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Kings vs Hornets Preview: Go Get the Hornets!

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The Kings are in Charlotte and hoping they can stop their losing streak at seven games!

Kimani Okearah

It’s a Monday, the Kings have lost ten of their last eleven games and I’m almost certain that the feral cat I’ve been sneaking food to outside my garage these last few months outside is a raccoon. But there is good news! To help those Sacramento viewers out who feel compelled to watch these game, they’ve mercifully scheduled today’s game against the Charlotte Hornets to the last hour of the West Coast workday. So, if you’re looking forward to watching as Kemba Walker and De’Aaron Fox square up in a battle of ultra-quick point guards, or as Willie Cauley-Stein attempts to school Dwight Howard for 30 minutes, or to see if Bogdan Bogdanovic can handle the suffocating defense of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, CONGRATULATIONS! You’re gonna get paid to watch!

Let’s talk stress management techniques Kings basketball!

When: Monday, January 22nd; 4:00 pm PST

Where: Spectrum Center; Charlotte, NC

TV: NBCSCA

Radio: KTHK Sports 1140 AM

For Your Consideration

Cho No You Didn’t: Close your eyes and think about this for a moment: who is the highest paid player on the Charlotte Hornets? Did they lure Dwight Howard to Charlotte with a big deal this past summer? Maybe Nic Batum signed a great big expensive extension recently? Did a Zeller brother average more than 9 points a game and blow Hornets GM Rich Cho out of the water with the development? If you’re picking up any part of what I’m putting down, you’re seeing that I’ve left out the heart and soul of the Hornets franchise, their undisputed best player and the very obvious choice for highest paid player, Kemba Walker. In fact, at $12 million a season, Kemba Walker is the sixth highest paid player on the Hornets this year: Dwight Howard, Nic Batum, Marvin Williams, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and yes, Cody Zeller all make more dough than Cardiac Kemba. Yet still, Hornets GM Rich Cho has been described as “eager” to throw the face of the franchise into a trade that would unload a “burdensome” contract. How does this help or hurt the Kings? It really doesn’t. Maybe Kemba comes out and plays pissed off and wrecks the Kings as punishment for hearing his name in the trade winds. Maybe he’s upset enough that he slumps and gives the Kings a shot at a much needed win. Kings fans know better than most that the NBA is a business, and usually more cruel than considerate, but for a team to be hot-and-bothered into trading a guy who’s known for being a leader and a stand-up guy both on and off the court, just feels a little dirty.

(Tank) Treading Lightly : With the Kings now firmly set on digging in for a defense of their even deepening trench in the Western Conference, it might be easy to start writing previews on what the Kings can do to ensure the best chances at a #1 pick instead of a secure a win. We know the usual suspects in a Kings loss; they’re a terrible rebounding team, don’t have legitimate #1-3 scoring options, and take three pointers as often as I take opportunities to praise the Lakers championship runs in the the early 2000’s. The Kings are young, and foolhardy, and about as watchable as a nocturnal chameleon vivarium at the zoo. So I want to know what you think: should these previews be temporarily converted to a more tank friendly, “what to watch for” where we deal with storylines or things outside of wins-and-losses and hard stats? In these loss heavy times, how can we adjust to make these even more fun? If you want me to stay in my lane, I’ll stay. If you want me write film reviews disguised as Game Previews to get by Akisbot, I can do that too. We’re full steam ahead into the iceberg of ineptitude and I’m throwing you all some waterwings. If you want me to move the boat in another direction, just say so.

Prediction: Kemba Walker wipes his eyes on the stacks of cash he keeps in his warmups, and decides tonight is the night he goes from plucky underdog, to NBA villain. In the middle of the first quarter, he trucks De’Aaron Fox in the middle of a high flying dunk attempt and is immediately ejected. Frank Kaminski scores 25 points to continue his run of beating Willie Cauley-Stein during high stakes games (like this one) and Dwight Howard does the impossible and hits 70% of his free throws. Despite the immense pressure, Skal finally engages and hits turn-arounds and fadeaways all night, Buddy Hield dominates Nic Batum and Malik Monk, and the Kings win after a floppy MKG jumper rims out at the buzzer.

Kings: 93, Hornets: 92