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Kings vs Pacers Preview: Who Shall Stop the Mighty Kings?

After their best win in a frustrating season, the Kings will have to follow it up against a Pacer’s team who have lost three of four.

NBA: Indiana Pacers at Sacramento Kings Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

After a solid win in Detroit gave way to an improbable win in Cleveland, the Kings are now two and two on their road trip and hungry for more. Friday’s game against the Pacers is the second time in nine days that they’ve had to face Indiana; the first being a game in which the Kings were up 20 points, lost Rudy Gay to an Achilles tendon tear and then eventual lost by 6 points. This time around the Kings will have to string together another all out team blitz on the Pacers to give themselves a chance. We just saw the Kings take down the Cavs, so in the immortal words of Kevin Garnett:ANYTHING IS POSSSIBLE!”. Let’s talk Kings basketball.

When: Friday, January 27th, 4:00 pm PST

Where: Banker’s Life Fieldhouse, CSN-CA, KHTK Sports 1140 AM

For Your Consideration

Windex or Die

Friday’s game features two of the worst rebounding teams in basketball. The Pacers are league worst in offensive rebounds, 20th in defensive rebounds and 27th overall. The Kings are even worse; 24th in offensive rebounds, 29th in defensive rebounds and 29th overall. So, grab a piece of newspaper, a squeegee and a bottle of the blue stuff because before anything else can get done, the Kings must clean the glass tonight for a chance to win. Luck has placed the Kings against the Pacers tonight, a team nearly as bad as the Kings are, so if they can take advantage and surprise Indiana tonight by hustling up a few extra possessions, it could really give the Kings that little extra oomph to win the game.

Speaking of extra oomph, what got into Willie Cauley-Stein the other night? He followed up a 4 rebound in 12 minutes night against the Bulls, with 5 rebounds in 21 minutes against the Pistons, then followed that up with 10 rebounds in 26 minutes against the Cavaliers. After an extremely slow start this season, Willie has been coming on strong of late and while its great to see his offensive output increasing, I’m also happy to see that his rebounding might also be trending to recovery. He’s too long and too mobile to be a Coke Machine power forward, and it’s great to see that his ability to grab boards is jumping with his minutes.

Quadruple Double Watch

The Kings have played good team basketball in the nine days since Rudy Gay’s injury and a lot of that stems from the amount of pressure that now three time All Star DeMarcus Cousins can shoulder on a night to night basis. On top of being the Kings leading scorer and rebounder on most given nights, this season Cousins has grown to accept the role as the Kings’ big time three point shooter and their leader in assists, and because of that his stats have gone into overdrive. This team isn’t nearly good enough to have him coast one night or another and still expect a victory and as such DeMarcus has been dropping gaudy numbers to keep the Kings in games: 27.4 points, 10.2 rebounds and 5.2 assists since December.

In the last match-up against the Pacers Boogie messed around and got a triple double to the tune of 25 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists, but this is where things take a turn. DeMarcus also had nine turnovers in the game. While DeMarcus averaging 3.8 turnovers since December is enough to cause some concern, it gets a bit stickier the more you look at it. DeMarcus has had twenty-six games since the start of December and seven instances where he had six or more turnovers. In his last ten games, Boogie has had more 6+ turnover games than not, with six of those seven games coming right here recently.

Rudy Gay is gone and without him, so is the only player with the skill to take over for DeMarcus on nights that he’s off. Barring a trade finding its way to Vlade Divac’s desk that doesn’t involve the Kings getting fleeced, this is the team that the front office wants to challenge for a playoff spot with. The pressure is building, and the room for error is only going to shrink and shrink as the season goes on. Cousins has had a masterful season so far, and as the boulder on his shoulder gets heavy and harder to hold, Kings fan’s are going to see just how much DeMarcus can take, for better and for worse.

Prediction

The trajectory of Willie and Malachi will come to a peak today when while wandering through old man Bird’s cornfield before the game they find a mysterious glowing stone and it fuses them in Walla Caulchi-Richardstein aka Potential Boy! Able to run like the wind, shoot like the stars and do the work of two men in limited minutes on the court, Potential Boy relies on the love of his teammates and the acceptance of his coach as the source of his powers and tonight, he scores 22 points tonight, grabs 13 rebounds tonight and blocks 3 shots all in 22 minutes of playing time! For years to come, this will be the night the NBA remembers the revelation of the next great NBA tandem!

Kings: 109, Pacers: 104