• The Sacramento Kings will return to action Friday night when they head down to Los Angeles for a game against the Lakers.  The Lakers have struggled tremendously this season after a decent start, and now sit with the third worst record in the NBA.

    The Kings, who have actively avoided tanking since the DeMarcus Cousins trade, have been able to turn things around some over their last ten games.  While many had expected them to struggle without their superstar, the team has found a way to remain competitive and are now on a small two-game win streak.

    Some fans have wondered if the team would be better with more losses, but the team has maintained that their primary focus is on building the right culture for the organization.  Better draft position will always be a positive thing for the team, but it is also important to continue to build with the pieces that the team already has.

    The Lakers, who have publicly stated similar things, are also on a two-game win streak.  The team has been able to add plenty of young talent over the last few years, and are actively figuring out which of those players will be a part of the team’s future.  While many of those players are not yet big contributors, many have the potential to be just that in time.

    Here are some notes heading into the matchup:

    • D’Angelo Russell has been playing very well alongside Jordan Clarkson in the starting lineup, and the switch to shooting guard may be a better fit for him moving forward.  When he’s on, Russell is a dangerous scorer and a more-than-capable distributor that can be difficult to stop.  Russell is questionable to play tonight, but he will be a very tough cover for Buddy Hield if he does end up playing.
    • Willie Cauley-Stein has made some major improvements as a rebounder over his last few games, and becomes a much more interesting prospect if he can keep it up.  Cauley-Stein has taken dramatic steps forward this season in various parts of his game, and is a much more dangerous player when he’s controlling the glass.

    With just four games left in the regular season, the Kings have an opportunity to start the offseason on a good note.  The Lakers can be tough when their young players get going, but the Kings have shown in recent weeks that they won’t go down without a fight.

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