hasn’t quite turned out to be the case yet although Wiggins has been quite good. It was Minnesota’s 2015 draft pick that could fulfill that promise, as they won the lottery and snagged Kentucky big man Karl-Anthony Towns. Towns won the Rookie of the Year award after averaging 18.3 points, 10.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.7 blocks, impressive averages for anyone, let alone a rookie. Like Sacramento’s own DeMarcus Cousins, Towns is a threat from almost anywhere on the floor, possessing a solid handle for a big man, a sweet shooting stroke and good instincts. Towns has all the makings of a future Hall of Famer. The Kings will need to rein him in as much as they can and make sure their own franchise big man gets the upper hand.
There’s no D in Sacramento but there is in Dave Joerger: Perhaps the most impressive thing from Sacramento’s two games to date has been the team’s effort on defense. While it hasn’t been perfect (and it shouldn’t be after only two games), the rotations have been crisp, the effort has been top notch and I really hope it continues. Sacramento has the weapons to score, but it’s the continued effort on defense that will end up winning games if they can keep it up.
Prediction: The Minnesota Timberwolves win the jump ball and Ricky Rubio begins to bring the ball up the court. He looks around for an open player but instead locks eyes with Sacramento Bee reporter Ailene Voisin. Rubio stops, stuck in a trance, Céline Dion’s “All By Myself” begins to play. Rubio leaves the court, rushes to Ailene and they elope off to Paris. Meanwhile the refs have yet to decide what to do about this and have been letting the game go on with Sacramento playing 5 on 4, putting up a sizeable lead in the meantime.
Kings 106, Wolves 93