Game 64 Preview: Kings at Bobcats
The Sacramento Kings are now tied for the worst record in the west with the New Orleans Hornets. They attempt to avoid falling any deeper into futility against the Charlotte Bobcats, the NBA’s worst team this season.
Gametime: 3:00 pm PST
Broadcast Information: Click here.
For Bobcats perspective, visit fellow TrueHoop Network blog Queen City Hoops.
Kings Probable Starters (20-43)
|Isaiah Thomas||Tyreke Evans||Travis Outlaw||Jason Thompson||DeMarcus Cousins|
Marcus Thornton missed Friday’s loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. He is likely a gametime decision against Charlotte. If he’s not fully recovered, Donté Greene or Jimmer Fredette could earn the starting nod considering Travis Outlaw’s paltry showing as a starter Friday evening.
Bobcats Probable Starters (7-55)
|Kemba Walker||Gerald Henderson||Derrick Brown||Byron Mullens||Bismack Biyombo|
The Bobcats are in a race against futility. They’ve dropped a franchise-record 19 games in a row and could finish with the worst winning percentage in NBA history. The distinction of being the worst team in NBA history is currently held by the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers, who posted with a .110 winning percentage.
You may be familiar with ESPN.com’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.
1. Match-up to watch?
Spencer Percy: There are some intriguing, youth matchups in this game. Kemba/Thomas, Henderson/Evans, but I think the one that will be the most interesting is Biyombo vs Cousins. I fully expect DeMarcus to have his way like he has most of the year, but I could definitely see Biyombo’s aggressiveness and activity level getting under Cousins skin just a bit.
Jared Dubin: DeMarcus Cousins against Bismack Biyombo. Rebounds on rebounds on rebounds. Cousins’ post presence against Biyombo’s rangy, lanky, swat-seeking limbs. Cousins is much further along the development curve and has the advantage, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few flashes of brilliance out of Bismack.
Jonathan Santiago: Isaiah Thomas vs. Kemba Walker. Leading up to last year’s draft, it was all about Kemba vs. Jimmer. Mr. Irrelevant has stolen their thunder and emerged as the second-best point guard of this rookie class behind Kyrie Irving. Thomas has more talent to work with than Walker, which should give him an edge in today’s match-up.
2. Stat that decides the game…
Spencer Percy: Rebounding, especially offensive rebounding. The Kings lead the league in the PACE category (97.3 possessions/game), so they’ll get up more shots than Charlotte in the first place. What the Bobcats have to do in order to have a chance come the fourth quarter is limit Sacramento’s second chances. If the Kings take 10-plus more field-goal attempts than the Bobcats, this game won’t be close at all.
Jared Dubin: Field goal percentage. Both of these teams are in the bottom five in the league in shooting. They each struggled badly to score points. Whichever team is the aggressor, the team that can get to the rim and create easy shots, will be the team that wins the game.
Jonathan Santiago: Points in the paint. The Kings scored just 38 points in the painted area Friday against the Thunder. A good performance from their’ bigs and a heavy dose of transition are keys for the Kings’ success in the paint today.
3. Fact or Fiction: Charlotte and Sacramento are good situations for both Kemba Walker and Jimmer Fredette moving forward in their careers.
Spencer Percy: I believe that Kemba is in a better position with Charlotte than Fredette is with Sacramento for one reason: Kemba is the future point guard for the Bobcats, but I’m not sure that’s the case for Jimmer in Sacramento due to the emergence of Isaiah Thomas. If Jimmer can convert to a successful, undersized 2-guard then he could fit, but i don’t believe that’s going to happen. They both have a long way to go and their average/below average (depending on who you ask) rookie seasons have proved that.
Jared Dubin: At this point I think you have to say fiction, right? Charlotte is an embarrassment, and the only way they’re not again next year is if they get Anthony Davis. Michael Jordan has no proven track record of building a winner. I’d like to think the Bobcats are moving in the right direction (rebuilding with young players, picks and cap space), but I can’t be sure. And with the Kings’ arena situation being what it is and their ownership situation being what it is, I can’t say Sacramento looks like too good of a place for Jimmer to be right now either. But that’s all off the court stuff, what will determine whether they stick in this league is their play on court, and that’s up to Kemba and Jimmer themselves.
Jonathan Santiago: At this point, fiction. Sacramento needs to address the glut of talent it has a guard. And the answer to that question may or may not involve dealing Jimmer. As for Kemba, Charlotte needs to, at the very least, show some fight next year. We’ve seen teams like the Bobcats before that have tanked and never materialized despite high-draft selections. Anyone remember those mid-90s Vancouver Grizzlies?