The Kings are now on the losing end in ten of their last twelve games, and after two absolutely terrible call in Saturday night’s game against the Bulls doomed the Kings to their fifth loss in a row, the boys from Sactown are looking for a smackdown in The Wolverine State to help get them back in the win column. Winners of their last encounter with Detroit, the Kings will be hoping some repeat performance from their big man in the middle, DeMarcus Cousins, who stuffed the stat line with 24-13-9 while going 4-5 from deep. With the Sixers hot on their heels and wanting that pick swap this year, it’s important that the Kings stay ahead of their current surge. Here’s to being bad, but not that bad!
Let’s talk Kings basketball.
When: Monday, January 23rd; 4:30 pm PST
Where: The Palace of Auburn Hills, CSN-CA, KHTK Sports 1140 AM
For Your Consideration
Kings Focus: The Kings will have a chance to learn from their mistakes the first time around when facing the Pistons, namely, not guarding Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. As so skillfully and masterfully predicted in January 10th’s preview, the player who once tracked pretty even with Ben McLemore in terms of development, Caldwell-Pope has come alive this year to really establish himself as an NBA caliber player and in the game on January 10th went 6/8 from three and scored 21 for the game. The Kings will have to keep Caldwell-Pope in check this time around. The Pistons as a team shot 12/28 from the land of plenty for a percentage of 42.8%, eight percentage points higher than their average in the game. This game will be determined by which team’s roll players get hot. The Pistons are a team that lack a true superstar, and as such depend on a spread out scoring attack. Without the Kings second scoring option in Rudy Gay, they too will have to have the bit players and bench-a-teers come up big from now on if they want to win games. Darren Collison and Ty Lawson staying in front of Pistons point guard Reggie Jackson will be the tip of the spear, and the Kings bench out playing the woefully inept Pistons bench will be the other. I spoke of Rudy Gay earlier, but the Kings won their game in Sacramento against the Pistons nearly despite Rudy instead of because of him; scoring 11 points, on 3-11 shooting with 7 turnovers and 5 fouls. Luckily for the Kings, they were also without Matt Barnes the last time around and that will more than make up for the loss of Ru- I, I can’t do it.
The Kings cannot expect DeMarcus to have the gigantic stat line that he did against Andre Drummond, Aron Baynes and the like, but if he continues to exploit the lead-legged front court by drawing them out away from the basket, he’ll be able to open lanes for cutters to the rim and also the occasional take to the basketball himself. Don’t expect many whistles for the Boogie Monster, as the Pistons are 7th in team fouls in the NBA, and Andre Drummond is averaging less than three of them a game.
Guard the three point line and the bench has to come up big. That’s it. It’s a battle of role players tonight and it’ll be up to DeMarcus to turn the tide in the Kings favor, but up to everyone else to put it away.
Prediction: The Kings let KCP have his big game the last time around but tonight, it’s going to be someone else that is equally fun to watch torch the Kings. My crystal ball is foggy, but it looks a lot like Reggie Jackson. DeMarcus will toy with Andre Drummond most of the game, and Koufos and Aron Baynes will have a fun back and forth at some point. This game will come down to free throw shooting in the fourth, and I think Dave Joerger plays Hack-A-Drummond at some point to push the advantage the Kings way.
Kings: 96, Pistons: 91