Nets hope to avoid Kings trap

Nets hope to avoid Kings trap
DeMarcus Cousins
It’s a whole new game since the last time these two teams played. (AP)

BY SAM LACHOW

Brooklyn Nets

Breakdown

Sacramento Kings
30-30 Record 22-40
6-4 Last 10 Games 5-5
102.8 Points scored per 100 possessions 103.9
104.0 Points allowed per 100 possessions 106.4
94.1 Possessions per game 96.8
45.0% Field goal percentage 44.9%
35.9% Three-point percentage 34.1%
47.2% Rebound percentage 51.4%
15.4% Turnover percentage 15.5%
Joe Johnson (15.1) Top Scorer DeMarcus Cousins (22.3)

 
Projected starting lineup: Isaiah Thomas, Ben McLemore, Rudy Gay, Jason Thompson, DeMarcus Cousins.

The Nets are a new team since the last time these two faced, and the Kings have some hand in that: one day before the trade deadline, the Nets and Kings completed a trade to send Kings guard Marcus Thornton to Brooklyn in exchange for Reggie Evans and Jason Terry. (Terry will not suit up for Sacramento this season.)

Even at 22-40, the Kings can cause trouble. They have three gifted offensive players in DeMarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay and Isaiah Thomas, each averaging over 20 points per game. But that’s where the positives end: their bench is weak and their defense is porous.

But the Kings can give the Nets fits the way every other team does: rebounding. Led by DeMarcus Cousins (averaging 11.5 rebounds per game), the Kings rank as one of the better rebounding teams in the NBA, 11th in rebounds per game and 7th in rebounding percentage. Jason Thompson, Patrick Paterson and Rudy Gay are all averaging above 5.5 rebounds per game. Not to mention that the Kings recently added former Nets rebounding champ, Reggie Evans.

Glass-crashing aside, the Nets must contain Isaiah Thomas. While Deron Williams can have his way against smaller point guards, Thomas is a bulldog driving to the hoop and one of the fastest players in the association. Given Deron’s health, fitness as well as his poor recovery speed, watch out for Thomas to have a huge game.

The Kings have everything a bad team needs to beat the Nets; a “big three” of scorers, two outside threats, and a solid rebounding foundation. But the Nets have the advantage in overall talent. Who will win out?

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