Game 47 Preview: Sacramento Kings at Boston Celtics

Paul pierce drives aggressively to the hoop against James Johnson. (Photo: Steven Chea)

Gametime: 4:30 pm PT

Where: Boston, MA.

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

For Celtics perspective, visit TrueHoop Network Affiliate Celtics Hub.

The book on the Celtics: Boston’s hopes of making another Eastern Conference Finals run are looking dimmer each day.  Rajon Rondo is done for the year with a torn ACL.  The Celtics’ best player hurt himself against the Hawks last Friday and found out the bad news on Sunday.  At 21-23, the Celtics are currently slotted in the eighth spot and would face the Miami Heat if the playoffs started today.

Did you know?  The Kings have won the last two match-ups against the Celtics, both home victories.  However, they’ve lost four straight in Boston.  Sacramento’s last victory over the Celtics came Jan. 19, 2007 in 96-91 win at the TD Garden.

Status Updates: None to report.

Sacramento Kings Probable Starters (17-29)

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

Boston Celtics Probable Starters (21-23)

PG: Avery Bradley
SG: Courtney Lee
SF: Paul Pierce
PF: Jared Sullinger
C: Kevin Garnett

Stats

Kings

  • Points Per Game: 96.9
  • Offensive Rating: 100.9
  • Opponents Points Per Game: 102.5
  • Defensive Rating: 108.2
  • Pace: 95.05

Celtics

  • Points Per Game: 95.1
  • Offensive Rating: 99.6
  • Opponents Points Per Game: 94
  • Defensive Rating: 100.3
  • Pace: 93.40

Three questions to ponder

1.  Will the Celtics have an answer for Isaiah Thomas?

The Kings starting point guard played inspired hoops Monday in Washington D.C.  Thomas scored a team-high 22 points and tied his season-high in assists with seven to go along with his first career game-winner against the Wizards.  Since he’s out for the season with a bum knee, Rajon Rondo won’t be around to harass the Kings starting point guard on defense.  However, his presence didn’t stop Thomas from going off the last time these two teams met.  In the Kings’ final game of 2012, Thomas scored 27 points on 10-of-15 shots in a blowout win over Boston.

2.  Will John Salmons be healthy enough to contribute?

Battling a stomach virus, Salmons was originally slated to sit out Monday’s game.  But the veteran small forward gave it a go and was only able to play the first quarter before succumbing to illness.  He’s had a day to recuperate, but the travel probably isn’t making matters better.  The Kings could certainly use Salmons’ presence on defense against Paul Pierce, who is the Celtics’ leading scorer.  If Salmons isn’t 100 percent, the Keith Smart could once again look to Francisco Garcia.  The veteran wing filled in amicably for Salmons, scoring 17 points in relief of his Kings’ teammate.

3.  Can the Kings duplicate their successful ball movement from Monday’s game against the Wizards?

Compared to recent outings, the assist-to-turnover ratio was an improvement for the Kings in the win over Washington.  Sacramento chipped in 24 assists to just 14 turnovers with their starting backcourt leading the charge.  Tyreke Evans dished out six assists while Isaiah Thomas filled up the stat sheet with seven.  The Kings are a much better team when they take care of the ball and move it around.  This season, they’re 7-14 in games where they commit 15 turnovers or more.

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.