December 7, 2016, 10:29 am
The Sacramento Kings will look to avoid their fourth straight loss of the road trip Wednesday night when they head to Dallas for a game against the Mavericks. Dallas has struggled to a 4-16 record this season, so this is likely the easiest game of the trip.
Dallas attempted to add some youth to their roster this offseason by signing Harrison Barnes, and the early returns on Barnes have been promising. He has averaged over 20 points per game this season, and looks like he could begin to live up to the hype that surrounded him when he first entered the NBA.
Beyond Barnes, the Mavericks have struggled with injuries and haven’t been able to compete with the younger and more athletic rosters in the league. With Dallas heading towards a rebuild, the Kings should have an opportunity to get an easy victory.
Here are some notes heading into the matchup:
- Normally Andrew Bogut would patrol the paint for the Mavericks and would represent a decent challenge for DeMarcus Cousins, but with Bogut being forced to sit it doesn’t appear that they will have any good options to slow Cousins down. Look for the team to try and get Cousins plenty of opportunities in the post tonight.
- Willie Cauley-Stein has been re-inserted into the rotation during this road trip, and his last game against New York showed that he still has plenty to contribute on both ends of the floor. Cauley-Stein appears to be a good fit next to Cousins, and his defense will be a welcome addition to the team if he can continue to earn minutes.
- Harrison Barnes, Deron Williams and Wesley Matthews are going to be the primary weapons on offense for Dallas, so Garrett Temple’s ability to defend the perimeter should be on full display tonight. Temple has earned a much larger role in rotation either way, but this game represents an exceptionally good opportunity for him.
Sacramento will need to turn things around quickly in order to stay competitive, so this game is approaching “must-win” status. Dallas has not been good this season, so the team would be smart to use this as an opportunity to get back on track.