by Charlie O. Mallonee
Jason Jones beat writer for the Sacramento Bee is reporting that Rudy Gay is doubtful to play in the game in Milwaukee tonight due to sore ribs. Gay was instrumental in the Kings series sweep of the Bucks last season. Matt Barnes and Omri Casspi would pick up the slack if Gay is unable to go.
Rudy Gay Trade Rumor Update
The most recent trade rumor mill has the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Kings working on a deal that would send Rudy Gay to the Thunder for Cameron Payne. This report comes Headlines and Global News.
The Thunder are looking for someone to take some of the pressure off Russell Westbrook to be “the offense” with the departure of Kevin Durant.
Payne is coming off the injury list with a broken foot. The Kings are said to be looking for a “long term” solution at point guard. The young Payne who backs up Westbrook could possibly fit that role.
With Gay declaring he is opting out of his last year of his contract with the Kings to test the free agent market, his name is going to come up frequently in the rumor mill.
Kings need to a win on this road trip
The Sacramento Kings (2-4) have lost three consecutive games on this first long road trip of the season. After losing in Atlanta, Miami and Orlando, the Kings will be looking for their first win of the road trip in Milwaukee on Saturday night. The Bucks are another tier-three team that is not expected to make the playoffs. In theory, the Bucks are a team the Kings should be able to beat on the road.
Bucks will be trying to keep a winning streak alive
Milwaukee (3-2) won their second consecutive game on Thursday night when they defeated the Indiana Pacers 125-107. The Bucks are now 3-0 when they score 100-plus points in a game this season. That makes one of the goals for the Kings in the game very easy to prioritize … “keep ’em under 100!” Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker scored 27 points each in the win.
Kings dominated the series last season
The Kings won both games of the series with the Bucks last year. Sacramento won 128-118 in Milwaukee and then took the game in Sacramento 111-104. Ironically, the Kings won both of those games without DeMarcus Cousins in the line up for either game. Rudy Gay was the leading scorer for Sacramento in both of those wins over the Bucks.
Casspi takes a bigger role in Orlando
Omri Casspi came off the bench and played 23 minutes against the Magic. He scored 12 points shooting 5-for-13 including two 3-point baskets. Playing time had been hard to come by for Casspi but his involvement in the Orlando game may mark a change in Dave Joerger’s rotation.
Farmar is with the team
Jordan Farmar who signed with the team on Wednesday was the Kings in Orlando on Thursday but did not play. He will be available to play in Milwaukee on Saturday night.
Key players in the game
The Kings will be dependent on the big two – Cousins and Gay – as they have been so far in all of their games this season. What they will be looking for is another key player to step up. In Orlando, the Magic shutdown Cousins and Gay in the fourth quarter and the Kings needed another player (or players) to take over the scoring in order to earn the victory. That player has yet to be identified.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker are the key players for Bucks. They will look for help from Greg Monroe coming off the bench to lead the attack for the second unit. Milwaukee also added free agent guard Matthew Dellavedova in off-season to upgrade their team.
For entertainment purposes only
The odds-makers are in high agreement so far about this game on Saturday night. They list the Bucks as the favorites minus two points which is the usual home court advantage call. The over-under projection is 204.5 points.