The Sacramento Kings began their season Wednesday night against the Chicago Bulls. As Chicago uggo-fests usually go, Sacramento ended up shooting 40% from the field before falling in a close one, 87-93.
The Kings potential starting lineup:
PG Isaiah Thomas
SG Tyreke Evans
SF James Johnson
PF Jason Thompson
C DeMarcus Cousins
Feel-good story of last year, Thomas is platooned at point guard with free agent Aaron Brooks. Perenially under-valued Thompson got the starting power forward spot ahead of the Kings lottery pick this year, Thomas Robinson. Marcus Thornton is set as the first guard off the bench, a role perfectly suited for him as instant offense — if he accepts it. Free agent James Johnson is a quality defensive player who shouldn’t be asked to do much on offense. Tyreke Evans is in a make-or-break year and, perhaps related to that overall field goal percentage Wednesday night, tied human tree trunk Chuck Hayes for the team lead in assists, with 3. The elephant in the room is Cousins and whether or not he can keep it together enough to have the break-out year everyone seems to be predicting.
The Wolves potential starting lineup:
SG Brandon Roy
SF Andrei Kirilenko
PF Derrick Williams
C Nikola Pekovic
Kirilenko will be starting at forward. Period. In this lineup or with Chase Budinger starting at small forward or Dante Cunningham at power forward. J.J. Barea could be your starting point guard, too. It really doesn’t matter because, with Roy and AK-47, you will be seeing the most competent wing players on the floor at the same time in years. Regardless, we shall all receive a steady diet of Pek.
The best moment in the Sacramento-Timberwolves post-KG history happened at the 0:50 mark of this youtube clip when, after a dust-up with little Luke Ridnour, DeMarcus Cousins foolishly tried to shove Mount Pekovic and was forced back on his heels.