The Sacramento Kings prepare to take on the Utah Jazz this evening as they hope to bring the energy and success against the Lakers to Utah in search of a much needed winning streak. The Kings played perhaps their best basketball of the season last Wednesday, beating the Lakers by 16 points. The Kings had their best night from the field against the Lakers shooting 54.8% from the field.
If the Kings want to continue winning basketball games, then they will need John Salmons to step up as he did Wednesday, and be a true leader on the floor. Salmons was perhaps the biggest reason the Kings stayed in the game in the first half of Wednesday’s game against the Lakers.
The Kings were two assists shy of their season high of 25 Wednesday, and are playing a Utah Jazz team who is coming off a season high preformance of 30 assists. The Kings will get run out of the building if they fall into playing too much one on one basketball, instead of moving the ball, and finding open guys for easy baskets.
Demarcus Cousins was one of the only Kings that didn’t have an exceptional game Wednesday, so watch for Cousins to bounce back with a better all around effort tonight in Utah.
Jimmer Fredette will be welcomed home to Utah like a champion, and will need to shake off the mass amounts of media surrounding Jimmer mania in Utah. The young guard could be used tonight as Kings head coach Keith Samrt has already acknowledged he is still trying to find more minutes , and more ways to utilize his young guard.
Aaron Brooks had a quiet 13 points and 3 assists against the Lakers. He will be asked to continue to improve as he learns to run this young offense.
While Brooks had a great game, Tyreke Evans made a very good case to play a hybrid shooting guard position. Evans played lock down defense at times, and helped make several key stops throughout Wednesdays game. Tyreke played his best offensive game of the season scoring 18 points and dishing out a season high 6 assists. Evans’ ability to get to drive to the basket is a well known fact throughout the league, but Evans has started to pass the ball and find easy baskets for his teammates as defenses have keyed in on Evans and his pension for going to the basket.
If Evans and the Kings want to be a competitive team this season, it must start with tough defense and consistent ball movement.
13 Tyreke Evans Forward
34 Jason Thompson Forward
15 DeMarcus Cousins Center
5 John Salmons Guard
3 Arron Brooks Guard
24 Paul Millsap Forward
15 Derrick Favors Forward
25 Al Jefferson Center
8 Randy Foye Guard
5 Mo Williams Guard