Kings Battle Suns on the Road: Game Preview


023 10/22/2012 Suns guard Goran Dragic (cq) splits a double team by Kings’ Isaiah Thomas (cq left) and Hamady Ndiaye (cq) during preseaon NBA action at U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix October 22, 2012. Michael Chow/The Arizona Republicz

The Sacramento Kings prepare to take on the Phoenix Suns only a day after their most lob-sided loss of the season. The Kings hope to get back on track against a Suns team that sits just above them in their division standings. They will hope to regain the services of Tyreke Evans tonight, but the uncertainty surrounding his knees has left the team to question his availability.

The Kings will need to forget last night’s game, and come ready to play tonight in Phoenix. DeMarcus Cousins has had some of his best games in his career against this Phoenix team, and will be asked to be a leader on the floor tonight. Cousins has found a way in the midst of his teams recent struggles, to find his footing and has started to play more consistent basketball. The Kings need to exploit the obvious mismatch between Gortat and Cousins tonight.

The Kings will need Jason Thompson to continue his excellent play. Thompson has easily been the Kings most consistent player this season; he is only two rebounds away from averaging a double double, and can be expected to have a solid game tonight against the smaller Louis Scolla. Thompson has started to learn how to let the game to him, and stop forcing his offense. He has become a solid defender, who has learned to limit his fouls.

If the Kings hope to have any chance tonight, they will need to come ready to play from the start of the game. The Suns aren’t an NBA power house, but they are very capable of having a big scoring night. Phoenix has won their 9 games mostly because of their hustle and team play. Sacramento needs to learn from its mistakes last night, and and find a way to eliminate its complacency. Good teams win games with tough defense and team play. Sacramento will need to do much better passing the ball after tying their season low with only 13 assists last night.

Simply put, pass the ball! Find the open man, spread the floor, no one on one offense. If Keith Smart wants to keep his job, its time to figure out how to best utilize his roster. If guys aren’t passing the ball, sit them on the bench. One of the biggest reasons Sacramento was destroyed last night at home against the Nuggets was simple; the Nuggets had more than double the Kings total assists. The Nuggets’ Ty Lawson and Andre Iguoldala combined to have more assists than the entire Kings team. Play tough defense, pass the ball, and most importantly, play as a team.

Probable Starters:

Sacramento Kings

32 Francisco Garcia Forward
34 Jason Thompson Forward
15 DeMarcus Cousins Center
5 John Salmons Guard
3 Aaron Brooks Guard

Phoenix Suns

3 Jared Dudley Forward
14 Louis Scola Forwad
4 Marcin Gortat Center
26 Shannon Brown Guard
1 Goran Dragic Guard