Game Preview #3: Sacramento Kings @ San Antonio Spurs - Scare Tactics

The team needs to be scared stiff to play their best basketball and quickly bury this win-hungry Kings team six feet under. I think I have just the right idea. Close your eyes when you make the jump.

It's Halloween. You know what I want Gregg Popovich to do to scare the shizzats out of his team tonight to force them to play well? One guy named Alfred Hitchcock might know:

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If Pop asks me what costume he should wear for tonight's game, I'd say Norman Bates. He's already got the suit rocking and I have every goddam reason to believe he's also mentally-ill--what with all the different lineups he threw out there during the last game. So Pop, before you leave the locker room, tell your guys you've been starring in this classic horror-flick remake and show them these post-production photos:

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"Hate the smell of losing, don't you? It's such a, I don't know, creepy smell."


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Pop: "She just goes a little mad sometimes. We all go a little mad sometimes. Haven't you?"
Marion Crane: "Yes. Sometimes just one time can be enough."


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"Oh Georgie... I brought you my favorite wine..."

Hitchcock scare rating of this remake: he gives it five out of five screaming Marions.

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Happy Halloween, folks! I hope Pop won't come after me with that upside-down wine bottle. On to the real preview then.

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Sacramento Kings @ San Antonio Spurs
Where: AT&T Center - San Antonio, TX
When: October 31, 2009, 7:30 PM Spurs time
Watch: KRRT 35(SA); Comcast Sports(Sacramento)


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How They Stack Up
1-0 Home 0-0
0-1 Road 0-2
99.0 Offense 90.5
94.0 Defense 99.5
47.6 FG% 38.9
28.9 3-pt% 25.0
67.4 FT% 72.9
43.0 Rebounds 44.0
11.5 TOs 11.0
1-1 Last 10 0-2
Lost 1 Streak Lost 2
Country/Time Zone Game Time
Argentina 9:30 PM
West Coast 5:30 PM
Philippines 8:30 AM
Central Europe 2:30 AM
Palestine/Egypt 2:30 AM
Least Coast 8:30 PM
Libertarian Time 6:30 PM
Perth, AUS 8:30 AM
Tokyo, JP 9:30 AM
Sydney, AUS 11:30 AM

Spurs
(1-1)
Matchups

Kings
(0-2)

Tony Parker
Chucky

Point Guard

Like Chucky in Child's Play, Tony will be one tough nut to take down, especially after a bad game. On the other side of the floor, Parker's going up against ROY candidate Tyreke Evans. Evans has talent and size, which could give us fits at the defensive end, but Tony will give Tyreke hell if his lateral movement isn't up to speed.

Advantage: Spurs


Tyreke Evans
Chucky's Bride

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Manu Ginobili
The Exorcist

Shooting Guard

Kevin Martin is baby-faced but he has mad game suited for more adult-looking people. Like Manu, Martin was also injured for long stretches last season and he's looking to bounce back and wreak havoc on the unsuspecting teams, so I'll give the Kings the slightest of advantages on this one. Yes, I'll be a little skeptical and patient with Manu's form for the next few games.

Advantage: Kings


Kevin Martin
Casper

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Richard Jefferson
Alice in Wonderland

Small Forward

As we saw last night, integrating into the Spurs' system isn't easy and RJ seemed lost in Wonderland out there. The Spurs coaching staff need to set him up to score some easy baskets to get him going. The Kings might opt to start Desmond Mason or rookie Omri Casspi here, but I'm going with Andres Nocioni, whose aggressive, attacking game I admire. He might lead our little Princess to places he might not want to go tonight, but we all know Alice prevails in the end.

Advantage: Spurs


Andres Nocioni
The Mad Hatter

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Tim Duncan
The Wizard of Oz

Power Forward

Yet another athletic freak for the Spurs to deal with tonight. Jason Thompson acquitted himself well last season and will look to improve in his sophomore year. Still, look for Mr. Merlin himself, Tim Duncan, to put the youngster under his spell that we call Fundamentals.

Advantage: Spurs


Jason Thompson
Jason Voorhees

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Antonio McDyess
Winston Zeddemore

Center

Spencer Hawes is one of the better, if not also one of the most underrated, big men in the league. He rebounds, blocks shots, can shoot from the outside and work in the low block, and best of all, he's still young and improving. Hopefully McDyess and Bonner (yes, he was not too shabby after all the last time out so I'm mentioning him here) can outsmart Hawes defensively and limit his impact in the game. However, I expect Spencer to do a Noah or Tyrus Thomas on us, especially if he stays active.

Advantage: Kings


Spencer Hawes
The Poltergeist

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Roger Mason Jr.
Hawkeye

Bench & Role Players

When our shooters can't do the thing that their most counted on to do, the Bulls game is what happens. No driving lanes, long rebounds from the opposite end leading to giving up fastbreak points, yadda yadda yadda. Mase, Finley, George and Matt need to make the long ball and keep the defense honest. I'm also expecting a bounce-back game from Blair, so I hope Pop gives him the chance. As for the Kings, Francisco Garcia is out for 5 months but they still got Beno, Sean May in FatMan Returns, the ghost of Kenny Thomas and former Blazer Sergio Rodriguez. I still like our B.A.M.'s chances.

Advantage: Spurs


Beno Udrih
Harry Potter

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Gregg Popovich
Norman Bates

Coach

I didn't know that Paul Westphal has taken over the Kings coaching job until now. His best work was coaching that Barkley-led Phoenix Suns team to the Finals where they lost to Chicago. But we have Barkley 2.3 now in DeJuan Blair, so I expect Pop to murder him, hopefully not in the literal sense.

