December 2, 2016, 12:45 pm
Following the disappointing postponement Wednesday night in Philadelphia, the Sacramento Kings head north to face one-time King Isaiah Thomas and the Boston Celtics. The Celtics are one of the stronger teams in the Eastern Conference, so the Kings will need to bring their A-game in this one.
Here are some notes heading into the matchup:
- The Celtics finished last season as one of the better defensive teams in the NBA, and the addition of Al Horford looked like it was going to boost those number even further. Despite all of this, Boston currently ranks 20th in the league in defensive rating, although that could be partially due to missing Horford and Jae Crowder early in the season. Either way, this team has some holes defensively, so Sacramento will need to try and exploit those matchups whenever they have the opportunity.
- Isaiah Thomas has blossomed into an All Star level player in Boston, and has been counted on to lead their offense since his arrival. Stopping Thomas will be a key in this one, and Darren Collison would appear to be the best player that the team has to get this done. With Lawson’s struggles defensively, the Celtics would likely try to exploit him as much as possible any time he’s switched onto Thomas, so Sacramento will want to avoid that matchup as much as possible.
- The Celtics have a very deep roster, but one area that is a definite weakness for them is their bigs. Players like Kelly Olynyk have almost no chance of stopping Cousins, so the Kings will want to go inside any time Al Horford sits.
Sacramento has struggled on the road this season, so a win against a good team would do wonders for this team’s confidence, and would put them in great position moving forward. Sacramento will finish their road trip with games against the Knicks and Mavericks, so a victory would be a great first step towards a very respectable 4-1 record on the trip.