Game 71 Preview: Sacramento Kings vs. Philadelphia 76ers

Fans at Here We Buy Night 1. (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 76ers perspective, visit TrueHoop Network Affiliate Hoop76.

The book on the 76ers:  After making the playoffs last year, the 76ers aren’t poised to repeat that feat this season.  Of the four teams involved in the Dwight Howard deal last summer, Philadelphia has probably suffered the most as far as expectatations are concerned.  Andrew Bynum, their prized acquisition from the deal, played zero games this year and recently underwent season-ending surgery on both of his knees.

Did you know?  The Sixers have lost 15-straight road games.  They do, however, have a four-game winning streak at Sleep Train Arena.

Status Updates: James Johnson continues to be away from the team dealing with personal matters.

Sacramento Kings Probable Starters (25-45)

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

Philadelphia 76ers Probable Starters (26-42)

PG: Jrue Holiday
SG: Damien Wilkins
SF: Evan Turner
PF: Thaddeus Young

C: Spencer Hawes

Stats

Kings

  • Points Per Game: 99.6
  • Offensive Rating: 105.8
  • Opponents Points Per Game: 104.6
  • Defensive Rating: 111.1
  • Pace: 93.3

76ers

  • Points Per Game: 92.4
  • Offensive Rating: 101.2
  • Opponents Points Per Game: 96.4
  • Defensive Rating: 105.5
  • Pace: 90.9

Three questions to ponder

1.  What kind of reception will Spencer Hawes receive from Kings fans?

Hawes is one of several players in the NBA with both Seattle and Sacramento ties.  He began his professional career with the Kings when he was selected 10th overall in the 2007 NBA Draft.  However, he grew up in the Seattle area idolizing Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp.  Fans usually offer warm receptions for former Kings who return to Sleep Train Arena.  But, one fan told me he plans on getting his entire section to boo the former starting center throughout the game.

2.  Can the Kings limit their turnovers?

The Kings have been sharing the ball much better since the All-Star Break.  But recently, they’ve struggled with keeping possession.  In their previous three outings, they’ve averaged 16 turnovers per game.  They had just committed 11 turnovers total in the two games before that.

3.  Can Jason Thompson be a factor in tonight’s match-up?

After scoring in double figures in six-straight games, Thompson has been unable to break the double-digit barrier in his last four outings.  He’s also failed to grab at least 10 rebounds since the Kings’ blowout victory over the Charlotte Bobcats.  The Kings starting power forward has averaged just four points and 4.3 rebounds in 21 minutes of action over his last four games.  With the emergence of Patrick Patterson in Keith Smart‘s rotation, can Thompson find his way tonight against Philadelphia?

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.