Okay, off the bat, I feel strange writing regicide in a post at the same time my future King of attending a basketball game (Brooklyn Nets) . . . but there it is. Anyway, the Utah Jazz will try to snap their 8 game losing streak with a game tonight against the Sacramento Kings. They will be playing without DeMarcus Cousins, who is out with viral meningitis. He has missed the last five games for the Kings, and during that time they've lost to the San Antonio Spurs, Memphis Grizzlies, Toronto Raptors, and Orlando Magic -- but beat the Indiana Pacers. You figure that had Boogie been available they would have gone, what, 2-3 instead of 1-4? Anyway, tonight game will feature the return of Alec Burks, who is going to play and start tonight. So immediately there that makes the game worth watching.
Kings head coach Mike Malone has his squad playing well on offense (13th in PPG, 10th in Off RTG), and leading the NBA in FT/FGA and 2nd in ORB%. They're pulling down nearly 30% of their misses, and for a team that's missing not many shots (they shoot .457 from the field) that's huge. They are a strong rebounding club on the other side of the ball as well, but they are even worse than the Jazz at forcing turn overs, and sent the other team to the FT line quite a bit in return.
They are, essentially, the 2010 Utah Jazz. Which is good and bad for them and us.
They also have Tyrone Corbin on their bench, which is also good and bad for them and us.
I am working tonight so I'm unable to write a really long preview . . . but hey, at least I'm trying!
Sacramento Kings players:
No DeMarcus means that Ryan Hollins is going to get the start inside.
Utah Jazz players:
I keep expecting Gordon Hayward to have a big game, and we're going to be worried about Alec Burks tonight in his first game back from injury. But Sacramento plays thick inside, it's going to be a night for Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter, and Trevor Booker to show up -- I can only imagine their collective low centers of gravity will do better against their tanks than Rudy Gobert could right now. Sheesh.
Rudy Gay and Gordon Hayward. One of them is the best player on a bad team. The other is a lotto pick who took time to figure out his place in the league, and wants to return to the playoffs -- someplace he hasn't been in many years. We don't know which is which yet.
Another sad loss. Prove me wrong, Jazz! Prove me wrong!