Game 63 Preview: Sacramento Kings at Brooklyn Nets
Where: Barclay’s Center, Brooklyn, NY.
Broadcast Information: KHTK Sports 1140 (Radio), Comcast SportsNet California (Local Television)
Sacramento Kings Projected Starters (22-39)
PG: Isaiah Thomas
SG: Ben McLemore
SF: Rudy Gay
PF: Jason Thompson
C: DeMarcus Cousins
Brooklyn Nets Projected Starters (30-30)
What to watch
1. Can Rudy Gay, Isaiah Thomas and DeMarcus Cousins all be factors tonight?
The Toronto Raptors were able to neutralize the Kings’ big three on Friday night. Rudy Gay was an ineffective 5-of-15 from the field for 15 points, Isaiah Thomas was an inefficient 5-of-14 from the field for 14 points and DeMarcus Cousins battled foul trouble for much of the first half. When the Kings’ trio of 20-point scorers are at their best, Sacramento improves their chances of winning dramatically. The Kings are 6-3 when Gay, Thomas and Cousins each score at least 20 points.
2. Does Marcus Thornton explode against his old team?
Thornton was dealt to the Nets in a deadline deal that netted the Kings Reggie Evans and Jason Terry. Evans has become a key contributor for the Kings, bringing effort and intensity to the court. Meanwhile, Thornton is now coming off the bench for Brooklyn in a sixth-man role. In six games with the Nets, Thornton has averaged 11.8 points and 1.7 rebounds per game. He’s also scored 20 or more points twice (25 versus Milwaukee on March 1 and 20 against Memphis on March 5).
3. Pushing the pace
When the Kings last played the Nets, they exposed Brooklyn’s age with their speed. The Kings beat the Nets 107-86 by pushing the tempo and moving the basketball. Granted, the team that’s playing the Nets tonight is completely different from the team that beat Brooklyn then. However, the same principles apply. Watch for Isaiah Thomas and Ray McCallum. Can the Kings’ point guards set the tempo against this aging Nets team? Also can the Kings do a better job sharing the basketball? The Kings recorded just 14 assists in Friday’s loss in Toronto.