Happy Valentine’s Day. You forgot, didn’t you? No, no that’s fine; I’ve been meaning to spend some time at my mother’s anyways. (Just kidding, I live with my mom.)
It’s Tuesday night, love is in the air. Gifts are all bought. Candles are lit. Roses in the vase. Wine is a-flowing. What better time to flip on the television and tune in to watch two teams who could combine their wins and still be four back of the Warriors? Nothing says Valentines Day like two less-than-mediocre entities coming together for 48 minutes and only one coming away satisfied with how they scored, so go ahead and reverse-jinx your evening, and make sure the worst part of the night is the game you put on!
Let’s talk Kings basketball!
When: Thursday, February 14th, 7:30 pm PST
Where: Staples Center, NBATV, CSN-CA, KHTK Sports 1140 AM
For Your Consideration
The last time the Kings were playing a team with a record as bad as the Lakers, they were losing to Devin Booker’s bankshot at the horn, so I want to start with prefacing my writing by saying the Kings should not be looking past this team. All jokes aside, the Kings aren’t nearly good enough to take night’s off and it would be so Kangz to let this game slide right by them. First key to this game: Don’t. You. Be. Looking. Past. The. Lakers.
All that being said, the Lakers are bad. They give up the 4th most points in the NBA at over 110 a game, they’ve got the second worst defensive rating in the league and are currently 27th in opponent points in the paint, 28th in the league in blocks and 25th in the league in fouls, though admittedly they’re also a respectable 13th in steals. This young Laker squad is handsy, and as good as it is to have that quality in your date tonight, it’s also a pretty fortunate quality to have in an opponent. The Kings are 8th in the NBA in free throw attempts, and currently score 18.5% of their points at the free throw line this season, sixth highest percentage at the league. DeMarcus Cousins by himself is 3rd in the NBA in free throw attempts at basically ten free throws a game; if he and the rest of the squad can keep their cool in the midst of the hackery, they should live at the free throw line tonight.
It doesn’t get much better on the offensive side of the ball. They’re 20th in the NBA in three point percentage (35.3%) and 23rd in two point percentage (48.5%) and almost completely average in attempts in both categories. They’re the 6th lowest assisting team in the NBA and 5th most turnover prone, and so the Kings should be able to take full advantage of the multitude of mistakes a young team in the NBA will make. Here’s a stat that surprised me; the Kings are currently 8th in the NBA in steals. Forcing turnovers tonight will be a major point tonight, with the added hope that the Kings can bring their own back down a bit to where it was earlier this year.
In the end, this is a game against a lottery team (probably for both sides). The game is winnable in every sense of the word, and it isn’t hard to see the holes in a team like the Lakers, especially with how inexperienced they all are. The Kings can draw fouls all night against them, and pressure them into turnovers and extra scoring opportunities, but the biggest thing tonight will be actually playing the Lakers for 48 minutes. Looking ahead to the Warriors on Wednesday is easy to do, especially considering their last game against Golden State going so well. The Lakers aren’t a warm up. Four quarters of basketball then someone gets an L, and someone gets a W. Play them first, worry about the next game on the bus ride back to the airport.
One of your co-workers will loudly exclaim that Valentine’s Day was created by corporations solely to pressure society with love into buying more useless junk, and you’re a shill if you buy into it. That co-worker will be home alone tonight.
The Kings get the W on V-Day.
Kings: 114, Lakers: 106