After a relatively eventful All-Star weekend, the Golden State Warriors will get back to NBA action and hit the road to take on the Sacramento Kings. The Warriors have won just two of their five games in Februrary, and will be looking to get back to consistent winning on Wednesday.
Frontcourt: The Kings’ most lethal offensive threat is undoubtedly DeMarcus Cousins. He might miss the game due to a hip injury, but if he plays, Golden State will have a handful to deal with. Many great defenders have tried and failed to stop Boogie, and his offensive arsenal is as good as it gets in a center. Rudy Gay is also a big part of the offense and has been a lot more efficient since making the move away from the Toronto Raptors. Even though he has been taking better shots in general as a King, he still loves going iso, and Andre Iguodala should be able to hold Gay back one-on-one.
Backcourt: Isaiah Thomas is one of the most entertaining players in the league. He makes up for every inch he lacks in height with his explosiveness and ability to create his own shot. He is a decent playmaker, but truly excels in a scoring point guard role and is putting up over 20 points per game. His performances have pretty much forced the Kings to reconsider him as part of the future of the franchise, rather than their most attractive trade piece. Marcus Thornton has also made his way into the starting lineup, but his performances are very inconsistent. He did have a 42-point outburst earlier this season, and he is capable of heating up, but you just can’t count on him to do it on a regular basis.
Keys to Warriors Victory:
Thomas provides a unique challenge for most defenders. He is extremely quick, and has some great hesitation moves at his disposal. He turns the corner very fast on pick-and-rolls and can pull-up when the big man doesn’t close out, which is something that Andrew Bogut rarely does. It will be interesting to see who draws the assignment against Thomas, and he is one player who you do not want to deal with when he gets hot.
Keep Harrison Barnes going
Barnes has been great in February. He has scored in double-digits in four straight games for the first time since early December, and he has taken advantage of some increased playing time with David Lee and Bogut in and out of the lineup with various injuries. Hopefully this is the beginning of a trend, and Barnes can continue providing a consistent scoring threat off the bench.
Sacramento Kings (18-35) vs. Golden State Warriors (31-22)
7:00 PM PST, February 19, 2014
Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, CA
TV: CSN Bay Area
Radio: KNBR 680 AM
Kings Projected Starting Line-up
PG: Isaiah Thomas
SG: Marcus Thornton
SF: Rudy Gay
PF: Jason Thompson
C: DeMarcus Cousins
Key Reserves: G Ben McLemore, F Derrick Williams