The Kings are on a second game of a back to back tonight as they take on their East Coast equivalents: the Brooklyn Nets. At 11-18 the Nets are struggling through yet another season, and with slim pickings in terms of draft picks in the near future, are relying on finding diamonds in the rough in the middle of their youth movement in order to stay competitive. Brooklyn’s two leading scorers are out for long periods of time, and they just traded for some nobody and Nik Stauskas. Tonight’s game should feel eerily familiar to you: the Kings seem to have a battle with the nets most nights. Zing! Let’s talk Kings basketball!
When: Wednesday, December 20th; 4:30 pm PST
Where: Barclays Center; Brooklyn, NY
Radio: KHTK Sports 1140 AM
For Your Consideration
Look in on Brooklyn: The Nets might be a fairly bad basketball team this season, but that isn’t going to keep them from getting their exercise! Coach Kenny Atkinson has his team running and gunning, and with the third highest pace in the NBA, and the tenth highest points per game in the league at 107.1 points per game, they’re doing a darn good job at both. The wild thing with their scoring is, as high as it is, they don’t have an active player averaging over 14.5 a game. If you went and took a gander at basketball reference, you’d see that they’ve got 11 players currently averaging over 10 points per game for them. The massive caveat is obviously that two (D’Angelo Russell, Jeremy Lin) are out for most or all of the season, and another two (Jahlil Okafor, Brik Stauskas) have just a couple games under their belt with this new team. But still, this team is the odd, rare combo of high scoring by committee. The Kings are by no means strangers to this concept, with seven guys of their own averaging 8 or more points a game, but they’re also currently last in the league in points per game at 96.2 points per game. So how does Brooklyn get their points? Well, for one, they’re shot jackers. They take the 5th most threes in the NBA while only hitting 34% of them, making them the 3 worst shooting team from deep. They also seem to take the fourth fewest two pointers, making 50.6% of those shots, landing them square center in the league at 15th in the NBA. Making up for their pedestrian shooting numbers, the Nets take the 4th most free throws in the NBA, but still only hit 74% of them. More like the Brooklyn Backboards, amirite?
On the defensive end, the Nets give up the third most points in the NBA at 110.9 points a contest. They’re fairly inept all over the court; they’re 28th in steals, 26th in blocks, and force the third least turnovers in the NBA. They also foul at a direct smack middle of the pack rate of 21 times per game on average. No player on their team is particularly foul happy, with the leader for fouls on their team being Spencer Dinwiddie with 2.5 fouls per game. This is a team that wants the get the ball, and go down the court and if the Kings can get them to play more to their style of play, the Kings should be able to take advantage of their defensive ineptitude. The likes of Frank Mason and Bogdan Bogdanovic should be able to get to the rim with regularity; the Nets don’t have a single guy averaging a block a game (the Kings have exactly one, though to be complete fair and transparent). The Kings and Nets are experiments in futility on separate ends of the NBA scale: one team goes fast, scores a lot and has just three players who have played 7 seasons or more while the other team plays slow, scores only when absolutely necessary and has 5 players over 7 years experience, with 2 having a combined 35 years of play in the NBA. They’re both relatively young squads with dodgy draft prospects going forward with coaches that are somewhat up-and-comers and owners that are known to over reach a bit. But hey, here’s to not being Nets fans!
Prediction: The Nets have 11 players that all score 10 points while the Kings have 10 players that score 10 points and Buddy Hield only has 8 until the waning moments of 4th when he hits a step back 2 and gets fouled in the process. The whole world for a moment is perfectly balanced for those few moments, and a feeling of serenity befalls us all. Buddy hits the free throw, the Kings win the game, and chaos once again reigns supreme.
Kings: 111, Nets: 110