Two wins in a row was nice, but let’s be honest, the Kings weren’t playing the best teams. The Magic and Suns were tanking a bit themselves and now the Kings enter a stretch where they play seven playoff teams in a row. The Thunder are first up on the board, and right now they’re in the midst of a four game winning streak as well as a four game triple-double streak for Russell Westbrook.
Westbrook has stepped up in a huge way this season since Kevin Durant left Oklahoma City. Not only is he leading the league in scoring at 31.7 points a game, he’s also averaging a triple-double in just 35 minutes a game. For reference on how incredible this is, when Oscar Robertson had his triple-double season, he was playing 44 minutes a game in a much faster pace NBA (Cincinatti’s Pace was 124.9 possessions, only 5th in the NBA at the time. Oklahoma City is 7th in the NBA now at 97.9 possessions).
If I had to guess, I would say the Kings probably weren’t doing any “planned rests” tonight as the Thunder are not a team that Sacramento would be likely to beat even at full strength. They’ve only gotten better since the trade deadline, adding veteran big man Taj Gibson and sharpshooter Doug McDermott. This is a team with a lot of size, unlike the Phoenix Suns. Skal Labissiere probably isn’t going off for 32 points against this team (although boy would I love to see him do just that).
Tip-off’s at noon. Go Kings.