After an almost weeklong break for the Kings, its back to work after the All-Star Break, finishing up a seven-game road trip that started Feb. 13 in Phoenix. So far the Kings are just 1-2 on the road trip, both losses coming in blowout fashion and without star Tyreke Evans.
The Kings continue their road trip with visits to Miami, Orlando, Charlotte and Memphis. Then comes one last home game in February against the 2011 Slam Dunk Contest Champion Blake Griffin and the Clippers.
Five games in seven nights. Each against a tough opponent and possibly without their star.
Miami, of course, features the new big three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Wade aggravated his ankle during the All-Star game, but is good to go for tonight's game against Sacramento. Tyreke Evans, however, is not, remaining in LA for further treatment on his Plantar Fasciitis as well as a MRI. The Kings have played the Heat once already, losing in lopsided fashion back in December, 104-83.
The next night, Sacramento faces Orlando for the first time this season. Orlando has given Sacramento fits in the last few years, and it looks to be the same this year. Dwight Howard is the best defensive big man in the league, so it’ll be a good test for rookie DeMarcus Cousins, although I expect him to have trouble with the reigning Defensive Player of the Year. Tyreke Evans will also have trouble scoring at the rim with Howard there to swat his shots, that is if Evans plays of course.
The Kings then have a day break on Thursday, which is also the NBA’s trade deadline. So far the Kings haven’t been involved in much speculation for the day despite owning the league’s largest amount of cap space and a few good size expiring contracts in Samuel Dalembert and Carl Landry.
The Kings continue the trip in Charlotte, a team they lost to 94-89 in a foul plagued game at home (the teams combined for 59 fouls). Kwame Brown had 13 points and 18 rebounds and Gerald Wallace and DJ Augustin led the way for Charlotte. The Kings had trouble finding any rhythm with all the foul calls in the beginning of the game.
The next night the Kings head back West to take on the Grizzlies. Memphis might be a little miffed they lost their last game to Sacramento on a Tyreke Evans buzzer beater from halfcourt, so look for them to come out strong. They are also fighting desperately for playoff position (as is Charlotte) and can’t afford to lose a game to a team like the Kings.
The Kings finally come back home on the 28th to face the Clippers. The game is one day before the NBA deadline to file for relocation, something that reports say the Maloof ownership is seriously considering. Fans from Sacramento are attempting to sell out the game and support the team in an effort to convince the Maloofs not to file, if they hadn’t already. The movement is being led in part by both Sactown Royalty and the Here We Stay campaign.
The future for the Kings in Sacramento could be decided as soon as this week. Hopefully, that future extends for a long time.