No matter if the Sacramento Kings are 27-53 or 53-27, when the Los Angeles Lakers come to town, Sleep Train Arena is always going to have a playoff like atmosphere.
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That may be an oxymoron this season, as both teams are in the Western Conference cellar. Also making the two teams Siamese Twins is the fact both teams will be missing their key stars from this latest chapter in the rivalry.
We all know that Kobe Bryant is sidelined at least until next season, but the Kings will be without their two offensive big guns as well in DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay, who both are on the “injured reserve list.” So that means that this latest edition of the rivalry between North and South will be devoid completely of stars.
But there may be a new star on the horizon for the Kings in Ben McLemore, who has performed well in the absence of Gay and Cousins, including a 20 point/seven assist outing in the King 122-111 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Sunday.
Other players have stepped up as well, including Omri Casspi, who has been an up-and-down player throughout his career. Casspi lead Sacramento’s offensive assault against the Nuggets with 22 points, and along with Casspi and McLemore, Derrick Williams is still performing like a man who is worthy of being in George Karl’s system.
So the Kings really don’t lack offensive punch like the Lakers do, but then again, anything can go with this team, as they have lost to teams that they have had the clear upper advantage against.
But tonight is a rivalry game, and although this current roster hasn’t been through the brutal wars like the two teams went through in the early 2000’s, most of the fans who will make their way to Sleep Train Arena tonight will remember, and will make sure the hated Lakers leave the capitol city with a loss under their belt, like they have in five of the last seven games played in North Natomas.
Who’s Playing? Los Angeles Lakers vs Sacramento Kings
Where At? Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, CA
What Time? 7 pm Pacific, 10 pm Eastern
Where Do I Watch? Comcast Sportsnet California