After an Easter Sunday drubbing on the visiting Dallas Mavericks, the Kings are looking to cause a bit more mayhem in the Western Conference playoff standings as they take on the Portland Trail Blazers, a team that is currently sitting at the sixth seed, but a game and a half back of the eighth seed. Sacramento, while no longer in the hunt for a playoff spot has played noticeably looser the past couple of games, and is now only a game back of the 30 win mark; something the Kings have yet to accomplish during the entirety of DeMarcus Cousins' career. With Willie Cauley-Stein suddenly showcasing his offensive skill set and Seth Curry using his newly found minutes to prove he belongs in the NBA for the foreseeable future, the Kings are suddenly a team with a bit of a heart beat. They're still in dire, critical condition but, well, a heart beat is a start, right? Monday night's game is on CSN-CA, can be heard on KHTK 1140 and begins at 7pm PST. Let's talk Kings basketball.
A Few Things to Consider:
Will the Real Slim Willie Please Stand Up? There is no better time to comment on the resurgence of Willie than in the day following Easter Sunday; a rookie season that many considered over, now suddenly back and better than ever. Shooting 19-30 over his last two games and averaging 23.5 points in the last two, Willie has seemingly taken the final frame of this season to work on and showcase what the future might just have in store for his fans and opponents alike. While Dirk-like fall away floaters may never be a go-to part of Willie's repertoire, just seeing him suddenly having the confidence to go out and try it is a boost for anyone who recently saw just how frustrated he's been with his playing time of late. It's nice to see he hasn't taken the criticism laying down, and with Portland not having someone like Meyers Leonard for the rest of the season, it will be interesting to see if Willie can continue his offensive trend over to a third game in a row.
Flirting with Thirty: Quick! When was the last time the Sacramento Kings won 30 games? Hmm, well there was the Adelman years, duh. Then, well, umm there was Musselman. I think he might have gotten us there. Well, it was Theus for a bit after that and Natt for blink. Paul Westphal couldn't have, could he? Well, if he didn't, Smart didn't. Malone didn't. Corbin didn't stand a snowball's chance in hell. Karl didn't do it last year, obviously. What if I told you it was 2007-2008 when the Kings went for 38 wins with Kevin Martin and the artist formerly known as Ron Artest leading the way. For all the drama, all the back biting, team meetings and Drake locker room appearances, the Kings are only one win away from locking down their 30th win for only the fourth time in a decade. With only two games left against teams with worse records than the Kings and one of those teams being Sacramento Kings Kryptonite, the Minnesota Timberwolves, it would be nice to see the number three in the tens column of our wins before we bump into teams with a lot left to play for.
Odds and Ends:
With Portland having no former Kings' players or coaches, and with Luke Babbitt now in New Orleans (and with that story already out in the open anyways), I give to you A Random Fact About Portland!
-Portland's name was supposedly decided by a coin flip. Had the coin fallen the other way, I'd be writing about the Boston, Oregon Trail Blazers.
Prediction: The Sacramento Kings read a random game preview that mentions 'Boston'. Boston reminds them of Isaiah Thomas. Reminds them he'll be in the playoffs. Reminds them of Pete D'Alessandro.
After the panic is over, and the grounds are safe to walk again, the wake of the destruction reveals that the only thing left of the Moda Center after 'The DeMarcalypse' is a jumbotron with a final score indicating that the Kings win, 110-101.
For the other side of things, go see our friends over at Blazers Edge.