Game 57 Preview: Kings vs. Rockets

Terrence Williams suits up against his former team as the Sacramento Kings host Houston Rockets on Easter Sunday.

Gametime: 6:00 pm PST

Broadcast Information: Click here.

For Rockets perspective, visit fellow TrueHoop Network blog Red 94.

Kings Probable Starters (19-36)

Isaiah Thomas Tyreke Evans Donté Greene Jason Thompson DeMarcus Cousins

After starting the previous two games, Francisco Garcia more than likely will sit out tonight’s game.  He suffered a concussion in yesterday evening’s contest against the Los Angeles Clippers.  Donté Greene is listed as a probable starter, but Travis Outlaw or Terrence Williams could get the nod in Garcia’s place.  Marcus Thornton and John Salmons are still listed as day-to-day with their injuries.

Rockets Probable Starters (30-25)

Goran Dragic Courtney Lee Chandler Parsons Luis Scola Marcus Camby

The Rockets came back from a 17-point deficit to beat the Los Angeles Lakers in L.A. Friday evening.  Goran Dragic, who’s been a catalyst for Houston’s success since becoming starting point guard, scored 26 points and dished out 11 assists.  The Rockets have won their last two meetings against the Kings, including a come-from-behind win nearly two weeks ago in Houston.

3-on-3 Roundtable

You may be familiar with’s 5-on-5 roundtables, which feature opinion and analysis from ESPN writers and TrueHoop Network contributors on pressing NBA topics. Along with other THN blogs, Cowbell Kingdom has brought that format to the local level in the form of our own 3-on-3 roundtable.

Rahat Huq and Michael Pina of Red 94 join me to preview tonight’s Kings/Rockets match-up.

1. Match-up to watch?

Rahat Huq: DeMarcus Cousins vs. Marcus Camby. Can the old man keep the young pup at bay? If he’s on, there’s nothing any defender can do to stop Cousins but Camby has been huge for the Rockets in recent wins.

Michael Pina: The last time these two squared off, DeMarcus Cousins turned into Moses Malone, scoring 38 points and grabbing 14 rebounds. Meanwhile Sam Dalembert scored 2 points and was an utter non-factor. This time around, the Rockets have Camby in the fold as a comfortable, established presence. Looking forward to seeing those two take on Cousins.

Jonathan Santiago:  Isaiah Thomas vs. Goran Dragic.  Dragic has averaged 22 points and seven assists in the Rockets’ last five games, including a 25-plus point effort in Friday’s win over the Lakers.  Before the game got out of hand, Thomas was a pest on defense against Chris Paul last night and his quickness should surely cause fits for Dragic.

2. Stat that decides the game…

Rahat Huq: The Rockets must keep the Kings off the boards. Luckily for them, that should be an easier task with the aforementioned Camby getting major minutes. He’s averaged double figures in boards in this recent stint.

Michael Pina: The Kings average a league high 94.5 possessions per 48 minutes. Their offensive strategy in last month’s overtime loss was forcing turnovers and repeatedly attacking in transition, and it almost worked. If Houston wants to win a game they should, they have to come out on top in the fast break tally.

Jonathan Santiago:  Fastbreak points.  Sacramento built an early double-digit lead in their last meeting against Houston by scoring 14 fastbreak points in the first quarter.  However, they only scored 14 more the rest of the game.  The Kings have struggled to score in transition in their last three contests, averaging three points below their 18-point average.

3. More regrettable move: Rockets trading a first rounder in the deal for Terrence Williams or the Kings trading a first rounder in the deal for J.J. Hickson?

Rahat Huq: It depends on where the Kings pick ends up. The pick the Rockets will sacrifice could be no. 15  in a deep, talented draft this summer. That hurts.

Michael Pina: Both obviously didn’t work out, but when the Rockets made that deal they were simply doing what they do best: buying low on high potential athletes. In the Kings’ case, they gave up a bit too much to acquire a one dimensional scoring power forward who they had to of assumed would only duplicate a skill already in abundance.

Jonathan Santiago: Both were reaches, but I think the Kings come away with the least net loss.  Since Portland claimed Hickson off waivers, the Kings saved approximately $600,000.  And by letting Hickson go, the Kings freed up a roster spot now filled by Williams, who’s played well since joining the team.


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.

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