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Kings vs Sixers Preview: Kings Slip Into Philly, Hoping to Slide Out With a Win

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The Kings are in Philly for a make-up game with hopes to clean up their record by mopping the floor with the suddenly upstart Sixers.

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Would somebody wake up the temperature control guy in Philly and let him know that there is a game this afternoon at the Wells Fargo Center, please? Also, check to make sure the pre-game wipe down of the floor involves using water and not vegetable oil; Vivek Sactown Royalty can’t afford to be paying me to write previews for games that don’t end up happening. In the off-chance that the competent staff members at the Wells Fargo Center are scheduled to show up on Monday, the Kings and Sixers have their second and final game scheduled and it should be an absolute doozy. Starting off 2017 with a 9-5 record, the Sixers are suddenly hot to trot, and with Rookie of the Year runaway candidate Joel Embiid leading the charge, the fans in Philly suddenly have something to feel optimistic right now and going forward. Last game featured a Kings victory sealed only when Joel Embiid’s three pointer airballed at the final buzzer, so if the Kings want to make this season a clean sweep against the Sixers, expect the game to be rather well contested. Let’s talk Kings basketball.

When: Monday, January 30th, 3:00 pm PST

Where: Wells Fargo Center, CSN-CA, KHTK Sports 1140 AM

For Your Condensation

Kings Focus:

Minimize the Dry Spells: You ever seem to notice how the Kings go through really long dry spells without scoring? It seems like every night CSN puts a graphic up that shows the Kings headed towards 4 minutes without scoring and the Kings really can’t have that tonight. The Sixers allow the seventh highest two point percentage and the 13th highest three point percentage to their opponents, which has also translated into giving up the 10th most points per game; the Kings should be able score here and in bunches, but they need to keep it even.

The bench has been huge of late, and with DeMarcus having to come out at some point or another, maintaining consistent scoring will be key. Willie Cauley-Stein was great in his role off the bench against the Hornets and a return to recent form for Malachi Richardson would be nice to see, especially against a team much closer to his basketball maturity. Positive minutes from him after a light game on Saturday night can only further help his case for heavier minutes, and what better time to do it then against former Kings shooting guard, Nik Stauskas? That CSN counter distracts me to no end, so here’s hoping for good games from them both and some even scoring throughout.

Impede the Flow of Embiid: Joel Embiid is by far and away the best player on the Sixers this season, and recently his play has spurred them into victories over the Hornets, the Bucks (x2), the Clippers, Raptors, Trail Blazers and lost to a team that has haunted the Kings this season, the Houston Rockets, by a total of five. Without him on Sunday night? They lost to the Bulls by 13. The Kings will have to find a way to further their successes against Embiid from their game on December 26th. Though he scored 25 points and grabbed 8 boards, Embiid also had 8 turnovers and 5 fouls. Limiting his success early by putting him in foul trouble, or by frustrating him into strings of turnovers will pay dividends for a Kings team looking for any advantage they can take. Don’t get me wrong here; the other big men in Philly are plenty talented to spur them to a victory. Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor, may each in their own right be worth a “please stop this guy” someday. But Embiid isn’t someday, he’s now. Stop Embiid, and the Kings have a fantastic shot at bringing this game home.

Leak Out: At 15.8 points per game, the Sixers give up the second most fast break points in the NBA, and it could only behoove the Kings to allow them to continue that trend. With the sudden uptick in production from Willie Cauley-Stein, and the speed of both Ty Lawson and Darren Collison on the court, running against this team could turn into some easy dunk opportunities for the big guy. The Kings will absolutely have their opportunities to run tonight; Philadelphia tallies the third most turnovers per game in the NBA at 17.8 a game, and in December 26th’s match-up in Sacramento, they gave the ball up 22 times. The Kings have only averaged 11 fastbreak points per game in the first 47 games of this season, but the Kings would be smart to push the pace, especially during Boogie’s time off the floor, and see if they can capitalize on the Sixers’ porous transition defense.

Precipitation

The Kings are gonna hit the hard wood (figuratively) with extra motivation today and start off hot again against Philly. DeMarcus is going to frustrate Embiid all afternoon, showing who the best big man in the league is, as well as offer some definitive proof as to why there was only one All-Star on the floor in today’s game. To add to the insult, Willie Cauley-Stein is going to throw a massive slam home on Embiid’s head and after the game Rihanna’s gonna call him and move that “date” goal post to Embiid getting an MVP award.

Kings: 105, Philly: 99