Kings (17-33) at Wizards (24-25)
February 9, 2014 at 6:00 PM
Verizon Center, Washington, DC
TV: CSN Washington
Radio: 106.7FM The Fan
Projected starting lineups:
C- Marcin Gortat
SF- Trevor Ariza
SG- Bradley Beal
PG- John Wall
C- Demarcus Cousins
PF- Jason Thompson
SF- Rudy Gay
SG- Marcus Thornton
PG- Isaiah Thomas
Al Harrington – out (knee)
Al Harrington – out (knee)
First meeting since..
January 28, 2013 – Kings won 96-94 at the Verizon Center
This was a game where the Wizards, at a horrid 11-32 standing, were attempting to extend a 6-game home winning streak, while the Kings, almost equally horrible at 17-29, were attempting to snap a 4-game slide. And surely, it was Sacramento who got its wish. The teams had squared up for their second meeting in 12 days and for the second time, the Kings edged out the Wizards in a game that came down to the wire. This one burned though. It burned hotter for Garrett Temple. I mean, look at how funny his stat line reads .. 0 min (7 seconds), 0-0, 0 assists, 0 rebounds, 0 points, minus-4. Temple had checked in just for a few seconds with the only purpose to defend Isaiah Thomas on the last possession of the game for SacTown. Garrett wasn’t terrible and actually kept up as Thomas dribbled toward the basket and pulled up the floating dagger. Temple contested it, but Thomas just had a better look. Thomas, who had been giving Wall fits all night long finished with 22 points. Demarcus Cousins had a quiet game with 12 and 4, while Wall finished with 19.
♥ Soulmates ♥
The rekindling of John Wall and Demarcus Cousins on the hardwood even as enemies is always a fun supplement to #WizKings. The call each other “brothers.” They both share a southern background. They are basketball’s Wayne and Garth. Woody and Buzz. Shit, call them Ren and Stimpy if you will. I mean just look at the noble imagery above. If that doesn’t entail the harmonious bromance that exists between these two, nothing will. Well, maybe except this .. because no one wears giant glow-in-the-dark glasses around just anyone, right?
Led under the council of John Calipari and his acclaimed KU brass, John Wall (newly known as #WallStar) and “Boogie” have never shied away from publicly glorifying their brotherhood. I mean why should they? The growth process of these two parallel one another like very few hardwood tandems.
Both were one-and-done ex-Cat teammates and eventual top 5 picks in the 2010 draft.
Both endured initial career hardships including the torment of having to lose a coach and, subsequently, having to adjust to their replacements.
Both had been struck by scrutiny and criticism from fans and media alike, with everyone impatiently waiting for their promised career leap.
To which now both have finally moved past their rookie deals and have settled with contract extensions, thusly accumulating career highs in virtually every major statistical category this season.
By the way, this isn’t a comparative review of these manly soulmates, but a respective one. The two have been buds since high school, a relationship that was driven by sport and competitiveness at various basketball events and flourished during their phenomenal one-year stints at Kentucky. They’ve teamed up as well as squared up against one another in several summer league games, not to mention the Rising Stars Challenge in 2012, where they hooked up for Team Chuck.
Tonight, the bro’s will face each other on the floor for the sixth time in their careers. Careers that have certainly achieved individual success but not so much of the team variety. Yet this is finally where the career scope of the two players have begun distance from one another. While neither players’ teams have been able to eclipse the 30-win mark in a season, Wall and his Wizards are on the cusp of their first playoff appearance. Boogie’s Kings, however, continue shitting the bed in the West, sitting in last place and having lost 11 of their previous 15 games.
The Wizards’ front court will have their work cut out for them and should be weary of Boogie’s agility and floor game. Seldom have we ever seen a center with Cousin’s body size who can handle the ball coast-to-coast as swiftly as he can. He’s improved his field goal percentage and has scored the ball with extreme efficiency out of the post. Not to mention after missing six consecutive games with a sprained ankle, Boogie hasn’t missed a step since his return, averaging 25 and 14 in his last three games.
Meanwhile, Wall and the Wizards are looking to regain some ground after tumbling back under .500. The Wizards have an awful knack for playing down to their competition and it’s had the players and coach at their wits (consider that a pun). Tonight will be the last home game before All-Star weekend as the Wizards travel for two road games before the break. So I’d say this is ample timing for a refreshing home victory.