The Sacramento Kings are playing host to the New Orleans Pelicans this fine Wednesday evening, and will suffer at the hands of a team that hasn’t lost a game in almost a month. While many (including yours truly) counted the Pelicans as cooked after DeMarcus Cousins went down with an Achilles tear, New Orleans has rebounded from the loss in spectacular fashion. Whether it was finding a diamond in the rough in former #2 overall pick Emeka Okafor to help fill Boogie’s shoes, or finding out that Jrue Holiday has been on screen saver mode this entire season, or finding that Anthony Davis has yet another gear he can kick into, the Pels have found themselves in the hunt for not only a playoff spot, but possible a little homecourt advantage as well. They’re on a current nine game winning streak, so, this should be easy. Hey, remember when Rajon Rondo was a King? Me neither.
Let’s talk Kings basketball!
When: Wednesday, March 7th; 7:00 pm PST
Where: Golden 1 Center; Sacramento, CA
Radio: KHTK Sports 1140 AM
For Your Consideration
Brow Beat to Flying High: Here’s how wacky the Western Conference playoff race is turning out to be: the New Orleans Pelicans lost their second All-Star and world beater in DeMarcus Cousins and have since climbed from clawing for the eighth seed, to currently sitting in the FOURTH spot, while teams that hovered at the top like the Spurs and Timberwolves continue their march to the bottom. The 10th seed Jazz have won 15 of their last 17 games and have not moved a single spot in their final push for the playoffs. Four games separate the third seeded Trailblazers and those aforementioned Jazz, and my head is going to explode if I have to think about it any more.
All credit is due for a Pelican’s squad who, despite being pretty terrible on paper, have fought and scrapped their way into this position and instead of suffering their Boogie bummer and taking a nice lottery pick as consolation, instead decided “screw that” and flourished in their new norms. Anthony Davis has taken himself into a NBA MVP candidate-level form since losing his front court partner on January 26th. During their nine game winning streak, The Brow has been averaging 37.4 points, 14.6 rebounds, 2.9 blocks, 2.3 steals and all on 50.7% from the field and 83.2% from the line. The man has transcended to near super human levels of production to keep his team in the hunt for the playoffs. Toss in a Jrue Holiday who is springing back to a form more in line with that New Orleans has hoped for and recently added pieces like Nikola Mirotic and Emeka Okafor producing as well, the Pelicans are in a spot to make some noise in the playoffs. I’m sure this is exactly where they imagined they’d shoot for on the first day of training camp, they just did it the most bass-ackwards way possible, and while DeMarcus won’t be able to play in these playoffs, a team that he helped lead for more than half the season now looks to be in prime position to get there.
Anyone who comments “Ewing Effect!” gets slapped.
Draft Dreams: As the Kings continue to be clutch and Luka Doncic slides further out of my grasp... ladies and gentlemen: the next Kawhi Leonard/Donovan Mitchell/Guy-The-Kings-Shouldn’t-Have-Passed-On.
Prediction: Skal Labissiere is by far the best Wildcat big guy in the arena on Wednesday night, putting up 25 and 13 on the scrawny, thin shouldered Davis. Davis goes down in the first half with an everything injury, per the usual. Jrue Holiday? More like Jrue LaQuinta! Emeka Okafor scores 12 points, matching his career totals in just one game.
Kings: 116, Pelicans: 101