December 23, 2016, 11:15 am
The Sacramento Kings head to Minnesota Friday night looking to continue their stretch of strong play when they take on the up-and-coming Timberwolves. Sacramento was able to beat Minnesota earlier in the season, but plenty has changed for both teams since their first meeting.
The Timberwolves have had a good opportunity to acclimate to new head coach Tom Thibodeau, and while the roster is still trying to develop an identity, plenty of progress has been made this season. The Kings should expect a more cohesive unit this time around, and with their talent that can be dangerous.
The Kings should be fairly familiar with the process of operating under a new head coach, and are well aware of the challenges that come with it. Kings fans have seen the team struggle at times, but their recent success against some strong opponents shows that the team is starting understand how to play under Dave Joerger.
Here are some notes heading into the game:
- Karl-Anthony Towns is likely Minnesota’s best player, but he doesn’t appear to be able to handle DeMarcus Cousins at this stage of his career. Cousins thoroughly won the matchup last time these two teams faced off, and the Kings should have a good chance to win if he can repeat his strong performance this time around.
- Zach LaVine and Andrew Wiggins can be very dangerous scorers when they are locked in, so the Kings will need to keep an eye on these two early in the game. Both played well against the Kings earlier in the season, but the emergence of Garrett Temple gives the team a great option to try and slow either player down. Temple has been a game-changer defensively for the Kings, and tonight is another chance for him to show just how good he can be.
- Willie Cauley-Stein played some incredible defense in the team’s last game against the Jazz, and getting him going could be a huge plus for the Kings. Cauley-Stein has seen a decreased role this season, but if he can continue to play like he did in Salt Lake City, he may force his way back into a big role for the team.
Sacramento can still turn their season around, and their recent wins show that the team is on the right track. Minnesota has struggled this season, but they still have the talent to win games. As long as the team continues their strong play, they should be able to take home their third straight victory.