Nov 5, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings shooting guard Ben McLemore (16) controls the ball against the Atlanta Hawks during the fourth quarter at Sleep Train Arena. The Atlanta Hawks defeated the Sacramento Kings 105-100. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Sacramento Kings (2-5) vs. Detroit Pistons (2-5) Preview

March 14, 2012; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings power forward DeMarcus Cousins (15) controls the ball against Detroit Pistons center Greg Monroe (10) during the first quarter at Power Balance Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Bring your earplugs – the Kings lone national TV contest will come complete with a record-setting night of loud. Guinness will be on hand to measure and see if the fans (an already sold-out affair) can break the record for indoor noise (currently set at 106.6 decibels). Hopefully the Detroit Pistons have got some aspirin.

PROJECTED LINEUPS

Sacramento Kings:

Detroit Pistons

C: DeMarcus Cousins, 6’11, Kentucky
22.3 PPG, 9.6 RPG, 1.4 BPG, 47.7% FG
C: Andre Drummond, 6’10, UConn
11.6 PPG, 11.1 RPG, 1.5 BPG, 66.7% FG
PF: Jason Thompson, 6’11, Rider
6.7 PPG, 6 RPG, 44.4% FG
PF: Greg Monroe, 6’11, Georgetown
17.6 PPG, 10.3 RPG, 2 APG, 50% FG
SF: John Salmons, 6’6, Miami (FL)
5.1 PPG, 2.6 RPG 30.4% FG
SF: Josh Smith, 6’8, Oak Hill Academy
15.3 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 1.4 BPG, 41.6% FG
SG: Ben McLemore, 6’5, Kansas
7.9 PPG,  2 RPG, 38.9% FG
SG: Chauncey Billups, 6’3, Colorado
5.3 PPG, 2.4 APG, 33.3% FG
PG: Greivis Vasquez, 6’6, Maryland
10.1 PPG, 5.4 APG, 2.4 RPG, 48.1% FG
PG: Brandon Jennings, 6’1, Oak Hill Aca.
18.8 PPG, 5.6 APG, 2.6 SPG, 39.1% FG

Key Bench Players:

G: Isaiah Thomas, 5’11, Washington
27.1 MPG, 18.1 PPG, 4.7 APG, 47.1% FG
G: Will Bynum, 6’0, Georgia Tech
22 MPG, 10.9 PPG, 4 APG, 47.4% FG
G: Marcus Thornton, 6’4, LSU
29 MPG, 10.9 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 38.2% FG
G: Rodney Stuckey, 6’5, E. Washington
25.2 MPG, 12.5 PPG, 2.5 APG
F: Patrick Patterson, 6’9, Kentucky
25.9 MPG, 6.0 PPG, 5.4 RPG
F: Jonas Jerebko, 6’10, Sweden
7.8 MPG, 2 PPG, 33.3% FG

 

Last Three Contests:

January 1, 2013: Kings @ Pistons – Pistons 103, Kings 97
November 7, 2012: Pistons @ Kings – Kings 15, Pistons 103
March 14, 2012: Pistons @ Kings – Kings 124, Pistons 112

Key Matchup: DeMarcus Cousins vs. Andre Drummond (and Greg Monroe)

Cousins will likely switch between being guarded by Andre Drummond (an athlete freak and an excellent defender) and guarding Greg Monroe (a less athletic, much more skilled scorer).  Both players are really centers, and it’ll be interesting to see how the Pistons attack Cousins and how Cousins attacks on defense.

Cousins didn’t have a great night against the Nets (15 points, nine boards, 5-14 shooting) but he played excellent defense, stayed cool in a pretty rough game and continued to show his new-found growth. How he faced the tough Detroit big-man core will have a huge impact on how the Kings fare on national TV.

Three Things to Watch:

1. Attack Billups: Ben McLemore (and Marcus Thornton) will be facing the willy veteran Chancey Billups. It’ll be a good test defensively for McLemore, who can likely run circles around Billups by this point. Offensively, McLemore and Thornton should attack Billups hard, since the 37 year old can’t keep up with either of them anymore.

2. Muscle the Pistons’ bigs: Detroit has a scary front line with Drummond, Monroe and Josh Smith. While the three create spacing issues (Smith is not a small forward, although he pretends to be one for the Pistons), the Kings don’t have the muscle to really stick with all of the three. I expect that Coach Malone will play Luc Richard Mbah a Moute a bunch, as he is strong enough and agile enough to play against Smith (while John Salmons isn’t).

3. Feed the Bad-Shot Monsters: Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings are both above-average players, but they both love love love bad shots. The two take a combined 10.9 threes per game and make just 3 of them (27.5%). Efficiency isn’t in their basketball dictionaries. This may be one of the lone teams in the league that are less efficient with their shots than Sacramento—give Jennings and Smith a bit of room to shot threes, since they’re much more dangerous the closer they get to the basket.

Prediction: Kings 112, Pistons 93 (And Sacramento breaks the record with a number at about 115 decibels)

 

 

 

 

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