After a win in Los Angeles against the Lakers, the Sacramento Kings head back to Sleep Train Arena for their second game in two nights; a match-up that pits former standout Kentucky big men DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis against one another. With the Pelicans having been infested with injury bugs all season, and starting off the 2015-2016 campaign with only 5 wins in their first 20 contests, intelligent minds would assume the relatively healthy Kings would have quite a bit of distance between them and whatever plague riddled players are left dragging their feet for New Orleans and yet, coming into Wednesday's contest are only two games back of the Kings. The Pelicans also come into Wednesday night having the opportunity to sweep the season series against the Kings.
Boogie vs. The Brow. Season sweep on the line.
The game can be seen at Sleep Train Arena or on CSN-CA, can be heard on KHTK 1140, and begins at 7pm PST. Let's talk King's basketball.
Something to Consider:
Kick 'Em While Down: Possibly the most frustrating aspect of the games that the Kings have played against the Pelicans this year is that Sacramento stooped as absolutely low as they could against the opponents. Call it lack of killer instinct, or being overconfident in their abilities to close games, but the Sacramento Kings have been absolutely heart breaking in games against teams that are missing their big time players. For example, in the January 28th game against New Orleans, neither Anthony Davis nor Tyreke Evans played in that game due to injury. The Kings proceeded to allow the Pelicans to scored 37 points in the first quarter and waited until the fourth to even attempt to make a run for the win. On March 7th, the Pelicans only dressed nine players and were missing Tyreke Evans, Eric Gordon and back up center Alexis Ajinca. The Pelicans were forced to play Alonzo Gee, Kendrick Perkins and Toney Douglas meaningful minutes. Again, the Kings couldn't find a way to take advantage and ended up allowing a second half comeback en-route to a 3 point loss.
Wednesday night's game will take place with the Pelicans having to sit Alexis Ajinca with a fractured sternum, Norris Cole with lower back issues, Bryce Dejean-Jones with a fractured wrist, Tyreke Evans with a right knee injury, Eric Gordon with a fractured right ring finger and Quincy Pondexter with a left knee injury. Each and everyone of these players spent meaningful minutes on the floor this season with the Pelicans and all but Norris Cole are done for the year. The Pelicans are still only two games back of the Kings this season. Let's see how the boys in purple come out and perform after the hope for the playoffs has all but dissipated.
Odds and Ends:
Wednesday's game against the Pelican's sees the return of 4 former Kings; Tyreke Evans, Toney Douglas, Orlando Johnson and Alonzo Gee. Alonzo was a part of the trade that sent Jason Terry to the Rockets. He and Scotty Hopson were traded for Terry, a 2015 second rounder and a 2016 second rounder. Gee was immediately waived at the completion of the deal.
Prediction: The Kings decide to up the ante on slow starts, and hold the ball on every possession till the shot clock gets under five. They end up dragging out the game to unreal levels of slow and lethargic, and the Pelicans new bubble wrap themed uniforms only feed furth into the pace of the game. Kings win;
Sacramento 40, New Orleans 32.
For the other side of things, go check out The Bird Writes.