Game 37 Preview: Sacramento Kings vs. Miami Heat

 Tyreke Evans attacks the heart of the Detroit Pistons' defense. (Photo: Steven Chea)

Gametime: 7:00 pm PT

Where: Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, CA

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

For Heat perspective, visit TrueHoop Network Affiliate Heat Index.

The book on the Heat:  This is a team fighting off the doldrums of a long NBA season.  They’ve lost five of their last eight games, including two straight.  Soon enough they will be playing championship-caliber ball, but in the mean time, they have skated their way to the top of a soft Eastern Conference.

Did you know?  This game will be secondary to the ever changing news on a possible sale of the Sacramento Kings.  How often do the Miami Heat get overshadowed by anything on a trip to a small market like Sacramento?

Status Updates: No word from the league office if DeMarcus Cousins will be suspended for tonight’s game following a flagrant foul two against Vince Carter Thursday night.  

Sacramento Kings Probable Starters (13-23)

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

Miami Heat Probable Starters (23-11)

PG: Mario Chalmers
SG: Dwyane Wade
SF: LeBron James
PF: Udonis Haslem

C: Chris Bosh

Stats

Kings

  • Points Per Game: 96.9
  • Offensive Rating: 104.7
  • Opponents Points Per Game: 102.5
  • Defensive Rating: 110.7
  • Pace: 91.8

Heat

  • Points Per Game: 101.8
  • Offensive Rating: 110.4
  • Opponents Points Per Game: 97.2
  • Defensive Rating: 105.4
  • Pace: 91.4

Three questions to ponder

1.  Will DeMarcus Cousins draw his fourth suspension of the year and miss the match-up against the Heat?

Cousins seemed hopeful when asked Friday afternoon if he would avoid yet another NBA suspension.  However, he rarely gets the benefit of the doubt when it comes to the league office.  While he was deserving of the flagrant two and an ejection for going in high on Vince Carter, the incident looked way worse than it actually was.  Cousins was apologetic and took responsibility for his actions during his postgame press conference on Thursday.  If I had to venture a guess, I say he plays.

2.  What will the reception be like for Mayor Kevin Johnson if/when he walks into Sleep Train Arena to catch the game?

With relocation back on the table, Johnson stole the show on Friday and once again changed the tenor of the conversation.  Does Sacramento have a fighting chance of staving off elimination one more time?  It’s anyone’s guess at this point, but the mayor has definitely shown a flare for the dramatic and counting him out would be a huge mistake.

3.  After a solid second game back from injury, does Tyreke Evans regain his starting shooting guard position?

After missing 16 games this season with a sore left knee, Evans looked very good in Thursday’s overtime loss to the Mavs in just his second game back from injury.  He finished the contest with 20 points and seven rebounds in 32 minutes of action and his size and strength would come in handy against the Heat’s Dwyane Wade.  Francisco Garcia has been solid, especially on the defensive end for Keith Smart, but it’s probably time to get Evans back with the first unit.

Statistical support provided by NBA.com.

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About: James Ham

James Ham is co-owner and senior editor of Cowbell Kingdom, providing extensive Kings coverage through news analysis, in-depth interviews with players and staff and daily coverage of breaking news. Along with providing original content for the site, including the Cowbell Kingdom Podcast and his weekly Sunday Musings column, James also provides game day coverage for NBA.com and is one of the producers behind the award-winning, independent documentary "Small Market, Big Heart".