Pregame notes: Kings cannot afford to take any opponents lightly
01/04/2014 6:48 PM
01/04/2014 10:32 PM
One of the more puzzling things while covering the Kings in recent seasons has been when after a loss players spoke of being overconfident.
Yes, a team with one of the worst records in the NBA would go into games thinking it had a win locked up because the competition was inferior.
Coming off the lethargic start Thursday against Philadelphia, you had to wonder if the Kings were falling into that mindset again. Players and coach Michael Malone said that wasn’t the case.
Tonight, the Kings host 14-20 Charlotte, a team that has already beaten the Kings this season in Charlotte.
“We can’t look at any team like they’re a doormat because the reality is they’re looking at us like we’re a doormat,” said Kings coach Michael Malone. “Charlotte’s lost a couple of games on the road now. They’re coming in here and circle Sacramento as a get right game. So if we’re foolish enough to think Charlotte, Orlando, Cleveland are cakewalks just look at our results this season.”
Orlando and Cleveland are the other teams with losing records remaining on the homestand.
Malone hopes the Kings can be mature enough to play hard regardless of the opponent’s record.
“If we (don’t) do that, that’s the sign of a bad team, a losing team,” Malone said. “Because the reality is this -- to win an NBA game is hard. It takes 48 minutes of hard worrk and you’ve got to it at a high level. It starts with Charlotte.”
Prediction time: The Kings are the kind of team that responds well to extra work and I anticipate Friday’s practice helped them be at their most focused tonight.
My prediction record was off a couple games, but I’ve fixed that. And I think the Kings win tonight.
Kings 105, Bobcats 95
My record: 17-14
About This BlogJason Jones, who joined The Sacramento Bee in 2002, has covered the Kings since 2008. Jones, a UC Berkeley graduate, also has covered high school sports, the Oakland Raiders and the Sacramento Monarchs for The Bee. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @mr_jasonjones
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