Game Preview: Kings vs. Raptors

Starting Line-ups:

Kings-

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

In-actives:  Hassan Whiteside, Pooh Jeter.

Raptors-

  • Jarrett Jack
  • DeMar DeRozan
  • Linas Kleiza
  • Reggie Evans
  • Andrea Bargnani

Reserves:  Jose Calderon, Sonny Weems, Leandro Barbosa, David Andersen, Amir Johnson, Julian Wright, Marcus Banks.

In-actives:  Joey Dorsey, Solomon Alabi.

Injuries:  Ed Davis (Knee)- Out.

Summary:

The Kings are coming off an impressive 2-1 road trip to start the season including a win on Saturday evening against Cleveland.  After missing the first game of the season due to suspension, reigning rookie of the year Tyreke Evans is leading the way for the Kings, scoring 19.5 points a game but on a lackluster 35.9% shooting from the field.  Without a defensive minded center in the game, Evans should have very little trouble getting to the rim and scoring in bunches against the Raptors.  Second year forward Omri Casspi is coming off his best game of the early season, scoring 20 points on 6 of 7 from three point range.  Rookie DeMarcus Cousins has impressed so far, averaging 13.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.  If Cousins can stay away from foul trouble, he should be a tough cover for the Raptors.  Carl Landry should have his hands full with rebounding hench man Reggie Evans on the glass but Evans will have to work overtime to slow the high scoring Landry (17.7 pts per game.)

DeMar DeRozan is an athletic two which the Kings seem to have trouble with.  The Kings might counter with more Francisco Garcia than Beno Udrih against him tonight.  Linas Kleiza is back from Europe and averaging 16 points a game through the Raptors first two contests.  Omri Casspi will need to stay home on Kleiza and make him put the ball on the floor.  For Cousins to stay on the floor, he needs to effectively guard Bargnani on the perimeter.  If not, look for the Kings to get creative with their coverage of the Raptors leading scorer.  Tyreke Evans and Beno Udrih will have to do a better job of staying in front of Jarrett Jack, Leandro Barbosa and Jose Calderon than they did the Cavs tandem of Gibson and Ramon Sessions.

The Raptors present a few interesting match-up issues for the Kings but after starting the season on the road, I expect a solid showing in front of the Arco faithful.

Prediction: Kings  102   Raptors  94

Key Stats:

Kings (2-1)
Toronto (1-1)
Points/Game
108
97
Field Goal %
46.30%
42.60%
Free Throw %
72.20%
83.30%
Three Point %
39.10%
30.00%
Rebounds
39.7
45.5
Steals
7.3
8.5
Blocks
3.7
5
Assists
23.3
22
Turnovers
13.3
15.5

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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 is one of the producers behind the award-winning, independent documentary film "Small Market, Big Heart".