Game Preview: Kings (13-17) at Nets (14-17)


Although the Kings won their last game against a hapless Knicks team Saturday night, it was only their second game won in the last nine. With a December schedule that many thought the Kings could take advantage of has unfortunately become a disappointment. The Kings are 13-17 overall, but 4-9 this month. For the Kings to rejuvenate the swagger they had in November, a well-played four-game road trip would help. Their first opponent on this trip are the Brooklyn Nets (14-17), and for the Kings to come out victorious they must follow these keys to the game.

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Limit Turnovers- The Kings have been notorious for producing turnovers this season. Right now the Kings are sitting at fourth most in the league in turnovers, averaging a whopping 16.3 a game. The Kings are also the fourth worst in the league in turnover ratio (turnovers per 100 possessions) at 16.6. Turnovers have been a problem throughout this season for the Kings, and have been a factor to why some games have gotten away from them in the past. For the Kings to be able to limit their turnovers tonight would be a potential key for them to winning this game, and also games in the future.

Defensive Efficiency- In the beginning of the season the Kings created an identity of being a stout defense, but have lost that identity recently. The Kings are now sitting at 24th in the league in defensive rating with a 106, when about a month and half ago had a rating of 98.4. In the last five games, the Kings have allowed an average of 116.2 points per game, which is insanely high. For the Kings to win tonight’s game, they must focus on bettering their defense. The Nets don’t necessarily have a reputation of a high efficient offense, but have the ability to make runs if the defense is caught slipping. The Kings defense was the main cause for their success early in the season, it’s time to regain that mindset back.

Feed the Big Man- Demarcus Cousins is without a doubt the best player on the Kings roster. When #15 is on the court, the team is instantly better, even with his multiple illnesses holding him back. Cousins presence was a significant factor to the Kings early success, and his absence was the beginning of their recent downfall. For the Kings to win tonight’s game, they must feed the ball to Demarcus Cousins as much as possible on offense. When Demarcus has the ball in his hands, he has the ability to score and pass at will, and will create plays to making the offense efficient. Overall, Cousins makes everyone on the roster better, so why not give him ball as much as possible on offense?

Final Thoughts- Tonight will be the first time these teams meet since the Deron Williams rumors rose, and this game can go either way. For the Kings to start this road trip with a W, they must limit the number of turnovers, play defense, and feed Boogie the ball. It seems that both Deron Williams and Brook Lopez will be playing tonight’s game, and for the Kings, everyone should be dressed with the exception of Ramon Sessions (doubtful) and Ryan Hollins (questionable) at this moment. Bottom line is, the Kings have no excuse not to win tonights game in Brooklyn and should start this road trip off with a win.