DeMarcus Cousins and John Wall spent much of last year terrorizing opponents together, leading the Kentucky Wildcats to a 35-3 record and the SEC Championship. But they haven't had nearly the same success so far in the NBA, with Cousins' Kings (8-26) and Wall's Wizards (9-26) among the bottom of the league.
The two teams have already met once before this season on Dec. 8th, where the Kings trounced the Wizards 116-91 at ARCO Arena. The Wizards were without the services of John Wall or Andray Blatche, and also Rashard Lewis, who just recently was acquired by Washington in the trade that sent Gilbert Arenas to the Orlando Magic.
This time it looks like the Kings are going to be the ones playing shorthanded, as reigning Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans is doubtful with a sprained ankle. If Evans doesn't play, the Kings will look toward rookie DeMarcus Cousins to lead them.
Cousins had a rough start to the season both on and off the court but has done a good job as of late. In his past six games, he is averaging 21.2 Points, 9.2 Rebounds, 2.7 Assists and shooting 55.3% from the field. The Kings have also played some of their best basketball during this stretch, going 3-3.
Still without Evans, someone other than Cousins will have to step up as well, possibly more than one someones. Last game against Toronto it was Beno Udrih and Carl Landry leading the way. The team defense will also have to be much better than it was against Toronto, who shot a magnificent 58.5%, mainly due to the fact that players like Derozan, Barbosa and Bayless were able to penetrate without anybody stopping them.
Washington plays much better at home (9-8) than they do on the road (0-18 and still the only team without a road win) so I'll be very surprised to see another blowout win by the Kings. When you have the 2nd worst record in the NBA, you can't take any team for granted, but this is a game the Kings should win, and they should be disappointed in themselves if they don't.