Game Preview: Kings (4-1) vs. Suns (3-2)


"“Obviously I want to play well, I want to show them guys they made a mistake, but at the same time it’s about winning, it’s about doing what’s best.” – Isaiah Thomas“I’m sure Isaiah has this game marked in his calendar” – Michael Malone"

As a collective fan base, we’ve talked about Isaiah Thomas ad nauseam. And now, finally, we can let a little bit of that angst go when the Kings play the Suns tonight. I’m looking forward to it.

Keys to the Game:

Beyond Isaiah: Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe led the Suns to 48 wins last year. They are both struggling right now. Dragic hasn’t hit a three this season (and is shooting .411 from the field), and Bledsoe hasn’t been much better. Isaiah Thomas is leading that team in scoring, which is either good or bad depending on how you look at it. The point being, the Suns are far from firing on all cylinders. Either Dragic and Bledsoe snap out of their early season funk, or the Kings defend them well enough to keep them in it. Darren Collison and Ben McLemore have done an admirable job defending opposing guards thus far. This is another big test.

Post Play: DeMarcus Cousins has been incredible through five games, and I don’t think we’ve seen a complete game from him yet. Miles Plumlee is a good young player and a solid defender, but the way Cousins has been able to get defenders into foul trouble this season is going to be problematic for the Suns. The Kings should go to Cousins early and often, and if Plumlee is in foul trouble, the Suns are going to have a difficult time defending the paint.

Emotional Rollercoaster: Thomas vs. the Kings Front Office! Thomas vs. Cousins (maybe?!)

"“The Phoenix game is going to be a little emotional. Hopefully those emotions don’t get the best of us.” – Rudy Gay"

It’s been a long time since we’ve been able to say this about any team, but the Kings are playing better basketball than the Suns right now. Two of the Suns three wins came against the 0-5 Los Angeles Lakers. If the Kings can keep their emotions in check, and continue to play the kind of defense we’ve seen through these first five games, the Kings have a real chance to add another win tonight.

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  • The Line: The Phoenix Suns are 5-point favorites in this one, and like most of the lines this season, this just feels too high to me. The Suns stars (Dragic and Bledsoe) aren’t playing to their potential, their schedule has been fairly easy, and despite how small a sample size we have for this season, the Kings are playing really well. I’m taking the Kings (+5).

    Final Thoughts: We are almost ready to put the Isaiah Thomas stuff behind us. Almost. This first game against Phoenix will be a step in that direction, but the real release will come when Thomas and the Suns come to Sacramento on December 26th. Until then, this will have to do. It should be a good one.