Don’t look now but the Kings have somehow found their way into being tied in the loss column with the current eighth seed, Portland Trail Blazers and just 1.5 games back over all. Winners in three of their last six games, the Kings come in tonight to take on a Mavericks team coming off of a heart breaking loss to the Utah Jazz; a game in which Dallas had the last possession in a tie game before Deron Williams inexplicably fired up a fade away three with seven seconds left, that then allowed the Jazz to scramble for the rebound and find a streaking Rodney Hood for a last second, game winning three pointer. The Mavs have been playing considerably better since their drubbing at the hand of the Kings just eleven days ago, but that loss in Utah has got to be an absolute moral killer. This game will still probably be without Rudy Gay, who has been suffering through a right hip flexor strain, and it’s unknown whether Omri Casspi is ready to comeback from his semi-annual visit to Sicksville. This also might be a pretty good game to DNP-Rest certain individuals if the organization feels like they may need to rest, cool their jets, pay $75,000 to charity; you know, the regular stuff. Let’s talk Kings basketball.
When: Sunday, December 18th; 1pm PST
Where: American Airlines Center, CSN-CA, KHTK Sports 1140am
For Your Consideration
Kings Focus: Tonight, everything that the Kings accomplish should be focused in and around the paint. “But Will”, you say, “I remember very clearly from your preview eleven days ago when the Kings were in Dallas that the Mavericks give up the second fewest points in the paint in the entire league.” You aren’t wrong, and wow, thanks for remembering: means a lot. The Mavericks are second in the league (tied with your Kings, actually) in paint protection, but their anchor in the middle, Andrew Bogut, is still recovering from a bone bruise in his right knee. Even with him, the Mavs are last in the league in blocks, last in the league in total rebounding and defensive rebounding and second to last in the league in offensive rebounding. This should spell out opportunity after opportunity of second chance points and fast break points and if I were Willie Cauley-Stein dealing with the fans calling on me to rebound more, the painted area in Dallas would look like it had a fat stack of cash piled up right under the rim. DeMarcus, Kosta, Willie; they should all be looking to eat tonight against a team sporting Salah Mejri and Dwight Powell as their main enforcers in the front court.
Also remember, this Dallas Mavericks team cannot score. Averaging less than 94 points a game, they shoot the fourth least amount of twos and the second lowest percentage from inside the arc and while they take the ninth most three pointers attempted, they make them at a rate of 33.8%, which puts them as the 22nd best team. Say you foul them, give them that chance to earn this game from the strip. Hey! They’re shooting a hair under 80%, fifth best in the league! They’re 30th in attempts. Oh, oh okay. Sacramento should not allow the Mavericks to get hot tonight in the same way you should never let your ice start to boil. If the Mavericks score in the 110 area or higher, something must have happen to score keeper’s hands on their way to the correct score being typed in, or, all people under contract for the Sacramento Kings have died and they’re plucking fans out of the stands to play in the second half.
Prodigal Seth Returns: Quick shout out to Seth Curry, who Kings fans will finally get to see in action against Sacramento. Waylaid by injury in the King’s last trip to Dallas, the oft discussed back-up combo guard has turned last season’s successes with the Kings in toa season where he’s averaging a hair under 10 points a contest, and more importantly, getting some burn out on the court. In 22 games played for the Mavs, Seth has seen his minutes explode to 27 a game, up from the 15.7 minutes that Seth got in 44 games with Sacramento. Many congratulations are in order for Seth, and here’s to hoping he plays a long, long time in this league.
Prediction: The Battle of Darren vs. Deron will go from a skirmish to an all out war as Deron tries to make it up to all forty-five Maverick’s fans in attendance of today’s game, apologizing the only way he know’s how; getting ugly buckets. If he doesn’t get hit in the head by the bricks careening off the glass near his head, Kosta is going to have a second game in a row where he gets a double-double with 14 plus points. Seth Curry is going to lead all players in scoring tonight, shooting 10-30 from beyond the arc, and 1-9 from beyond the half court line. Kings win:
Kings: 119, Mavs: 101