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Game Preview: Kings come to town to take on the Suns

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Suns try to make it 40 wins on the season vs the visiting Kings.

NBA: Phoenix Suns at Sacramento Kings Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

What: Sacramento Kings (22-33) at Phoenix Suns (39-15)

When: Thursday, 7:00PM AZ time

Where: Phoenix Suns Arena

Watch: Bally Sports Arizona

Listen: 98.7 FM


The Phoenix Suns look to be the second team in the league behind the Utah Jazz to reach 40 wins on the season. The Sacramento Kings are the team to stand in the way tonight, and have other plans.

During a very uneven season for the Kings, a division rival in the Suns, will give the Kings a little more vitality when the ball is tipped tonight. The Kings remember last season when both them and the Suns were on the same path with young talent and hopes for an 8th seed spot in the playoffs, but the Suns have taken off, and the Kings have had bad luck.

But, in last year’s draft, the Kings were able to grab Tyrese Haliburton, who claims he wants to be a ‘Hall-of-Famer’. He is certainly off to a great start and the Suns will get great look at him after he is now a cemented starter.

Projected Lineup

Suns

  1. Chris Paul
  2. Devin Booker
  3. Mikal Bridges
  4. Jae Crowder
  5. Deandre Ayton

Injuries: Abdel Nader (out)

Kings

  1. De’Aaron Fox
  2. Tyrese Haliburton
  3. Maurice Harkless
  4. Harrison Barnes
  5. Richaun Holmes

Injuries: Marvin Bagley III (out)

The Suns Report

It is nice to write out the starting lineups game after game and they are the same game after game. This Suns team just seems stable at a starters standpoint. The bench is where it gets fun.

There isn’t a whole lot to be picky about when it comes to this season, but the minutes for Langston Galloway and Frank Kaminski have disappeared. Now, we really can’t complain too much and I am not, because I know we will see the return of these players within the next few weeks.

The Suns may have figured out their rotation, by going back to the Jevon Carter and Cameron Payne. The backup duo that laid carnage on opponents in the bubble.

Cameron Johnson last game vs the Miami Heat really showed a different stature on offense and is starting to earn more minutes. His shot and drive to rim has gone up a notch.

The latest addition, Torrey Craig, is now reliable in some games on offense and can be a ball handler in tough offensive possession when there isn't any give by the opposing defense.

This is a great problem to have for Monty Williams.

The Kings Report

In between a tank and a hard place, the Kings are still a tough out. Anytime you have to face an athletic, playmaking, finisher in Fox, no lead is safe. On paper they look great, but like my co-host of the Suns JAM Session Podcast said, “they look good on paper, but don’t make sense on the court.”

You might think by just looking at their record, this is an easy outing. That will not be the case this game. Even with the worst defensive rating the league. The reason they worry me is because of the disruption they can make at the end of this season in the standings. It is time to take a look at the standings closely as every game matters now from Western Conference positioning. The Kings will play, including the Suns game tonight, half of their games against Western Conference playoff contending teams.

They can be the wrecking ball to teams looking to avoid the play-in tournament like the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers. The Kings know, and will avoid the tank, with the number one pick out of reach in next years draft. Unless the “ping pong balls” fall their way.

Prediction

Suns win. A spent Chris Paul will have to play late in the game to help get the win and look out for Mikal Bridges to have a bounce back game on offense and a fun defensive matchup against Fox and Haliburton.