Game #8 Preview: Kings vs. Suns

Starting Line-ups

Kings (3-4)

  • Tyreke Evans
  • Beno Udrih
  • Omri Casspi
  • Carl Landry
  • Samuel Dalembert

Reserves:  DeMarcus Cousins, Jason Thompson, Darnell Jackson, Francisco Garcia, Luther Head, Donté Greene, Antoine Wright.

Inactives:  Pooh Jeter, Hassan Whiteside.

Suns (3-4)

  • Steve Nash
  • Jason Richardson
  • Grant Hill
  • Hedo Turkoglu
  • Robin Lopez

Reserves:  Hakim Warrick, Goran Dragic, Jared Dudley, Josh Childress, Channing Frye, Garret Siler, Earl Clark.

Summary

Both teams come in with a 3-4 record in their first seven games.  The Suns lost Amaré Stoudmire in free agency this summer and filled that void by trading for Hedo Turkoglu and signing Hakim Warrick.  The combo has combined to score 22.4 points and 8.2 rebounds per game but neither is a true power forward.  It will be interesting to see how the pair match up against the size of the Kings front line.

The 36 year old Steve Nash continues to defy his age, scoring an impressive 18.7 points per game while chipping in his standard 8.9 assists per game.  Jason Richardson has long been a King killer and it will be interesting to see how the Kings play him with Tyreke Evans recent penchant for getting in foul trouble.

This is no longer the upper echelon Phoenix Suns team that we have grown accustom to over the last decade.  They are scoring like the Suns of old at 108.3 points per game but they are giving up 109.6 on the defensive end.  On a positive, the Suns are shooting a quality 39% from behind the arc which bodes well when you consider the Kings are allowing their opponent to shoot 40.5% from deep.

The Kings need to get back to basics.  The Suns are a team that struggles inside and on the glass.  The Kings should have no problem getting baskets at or near the hoop and they should dominate this team on the boards.  The rotation of Dalembert, Landry, Cousins, Jackson and Thompson need to get position down low and the guards need to use their bigs to dictate the pace of the game.

The Kings need both Tyreke Evans and Carl Landry to come around in this one after both players have gotten off to a slow start.  After losing the last three games at home, the Kings a win on the road against a much smaller opponent.

Prediction:

Kings  107  Suns  102

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About: James Ham

James Ham is co-owner and senior editor of Cowbell Kingdom, providing extensive Kings coverage through news analysis, in-depth interviews with players and staff and daily coverage of breaking news. Along with providing original content for the site, including the Cowbell Kingdom Podcast and his weekly Sunday Musings column, James also provides game day coverage for NBA.com and is one of the producers behind the award-winning, independent documentary "Small Market, Big Heart".