Game 17 Preview: Sacramento Kings vs. Toronto Raptors

Marcus Thornton vs. Gerald Green (Photo: Steven Chea)

Gametime: 7:00 pm PT

Where:  Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, CA.

Broadcast Information: Click here.

For Raptors perspective, visit fellow TrueHoop Network affiliate Raptors Republic.

Sacramento Kings Probable Starters (4-12)

PG: Aaron Brooks
SG: Tyreke Evans
SF: John Salmons
PF: Jason Thompson
C: DeMarcus Cousins

Toronto Raptors Probable Starters (4-14)

PG: Kyle Lowry
SG: DeMar Derozan
SF: Linas Kleiza
PF: Andrea Bargnani
C: Jonas Valanciunas

Three questions to ponder

1. Will we see a competitive game played by the Kings?

Coming into the new season, we had talked about how versatile this year’s team is compared to years past. ¬†But so far, the Kings have failed to match talent with effort, resulting in losses like Saturday’s 35-point beatdown to the Los Angeles Clippers. ¬†The Raptors team they face tonight has won just one road game, but are in a similar downward spiral. ¬†If the Kings show up mentally, they should be able to snap their current three-game losing streak.

2. If Tyreke Evans plays, how effective will he be?

The injury Evans suffered last week sidelined him for two games. ¬†Evans noted that he had trouble bending his left leg the day after knocking knees with Wolves forward Andrei Kirilenko. ¬†In the last two days of practice, he’s looked mobile and has been able to get lift off his jump shot. ¬†But against live competition, there could be a drop-off and adjustment period before the Kings swingman returns to the level he was playing at prior to injury.

3. Can DeMarcus Cousins get himself back on track?

So far this year, the Kings’ starting center has struggled to meet lofty expectations. ¬†Distractions on and off the court have resulted in inconsistent play in his third NBA season. ¬†On offense, he’s forced the issue far too frequently instead of letting the game come to him. ¬†Defensively, he’s still committing the ticky-tack fouls that plagued him over his first two seasons. ¬†Passing and rebounding better are two primary ways Cousins get himself back on track tonight.

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About: Jonathan Santiago

Jonathan Santiago serves Cowbell Kingdom as senior editor specializing in writing, podcasting and video production. He also handles the majority of CK’s day-to-day beat coverage of the Kings.