Game 9 Preview: Sacramento Kings vs. Atlanta Hawks

Jimmer Fredette at the free throw line.  (Photo: Steven Chea)

Gametime: 7:00 pm PT

Where:  Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, CA.

Broadcast Information: Click here.

Sacramento Kings Probable Starters (2-6)

PG: Isaiah Thomas
SG: Tyreke Evans
SF: James Johnson
PF: Thomas Robinson
C: Jason Thompson

Atlanta Hawks Probable Starters (3-4)

PG: Jeff Teague
SG: Kyle Korver
SF: DeShawn Stevenson
PF: Josh Smith
C: Al Horford

Three questions to ponder

1. Will the Kings come into tonight’s game fractured or united?

Over the last 10 days, everything and anything terrible that could happen to a team happened to the Kings.  Suspensions, sickness and off-the-court personal problems have left observers wondering if the Kings pick up the pieces or falter under the pressure.  We’ll see if all that offseason and preseason team building holds through tonight against the Hawks.

2. Can the Kings stop the Hawks from three-point land?

The Kings were torched by the Portland Trail Blazers from the arc on Tuesday.  The Blazers made a season-high 14-of-27 three-point attempts en route to a 17-point victory.  It doesn’t get any easier for the Kings as the Hawks stroll into town with several deadly sharpshooters.  Atlanta is currently ranked 17th in 3-point percentage, but guys like Anthony Morrow, Kyle Korver and DeShawn Stevenson are more than capable of catching fire from outside.

3. Who gets the upperhand in the match-up between DeMarcus Cousins and Al Horford?

Horford’s status is questionable after he sat out Wednesday’s game against the Warriors with a stomach virus.  But if he does return, Cousins has quite a challenge ahead of him.  The Hawks big man missed most of last season due to a torn pectoral muscle and his presence this year is a reason why the Hawks remain eastern conference playoff contenders despite trading Joe Johnson to Brooklyn.  Cousins, meanwhile, was starting to play well before receiving his two-game suspension.  He told media after practice Wednesday that he’s not worried about the possibility of forcing the issue upon his return.

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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.