After a game against the Philadelphia Sixers was postponed due to court conditions, the Kings found themselves with an extra day of rest before heading to Boston to take on the Celtics. Led by former Kings point guard, and now All-Star Isaiah Thomas, the Celtics are currently fifth in the Eastern Conference and looking to make some noise against a Kings squad that should be plenty rested for this game. To any people working in the TD Garden who might be reading this right now: you got a thermostat you should be guarding? Did you just put bacon grease in the hardwood floor cleaner? Is your refrigerator running? Let’s talk Kings basketball.
When: Friday, December 2nd, 4:30pm PST
Where: TD Garden, CSN-CA, KHTK Sports 1140 AM
For Your Consideration:
The Haunting in Connecticut: Does anyone get that creeping sense that Isaiah Thomas is going to try to absolute wreck the Kings on Friday night? I mean, the guy is currently averaging 26.1 points a game, so to be fair he’s working teams over on a nightly basis now regardless of whether or not they thought his ceiling was Darren Collison’s backup, but with that giant chip Thomas always seems to have firmly planted on his shoulder, I think there is a good shot that he might wear his All Star warm ups out to when coming out today. Since joining the Celtics, the Kings have squared off against Isaiah twice, and in those games Isaiah has averaged 21.5 points, 9 assists, 50% from three and 3 steals. While probably not considered Kings’ Killer stats, I’m expecting a bit more from him this game, in this the first we’ve seen of him since his very first All-Star bid. The deed is long past, and still I don’t think there is a better microcosm for how the Kings have been in the last decade than how Isaiah Thomas was developed from a 60th pick to a 20 point scorer and starting point guard for the Kings, to then being let go in the fashion he was, and how he has now since flourished with the Celtics. Cue the music: Sometimes it makes me sad, though… Isaiah being gone. I have to remind myself that some birds aren't meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright. And when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up does rejoice. But still, the place you live in is that much more drab and empty that they're gone.
I guess I just miss my Pizza Guy.
Kings Focus Against the Celtics: So far this season, the Celtics biggest strengths have been their shooting behind the arc. Currently sixth in three point attempts and makes per game, they’re also ninth in three point percentage at 36.1% a game, so the Kings are really going to have to hound Celtics shooters all night. For having a big guy the caliber of Al Horford, its odd to see that the Celtics have the fifth lowest two pointers attempted and made in the NBA, but considering Horford was out with a concussion for an extended period of time, that could be a fluke that evens out the more he plays. Speaking of that, the Kings are currently the third best team in the league in defending the paint, where opponents score 38.8 points a game, with the only teams better being the Memphis Grizzlies and the Dallas Mavericks. On the offensive side of the ball, the Kings should see that the Celtics are 25th in steals, 21st in blocks, but even with the conservative defense, it hasn’t kept them from being 15th in the NBA in player fouls. With the Celtics also being a bottom five rebounding team in the NBA, DeMarcus Cousins should be salivating at the chance to play the Celtics. Don’t get me wrong though, the Celtics are a very good NBA defense, holding their opponents to shooting under 45% from the field, and under 34% from deep. The Kings will also really have to make sure that with Friday night’s game against the Celtics comes an urgency to take care of the ball. The Celtics have the lowest turnover average in the league at 12.1 a game, where as the Kings are 17th at just under 15. Allowing the Celtics three more possessions a game could be a back breaker for a Sacramento squad looking for a really solid road win.
Prediction: There will be a game tonight. The floor will meet the NBA’s standards for a playing surface. The game will not be delayed for any reason. The Kings will win the game that actually gets played and not postponed:
Kings: 111, Celtics: 108
(My surest prediction yet, up until the last sentence)