By Charlie O. Mallonee
The Sacramento Kings have not played a game since their loss last Sunday to the LA Lakers 100-86. The team looked tired in the second half of the Lakers game after losing a heartbreaker to the Cippers 103-102 on Saturday night.
The Clippers defeated the Knicks 93-80 on Wednesday night even with Chris Paul having to leave the game with a strained hamstring.
After the Knicks game, the Clippers seemed very pleased with their defense that held NYK to just 80 points. The Clippers have primarily been defeating teams with their offense. They have not lost a game this season when the team has scored 100 points or more in the contest.
The Kings will need to concentrate on controlling the defensive boards tonight. Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan can dominate the rebounding situation and kill a team with easy put back shots off the rebound. The Kings will need more than just Cousins to battle under the bucket to keep the Clippers from having multiple opportunities on offense.
The Kings must also play better defense on Friday. The Clippers are shooting 47.9% as a team. The Kings need to bring that percentage down into the low 40’s in order to post a victory.
The Kings will also need to show improved shooting versus the Clippers. Sacramento is averaging just 42.7% shooting from the field. That shooting percentage will not get it done against the Clippers.
The Clippers must contain DeMarcus Cousins if they are to win. Cousins scored 23 points and pulled down 19 rebounds versus LAC last Saturday. Cousins may have some help on the front line tonight with Derrick Williams starting at small forward. This will be Williams’ first game as a King.
The Clippers have two players with health issues coming into the game. Paul’s hamstring is questionable, but he has said he will be ready to play Friday night. Blake Griffin is nursing a tender elbow that had to have fluid drained off it earlier this week.
Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 PST. The game can be seen on CSNCA and heard on the Kings Radio Network.
Ray McCallum Returns from Reno
The Kings have recalled rookie guard Ray McCallum from the Reno Bighorns of the NBA D-League. McCallum joined the Bighorns on November 21.
McCallum averaged a team high 22 points (45.5 FG%, 30.8 3pt%, 66.7 FT%), 5.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.33 steals and a team high 38.0 minutes of playing time in three games with Reno.
McCallum should probably buy some tire chains as he may well be making the trip between Sacramento and Reno several times this season. The Kings want him to get playing time. If the PT does not come in Sacramento, he will be sent to Reno to get some game experience.