Kings Blog

Kings hit the road this week for important trip

All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas, left, and the Celtics host Kosta Koufos, right, and the Kings Friday in Boston.
All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas, left, and the Celtics host Kosta Koufos, right, and the Kings Friday in Boston. The Associated Press

Today at Nets

Time: 3 p.m.

TV/radio: CSNCA, 1140

Jason Jones’ take: The center matchup between DeMarcus Cousins and Brook Lopez is now a dual of big man duel of big men who can make 3-pointers.

Nets players to watch: Center Brook Lopez leads Brooklyn in scoring at 20.1 points per game and in blocks with 1.6 per outing. Power forward Trevor Booker is averaging 10.3 points while leading the Nets in both rebounds (8.2) and steals (2.1).

Last meeting: The Kings’ Darren Collison scored 25 points off the bench and DeMarcus Cousins recorded a triple-double with 24 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, but it wasn’t enough in a 128-119 loss to the Nets on Feb. 5 in Brooklyn.

Hometown take: Brian Lewis, the New York Post, “The Nets’ latest loss looked eerily and maddeningly familiar, showing all the same flaws that have dogged them for weeks. They fell 118-97 to the Paul George-less Pacers in front of 16,083 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, their sixth straight defeat. And the script was as predictable as a death, taxes or a bad horror movie. ... They have so many problems, all seemingly recurring. Facing a Pacers team that didn’t even have George, out with a sore left ankle, they were made to look like a D-League squad. And in fairness, much of this roster was either in the D-League or Europe last season, or are rookies that clearly need seasoning now. The Nets (4-11) have lost their trust and lost their way defensively, not helping the helper and letting foes break their traps and drive the lane.”

Monday at Wizards

Time: 4 p.m.

TV/radio: CSNCA, 1140

Jason Jones’ take: Washington has struggled this season, but guard John Wall will give the Kings problems.

Wizards players to watch: All-Star point guard Wall is fourth in the NBA in assists (9.0), eighth in steals (2.8) and 15th in scoring (23.7). Shooting guard Bradley Beal is Washington’s second-leading scorer at 19.6 points per game.

Last meeting: DeMarcus Cousins had 29 points points, 10 rebounds, five steals and four blocks in the host Kings’ 120-111 victory over the Wizards on March 30, 2016.

Hometown take: J. Michael, CSN Mid-Atlantic Wizards Insider, “Among the better ways for the Wizards to get their best shooter open shots, meaning Bradley Beal, is to have him doing what so many others do for him. Set screens. After his 42-point outburst in Monday’s win over the Phoenix Suns to set a career-high, Beal was as active as he has been all season in flex action – screening for screener on the weakside of the floor. A lot of times when the shooting guard is stagnant, being stationary, he’ll become forgotten in the offense. That also makes him easier to take away for the defense.”

Wednesday at 76ers

Time: 4 p.m.

TV/radio: CSNCA, 1140

Jason Jones’ take: Joel Embiid is proving to be entertaining on the court and not just social media.

76ers players to watch: Healthy at long last, center Embiid leads the 76ers in scoring (17.8), rebounds (7.6) and blocks (2.4), while forward Ersan Ilyasova is averaging 13.2 points and 5.6 rebounds.

Last meeting: DeMarcus Cousins’ 28 points and 12 rebounds helped the Kings overcome a 29-point night by Robert Covington in a 114-110 victory over the 76ers on Feb. 10 in Philadelphia.

Hometown take: Keith Pompey, The Philadelphia Inquirer, “Brett Brown says he usually sleeps well at night, knowing he and his team did everything in their power to win. So some might wonder how the 76ers coach slept Wednesday night. That’s because doing everything in their power to win would have involved playing Joel Embiid in the second overtime of a 104-99 double-overtime loss to the Memphis Grizzlies at the Wells Fargo Center. Brown said after the game that the outcome would have been different had Embiid played in the second overtime. But the coach said there were no exceptions to the rule. The team restricts Embiid’s playing time because he is recovering from foot injuries and surgeries that cost him and the team two seasons. Embiid was unable to play in the second overtime period because he already played 3 minutes, 10 seconds more than his 24-minute limit. He tried to persuade the medical staff to allow him to play more.”

Friday at Celtics

Time: 4:30 p.m.

TV/radio: CSNCA, 1140

Jason Jones’ take: It’s always entertaining when Isaiah Thomas faces the Kings to remind them they should not have traded him.

Celtics players to watch: Thomas is ninth among NBA scorers at 26.1 points per game and ranks ninth in the league in assists with 6.3 per contest. Fellow guard Avery Bradley is averaging 17.9 points and 8.0 rebounds.

Last meeting: Avery Bradley scored 25 points, including six 3-pointers, and former King Isaiah Thomas scored 22 points in the Celtics’ 128-119 victory over Sacramento on Feb. 7 in Boston.

Hometown take: From Chris Forsberg, ESPN, “During the second half of the Celtics’ (109-103) loss to the Spurs on Friday, you could practically see the steam coming out of the ears of noted referee critic Tommy Heinsohn. In his concurrent role as TV analyst, the 82-year-old Heinsohn didn't hesitate to chastise the officiating crew during the broadcast. ... To be certain, the referees in Friday's game (Marc Davis, Kane Fitzgerald and Justin Van Duyne) had some moments they’d probably like back. But San Antonio’s 25-9 advantage in free throw attempts wasn’t solely the result of missed calls against the visitors. It speaks to a larger issue for a Celtics team on which everyone not named Isaiah Thomas has struggled to consistently get to the free-throw line. According to Basketball Reference, Friday’s game marked only the 40th time in the past 53 years that the Celtics have failed to reach double digits in free throw attempts. It was also the second instance in three days for a Boston team that shot just eight free throws in a win over Brooklyn on Wednesday. The Celtics rank 26th in the NBA with a free throw attempt rate of 0.237 (the metric is based on free throw attempts per field goal attempted). They rank 25th in the NBA in free throw attempts per game, averaging just 20.4.”

Compiled by Stu Rosenberg

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