The Sacramento Kings season is winding down and the only things they're playing for now are pride and to spoil other teams chances at the playoffs. The Mavericks come into Sacramento in the rare position of being on the outside of the playoff race looking in, a situation they haven't been in in over a decade. They're a half game back of both the Utah Jazz and Houston Rockets for the final playoff spot in the West, and are also suffering various injury issues at a critical juncture.
The game will be broadcast on CSN-CA and KHTK 1140. Tip-off's at 3:00 pm Pacific. Let's talk Kings basketball.
1. Sacramento has matched up pretty well with the Mavericks so far this season, with the Kings having come out on top in two of their three matchups already this season and being a Deron Williams buzzer beater away from having swept Dallas so far. In each of Sacramento's wins, Dirk Nowitzki wasn't really ever able to get going, while he did have that chance in the double overtime game where he scored 23 points and hit some clutch shots down the stretch. With Chandler Parsons and Deron Williams both out for tonight's game, the pressure will be on Nowitzki more than ever to carry his team. He's shown pretty recently that he still can bring it (dropping 40 a week ago on Portland) but Dirk's definitely in the twilight of his career.
2. Jerry Reynolds has mentioned this a couple times during previous Kings-Mavs matchups but J.J. Barea might be a tougher matchup for the Kings than any of Dallas' other Point Guards, including Deron Williams. Barea's quickness and ability to get right to the basket is a problem, and with Williams and Harris both out, we could see a lot of Barea.
3. Seth Curry started last game for the first time this season (and his career) but I would be a bit surprised to see Karl go to that well again since Wes Matthews is a tough matchup for someone like Curry. The Kings could opt to put Curry on Dallas' Point Guard and move the bigger and stronger Rondo to Matthews.
Kings 105, Mavericks 111 as Dallas wins a nailbiter that goes down to the final minutes. They need every win they can get though and the Kings just don't have that same motivation.