Game 22 Preview: Sacramento Kings vs. Houston Rockets
Gametime: 3:00 pm PST
Where: Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, CA.
Broadcast Information: KHTK Sports 1140 (Radio), Comcast SportsNet California (Television)
Sacramento Kings Projected Starters (6-15)
SF: Rudy Gay
PF: Jason Thompson
C: DeMarcus Cousins
Houston Rockets Projected Starters (16-8)
PG: Patrick Beverley
SG: James Harden
SF: Chandler Parsons
PF: Terrence Jones
C: Dwight Howard
What to watch
1. Backcourt containment
The Kings’ defense, particularly from their backcourt, was atrocious Friday night. They allowed Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic to combine for 57 points and 11 assists in a Phoenix Suns’ win. Patrick Beverley and James Harden are certainly capable of totaling a similar game if Isaiah Thomas, Marcus Thornton, Ben McLemore and Jimmer Fredette don’t answer the call on defense today.
2. The center match-up on the glass
DeMarcus Cousins and Dwight Howard are two of the best rebounding big men in the league. Coming into today’s game, Howard is second in NBA rebounding percentage, gobbling up 21.8 percent of the Rockets’ rebounds a night. Meanwhile, Cousins isn’t that far behind, grabbing 20.1 percent of the Kings’ rebounds to rank him sixth in NBA rebounding percentage. The rebounding battle between these two may be what decides today’s game.
3. Derrick Williams’ off the bench
After starting his first seven games with the Kings, Williams was moved to the bench on Friday. He still played significant time however, scoring 14 points on 4-of-10 shooting in 30 minutes. With Isaiah Thomas moved to the starting unit, Malone needed someone off his bench to provide a scoring punch. Williams has a chance to be the feature player on offense for the Kings’ backups, but also might steal minutes with the starters if Jason Thompson continues to struggle.