With three wins in a row under their belt, the Sacramento Kings are hungry for more, and wouldn’t you know it, the best hockey team in Philly just flew into Sacramento with their sticks and pads, looking for a little fun in the Kings brand new ice rink. Wait. What do you mean the floor is dry? Come on, no one wet the floor? Seriously, how on Earth are the Sixers going to play the game their good at on hard, dry, wood flooring?
Well, it turns out that in some weird mix-up, the Sixers will actually have to play basketball tonight, a sport that they are not only not prepared to play, but also one where they are the worst team in entire league. How embarrassing for the Kings, keeping their floors in game-ready condition and not covered in a mystery goo that no cleaning solvent known to man could get rid of. The staff at the Wells Fargo Center in Philly would have never let a dry floor happen. It’s more like Sa-HACKS-ramento, am I right?
Let’s talk Kings basketball.
When: Monday, December 26th; 7:30 pm PST
Where: Golden 1 Center, CSN-CA, KHTK Sports 1140 AM
For Your Consideration
Streaking Anyone? Winners in four of their last five games, the Kings gave themselves a nice little present for Christmas and pulled themselves into sole posession of the eighth seed in the Western Conference standings; doing so against quality opponents, on the road, and without their two best small forwards. With a somewhat favorable part of their schedule in front of them for the rest of the calendar year, there are hints that this winning thing might not go away as quickly as most Kings fans think it will. Let’s take a look at what’s ahead a bit, shall we? To round out the year, the Kings play the worst team in the East, rematch against a Portland squad that may not have Damian Lillard, and then the Memphis on New Years Eve. Completely winnable games, but the first couple of games into the New Year aren’t terrifying either. Games against the Nuggets, Heat, and a hobbled Clippers squad start the Kings off into the new year and while the Kings probably won’t win every single one of these games, even if they just beat the teams with worse records than the Kings, it would put Sacramento just two games below the 500 mark at 17-19. I’m sure many of you are feeling pretty dubious about the whole thing and it does sounds a bit wonky, especially considering that the Kings did the exact same thing heading toward the All-Star Break last season. This season seems like it might be a bit more sustainable, even just considering that their isn’t an active mutiny forming against the head coach. Having players buy into their coaches philosophies, praising how prepared their coach keeps them for the coming games, playing for each other: this may not be a playoff team come April, but for the time being, seeing the team overcome adversity and win actual games is a start.
Kings Focus: Losers in four of their last five games, Brett Brown’s Sixers are currently tied with the Brooklyn Nets for the worst record in the NBA, and yet the Kings being the Kings, we know that the moment that their is any hope in the franchise, that is also the exact same moment to prepare for the sudden, yet inevitable collapse. So how might the Sixers upend our small swell of pride today? Well, it probably won’t be on the offensive end. Philly is currently in possession of the worst offensive rating in the league, scoring just over 98 points a game while running at the 13th highest pace in the league. They’re 28th in the league in field goal percentage at 43.5% and rely pretty heavily on their three point shooting to win games. The Sixers take 30 three pointers a game, 8th most in the NBA and are currently 11th in the league in percentage at 35.7%, all while trying to cover for their bottom seven shooting percentages from inside the arc. Keeping the Sixer’s away from the arc is a good way to win this game. The Kings should also be in a good spot defensively tonight as the Sixers attempt the second fewest free throws in the league while also being the fifth worst in percentage at 74.1%. Lastly, the Sixers turn the ball over 17 times a game, fourth worst in the league. The Kings should have more than enough in the tank after two days of rest to be able to play a game’s worth of defense capable of forcing turnovers, and capitalizing off of those free possession could do wonders towards getting a fourth win in a row.
On the offensive side, the Kings should also find themselves comfortable enough to do damage early on. Now, the Sixers are fairly good at guarding the three point line, allowing their opponents to take the sixth least threes per game at 26, while also allowing a percentage of just over 35%. They’re also not too shabby inside the arc either, where they allow only the 11th most two point attempts, but allow their opponents to shoot a hair under 50% from the field. Where the wheels start coming off is in the paint where they allow 44 points per game, 20th in the league, and also in the amount of fouls they commit per game. Combining a bottom ten paint defense that also happens to be in the bottom five in fouls committed per game spells trouble when running up against a team with DeMarcus Cousins and Kosta Koufos running the center position. Also tie into this that the Sixers are 7th in the league in blocks, and the Kings are a couple of timely pump fakes away from making quick work of the front court of the Sixers.
Prediction: The game will be played on a perfectly dry floor, with literally zero problems about its integrity. The Kings will also win the game.
Kings: 109, Sixers: 98