Advantage: Spurs


Paul Westphal
Bates Motel Tenant
images via yahoo.com

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Other Factors

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Intangibles

Despite the 2nd unit stinking in Chicago, we still have the better team top-to-bottom, and our stars are miles better than the Queens.

Mojo

We're back home. The Spurs got beat in almost every department by a young and active Bulls squad, and we're going to go up against another young and hungry team. I'm sure Pop ripped his team in the locker room after that loss, and lit a fire under their asses for this one. I am absolutely scared for Sacramento. Advantage: Spurs Advantage: Spurs

Winner

There is simply no excuse to lose this game to an expected Western Conference bottom feeder. I think I'll prepare that After Party Loser Thread in a bit.

Keys To The Game

  • Make Threes - That's just it. It's part of what we do, and we're at home where our shooters historically fare better with the long ball.
  • Jump the Gun Early - As most of the members have noted, even though Duncan dominating is a thing of beauty, we can't let him do too much this early. A blowout victory against a weak team is in order.
  • Defensive Strategy - Are we going to let K-Mart go off for 30 and just concentrate on limiting everyone else, a-la CP3 in the opener? Or is the coaching staff convinced that we have the personnel to shut down Martin and the entire Kings team, including their water boys, as well? Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Last Time They Met

The Spurs last played the Kings on April 12th in a game that ended well for us, but probably shouldn't have ended when it did. Why do I say that? Apparently FinPerro can alter the shot clock rule anytime he feels the need. We must keep this power secret, lest Joey Crawford find out.

H/T to SpursTalk for uploading the clip.

My Team is Better Than Yours

I think the Kings were also the first team that BlaseE covered with his awesome My Team Is Better Than Yours series. And I quote:

Spurs will absolutely feast on the Kings this season. They have some young players I like and Nocioni is a good player who fell into the trap of getting a big salary. Now he is worth more as a trading token than he is on the court to most teams which is pretty sad. Anyways, the Spurs are too loaded to be slowed down by Sacramento's developing talent. Salmons, who was consistent against us last season, is gone.

Some Other Reading

Kings

Sactown Royalty - The Kings SBN blog. They also have members who actively comment during games. Go visit them and drop a friendly line or two, olf-style

Cowbell Kingdom - This is the TrueHoop network blog for the Sacramento. I hate the sound of cowbells, but these guys do a great job covering the Maloofs Kings.

Spurs

48 Minutes of Hell: Speaking of THN blogs, we're extremely lucky that the best one is dedicated to the Spurs. Tim and Graydon always do an excellent job of breaking down everything that's happening in the Spurs' organization.
Project Spurs: Good independent blog with lots of good content. Spurs fans are lucky to have so many good blogs out there.

The (sort of) Daily Twitter

MoneyMase I just read inserts from Tim Donaghy's book, Blowing The Whistle.It's hard to believe a man who did the things he did. He has no credibility

DeJuan45 Good morning we gonna Bounce back we r ok it's only the second game we r fine 80 more to go lol go spurs go!!!!!


The Magic That Happened

Shoutout to jrw for spotting the magic:

poor RJ. Pop obviously told him to look for his shot (but didn’t know the shot he’d find would be Udoka’s)
by alamobro

these are still the replacement refs, yes?
by Hamer_SpursFan

ha, no. but didn’t stop me from screaming, ‘DONT QUIT YOUR DAY JOB’ 123 times last night
by Fred Silva

Sweet pass by Rose. They’ve got the momentum.
by LatinD

But we have the Manu.
by SgtinManusArmy

That we do, my friend. We out Manu the entire league.
by LatinD

Perfect. Insightful. "Sprint. Sprint. We have speed." Really Vinny? No play? No advice on how to use your speed. Just sprint?

Vinny trying to order at a restaurant. "Food! Food! I want FOOD!"
by Fred Silva

About Noah

Question, what could he do to make his appearance more grotesque?
by Fred Silva

Wear an Ed Hardy t-shirt.
by Hipuks

Topped, wear a shirt with his face on it.
by Fred Silva

Only if it’s airbrushed into the shirt.
by Hipuks

{hidden Mic in Del Negro's timeout}

Ok, guys, when the whistle blows, the out-of-bounds guy is gonna pass it to one of the in-bounds guys, and then that guys gonna put it in the basket or pass. In the basket or pass. Got that guys? Ok, go get ’em! And use your speed!
by vespaguy

Some Other Viewing

Just because I don't want to post the highlights of a loss:


Other things of possible interest

Where to Tune In

(Note: The League Pass free preview is available until Nov. 3 for both broadband and television.)

TV

This game is not on national TV, so for those of you staying at home, you might want to read on below...

Online

As always, NBA league pass is recommended for those who are willing to pony up the cash. Almost every Spurs game will be broadcast there, which is especially helpful for those of us who aren't in the San Antonio area. This one should also be on ESPN 360, if your ISP provides access to it.

Please don't post links to illegal game feeds in the game thread. Links to illegal feeds are not permitted on SBNation, but you can probably find them out there on the internets if you're resourceful and desperate. In fact, nobody can stop you from googling "atdhe". You can also shoot an email to dmenendez@gmail.com for more assistance.

Spurs League Pass audio is still free this year, so check it out.

Radio

If you're in the San Antonio area and aren't near a TV, tune in to WOAI (1200 AM).

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