Game Preview: Sacramento Kings (4-7) at Atlanta Hawks (8-5)


The Sacramento Kings are riding on a three game winning streak, and are looking to carry that momentum tonight in Atlanta, Georgia where they will face the Atlanta Hawks.

With the result of Atlanta losing three straight games, the Kings are catching the Hawks at the right time, despite their 8-5 record. But as Kings fans know, wins do not come easy, and in order for the Kings to come out of tonight’s matchup with a win, they must follow these three keys to the game.

Boogie Domination: Big man DeMarcus Cousins has been the prime reason why the Kings are currently on a three game winning streak. In the last week since returning from his achilles injury, Cousins has displayed complete dominance on both ends of the floor.

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The unfortunate part about this is that it seems the Kings only find success when Cousins in on the court, therefore it looks like the current player of the week for the Western Conference needs to replicate his dominance tonight in order to for the Kings to continue on their winning streak.

Perimeter Defense: The Hawks are currently ranked 8th in the league in perimeter shooting (percentage and makes per game), mainly due to shooters in Kyle Korver, Paul Millsap, and Kent Bazemore. A main assignment for the Kings defense tonight has to be limiting the perimeter shooting of the Hawks.

If the Hawks catch fire from beyond the arc, on their home court, it will dramatically shift the momentum on Atlanta’s side, putting the Kings in a tough pickle. To be fair, improvement from the Kings defense has gradually gotten better in recent games, but in order to suppress the Hawks shooters tonight they must buckle down more.

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“The Great Rudyini”: In the past two statement wins that the Kings have come out with (Detroit Pistons/Toronto Raptors), Rudy Gay has come up big displaying impressive offensive showings. In order for the Kings to give the Hawks havoc on the defensive end, the trio of Cousins, Rajon Rondo, and Gay will all have to have great performances tonight.

Throughout this season, Cousins and Rondo have been reliable in completing their roles, but the result of Gay’s early season slump has made him a wildcard thus far into the season. If the “Great Rudyini” can continue to comeback and be the Rudy that Kings fan are accustomed to knowing on the offensive end, it should give the Hawks trouble defending what is starting to develop into a high-powered Kings offense (ranked 6th in points per game).

Final Thoughts: Overall, this is a game that the Kings should come out with a win, adding their winning streak to four games. Although the Hawks are a good team, and are definitely making the playoffs, the fact is that they have not been playing up to their record this season so far. In the eight wins that the Hawk have recorded, eliminating the Miami Heat and Washington Wizards, all teams either have a record of .500 or under.

Next: How The Kings Will Fare On Their Road Trip?

In tonight’s game, expect the Hawks to give the Kings a run for their money, but also foresee the trio of Cousins, Rondo, and Gay to come out tonight big on the offensive end. As a result, the Kings adding another statement win to their early season.