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Kings vs Timberwolves Preview: Leaders of the pack

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The Kings begin a difficult stretch by facing the frisky Timberwolves

Kimani Okearah - SactownRoyalty.com

The Sacramento Kings are riding high after a successful road trip and an absolute destruction of the Chicago Bulls on Monday. The Chicago game was emblematic of this season so far. At the slightest sign of opposition I begin to worry that perhaps this is finally the moment that the dream falls apart and collapses in upon itself, but the team rallies and proves me wrong. As I look at the Kings schedule for the remainder of December I feel a similar sense of dread. Could this be where things start to return to the misery we’ve known for so long? But then I look at this team and the camaraderie they have and the style of play they demonstrate, and I’m ready to keep being surprised by just how fun and good this squad is. With that, let’s talk Kings basketball.

When: Wednesday, December 12th; 7:00 pm PST

Where: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, CA

TV: NBCSCA

Radio: KHTK Sports 1140 AM

For Your Consideration

The Minnesota Timberwolves last met the Kings on November 9th and were so thoroughly embarrassed that they finally broke down and trade Jimmy Butler. After the trade the Timberwolves won seven of their next nine games, and it seems as thought the Wolves might have experienced addition by subtraction. The Wolves only losses since the Butler trade have been against the Memphis Grizzlies, Denver Nuggets, Boston Celtics, Portland Trail Blazers, and the Golden State Warriors. The Blazers and Warriors losses make up the two game losing streak the Wolves are riding into Golden 1 Center. The Kings will look to make it a three game losing streak, but it will certainly not be an easy task.

Willie Cauley-Stein and the Kings big men will face the challenge of slowing down Karl-Anthony Towns. Towns torched the Kings in their first meeting, finishing with 39 points and 19 rebounds. The Kings won regardless, but that’s a risky way to get a win. Slowing down Towns and forcing the other Wolves to beat you would be preferred but is easier said than done. In his last 10 games KAT is averaging 24.4 points and 11.3 rebounds per game. The guy is a machine.

Hope remains in the forms of De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, and Bogdan Bogdanovic. The Kings rotation of guards should have their way against Minnesota’s defense. Both sides will score plenty, neither team is known for their defensive prowess, but the Kings seem to have a knack lately for big defensive stops in key moments.

A win against the Timberwolves would have other ramifications as well. With a win tonight the Kings would secure no worse than a season split with Minnesota, which would be vital come the end of the season. While I’m not getting my hopes up for a playoff berth, we’re far enough into the season that we can at least pay attention to season matchup splits with other teams who could end up in the same general range of wins. I’ve been writing about the Kings for nearly 10 years, and I can’t recall ever needing to pay attention to season splits with opponents because they might impact playoff chances. This is fun.

Prediction

Willie Cauley-Stein and Karl-Anthony Towns both score lots of points before eventually being ejected after fighting. It will later be revealed that the argument stemmed from a disagreement of whether hyphenated first names or hyphenated last names are cooler. De’Aaron Fox leads all scorers.

Kings 129, Wolves 119