After a blowout at the hands of the of the injury depleted Pelicans gave the Kings their 11th loss in 13 games, the Kings look to drag their pride and narcoleptic levels of execution away from Sleep Train, and on a four game road trip, where the first team up sits half a game out of the Eastern Conference's eighth seed. Friday afternoon's matchup is the second time the Pistons have met the Kings this year in the midst of a Kings losing streak. In fact, the first game that Detroit played against Sacramento this season was the Kings first win after their 1-7 start and now infamous team meeting. Friday's game can be seen on CSN-CA, can be heard on KHTK 1140 and begins at 4:30pm PST.
Let's talk Kings basketball.
Detroit by the Numbers:
The Detroit Pistons are a good, but far from great NBA basketball team. Coached by the "Worst Sacramento Kinko's Customer Ever", Stan Van Gundy, and anchored in the middle by budding star center Andre Drummond, Detroit boasts a defense that holds opponents to the 11th lowest amount in the league at 101.5 points per game and runs out an offense that scores 101.9 points per game, good for 17th in the NBA. Their offense is 19th in the league in pace, but gets Detroit the fourth highest amount of field goal attempts and the 10th highest amount of three point attempts, though the Pistons are 25th and 22nd in percentages for those respective categories. The Pistons are fourth in rebounding, second in offensive rebounds, and have taken the sixth most free throws. One of Detroit's Achilles heels however is their free throw percentage, where they are dead last and shoot just a couple ticks higher than 65% as a team, weighed down by center Andre Drummond who is shooting an eye-scratchingly bad 37.1% from the charity stripe.
On the defensive side of things, Detroit holds the league to the second lowest amount of threes attempted and made, but allow them to shoot a 16th best, 35.1%. Detroit also gives up the fifth most two point attempts, and the second most makes. Detroit is 25th in the league in steals, and almost inexplicably 28th in the league in blocks and give up the 7th most player fouls in the NBA. If the default, average energy and effort Kings come out to play against Detroit, there is a good chance their could play a bit of a spoiler to Detroit's playoff aspirations. Feeding the beast down low and allowing him to get Drummond in foul trouble, or facilitate for the threes that statistics say will be open, the King's could walk away with a win. That being said, if the Kings of late come out against a hungry, motivated Pistons squad, this one could be over in a hurry.
Odds and Ends:
While this game sees no former Kings players in the contest, it does feature a former lead assistant coach, Brendan Malone. Malone briefly held the position of assistant coach for the Kings under his son, Michael, but resigned from the lead assistant position for the Kings shortly before the beginning of the 2013-2014 season under odd circumstances. At the time, then GM Pete D'Alessandro cited that it was "a decision based on factors associated with the rigors of coaching in the NBA". Obviously, Coach Malone has recovered nicely.
Prediction: The Sacramento Kings shake off their meek and mellow feelings, and as the Pistons mark us as an afterthought, the Kings become the bane of Stan Van Gundy's Friday night, and they run away with this game early: Kings 112, Pistons 98.
For the other side of the coin, go visit our friends at Detroit Bad Boys.