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Kings vs Bulls Preview: Sacramento Looks to Stop the Skid in Chicago

Now losers of nine of their last eleven games, the Kings are going to have to dig deep to beat the Eastern Conference 8th seed.

NBA: Chicago Bulls at Sacramento Kings Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

The Sacramento Kings are in a free fall. Losers in nine of their last 11 competitions, the Kings have lost in seemingly every way possible. We’ve seen your basic, down to the wire loss. We’ve seen the blowouts. We’ve seen a 22 point lead evaporate into dust. While this couldn’t have come at a worst time in the season, the Kings now have to resign themselves to be bad, or at least bad enough to avoid giving Saturday night’s opponent our pick, but then still good enough to avoid a pick swap with the Philadelphia 76ers. Saturday night’s game also features the return of Rajon Rondo, the assisting, foul mouthed point guard from last years team and a player looking for answers as to why he hasn’t been exactly flush with minutes on the court lately. Tonight should go swimmingly. Let’s talk Kings basketball.

When: Saturday, January 21st, 6:00 pm PST

Where: United Center, CSN-CA, KTHK Sports 1140 AM

For Your Consideration

Kings Focus: Like the Pacers Wednesday night’s game disappointing loss, the Bulls are a fairly middling basketball team. Currently the eight seed in the Eastern Conference, the Bulls are two games under .500 and are sinking as well. Having lost five of their last seven games, and with their coach on the hotseat, their former starting point guard a hot head and Jimmy Butler being the only hot commodity on the team, the Bulls are built a bit like Kings in that they’re stuck between a rebuild and a real playoff run. The Bulls are currently the sixth best defense in terms of opponent points per game at 101.4 a contest, though they themselves only score 101.2. The Kings have lucked out tonight in that the Bulls are the only team that doesn’t really attempt at having an offense involving three point shooters. They’re currently last in the league in three point percentage at 31.4% a game, while also being last in average attempts and average makes; a terrible trio that spells good news for the Kings porous three point defense. The Bulls try to make up for their lack of outside shooting by taking the most two point attempts in the NBA, but surprisingly have the third worst field goal percentage from inside the arc as well. It’s almost as if defenders know they aren’t taking threes and instead can guard them accordingly. Now, that being said, let’s see the Kings do it tonight. The Bulls are the best offensive rebounding team in the league, and the best overall rebounding team in the league in terms of average, and with the Kings an already abysmal rebounding team before Rudy Gay’s untimely exit, someone is going to have to step up and crash the boards, and hard. If the Kings can keep a poor shooting team like the Bulls from having extra attempts at scoring the basketball, they will put themselves in a great position to win the game. Rebound the basketball, don’t allow the Bulls to suddenly shoot a good percentage from deep and don’t look Rajon Rondo directly in the eyes, or your stats will turn to ice before your very eyes.

Prediction: The Kings defense will come through tonight. Bulls will brick the night away, and while the Kings try to avoid falling masonry, they’ll also find some again for the youngsters to play, particular Skal Labissiere, the only person who played with a ton of energy in Friday night’s workover.

Kings win:

Kings: 104, Bulls: 97