Game 15 Preview: Sacramento Kings vs. Indiana Pacers
Gametime: 7:00 pm PT
Where: Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, CA.
Broadcast Information: Click here.
For Pacers perspective, visit fellow TrueHoop Network affiliate 8 Points, 9 Seconds.
Sacramento Kings Probable Starters (4-10)
Indiana Pacers Probable Starters (7-8)
Three questions to ponder
1. If the game is close, can the Kings execute effectively in crunch time?
Recently, a lot has been made about the Kings’ struggles to close out games effectively. They were in control of what could have been their first road win a week ago in Utah and within striking distance against Minnesota on Tuesday. They lost both games because of confusion on the offensive end. It took two overtimes for the Pacers to beat the Kings last time around. If tonight’s contest is tight, how will Keith Smart and the Kings fair down the stretch?
2. Can the Kings’ defense keep the Pacers’ offense from having a breakout game?
If there’s a team in the league that can relate to the Kings’ early offensive woes, it would have to be the Pacers. Indiana is averaging just 90.4 points per game and shooting just 41 percent from the field this season. They’ve also shot below 40 percent and committed at least 19 turnovers in seven of their 15 games. For the most part, the Kings have been playing better defense this year. Will they keep it up against the Pacers?
3. Will we see Tyreke Evans play more than 35 minutes this evening?
Since the switch in the starting unit, Evans has played much better. In five games with Salmons and Brooks as starters, the Kings swingman is averaging 21 points, 4.8 assists and 5.4 rebounds – numbers that are very comparable to his Rookie of the Year campaign. He’s also scoring at an incredibly effective rate, shooting 54.8 percent from the field in those five games. Despite his improved success, Evans has played just 32 minutes per game during that stretch. Keith Smart would like to get Evans more playing time, but he wants to make sure he’s productive in those minutes. Do we see that happen tonight?