Sacramento Kings (6-15) at Chicago Bulls (3-17)
7:00 p.m. CDT, WGN
Most seasons I thought of Sacramento as the pinnacle of NBA dysfunction. I often found comfort in the fact that Chicago (at the very least) is not Sacramento! Call it karma, call it fate, either way you look at it...they are about same now.
It makes me nervous when you think about how long Sacramento has been bad. If Chicago is just starting their rebuild, how long do they have to go? How many perennially talented players will we watch leave Chicago for greener pastures? DeMarcus "Boogie" Cousins was destined to leave Sacramento and he carried with him his fair share of baggage, but there is no arguing he is one of the most talented (polarizing?) centers in the league, and a closet cinephile? Chicago and Sacramento are similar in that they basically traded away stars so they could officially start a rebuild. Yay!
It takes a great deal of luck to create a contender in the NBA. If Sacramento has taught us anything, it’s that just being in the lottery every year does not necessarily lead to acquiring franchise players. A dysfunctional front office seemingly makes it impossible to acquire and develop talented players. I believe that a players situation is crucial for their success in the NBA. Sacramento has been the low-brow reality television show we all secretly love to watch. A wonderful guilty pleasure.
Unfortunately, this version of the Bulls, who avoid the free throw line like I avoid the post office is not even remotely entertaining to watch. Even sarcastically watching this team takes a bit of effort. I bet Chicago’s reality show is airing on some off-brand E! network, it’s probably titled Chicago’s Got (No) Talent.
Things to watch for:
Everyone loves De’Aaron Fox. Me included. He has struggled of late, but damn if he’s not fun to watch. People enjoy harping on the fact that Fox can’t shoot, but maybe it doesn’t matter. Having a guy who gives Super Saiyan level effort on both sides of the floor is probably going to translate to success in some form or fashion. Plus this guy gives a shit about playing basketball. I think he even cared about his single season at Kentucky!?
Dave Joerger recently moved Willie Cauley-Stein to the bench, but upped his minutes and as a result Cauley-Stein is shooting 53.8% from the field. I am going to be honest here, I have no idea if Cauley-Stein is actually good at basketball. Kings twitter seemingly loses their collective minds every time he manages to grab ten rebounds. Is it a joke? I am not sure.
Side note: Did Memphis unknowingly "Green Mile" Sacramento? Since Sacramento hired Joerger (Memphis’s former coach) and signed former Grizzlies, Zach Randolph and Vince Carter they have been relatively stable despite there 6-15 record. Memphis on the other hand looks as though they played the part of John Coffee signing Tyreke Evans, Ben McLemore and firing coach David "Take that for Data" Fizdale. Kidney stones be damned.
As for the Bulls, if the up and down trend continues Kris Dunn will probably be bad tonight. After playing well against Denver last night going 9-11 from the field with 19 points, 5 assists, and 1 turnover I expect he’ll be erratic and frustrating. What I am more excited to look for is not on the court at all. I’ll be watching the bench for the daily DAB WATCH between Niko and Bobby Portis. These things fascinate me.
I am done counting Chicago wins and losses. I am only concerned with their record against the spread, which has taken a bit of a dive lately, 9-10-1. Chicago is only laying a single point at home after losing in rather heartbreaking fashion last night in Denver. I’d stay away from this one.
[Thanks worldjordo for today’s preview. New slate of game previews available if you want to sign up -yfbb]