Game 44 Preview: Sacramento Kings at Toronto Raptors

Game 44 Preview: Sacramento Kings at Toronto Raptors

Cowbell Kingdom

Game 44 Preview: Sacramento Kings at Toronto Raptors


Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins battles Chuck Hayes and Kyle Lowry for a rebound. (Photo: Jonathan Santiago)

Game time: 4:30 p.m. PDT

Where: Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON.

Broadcast Information: KHTK Sports 1140 (Radio), Comcast SportsNet California (Local Television)

Sacramento Kings Probable Starters (16-27)

PG: Darren Collison
SG: Ben McLemore
SF: Rudy Gay
PF: Jason Thompson
C: DeMarcus Cousins

Toronto Raptors Probable Starters (30-15)

PG: Kyle Lowry
SG: Greivis Vasquez
SF: DeMar DeRozan
PF: Amir Johnson
C: Jonas Valunciunas

Three things to ponder

1. Defensive amnesia

The are many theories why the Kings and Raptors have abruptly stopped playing defense in recent months. Since coach Michael Malone’s firing, Sacramento has allowed over seven more points per game, while Toronto ranks 24th in the league in opponent field goal percentage after placing 10th last season. But both teams must snap out of the haze if they hope to rediscover their winning ways.

2. Turnover reversal

The Kings can’t take care of the ball (27th in turnovers), and they can’t pressure the rock (28th in opponent turnovers). The Raptors are elite (fourth) and above-average (10th) in these crucial categories respectively, which means Sacramento must turn the tables, somehow, someway.

3. Family reunion

Former Kings Patrick Patterson, Chuck Hayes, Greivis Vasquez and James Johnson are available to play versus Sacramento. DeMarcus Cousins, whose name may be revealed as an All-Star reserve on Thursday, will attempt to avenge a loss to the Raptors on December 2 which he sat out due to viral meningitis.

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