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Kings vs. Spurs Preview: The Streak Continues

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The Kings are down to their final 7 games and will have to face off against another playoff bound team tonight in San Antonio

Kimani Okearah

Playing right on the heels of giving up a fifty point triple double to the guy who’s going to end up second in MVP voting this year, have no time to wallow in the misery of having the door finally shut on the playoffs so damn hard. This will be the thirteenth year in row that Sacramento Kings fans get to enjoy not going to basketball games past mid-April, and the thirteenth year in a row they’ll get to stare at the screen, meditate and really try hard not to fall asleep during the middle innings of America’s third favorite sport all before the month of May. The Kings are in San Antonio for a Sunday afternoon skermish between a team who faked dead just long enough for Kings fans to really get the sense Sacramento was going to end their drought of playoff appearances, and then went out and did the Spurs-iest thing imaginable and rattled off 11 wins in the next 14 games after losing 7 outta 8 on between the two sides of the All-Star Break. The Kings will have to dig deep after a close game in Houston, and no one is quite sure what’s left in that tank.

Let’s talk Kings basketball!

When: Sunday, March 31th; 4 pm PST

Where: AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX

TV: NBCSCA

Radio: KHTK Sports 1140 AM

For Your Consideration

Lamarcus off the List, Please: This is another one of those games where you can generally feel whats you’re in for well before tip-off, because well it’s the Spurs and of course, it’s the Kings on a back-to-back which they have been absolutely miserable in this season. The Kings are 3-9 this season in games with zero rest and they’re averaging ten points lower in those contests than they do on their season average. With the Kings a smidge extra tired from a close one in Houston where they had three Kings score over 20 points (Bogi, Buddy, Marvin) and one score 18 (Fox) and take into consideration that the Spurs haven’t played since they beat up on Cleveland on Thursday, this one is going to be rough. This is the game I was sure that I was going to bring back my movie suggestions segment where I tell you to watch a movie instead of the Kings game, but I think we’re in deep enough to this successful season that I should let you torture yourself into hate watching this. Instead, let’s just talk about in quick succession what we should be excited to watch for in this game.

Firstly, I really want to see some big minutes for Marvin Bagley against LaMarcus Aldridge. Marvin’s stock rises everyday in my eyes, and I don’t see it out of the question that he have himself a career with an Aldridge level impact on the league. Obviously, Aldridge is a bit more ground bound and shooty than young Bagley, but in terms of what others see when they roll into town and see Aldridge is on the menu for the game, I can see Bagley commanding that level of respect from opponents and blog boys alike. Every All-Star big that matches up with Bagley is like seeing one potential future for the kid, and seeing him outwork and out hustle a guy like L.A. would soothe the sting of last night. Secondly, I’m excited to see if Bogi can continue to break out of his near season long slump with a second positive game in row. Last night Bogi erupted from the bench with 24 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists while shooting 5-7 from deep. The guy has spent the whole season hampered after missing training camp and most of his conditioning after knee surgery and during the part of the season where I just assumed he’d completely fall off a cliff or the Kings would rest him for the season to give him an early start on recovery before his European commitments this summer, and instead his rips off a game like that. I still have high hopes for a Bogi that can get his body right and his season hasn’t been bad, only disappointing after a beautiful rookie season. Lastly, I want some Harrison Barnes v. Rudy Gay action tonight. The old small forward of the future against the new one. Rudy still has rounds left in the chamber and I could easily see him ripping off 25 points and 9 boards against a Kings squad that had Justin Jackson lining up against him, but Harrison Barnes has been such a treat to watch on the defensive end. That match-up isn’t a cake walk for Rudy, especially considering how well Barnes shooting has come along since settling in with the Kings. Okay, that’s all I got for you today: Bagley vs. Aldridge, Bogi vs. Bad Season, Barnes vs. Gay. Enjoy your Sunday!

Prediction

Seeing as how Willie blew away my predicted 6 rebounds yesterday by grabbing 7, and Bagley grabbed 12 instead of the predicted 9, I’m going to challenge my powers of intuition: Willie grabs 4 boards, Bagley grabs 14.

Kings: 104, Spurs: 103