Gametime: 7:00 pm PT
Where: Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, CA
Broadcast Information: KHTK Sports 1140 (Radio), Comcast SportsNet California (Local Television), NBA TV (National Television)
Sacramento Kings Projected Starters (18-36)
PG: Isaiah Thomas
SG: Ben McLemore
SF: Rudy Gay
PF: Jason Thompson
C: DeMarcus Cousins
Boston Celtics Projected Starters (19-37)
PG: Rajon Rondo
SG: Gerald Wallace
SF: Jeff Green
PF: Brandon Bass
C: Jared Sullinger
What to watch
1. DeMarcus Cousins vs. Jared Sullinger
The last time these two teams met, Sullinger had a career night, matching Cousins step for step in the Celtics 99-89 victory over the Kings. It’s not often that you see two centers finish a game with 31 points and 16 rebounds each. Those numbers aren’t completely out of the norm for Cousins, but they were shocking for Sullinger. Cousins is slated to make his return on Saturday after missing Wednesday’s loss to the Warriors due to a strained left hip flexor. If the Kings want to pull out the win, Cousins needs to play on both ends of the floor.
2. Can Ben McLemore show improvement?
With Marcus Thornton now a member of the Brooklyn Nets, McLemore has been handed a golden opportunity in Sacramento. Can the rookie get comfortable and begin to show the skills that made him the 7th overall selection in the 2013 NBA Draft? He has 28 games to show what he can do and prove that he is ready to handle the job next season when Sacramento looks to be much improved.
3. How does Ray McCallum handle his increase in playing time?
McLemore isn’t the only Kings player who benefited from the trade deadline madness. Coach Michael Malone wants to see what McCallum can do at the pro level. The rookie will get a long look at the expense of Jimmer Fredette, who will fight for minutes as the third point guard and pick up scraps at the shooting guard as well.