Kings Blog

Breaking down the Kings’ coming week

Milwaukee Bucks guard Khris Middleton, right, drives against New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016, in New Orleans.
Milwaukee Bucks guard Khris Middleton, right, drives against New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016, in New Orleans. The Associated Press

MONDAY VS. BUCKS

Time: 7 p.m.

TV/radio: CSNCA, 1140

Jason Jones’ take: After a breakout 2014-15 season, Milwaukee is struggling as it blends some new pieces into the roster.

Bucks players to watch: Khris Middleton leads Milwaukee in scoring at 17.7 points per game, and Greg Monroe averages a team-high 9.6 rebounds.

Last meeting: Behind Rudy Gay’s 36-point night, the Kings got only their second road win of the season on Nov. 25, beating the Bucks 129-118 in a heated contest. Milwaukee coach Jason Kidd was ejected, and Bucks guard O.J. Mayo and Kings center DeMarcus Cousins appeared to confront each other after the game.

Hometown take: From Lori Nickel, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Middleton has started to play like a key figure and the future for this franchise that so badly needs it. He has shown he can be Milwaukee’s go-to scorer, aggressive passer and improved game finisher – averaging a team-high 17.7 points while chipping in 4 assists in 35.9 minutes per game.

WEDNESDAY VS. BULLS

Time: 7 p.m.

TV/radio: CSNCA, 950, 1140

Jason Jones’ take: Jimmy Butler has emerged as possibly the best two-way guard in the NBA this season.

Bulls players to watch: Butler is an All-Star reserve who has a 53-point game this season and averages 22.4 points and 1.7 steals. Also, Pau Gasol averages a double double (16.7 points, 10.9 rebounds).

Last meeting: Reserve forward Tony Snell scored a career-high 24 points to help the Bulls beat the Kings 104-86 on Feb. 10, 2015, in Chicago. The scoring total remains his best in an NBA game. The teams have not met this season.

Hometown take: From K.C. Johnson, Chicago Tribune: Butler’s ability to thrive in screen-and-roll situations is another example of adding something to his game. Last season’s scoring jump that led to him winning the NBA’s Most Improved Player award featured a mostly mid-range game based on isolation plays.

FRIDAY AT NETS

Time: 4:30 p.m.

TV/radio: CSNCA, 950, 1140

Jason Jones’ take: The Kings begin a four-game trip leading into the All-Star break against one of the worst teams in the NBA.

Nets players to watch: Center Brook Lopez averages a team-high 19.8 points and 8.5 rebounds, and forward Thaddeus Young puts up 15.1 points and 9.0 rebounds.

Last meeting: DeMarcus Cousins scored a then-season-high 40 points and had 13 rebounds, and Rajon Rondo had his 25th career triple double (23 points, 14 assists, 10 rebounds) to help the Kings win 111-109 at Sleep Train Arena on Nov. 9.

Hometown take: From Mike Mazzeo, ESPN: There is no beating around the bush here: the Nets are the worst fourth-quarter team in the league. Their biggest problem – at least until recently – has been their offense, which ranks last in fourth-quarter efficiency (95.8 points per 100 possessions). In games within five points in the final five minutes, Brooklyn has a 10-15 record.

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