Sacramento Kings: NBA Preview vs. Houston Rockets

By Karim Akbar
Kelley L Cox – USA TODAY Sports

Chances are if you have a 9-20 record, it’s practically a precursor to a losing season. That’s especially true for teams in the Western Conference, which is loaded top to bottom. Of course you have the powerhouses of the West, and some surprise teams playing well with the pieces they have been given like the Phoenix Suns.

The Sacramento Kings have been busy making trades, but are still trying to put the pieces together. Rudy Gay has been a large piece of the puzzle and seems to be hitting his stride. Gay is averaging 19.3 PPG and has scored 20 points in six of nine games this season.

Speaking to Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee, head coach Michael Malone stressed that practice will help Gay mesh, saying “down the stretch I’ve got to get him some more looks.”

Those looks could help this team get more wins, but only if the team is able to share the ball effectively. There have been far too many instances where poor decisions have doomed the Kings. The Kings play the Houston Rockets on Tuesday to conclude their road trip. Sacramento then plays five straight games at home.

Sacramento would love to steal a game in their Texas two-step but must neutralize James Harden. Sacramento must also play defense as the Kings’ last six opponents are averaging 113 points per game.

Sacramento took the previous meeting against the Rockets 106-91 at Sleep Train Arena on Dec.15. Gay led all scorers with 26 points. He may need to do it again, just not all by himself. If the Kings want to get a road victory before heading back home, Gay is going to need some help. That means Isaiah Thomas and DeMarcus Cousins need to be active on both ends. If the Kings do that, they escape Texas with a split and hopefully some momentum.

Prediction: Kings 110 — Houston 106

Karim Akbar is a Sacramento Kings writer for Follow him on Twitter @Kuhreem , “Like” his RantSports page on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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