Game 41 Preview: Sacramento Kings at Charlotte Bobcats

Jason Thompson hunched over. (Photo: Steven Chea)

Gametime: 4:00 pm PT

Where: Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, NC.

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

For Bobcats perspective, visit TrueHoop Network Affiliate Queen City Hoops.

The book on the Bobcats:  After a season of record-setting futility, Charlotte started off 2012-13 with promise.  They posted a 7-8 record in the month of November, but the wheels fell off in December, when they lost 15 of 16 games.  They managed to snap a five-game skid yesterday with a road win over the Orlando Magic.

Did you know?  The Kings are 6-9 all time in meetings against the Bobcats, who entered the league in 2004.  They’re 2-6 in match-ups played on the Bobcats’ home turf.

Status Updates: None to report.

Sacramento Kings Probable Starters (15-25)

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

Charlotte Bobcats Probable Starters (10-29)

PG: Kemba Walker
SG: Gerald Henderson
SF: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
PF: Hakim Warrick

C: Bismack Biyombo

Stats

Kings

  • Points Per Game: 96.9
  • Offensive Rating: 101.3
  • Opponents Points Per Game: 102.1
  • Defensive Rating: 108.3
  • Pace: 94.61

Bobcats

  • Points Per Game: 95.1
  • Offensive Rating: 98.8
  • Opponents Points Per Game: 102.1
  • Defensive Rating: 108.3
  • Pace: 94.61

Three questions to ponder

1.  Can the Kings move the ball?

The Kings’ stagnant style of play reared it’s ugly head again last night.  Sacramento recorded just nine assists and shot an atrocious 34.1 percent from the field in defeat.  Following DeMarcus Cousins‘ last suspension, the Kings had finally figured out how to play with one another.  But that was without Tyreke Evans in the fold, who had missed significant time with a left knee injury.  In the six games since he returned, the Kings have averaged 19.3 assists to 16.5 turnovers per game.  What strides, if any, will the Kings and Evans make towards reintegrating their star guard back into the ball movement mix?

2.  Will Keith Smart tighten his rotation?

More often than not, Smart has used a myriad of players in games this season, depending on the situation and match-up.  Last night, the Kings coach played around with line-ups, unable to find a combination that worked against an ailing Memphis Grizzlies squad.  All 13 of his active players made an appearance in yesterday’s loss to Memphis.  The power forward and point guard have been the positions that have seen the most flux lately.  Will we see more stability in those two spots?

3.  Will Thomas Robinson leave the Charlotte Bobcats wondering what if?

It seems like ages ago, but last June, Thomas Robinson was projected by some experts to be selected behind Anthony Davis in the 2012 NBA Draft.  In a somewhat stunning move, Michael Jordan and the Bobcats’ braintrust decided instead to take Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.  The 19-year-old small forward is not exactly setting the world on fire as a rookie.  He’s averaging just 10.4 points and 6.4 rebounds in 27.3 minutes per game.  However, Robinson hasn’t fared any better.  The Kings rookie is averaging 4.6 points and 4.4 rebounds in just 15.8 minutes per contest.

Statistical support provided by NBA.com.

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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.