The Sacramento Kings come into Phoenix tonight on a high note. They just finished off the mighty (on paper) Los Angeles Lakers last night on a 10-0 game-ending run in the final 2 minutes against the entire projected Laker starting lineup. Kobe Bryant missed a couple of hero shots and Nash missed a floater in the lane while the Kings pounded the ball inside on the back of DeMarcus Cousins.
The Kings are now 5-1 in preseason, with one of those wins coming against the Suns in Sacramento. They are outscoring their opponent by 5 points per game, currently 5th overall in preseason scoring at 101.80 points per game. Yet despite their seemingly obvious advantage on the boards, the Kings are only 21st in rebounds per game (compared to the Suns' 11th-ranked rate of 43.25).
The Suns are 2-2 themselves, already matching the most preseason wins they've had in years after only four games (2-6 in 2010 and 0-2 in 2011). In addition to rebounding, the Suns are scoring well (8th overall) at 99.25 ppg, outshooting and out-assisting their opponents on average each night.
Sure, it's only preseason. The Suns and Kings will both face tougher competition once the season starts for real. But winning is winning. It builds confidence, especially on a roster with more new players than incumbents.
We don't know yet what Alvin Gentry has in store for distribution of minutes tonight. On one hand, it's only game 5 of preseason and he still has to decide which backup big man to keep among Ike Diogu, Luke Zeller and Solomon Jones.
On the other hand, it's a home game and you always want to please the crowd who paid good money to watch their team. I'm rooting for the latter.
BSotS' own Dave King will be at the game tonight, so watch twitter and BSotS for pregame notes, in-game notes and a late-night indepth postgame recap replete with quotes from Gentry and the guys.
Let's hope they're all in a good mood after a Suns win!