Game Preview: Spurs (5-3) at Kings (5-4)


Last week the Kings were sitting high at a record of 5-1, but now that the honeymoon phase is over the Kings are now 5-4 with their schedule not getting any easier as the San Antonio Spurs are in town Saturday night. The last two games for the Kings have been an emotional typhoon, as in both games the Kings lead by 20+ points early in the game, but unfortunately gave up their leads late to result in both loses. The Kings tonight are not only trying to avoid a four-game losing streak, but also a 12th straight loss to the Spurs on their home court, that’s right HOME court! The Kings (5-4), the Spurs (5-3).

More from Kings News

Keys to the Game-

Play the Whole 48- In each of the past two games, the Kings have been a tale of two teams. If they want to have any chance of beating the reigning champs tonight they need to be efficient on both sides of the floor throughout the whole 48 minutes they play (not counting overtime). In the past two games, the Kings clobbered their opponents (Dallas Mavericks/Memphis Grizzlies) in the first quarter, but then slowly saw their lead deteriorate throughout game leading to their loses. It’s important for the Kings to start the game off quick, but more importantly to hold on to that level of efficiency for the entire game. The Spurs have a reputation of coming back from large deficits, example Game 5 of the previous NBA Finals when the Spurs were trailing the Miami Heat by 16 points in the first quarter but ended up winning the game by 17 points.

Bench Production- This also ties with the consistency issues the Kings have recently had. The Kings bench production during their recent road trip was discouraging to see. On the offensive side of the ball, Carl Landry seems to be their only consistent offensive weapon, and on the defensive side they have been victims of allowing large scoring runs to their opponents. For the Kings to be competitive tonight they need production from their bench players, mainly because of the efficiency the San Antonio Spurs will bring from theirs. The Spurs are ranked 11th in the league in bench scoring as they average 34.6 points per contest and are ranked 4th in defensive efficiency with a score of 7.4. For the Kings to have any chance of winning tonight, they need quality minutes from their bench.

Limit Fouls/Turnovers- It is vital for the Kings to stay out of foul trouble in this game, especially for their starters. It’s no surprise that there has been a significant difference between the starters and the bench in terms of production this season, which is why the Kings starters need to stay out of early foul trouble so they can log in a significant amount of minutes throughout the game. Turnovers also need to be limited. The Kings are going against a high powered offense and a stingy defense in the San Antonio Spurs, which means that the Kings need to have as many quality possessions as possible for tonight. If the Kings waste too many possessions due to turning the ball over, obviously the number of efficient possessions decreases as well as their chances of winning.

The Line (5-4)- At this moment the Spurs are the 1.5 favorite to win tonight’s game. The spread might change closing in on game time based on who Gregg Popovich (Spurs coach) wants to play. The Spurs came from a victory against the Los Angeles Lakers just last night, and Coach Pop has been notorious for sitting his primary players on the second part of a back-to-back. Either way, I feel like the Kings have a good chance of winning tonight’s game. Even though they have lost three straight, this team looks a lot better than last years. I think the Kings make another huge step forward and rejuvenate themselves after the heartbreaker in Memphis.

Final Thoughts- Despite losing three games, who would have thought that the Kings would be over .500 through 9 games, especially with hefty schedule they have encountered so far? The Kings need to maintain a positive perspective on what they have accomplished as a whole this season. They were caught slipping the last two games, but for the sake of the team/fans let’s not make it a third. Even if Coach Popovich sits players tonight, the Spurs have proven that they can win games without their main core, so regardless of who plays tonight, the Kings have a huge test ahead of them tonight.