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Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs at Sacramento Kings

The Drive for Five takes on new meaning as the Spurs look to right the ship and avoid a fifth-straight road loss. Tonight they head to Sac-Town, where new head coach George Karl is trying to get his team playing at a higher level as well.

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

San Antonio Spurs @ Sacramento Kings

Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, CA
February 27, 2015, 9:00 PM Spurs Time

Losses piling up. Jaded fans. A season in complete chaos.

I speak of course not about the Spurs, but the Sacramento Kings, who started the year out 9-5 before nose-diving into turmoil, firing head coach Mike Malone, and having Vivek Ranadive look like the most unpredictable sports team owner since Jackie Moon.

Talk to Kings fans about four losses in a row and they'll respond with a sardonic scoff and a 'First-world Problems' meme. Of course, they didn't exactly have the same hopes San Antonio fans did this year and, with 25 games left in the NBA season, they're already blessed with the prescience of knowing where they'll be come June. And things are at least looking slightly better with the mid-season hiring of George Karl.

Karl's influence on the team was felt immediately, with the bringing in of one of his favorite players, NBA fossil Andre Miller, who traded places with previous backup PG Ramon Sessions. The new coach, who's known for his up-tempo style of play (most recently seen with the Ty Lawson-powered Nuggets) has another point guard capable of pushing the pace in Darren Collison. Against an older Spurs squad, I think we can expect to see a good bit of that tonight. San Antonio's transition D will have to be solid at all positions, as even guys like Cousins love running up and down the floor.

Even with Karl there, DeMarcus Cousins remains this team's spirit animal; its 600hp engine, and its exposed nerve ending. They are as mercurial as their franchise player can be on any given night, and capable of showing up or tuning out just as capriciously. That alone makes this game worth watching.

The Rodeo Road Trip has underlined a trend that's marred the entire Spurs season: poor road play. San Antonio's now 14-16 away from the T, which is uncharacteristic to say the least. Aside from Tim Duncan, who has been the most consistent player in terms of both effort and execution, the Spurs have looked very flawed as of late. In years past they could rally around the singularly stellar play of Tony Parker, but not anymore it seems -- at least not consistently. Now it's all-around play, as well as the stalwart presence of Old Man Riverwalk, that must power this team.

There's no science, of course, behind saying a squad is 'due' for a return to form; with the good ones, it's bound to happen eventually. This is still a good team -- a better team than the Sacramento Kings -- and I can't help but pick them again.

Matchup to watch: Kawhi vs. Rudy. The streaky Gay helped power the Kings to a big win against the Grizzlies on Wednesday, with a game-high 28 points. He'll play plenty of minutes and have all the chances in the world to produce. It's another chance for Kawhi to show his lock-down ability against a physically-gifted foe, and limiting one of Sacramento's few offensive creators will put more pressure on Cousins to carry his team.


Sacramento Kings (20-35)

San Antonio Spurs (34-23)

February 27, 2015

Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, California

9:00 PM CDT


Radio: WOAI 1200AM


Darren Collison


Tony Parker

Ben McLemore


Danny Green

Rudy Gay


Kawhi Leonard

Jason Thompson


Tim Duncan

DeMarcus Cousins


Aron Baynes

For the Kings perspective, please visit Sac Town Royalty.

Game prediction: Spurs by 7.

As always Tony must dominate Fisher, and you can get your San Antonio Spurs tickets from Daniel Farias with Spurs Sports & Entertainment: Tel: 210-444-5607 |