Preseason Game 1 Preview: Sacramento Kings vs. Phoenix Suns

DeMarcus Cousins attacks the rim against Markief Morris of the Phoenix Suns (Photo: Steven Chea)

Gametime: 7:00 pm PST

Broadcast Information:  Click here.

For Suns perspective, visit fellow TrueHoop Network affiliate Valley of the Suns.

Sacramento Kings Probable Starters (0-0)

PG: Isaiah Thomas
SG: Marcus Thornton
SF: Tyreke Evans
PF: Jason Thompson
C: DeMarcus Cousins

Phoenix Suns Probable Starters (0-0)

PG: Goran Dragic
SG: Shannon Brown
SF: Jared Dudley
PF: Luis Scola
C: Marcin Gortat

Three questions to ponder

1. Who are tonight’s starters?

The Kings’ gamenotes list last season’s starters as the starting five for tonight’s game.  It’s possible that head coach Keith Smart runs that lineup on the court at tip off tonight, but it wouldn’t be shocking if Evans ends up starting in the backcourt and Thornton comes off the bench in favor of Travis Outlaw.  Of all the Kings’ small forwards, Outlaw has been their best shooter so far, according to Smart, and would be a good fit if Sacramento aims to play a more traditional lineup.  But who starts won’t matter nearly as much as what rotation and lineups Smart tests on the floor tonight.

2. Will off-the-court chemistry translate to on-the-court success?

Everyone seems to be raving about the Kings’ training camp experience in Colorado Springs last week.  It seems like the team has gotten a chance to know each other better off-the-court, which has been a goal of Smart’s since taking over the helm last January.  If the Kings are to experiment with multiple lineups this evening, how different combinations of players mesh on the court will be intriguing to watch.

3. How will Tyreke Evans perform from the perimeter?

Evans has said he’s worked all offseason to improve his jump shot.  In practice and drills, it’s looked good.  From our observations, the Kings swingman is jumping straight up and down and reducing the pronounced lean that’s plagued his shot in years past.  Tonight, he has a chance to put it to the test against real competition.

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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.