Game 76 Preview: Utah Jazz at Sacramento Kings

Ben-McLemore-Gordon-Hayward


Game time: 7:00 p.m. PDT

Where: Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, CA.

Broadcast Information: KHTK Sports 1140 (Radio), Comcast SportsNet California (Local Television)


Sacramento Kings Probable Starters (26-49)

PG: Ray McCallum
SG: Ben McLemore
SF: Omri Casspi
PF: Carl Landry
C: DeMarcus Cousins

Utah Jazz Probable Starters (34-42)

PG: Dante Exum
SG: Joe Ingles
SF: Gordon Hayward
PF: Derrick Favors
C: Rudy Gobert


Three things to ponder

1. Not your early Jazz

Since the Jazz beat Sacramento on February 7, Utah has gone 17-9 outscoring opponents by nearly six points per game. Jettisoning disgruntled big man Enes Kanster at the trade deadline has cleared the air in the locker room and significantly improved their defense.

2. Finding a rhythm

Utah’s stout defense has held opponents to 40.8 percent shooting since defeating the Kings. That fateful night, Sacramento shot only 39 percent from the floor and were outplayed physically. DeMarcus Cousins will face off against Rudy Golbert in the starting lineup for the first time, and the 7-foot-1 defender is averaging 2.3 blocks this season. Combined with Derrick Favors, the Jazz as a whole boast elite rim protection, so shots must fall outside.

3. Second chances

In two games versus the Kings this season, the Jazz have averaged 12.5 offensive rebounds and 16.5 second chance points. Utah’s offense struggles to score (27th in points per game) which Kanter did help out with, so Sacramento can’t hand them breaks.

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Rui Thomas
Rui Thomas is a writer and reporter for Cowbell Kingdom. He previously covered the Sacramento Kings and the NBA for Sports Out West. He is published by Sports Illustrated’s Truth and Rumors and Yahoo Sports NFL among others.

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