Find out how the Kings aim to capitalize on Tuesday’s victory with a strong performance against Minnesota. Plus, is the team playing its best basketball of the season?
– While Kings players are feeling confident on the heels of a resounding victory over the Pacific Division-leading Clippers, the team won’t overlook the short-handed but talented Timberwolves.
“We just played one of the top teams in the Western Conference, so coming against this team, we have to be aggressive,” said Tyreke Evans. “(We need to) come out the same way – with a lot of energy – and just try to (earn) a win.”
Kings Head Coach Keith Smart has prepared his squad to defend Minnesota’s offensive sets in order to prevent easy scoring opportunities at the rim and behind the three-point line.
“(The Timberwolves) had a game a couple of nights ago at Houston where they ran 51 pick-and-rolls,” said Smart. “So, there’s a lot of movement and random screens that are going to take place on the floor, and we have to focus on that more than anything else.
“We have to make sure we come out and play our style and capitalize on what we just accomplished, and then utilize the energy we have from a defensive standpoint and apply that … to get the game into our favor.”
– Evans reveals the return of point guard Ricky Rubio – who missed the previous two meetings with Sacramento due to injury – changes the dynamic of Minnesota’s offense.
“He’s a good point guard – he finds guys (and) he brings a lot to the team,” said No. 13. “It’s definitely a different team with him out there. We just have to be focused on (defending) the pick-and-rolls. (If we’re) stopping that, we’ll be good.”
While Smart compliments Rubio’s court vision and passing ability, the Kings leader emphasizes Sacramento will need to capitalize on the guard’s penchant for turnovers (3.1 TO/G).
– The Kings have won six of their last nine home games, averaging 115.8 points and 23.8 assists per contest, while connecting on 48.1 percent from the field, 41.7 percent from behind the arc and 82.1 percent at the foul line during the stretch.
“We’ve been playing well,” said Evans. “Moving the ball, spacing – we’re doing a lot of good things.”
Catch Evans and the Kings take on Rubio and the Timberwolves tonight at 7 p.m. at Sleep Train Arena. To get tix, Click Here.