Game 39 Preview: Sacramento Kings vs. Washington Wizards

Sacramento Kings celebrate a 3-point make against the New York Knicks. (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 Wizards perspective, visit TrueHoop Network Affiliate Truth About It.net.

The book on the Wizards:  Washington started the season off with an abysmal 12-game losing streak.   John Wall missed the first two months of the new year because a knee injury.  However, the former No. 1 overall pick made his 2013 debut four days ago and Washington has won their last two games since he’s returned to the rotation.

Did you know?  For the first time in his three-year career, Wall will play a game in Sacramento.  In his rookie season, Wall sat out his lone visit to the capital city with a sore foot.  In year two, the Kings and Wizards met just once because of the lockout-shortened season and that game was played in the nation’s capital.  He even missed the Goon Squad Classic at UC Davis, which he flew out to attend, because of an apparent groin issue.  Wall recently returned to the Wizards’ lineup after missing 33 games due to a stress injury in his left kneecap.

Status Updates: None.

Sacramento Kings Probable Starters (14-24)

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

Washington Wizards Probable Starters (7-28)

PG: A.J. Price
SG: Bradley Beal
SF: Martell Webster
PF:  Nene

C: Emeka Okafor

Stats

Kings

  • Points Per Game: 97.7
  • Offensive Rating: 108.9
  • Opponents Points Per Game: 102.7
  • Defensive Rating: 102.1
  • Pace: 94.61

Wizards

  • Points Per Game: 90.2
  • Offensive Rating: 94.1
  • Opponents Points Per Game: 94.7
  • Defensive Rating: 101.1
  • Pace: 93.78

Three questions to ponder

1.  Will Thomas Robinson continue to play at a high level?

The game is starting to slow down for the rookie big man.  After finding sparse playing time during an extended stretch in December, Robinson has finally started to come along as an NBA player.  In his last four games, he’s played 21.5 minutes and averaged eight points and 9.8 rebounds.  Last year’s fifth overall pick said some of his struggles came from listening to people telling him he needed to play a certain way because of his high draft status.  However, he’s realized that he has to learn to walk before he can run and it’s showing on the court.

2.  Does James Johnson return to the Kings’ rotation?

Johnson has not been the answer at small forward the Kings were hoping for when they traded for him last July.  However, he had been playing better ball as of late, which included a five-block outing against the Brooklyn Nets.  He can be a detriment to his team on offense, but with his intensity, he can serve a purpose on defense.  Against a Wizards team that boasts true big men in Nene and Emeka Okafor, one has to wonder if his services will remain benched.

3.  Does Aaron Brooks return to the Kings’ rotation?

Brooks missed Saturday’s game and the ensuing practice Sunday with the  flu.  Kings coach Keith Smart said after practice yesterday that Brooks probably could’ve played against the Cavs, but with so many of their guards playing well, he decided to leave the veteran out of his rotation.  Marcus Thornton, Tyreke Evans and Jimmer Fredette all came alive for the Kings in the win over Cleveland.  It seems like Brooks’ minutes will depend on which guard Smart believes gives his team the best chance to win.

Statistical support provided by NBA.com.

comments

Tags

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.