What: Phoenix Suns (9-19) at Sacramento Kings (8-18)
When: 8:00 PM MST
Where: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, CA
Watch/Listen: Fox Sports AZ (tv), AZ Sports Radio 98.7 FM
Last Meeting: The Suns beat the Kings 117-115 at The Stick in each team’s fourth game of the season. Devin Booker led the Suns with 22 and some guy named Garrett Temple came off the bench to hit six three pointers for the Kings.
Tonight the Suns hit the road for a riveting showdown against the Kings with 13th place in the Western Conference on the line.
A loss for the Suns tonight inches the season closer to the annual tradition of watching the reverse lottery standings.
It’s kind of like fighting for home court advantage in the playoffs, except all of us have to start taking antidepressants.
Speaking of clinical mental illness...
Remember this offseason when the majority opinion seemed to be that Sacramento was making a bunch of solid, if not spectacular, moves?
Here’s what Hoops Habit had to say about their dealings...
What’s this? A functional, coherent summer of moves for the Sacramento Kings?
Aside from letting go of the excess baggage and not re-signing any of their plethora of impending free agents, the Kings did well in the draft, potentially finding their franchise point guard with De’Aaron Fox, an upside pick late in the first round with Harry Giles and a safe pick in the middle with Justin Jackson.
In free agency, Sacramento brought in an established vet George Hill to help teach Fox and play alongside him, not to mention Z-Bo and Vince Carter for more veteran support. Bogdan Bogdanovic is better than people realize and Frank Mason could be a quality backup with the right development. Is that the sound of the Kings turning over a new page?
Maybe it’s just taking a little while to come to fruition, because right now the Kings still suck.
On the topic of sucking, with Devin Booker still out there isn’t much fun to talk about for either of these teams, so...
How about some trivia?
Question 1. Who is the Kings leading scorer?
Kudos to anyone who knew it was Zach Randolph (15.2) because I had to look it up. That’s right, 36 year old Randolph is the Kings best player. At least that should be comforting to Suns fans... I know personally I’d prefer to have Booker be my team’s best player.
Question 2. Which player has the most negative win shares in the NBA?
I didn’t list a team here because some of you will probably think it’s a Sun... but it’s not. De’Aaron Fox is #1 in the league in loss shares at a total of -.7. All you viewers are in luck tonight, though, since four of the top nine overall are playing in this game. Josh Jackson (3), Tyler Ulis (8) and Justin Jackson (9) will all be looking to wrestle away Fox’s crown.
Question 3. How many combined years have the Kings and Suns missed the playoffs?
Soon to be 20.
Only Minnesota (13 years) has a longer drought than Sacramento’s 11. The last playoff game for the Kings was a 105-83 loss to San Antonio on May 5, 2006.
The Suns are also mired in a franchise record seven season diaspora.
Question 4. What former NBA commissioner is commemorated by the Golden 1 Center’s address?
That’s right, the Golden 1 Center is located at 500 David J Stern Walk. This kind of made me wonder if maybe the Suns have something connected to their arena that honors that smug, arrogant, pugnacious little troll.
Considering everything he did for the Suns with that whole “vicinity of the bench” deal my vote would be a David J Stern urinal.
Question 5. Where do the Suns and Kings rank in the league in team defensive rating?
30th and 29th. That’s dead last and next to last if you didn’t remember there are only 30 teams. The Suns give up 112.2 points per 100 possessions and the Kings yield 110.7.
So at least there should be a plethora of points on the scoreboard tonight.
These late games can be tough on school nights, but the way these teams have been playing there’s a chance some of you might not make it all the way to the end anyway.
It might at least be worth tuning in at the beginning for... reasons.
A recap that might only be loosely related to basketball.