Preview: Sacramento Kings Look To Avoid Being Swept By Pelicans

The Sacramento Kings (26-40) will face their Achilles tendon tonight as they go up against the New Orleans Pelicans (24-42). The Kings this season are 0-3 against the Pelicans, a record they hope to improve on tonight.

The Kings have switched their focus as of late, going from a veteran heavy mindset to one that allows rookies and younger players to get more playing time and experience.

The biggest example of that last night was Willie Cauley-Stein starting at power forward instead of veteran Quincy Acy. Cauley-Stein put together a solid performance with 8 points and 7 rebounds.

The Kings also started both Darren Collison and Rajon Rondo together, something that is the result of Collison being the hottest shooter for the Kings since the All-Star break. Collison had 22 points last night and was a big part of the Kings win.

The Kings need to keep the positive vibes from yesterday’s game and put them to use this evening against New Orleans.

The Pelicans have lost four in a row with their last win coming against the Kings last week in New Orleans. The Kings led for a majority of that game before playing poor defense in the ending part of the fourth quarter to end up getting defeated by 3 points.

The Pelicans will come into Sleep Train Arena tonight looking to improve two areas of their game, their defense and perimeter shooting. Their defense has allowed an average of 117.8 points per game during their current losing streak. Their defense is something the Kings will look to exploit tonight as the Kings average 106.7 points scored per game.

This game will come down to which one of these two teams want the win more. Both teams are dealing with seasons that will end in disappointments as they both hoped to do much better than they have done this season.

The Kings will be looking to show the league that they have some stability and they are on the upswing as the Pelicans are looking to show the league that this season was a fluke and that they still are a playoff-caliber team even if though they will miss the postseason this year.

With Rondo reported out for tonight’s contest, Collison will almost certainly look to start for the Kings at the point and Marco Belinelli at the two. If both of them can get it going early look for the Kings to earn the win.

The Pelicans don’t have enough defenders to be able to lock all of the positions down, so if they choose to focus on the Kings backcourt, then Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins could have very big games.