Preview - Utah Jazz @ Sacramento Kings

The Kings are a different team since the Jazz last played them.    Their record isn't much better but they're playing a lot better recently.  They're 3 for their last 10 (same as the Jazz) and have been in almost every game.  Those 3 wins were huge with Ws over the Lakers, Hornets, and Blazers.  They almost knocked off the Celtics and took 2 of their losses to OT.  They look like they're only going to get better.

DeMarcus Cousins had a had a solid rookie season so far.  January was his best month shooting-wise putting up 17 & 8 on 46% shooting. His offensive rating isn't too hot but he's improving.  He'll be tough to handle in the post.

Tyreke Evans though has had a bit of a sophomore slump.    His numbers are down across the board from last season.  He had his best month in January as well putting up 19, 6, & 5 on 45% shooting.

The Jazz on the other hand, while looking better over the past 4 or 5 games, are struggling for consistency.  We see what this team can do, just look at what they were able to do to Denver for four quarters.  Injuries have played a part of the consistency issues.  Some of that is resolved tonight  because Andrei Kirilenko.  He'll return from his three-game absence due to a sprained ankle.  No doubt that the team missed him against the Thunder.   He'll be back in the starting lineup tonight.

While it's an improved Kings lineup, this is another team that the Jazz have to beat.  CJ and Big Al had the best games offensively against them their last time out.  CJ seems due.  

The Jazz held the Kings to just 36% shooting and the only starter to break 50% was Donte Green.  Like I mentioned above, their offense is better but the Jazz will still need to stop Evans from driving.  They're not going to take a lot of three-pointers, so the Jazz should be able to pack it in a little more and stop the drives and double-team Cousins.

 

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