Francisco Garcia, John Salmons and company eye the court during a break in action against the Dallas Mavericks. (Photo: Steven Chea)

Gametime: 4:30 pm PT

Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA.

Broadcast Information: TV – Comcast SportsNet California, Radio – CBS Sports 1140

The book on the 76ers: The Sixers haven’t had the season they hoped for when they traded Andre Iguodala for Andrew Bynum.  The former Lakers center has missed all of this year due to troublesome knees.  He’s eyeing a comeback after the All-Star Break. After upsetting the Chicago Bulls in the first round of last year’s playoffs, the Sixers have posted just a paltry 19-26 record and wouldn’t be playing if the postseason started today.  They do have one bright spot in the form of Jrue Holiday.  The Sixers guard has played at an All-Star level all season long and his efforts have been rewarded with a trip to Houston.

Did you know?  The Sixers have won the last seven of eight meetings with the Kings.  In the Sacramento-era, the series all tied up at 26-26.

Status Updates: None to report.

Sacramento Kings Probable Starters (17-30)

PG: Isaiah Thomas
SG: Tyreke Evans
SF: John Salmons
PF: Jason Thompson
C: DeMarcus Cousins

Philadelphia 76ers Probable Starters (19-26)

PG: Jrue Holiday
SG: Nick Young
SF: Evan Turner
PF: Thaddeus Young
C: Spencer Hawes

Stats

Kings

  • Points Per Game: 96.6
  • Offensive Rating: 100.7
  • Opponents Points Per Game: 102.4
  • Defensive Rating: 108.1
  • Pace: 95.01

76ers

  • Points Per Game: 93.4
  • Offensive Rating: 99.7
  • Opponents Points Per Game: 96.2
  • Defensive Rating: 102.9
  • Pace: 93.24

Three questions to ponder

1.  Will the Kings win the rebounding battle?

Opponents have manhandled the Kings on the boards as of late.  Over their last four games, Sacramento has been out-rebounded by their opponents 182-152.  A part of the blame lies on the Kings’ starting frontline.  Jason Thompson and DeMarcus Cousins have been unable to get the job done lately, as they’ve averaged just 9.5 combined rebounds over the last four games.  If there ever was a game to get the Kings’ rebounding woes off the snide, this would be it.  The Sixers aren’t exactly world beaters on the boards either.  They’re currently ranked 23rd in rebounding this season – one spot ahead of the Kings.

2.  Will the Kings have an answer for Jrue Holiday?

The Sixers may be having a down year, but their starting point guard certainly isn’t.  Holiday is having his best season as a pro and as a result, he’s been rewarded with his first-career All-Star selection.  The fourth-year guard out of UCLA is averaging 19.4 points and 8.9 assists in just under 40 minutes a game.  Doug Collins has given Holiday the keys to the car and he’s driving full speed ahead.  I would expect to see Tyreke Evans get a crack at Holiday on defense, considering that Holiday’s 6’4-205 lbs.frame poses a size mismatch for the Kings’ point guards.

3.  Which Kings veteran, if any, makes the most significant contribution?

Will it be Francisco Garcia?  The longest-tenured King may not always produce, but he’s always prepared to play whenever his number is called. What about Travis Outlaw?  The small forward has played sporadically in his one-year stint with the Kings, but there are moments when he reminds fans of the talent he once showcased in Portland.  Maybe, it’s Chuck Hayes.  With Cousins and Thompson struggling mightily to produce, Hayes has seen an increase in playing time over the last few weeks.  In the Kings’ last four games, Hayes has posted the highest rebound percentage of any King.

Statistical support provided by NBA.com.