Game Preview: Thunder (11-13) at Kings (11-13)


There is so much to talk about. As you probably already know, the Kings have fired head coach Michael Malone. Tyrone Corbin, Malone’s lead assistant, will coach the Kings tonight. When general manager Pete D’Alessandro was asked if Corbin would remain the Kings head coach for the remainder of the season, he was very non-committal. Needless to say, this team is sort of a mess right now.

For more on the coaching change, you can find our analysis here and here.

Tonight is going to be weird. The Kings are on ESPN for the first time this season, facing the now-healthy and totally dangerous Oklahoma City Thunder. DeMarcus Cousins has already been ruled out, and with all of the distractions surrounding tonight’s game, it could get ugly. The Kings already lost to Oklahoma City once this season, and that was when the Kings had a healthy DeMarcus Cousins, and the Thunder were missing Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.

To make matters weirder, Peja Stojakovic is having his jersey retired tonight, which would indicate that one or both of Pete D’Alessandro and/or Vivek Ranadive will share some court time with Stojakovic. By and large, Kings fans are not happy with how Michael Malone’s firing was handled, so it will be interesting to see what kind of response they get from the home crowd.

Live Feed

LeBron James responds to Michael Malone's thirsty shots, buries Nuggets HC
LeBron James responds to Michael Malone's thirsty shots, buries Nuggets HC /

Lake Show Life

  • Michael Malone is still obsessed with Lakers, fires shot at LeBron JamesLake Show Life
  • Michael Malone calls out Denver Nuggets effort after Game 2 lossFanSided
  • All-Star Game: Pacers' Haliburton shines despite Malone not playing him8 Points, 9 Seconds
  • Takeaways from Denver Nuggets win against Dallas MavericksNugg Love
  • Bones Hyland recent play helps Denver Nuggets dominate the WestNugg Love
  • The Kings front office repeatedly mentioned ‘stylistic and philosophical’ differences as the reasoning behind the move. They expect Ty Corbin to implement their system, which includes a faster pace and more perimeter shooting. I wouldn’t expect to see an entirely different looking team out there, but I do expect the Kings to implement some of the principles of this play style as early as tonight. If the Kings weren’t expecting a quick change in style, they wouldn’t have fired Malone when they did.

    What will Corbin’s rotation look like? What will his starting lineup look like? Will he use Ray McCallum over Ramon Sessions? I don’t know, but I’m looking forward to finding out.

    And just to add another storyline on top of everything else that is going on in Sacramento, Rudy Gay and Kendrick Perkins have been chirping at each other since the Thunder’s win against Sacramento last month. I’ll give you the short version. Rudy Gay called Kendrick Perkins a clown, Perkins called Gay a virus, and we all got entertained.

    Anything could happen tonight, and that’s exciting. Strange times.

    Check back in to A Royal Pain after the game for our recap.