By virtue of having played 3 less games than the
Seattle Kings, the Wolves are a half game ahead in the standings. Sacramento is 5-5 over their last 10 and fresh off defeating the Clippers 116-101 Tuesday night in Arco Sleep Train Arena. Beating the Clippers 2 games after throwing up 121 against the Bulls should serve as a wake-up call, the Kings can put up some points.
Kings probable starting lineup:
PG Isaiah Thomas
SG Tyreke Evans
SF John Salmons
PF Jason Thompson
C DeMarcus Cousins
Marcus Thornton made 6-10 3-point attempts against the Clippers and is averaging 53% from distance over his last 5 games.
Thomas had an off night against Chris Paul, but has been shooting 39.3% on 5.6 3-point attempts over his last 5 games.
After missing 2 games with a quad contusion, Cousins returned to put up 17 points, 11 rebounds on the Clips. After struggling earlier this season, shooting 41.5% in November and 39.5% in December, Cousins has improved his shot selection (while not necessarily his rate of turnovers or fouls).
Despite shooting 4-13 (30.8%) and 6-19 (31.6%) in the last 2 contests, Tyreke Evans is scoring 20 points a game, adding 5 assists, 4 rebounds and over 2 steals while shooting 51.4% (with 1.4 out of 4 made 3-point attempts). I already did my thing on Evans, but — to be fair — he’s been throwing darts of late.
These 4 players represent the bulk of the Kings scoring and their biggest weakness, as none of these guys are efficient or consistent enough for the Kings to actually be good with any regularity. But they’re hot for now, so guard that 3-point line, Wolves.
Wolves probable starting lineup:
PG Ricky Rubio
SG Chase Budinger
SF Andrei Kirilenko
PF Derrick Williams
C Nikola Pekovic
If Chase can walk, it’s my opinion he should be out there starting with Ricky and Pek, because those guys deserve to have at least one decent shooter on the floor with them. The idea of a perimeter threat giving space for Pek and passing lanes for Ricky is too much to dream for against the Kings, but if things go well, Phoenix is Friday and Chicago is Sunday.
Williams pulled another disappearing act in the loss to Memphis, going 3-12 and messing the bed. He was not alone, as no starter finished with double figures in the blowout. But like he did after the OKC loss, D-Will has a chance to gather himself before another tough stretch next week.