Game 65 Preview: Sacramento Kings vs. Milwaukee Bucks

John Salmons against the Denver Nuggets. (Photo: Steven Chea)

Gametime: 6:00 pm PT

Where: Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, CA.

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

For Bucks perspective, visit TrueHoop Network Affiliate Bucksketball.

The book on the Bucks:  Milwaukee shook their roster up at the trade deadline, acquiring J.J. Redick from the Orlando Magic.  Since then, they’ve posted a 5-2 record and scored 100 or more points in six of those seven games.  At 31-29, they are in firm control of the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.

Did you know?  Keith Smart‘s first win as Kings head coach came against the Milwaukee Bucks.  The Kings overcame a 21-point halftime deficit to beat the Bucks 103-100 last season in Smart’s Sacramento debut.

Sacramento Kings Probable Starters (22-42)

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

Milwaukee Bucks Probable Starters (31-29)

PG: Brandon Jennings
SG: Monta Ellis
SF: Mike Dunleavy
PF: Luc Mbah a Moute

C: Larry Sanders

Stats

Kings

  • Points Per Game: 98.8
  • Offensive Rating: 105.1
  • Opponents Points Per Game: 105.0
  • Defensive Rating: 111.6
  • Pace: 93.2

Bucks

  • Points Per Game: 98.6
  • Offensive Rating: 103.4
  • Opponents Points Per Game: 99.4
  • Defensive Rating: 104.2
  • Pace: 94.6

Three questions to ponder

1.  Will Toney Douglas continue to cut into Isaiah Thomas and Jimmer Fredette‘s playing time?

Douglas has played critical minutes in the Kings’ last two games.  On Wednesday, the fourth-year guard played close to 30 minutes in the Kings’ four-point loss in Golden State.  And on Friday, Douglas played the entire fourth quarter despite Thomas’ 24-point effort through the Kings’ first three periods.  Douglas has a solid mix of size, length and defensive prowess that make him an appealing weapon for Keith Smart.  However, fans don’t like the notion of Douglas’ playing time coming at the expense of Fredette and Thomas.

2.  Will the Kings dish out more than 25 assists tonight?

The Kings have found their offense and it’s partly due to their passing.  Sacramento has dished out at least 20 assists in each of their last 10 outings and averaged 25.6 per game during that stretch.  Their strong shooting has likely contributed to their ball movement too.  They’ve shot 43.8 percent from beyond the arc since the All-Star break.

3.  Will Brandon Jennings carve up the Kings’ defense with his passing?

The Bucks guard has been on a tear lately, averaging 14.5 assists per game in his last four contests.  Jennings has also recorded 10 or more assists in each of those games as well.  Last night in Golden State, the fourth-year guard chipped in 31 points and 10 assists in a 103-93 win.

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.