Sacramento Kings: Game 9 Preview vs New Orleans Pelicans

Jan 13, 2016; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (15) loses the ball between New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) and forward Ryan Anderson (33) during the fourth quarter at Sleep Train Arena. New Orleans defeated Sacramento 109-97. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 13, 2016; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (15) loses the ball between New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) and forward Ryan Anderson (33) during the fourth quarter at Sleep Train Arena. New Orleans defeated Sacramento 109-97. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Sacramento Kings host the New Orleans Pelicans on November 8, 2016.  This article examines everything Kings fans need to know about tonight’s game.

Tonight, the Sacramento Kings return home to the Golden 1 Center to take on the New Orleans Pelicans.  The Kings are coming off a great win on Sunday against the Toronto Raptors 96-91.  Below are the highlights from that game in case you missed the action.

Without further ado, let us look forward to tonight’s contest against the New Orleans Pelicans.

Oct 18, 2016; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings forward Anthony Tolliver (43) during the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Clippers at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 18, 2016; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings forward Anthony Tolliver (43) during the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Clippers at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Injuries

The Kings’ injury report consists of only one player heading into tonight’s game.  Anthony Tolliver has missed the last three games with a knee issue.  Be sure to check before tip-off to see what is status is for tonight’s contest, but it is not looking promising at the time of this writing.

Oct 28, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) argues an officials call during the first quarter of a game against the Golden State Warriors at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 28, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) argues an officials call during the first quarter of a game against the Golden State Warriors at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

New Orleans Pelicans’ Scouting Report

The New Orleans Pelicans feature one of the NBA’s marquee young big men in Anthony Davis.  Davis is averaging 30.4 points, 11.9 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.9 steals, and 2.9 blocks per game this early season.  He is playing an astonishing 37.6 minutes per game as well.  Those numbers should regress, but Davis is truly one of the league’s best big men and should be an All-Star this season.

The Pelicans enter tonight’s game with a record of zero wins and seven losses.  The most recent loss came on Monday night against the Golden State Warriors.  New Orleans has been without starting guards Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans all season, so it has not been easy.

Below is the highlight video from Monday’s game against Golden State to give you a glimpse of what the Pelicans bring to the court this season.

Head Coach Alvin Gentry’s team will be searching for its first victory on Tuesday in Sacramento.  Expect them to come out fired up and ready to do battle.  It is their second game in as many nights, so they may fade a little down the stretch.  Let us hope that the Kings can grab an early lead and maintain it all night for a solid victory.

Oct 18, 2016; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings guard Darren Collison (7) during the second quarter against the Los Angeles Clippers at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 18, 2016; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings guard Darren Collison (7) during the second quarter against the Los Angeles Clippers at Golden 1 Center. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

What to Watch for?

The Return of Darren Collison

Darren Collison’s eight-game domestic violence suspension has ended and he will return to the team for tonight’s game.  In my predicting the box score column found here, I project Collison to come back with a flourish.  Check it out if you care to see my thoughts on his stat line and why I projected it.

DeMarcus Cousins versus Anthony Davis

I am not sure how many times we will see these two exceptional big men guarding each other, but I expect them to go back and forth scoring plenty of times.  They are both great scorers and finishers, so expect some highlight plays tonight from both players.  I am interested to see who gets the better of this match-up and how much they end up guarding each other.  Expect some fireworks and let us hope Cousins comes away as the victor in this match-up tonight.

Rudy Gay and the Guards

The Pelicans struggle mightily defending guard and wing players.  On Monday, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Kevin Durant combined for 92 points against the Pelicans.  I know what you are thinking they are three of the best players in the NBA, of course, they destroyed the Pelicans.  Well, in the previous game against Phoenix the trio of Devin Booker, Eric Bledsoe, and T.J. Warren (the Suns starting one through three) dropped 73 points on New Orleans.

The Pelicans have a very hard time checking the opponents starting one through three, so expect big games from Rudy Gay, Darren Collison, and Arron Afflalo tonight.  This will be a welcome sign and with DeMarcus Cousins’ production should be enough to lead the Kings to victory.

Nov 3, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (15) reacts after a foul call in the second half against the Orlando Magic at Amway Center. Orlando Magic won 102-94. Mandatory Credit: Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 3, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (15) reacts after a foul call in the second half against the Orlando Magic at Amway Center. Orlando Magic won 102-94. Mandatory Credit: Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

Summary

There you have it, a look back at the Kings last game and a preview of tonight’s contest.  You got the injury report, a brief scouting report on the New Orleans Pelicans, and the three things I am watching for in tonight’s contest.  It should be a great game in Sacramento.  If you are nearby, please head out to the Golden 1 Center and cheer on the Kings.  If you are not, please tune in on NBA TV and root like crazy from your couch.

Coach Joerger should have the team fired up and ready go.  Let us hope that they can secure their fourth victory of the season and keep the Pelicans winless.

Check back to A Royal Pain for the game recap and everything you need to know about the Sacramento Kings this season.  Thank you for reading.

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