Game 56 Preview: Sacramento Kings at Atlanta Hawks

Tyreke Evans takes it to the rim against Josh Smith. (Photo: Steven Chea)

Gametime: 4:30 pm PT

Where: Philips Arena, Atlanta, GA.

Broadcast Information: TV – Comcast SportsNet California, Radio – CBS Sports 1140

For Hawks perspective, visit fellow TrueHoop Network affiliate HawksHoop.

The book on the Hawks: Atlanta is 5-5 over their last 10 games.  At six games over .500, they’re hovering right around NBA mediocrity, which might be a reason why Josh Smith reportedly wants out.  Al Horford is the one beacon of hope for this year’s team.  Over his last three games, he’s averaged  24.7 points on 73.3 percent shooting from the field and 10.3 rebounds per contest.

Did you know?  The Hawks are one of the best passing teams in the league.  They are averaging 24.1 assists per game, good enough for second in the league.  They have failed to record at least 20 assists only seven times this season.

Sacramento Kings Probable Starters (19-36)

PG: Isaiah Thomas
SG: Tyreke Evans
SF: John Salmons
PF: Jason Thompson
C: DeMarcus Cousins

Atlanta Hawks Probable Starters (29-23)

PG: Jeff Teague
SG: Deshawn Stevenson
SF: Josh Smith
PF: Al Horford
C: Zaza Pachulia



  • Points Per Game: 96.9
  • Offensive Rating: 103.9
  • Opponents Points Per Game: 103.8
  • Defensive Rating: 111.3
  • Pace: 92.6


  • Points Per Game: 96.8
  • Offensive Rating: 104.3
  • Opponents Points Per Game: 96.3
  • Defensive Rating: 103.8
  • Pace: 91.7

Three questions to ponder

1.  Will the Kings come ready to play following Wednesday’s blockbuster trade?

The Kings are coming into this game fresh off a major roster shakeup.  They cancelled practice yesterday, but had shootaround this morning.  How prepared will they be in the first game of this five-game road trip?  In comparison, they came out sluggish out of the All-Star Break against the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday, which ended up being the difference.

2.  Which Kings reserve steps up in light of the Robinson deal?

With Thomas Robinson and Francisco Garcia on their way to Houston, the Kings are down two players who were contributors to Keith Smart‘s rotation.  It wouldn’t be farfetched to expect a heavy dose of Travis Outlaw, who Smart has gone to from time to time this season, as well as James Johnson.  The latter has seen his minutes dwindle after beginning the season at small forward and could be used at power forward depending on where Larry Drew uses Josh Smith in his lineup.

3.  What kind of game will Josh Smith have for the Hawks?

It was a forgone conclusion that Smith would be dealt before the trade deadline.  But nearly 24 hours later, the veteran forward is still a Hawk for the foreseeable future.  How does he handle his first game after the deadline considering he reportedly wanted out of Atlanta?  He may play angry and the Kings may end up on the receiving end of that.

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