Game 16 Preview: Kings at Spurs

Gregg Popovich patrols the sidelines for the San Antonio Spurs. (Photo: Jonathan Santiago)

Game time: 5:30 p.m. PDT

Where: AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX.

Broadcast Information: KHTK Sports 1140 (Radio), Comcast SportsNet California (Local Television)

Sacramento Kings Probable Starters (9-6)

PG: Darren Collison
SG: Ben McLemore
SF: Rudy Gay
PF: Jason Thompson
C: Ryan Hollins

San Antonio Spurs Probable Starters (10-4)

PG: Tony Parker
SG: Danny Green
SF: Kawhi Leonard
PF: Boris Diaw
C: Tim Duncan

Three things to ponder

1. Inside job

The Spurs are back to playing their Alamo-style defense, holding opponents to 91.9 points per game which is second in the NBA. With Tiago Splitter (calf) out, the Kings mercilessly attacked the key in their matchup on November 15, scoring 58 of their 94 points in the paint. Splitter remains out, paving the way for Sacramento’s frontcourt to bully an aging Tim Duncan and friends once again.

2. Turnovers

San Antonio’s offense has struggled to start the season, so they will happily welcome Sacramento turnovers. The Kings have repeatedly shot themselves in the foot this season by carelessly losing the ball and allowing baskets in transition, highlighted by a nine-turnover effort in the first quarter of a loss to the Houston Rockets Wednesday. Coincidentally, the Kings surrendered only nine turnovers for the game in their win two weeks ago versus the Spurs.

3. Bench play

The Kings’ bench has been a sore spot this season, routinely struggling to defend, rebound, hold leads and find offensive production beyond Carl Landry and Omri Casspi. San Antonio outscored Sacramento’s bench 31-20 last time out, so eyes will be on Ramon Sessions, Nik Stauskas and Derrick Williams to make an impact.

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About: Rui Thomas

Rui Thomas is a writer and reporter for Cowbell Kingdom. He previously covered the Sacramento Kings and the NBA for Sports Out West. He is published by Sports Illustrated’s Truth and Rumors and Yahoo Sports NFL among others.