(Much thanks to Julius Coxswain for today's preview. [You might even say this preview has been COXSWAINED.] If you're interested in doing the gameday preview for Wednesday's game against Miami, write it up and send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org following the established format. Music. Big Picture. Keys to Victory. Detail. Include your username for proper credit. Deadline will be roughly 9am the day of the game.)
NOTE: It's a 2pm start time today, due to the MLK holiday.
Pump Up Music: James Brown -- "I Feel Good"
The Big Picture: The Sacramento Kings are coming off a 10-point loss to the Arenas-less Washington Wizards on Saturday, continuing a three game losing streak. Meanwhile, the Bobcats have won a team-best 7 home games in a row.The Cats’ dismantling of the Spurs and the Suns should put the rest of the league on notice. Charlotte has been playing tenacious defense and keeping their turnovers to a minimum. Boris Diaw, who recently conquered his fear of rebounding and scoring, has once again become a valuable asset.
The Kings aren’t a very good squad, but they do have a few back court folk that can score in bunches. The Cats can ill afford to revert back to the Sam Vincent days and lose to a team like Sacramento.
Key to Victory: The Kings get the majority of their points from Tyreke Evans and the Cullowhee Catamount Kevin Martin. Evans is a better playmaker than Martin, but they essentially have the same skill set. The Cats’ backcourt has enough athleticism and bulk to keep Evans and Martin at bay.
(DA -- There's not much chance Felton will be able to contain Evans on his own, given 'Reke Havoc's upper tier athleticism in a 6-6 frame. He's going to need tons of help from the bigs behind him, or he'll have to take his chances with Evans shooting from the outside, because Evans's size and leaping ability are so beyond most point guards' skills that no other point is really equipped to deal with it. At this point in his career, he's not a good three point shooter, nor is he especially good away from the rim, although, interestingly, he's above league average shooting from 16-23 feet. Posting up Felton, though, probably isn't an option, given how solidly Ray is built.)
Spencer Hawes and Jason Thompson are serviceable big men, but they don’t do anything that should keep Diaw or Nazr Mohammed from getting a good night’s rest. Charlotte will win this game handily if they take a businesslike approach, and we have a good chance of seeing more of Acie Law and Gerald Henderson.
Detail That May Interest .08% of You: Larry Brown sort of kind of lobbied to be the Kings coach after they canned Eric Musselman in 2007.