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Charlotte Hornets vs Sacramento Kings Q&A with Sactown Royalty

Tonight the Charlotte Hornets take on the Sacramento Kings so we brought in some backup to help preview it.

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Charlotte Hornets are taking on the Sacramento Kings tonight in a battle of Players of the Week! Both of these are trending upward and a win will fill the fanbses with hope for the future. Essentially the entire season for these two teams relies on this game. To help preview it we brought in some backup with our good friends at Sactown Royalty. Doing the answering for us is the awesome Greg Wissinger. You can find him on twitter @gwiss where he can be found lamenting over how many ways the Kings have attempted to hurt him. Lets just say Charlotte fans can relate a little.

1) Everybody knows DeMarcus Cousins has been great this season. but I saw a stat earlier today that was absolutely crazy to me. Per Marc Stein, "Sacramento's DeMarcus Cousins has seven 30-point, 10-rebound games in the month of January. No other NBA player has more than one" Is this an effect of George Karl, or has Cousins just taken yet another leap this season?

This is all DeMarcus. You could even make the argument that he's doing this despite Karl, since Karl hasn't always used Boogie in the right ways. Cousins is, at least offensively, the best center in the NBA and it isn't close. He's finally taking the step where it won't even be a debate.

2) Rajon Rondo and his triple doubles. He's clearly had an impact on the Kings, but his on/off numbers tell us the Kings are better when he's off the floor. Actually, a lot of the Kings key players have negative on/off numbers. Obviously on/off net rating isn't a perfect stat, but is there an explanation for this other than stats can be weird sometimes?

Stats can be weird, but this one is pretty easy. Rondo has been atrocious on defense. He's not really trying. He just gambles passing lanes, with little regard for actually stopping his man. It's been frustrating.

3) Let's talk rookies. Willie Cauley-Stein has been really freakin awesome for you guys, and was actually the player I wanted in Charlotte more than any other rookie that was possibly going to be at 9. Explain to people that haven't gotten to see him what exactly has made him so great. Also, what are your thoughts on Frank Kaminsky?

Willie Trill is a game changing player. He impacts both ends of the floor in all the little ways. He an excellent on ball defender, and an excellent help defender. He understands defensive rotations better than most NBA vets. And he's able to contribute to the offense without being a focal point. He's everything I could have hoped for in a rookie.

If I'm being honest, I haven't seen enough of Kaminsky to offer much analysis. I liked him coming out of college though.

4) Kemba Walker has been playing at an All-Star level this season. The Kings have one of the smarter defenders in the league guarding him tonight in Rondo. How will the Kings plan to contain a guy like Walker?

As I said earlier, Rondo hasn't been putting in the effort. I'd expect the Kings to use Ben McLemore and Darren Collison as the primary defenders on Kemba.

5) The Kings play at an absurdly fast pace and the Hornets love to shoot 3-pointers. We're likely to see a high scoring game here. Who do you see taking advantage of the other and how?

This game worries me. The Kings have a habit of not defending the arc well. They also have overlooked opponents this season. That said, the Kings are clicking right now and are on a 5-game win streak. If they don't shoot themselves in the foot, I'd say the Kings have the talent to make it 6. This isn't to take anything away from Charlotte, just my biased prediction.

Thank you Greg, and be sure to check out Sactown Royalty for their awesome Kings content.