home 2014-15, Blogs, Game Coverage Wizards vs. Kings Pregame: Shrug Off Round 2?

Wizards vs. Kings Pregame: Shrug Off Round 2?


Sacramento (22-42) at Washington (37-28)

Verizon Center, Washington, DC
March 14, 2015 at 7:00 PM
TV: CSNWashington
Radio: 99.1FM

Tale of the Tape

[ezcol_1third]WIZARDS[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third][/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]KINGS[/ezcol_1third_end][ezcol_1third]37-28[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third]TEAM RECORD[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]22-42[/ezcol_1third_end][ezcol_1third]98.5[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third]PPG (own)[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]101.0[/ezcol_1third_end][ezcol_1third]97.3[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third]PPG (opp)[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]105.2[/ezcol_1third_end][ezcol_1third]Won 2[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third]W/L STREAK[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]Lost 1[/ezcol_1third_end][ezcol_1third]Won vs. Grizzlies 107-87[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third]PREVIOUS GAME[/ezcol_1third][ezcol_1third_end]Lost at Sixers 114-107[/ezcol_1third_end]

Last time they met was..

March 18, 2014 @ Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento – Kings 117, Wizards 111 (ot)

Aside from Drew Gooden unprecedentedly going mad off the bench and scoring 18 points on 7-10 shooting to go with a heart-throbbing display of hustle and tussle on the glass, it was his ‘shrug off’ competition with Demarcus Cousins that highlighted his night, and mine. After sinking a 3 in Boogie’s face, Gooden trotted back downcourt shrugging, as if to express, ‘why can’t you guard me?’ ‘why does this seem so easy? Or is it just you?’

Boogie clearly understood Gooden’s message, and so he rightfully threw a trash shrug right back at Gooden after he knocked a 3 in his face, and then one more after driving on Gooden, muscling the ball up to the basket and getting his own putback.

Boogie’s retaliative shrugs complemented the Kings’ 117-101 overtime victory. Does Uncle Drew have it in him to put up his shrugs against Cousins for at least one more round? We’ll find out soon.

From Irfan K’s Crystal Ball

What to Watch: The new (and improved?) Sacramento Kings! George Karl took over after the All-Star break, and so far the results (3 wins, 6 losses) have but anything but royal. The Kings have improved their scoring, making a big jump from 100.0 ppg before Karl, to 104.1 in the 9 games since. However, they are now allowing 107.0 ppg under Karl, compared to 102.5 before his takeover.

These numbers are not surprising. Karl has always been a coach to play up tempo, push the pace non-stop, and his teams have never been known for their stellar defense. If the Kings play the way they’re being coached, they are going to be trying to force an up and down game, even after made baskets, and even with Andre Miller in the game. John Wall should be able to take over this game against an inferior opponent, but the Wizards should beat the Sixers and Timberwolves, so who knows anymore? However, at least from a style standpoint, this should be a fun game to watch.

Key matchup: Wizards vs. God’s plan.

Boogie Cousins has been killing people all year long. He killed people with two different coaches before the All-Star break, and has continued under George Karl. He’s averaging 24-12-3. He’s hit buzzer beating game winners with divine intervention.

The only thing that has stopped DeMarcus Cousins this year is viral meningitis. How you gonna stop God’’ plan?

Well, it will take a group effort. The full roster of Wizards bigs will need to try to push Demarcus off his spots, and rebound the FIRST miss. Cousins is not deterred by his shot being blocked or altered. He’ll simply grab his own miss and drop it right back in the bucket. On the perimeter, the Wizards must harass the entry passers. If Cousins gets the ball where he wants it, when he wants it, it’s a wrap.

X-factor: Rudy Gay.

When Rudy Gay plays well, so do the Kings. When Rudy Gay plays poorly, so do the Kings.

· In Wins: 24.4 ppg, 51% FG, 43% 3FG
· In Losses: 18.8 ppg, 42% FG, 33% 3FG

Important Rudy Gay factor: Gay thrives when he gets in a rhythm. It’s of paramount importance that the Wizards don’t give up early lay-ups or dunks to Rudy, or allow him to get to the line. Keep him on the perimeter, force him into a few bad shots, and he’ll likely be off all night. Allow him to throw one down early, and everything he throws up will start going down later.

Fun factor: The return of the Professor! What else would this be?! You already know all the thrills of watching Uncle Dre turn the NBA into the YMCA. Take this game as an opportunity to watch him all over again. And after he outplays Ramon Sessions (it’s inevitable), enjoy making comments starting with, “Man, if we still had Andre Miller…” knowing that you’ll never have the chance to be proven wrong. Welcome back Professor Miller!

Prediction:I mean, how you gonna stop God’s plan?

No but seriously, one rehabilitating step taken by the Wizards to break out their recent funk is getting back to defeating teams they should defeat, and doing so in the most destructive way possible. I mean, this group went 0-2 in a Wolves-Sixers back-to-back. Then they struggled against all three potential playoff contenders in Chicago, Miami, and Milwaukee. They finally earned a scheduling break and played the Hornets and a resting Memphis team, winning both by an average of 23. So it’s at least good to see the Wizards that part right again. Let’s see if they can continue against a 22-win Kings team tonight.

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