Sacramento Kings: Game 24 Preview versus Los Angeles Lakers

Nov 10, 2016; Sacramento, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers center Timofey Mozgov (20) defends Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (15) during a game at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 10, 2016; Sacramento, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers center Timofey Mozgov (20) defends Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (15) during a game at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

The Sacramento Kings return home to face the Los Angeles Lakers on December 12, 2016.  This article previews that contest from a Kings’ perspective.

The Sacramento Kings and the Golden 1 Center play host to the Los Angeles Lakers for tonight’s contest.  This is their second meeting this regular season.  The Lakers were victorious 101-91 in Sacramento for the opening meeting on November 10th.  Below is a highlight video from that game to fresh your memory on the happenings.

Without further ado, let us move on to the preview for tonight’s contest in Sacramento against the rival Los Angeles Lakers.

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Minnesota Timberwolves

Injuries

The Sacramento Kings’ injury report is yet again a blank page for this contest.  No reported injuries of any kind which is becoming commonplace.  Let us hope that the trend continues throughout the season.

The Lakers played on Sunday, so their injury report could change rapidly heading up to tipoff.  In Sunday’s game, both starting guards in D’Angelo Russell and Nick Young returned after missing multiple games with injuries.  Both men had their minutes limited to 17 and 20 respectively.   Be on the lookout for minutes limits or players being held out completely on the Lakers tonight.

Be sure to check out twitter or watch the pregame show to get all of the last minute information you need to know before tonight’s game.

Nov 2, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Nick Young (0) celebrates a basket in the fourth quarter of their game against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena. The Lakers won 123-116. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 2, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Nick Young (0) celebrates a basket in the fourth quarter of their game against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena. The Lakers won 123-116. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Lakers’ Scouting Report

I wrote a recap of the Lakers offseason and about their developing young core for my game preview in the first meeting.  If you would like to read that it can be found here.

Nick Young’s Unlikely Story

Today, I am going to discuss one of the biggest surprises of the NBA season, the resurrection of Nick Young.   Nick Young or Swaggy P or  Uncle P, whichever you prefer, has been a Laker since 2013.  He seemingly slipped from the rotation last season and had the infamous feud with starting point guard D’Angelo Russell.  The writing seemed to be on the wall this offseason that Young was going to shipped out of town and his NBA career itself may be in jeopardy.

Then, in comes new Head Coach Luke Walton and something changed.  He gave Young a chance to prove himself and he did just that.  Walton even referred to Young as the best player during the preseason.  That earned him the starting shooting guard gig and he has not looked back.

Nick Young is shooting a career high field goal percentage, nailing 2.6 3-pointers a game, and shooting a cool 94.1 percent from the free throw line.  Throw in 13.3 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 1.1 assists per game in 25 minutes a night and you have the resurgence of Nick Young in purple and gold this season.

Last Time Out

As I mentioned earlier, the Lakers played at home on Sunday against the New York Knicks and were defeated by a score of 118-112.  Below is a highlight video from that game, so you can see the Lakers’ current form.

There is a redemption story and a brief look at the Lakers last game, now let us move on to what to watch for in tonight’s contest.

Oct 4, 2016; Anaheim, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (left) handles the ball defended by Los Angeles Lakers center Timofey Mozgov (right) during the first half at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 4, 2016; Anaheim, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (left) handles the ball defended by Los Angeles Lakers center Timofey Mozgov (right) during the first half at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

What to Watch for?

Mad Boogie-man

DeMarcus Cousins was held to 16 points on 22 field goal attempts last time out against Rudy Gobert and the Utah Jazz.  I underestimated the Jazz in that contest and their ability to shut down Boogie.  It being the second of a back-to-back and their great defense did a number on the big man.

Tonight, DeMarcus Cousins is going to be looking to redeem himself against the Lakers.  The number stack up in his favor tonight as the Lakers play at a fast pace and are a poor defensive unit.  Expect DeMarcus Cousins to take advantage and produce a monster statistical line.

If you want to see what I predicted for DeMarcus Cousins or any other Kings’ player check out my predicting the box score column found here.  It is a fast and fun read so please give it a look.  Thank you.

Stopping Lou Williams

Lou Williams has been on fire in the Lakers’ last 5 contests.  Williams is averaging 32.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.8 steals, and 3.6 3-pointers made in those 5 games.  He is shooting 51.6 percent from the field, 45.0 percent from 3-point territory, and 94.2 percent from the charity stripe in that span.  Talk about a man who is scorching hot.

The Kings draw the task of slowing him down tonight.  Williams is a crafty veteran who is very adept at getting his shot off and drawing fouls.  Expect the Kings to rotate their guards on him tonight, but hopefully one of them has the ability to slow Lou Williams or it could be a long night.

Securing a W

The Kings have lost their last 2 games.  They have also lost 5 out of their last 6 games and 6 out of their last 8 games.  It has been a rough recent stretch for Sacramento, to say the least.

They have an opportunity to change that tonight and for once the schedule makers did them a favor.  The Lakers are on the second of a back-to-back and traveling from Los Angeles to Sacramento.

Add in that the Lakers have won just 4 of 13 road contests this season and are riding a 6 game losing streak heading into tonight’s game and this one has Kings’ victory written all over it.

The Kings will have to limit turnovers and protect the rim in order to be victorious tonight.  The Lakers love to get out and run and attack the rim on offense.  If the Kings can do those two things I expect them to walk away victorious tonight.

Nov 10, 2016; Sacramento, CA, USA;  Sacramento Kings guard Darren Collison (7) dribbles the ball against Los Angeles Lakers forward Larry Nance Jr. (7) during the second half at Golden 1 Center. The Lakers won the game 101-91. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 10, 2016; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings guard Darren Collison (7) dribbles the ball against Los Angeles Lakers forward Larry Nance Jr. (7) during the second half at Golden 1 Center. The Lakers won the game 101-91. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Summary

There you have it, my game preview for tonight’s contest between your Sacramento Kings and the Los Angeles Lakers.  It should be a fun game as the Lakers love to play fast and bring excitement with their young legs.  Be sure to tune-in and watch the game.  Hopefully, the Kings walk away victorious and it is a wonderful cap to a great day.

Be sure to check back to A Royal Pain for postgame content and everything you need to know about the Kings this season.  Thank you for reading.

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