The Oklahoma City Thunder have locked up the third seed in the Western Conference and the Sacramento Kings have three games left in their entire 2015-16 season. The matchup does not matter at all when it comes to seeding but it still offers something spectacular, something that can touch fans' hearts because the Kings are going to play for the last time in a place they have been called home for 28 seasons.
The Thunder rested four of five starters against the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday and the second unit got its chance to play under the microscope. The Thunder fell at Portland but the players' effort was appreciated. Provided they bring back the usual starting lineup tonight in their second-to-last road game, the refreshed troupe is likely to put on a show to impress Kings fans one last time at Sleep Train Arena.
As much incentive as the Kings have to tank, they might not want to disappoint fans too much under the roof of Sleep Train Arena this time. DeMarcus Cousins and Rajon Rondo had their night off on the road against the Minnesota Timberwolves and they will certainly be back. The Kings are going to showcase every trick they have in the pocket to make the swan song memorable.
There may just be no sleep tonight at Sleep Train Arena.
Russ Triple-Double Hype
Russell Westbrook will have a shot at achieving something unprecedented. Currently tied with Magic Johnson for the most single-season triple-doubles in the past 30 years, Westbrook only needs one to own the record by himself.
The Kings are one of the four teams that Russ has recorded triple-doubles twice this season. (The Houston Rockets, the Washington Wizards and the Philadelphia 76ers are the other three.) If the triple-double machine delivers, he can make the Kings his No. 1 victim. That could be the Russest way to honor Sleep Train Arena.
After hoarding DNP-CDs in his resume, Seth Curry finally got his call on Mar. 25 to start for the first time in his career. Since then, he has started seven of the past eight games and registered double figures six times as a starter. Just as you might expect someone who bears the "Curry" last name to do, Seth's niche comes from deep. Seth is not piling up shots crazy but when he does rise, swish is the expected sound. Here is Sactown Royalty’s assessment of Seth from earlier this month:
This recent stretch has been fun to watch though. Curry was finally given the green light and also got the first starts of his career. He's responded with averages of 15 points, 2.2 assists. 2.0 rebounds, and 1.0 steals on 52.5% from the field and 50% from three point range in the past 6 games. Those numbers are definitely a small sample size, but his raw numbers over the entire season have been pretty good as well. Despite limited minutes and inconsistent playing time, he's still managing to shoot 47.2% from the field and a whopping 44% from three.
via Sactown Royalty
Prediction: Oklahoma City 115, Kings 102
|2015-16 NBA Season Game 80|
|April 9th, 2016|
|Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, CA|
|9:30 PM CST|
|TV: Fox Sports Oklahoma, Comcast SportsNet California, NBA League Pass|
|Injury Report: Marco Belinelli (Doubtful), Omri Casspi (Doubtful)|
|This Season's Matchups: Dec. 6 (W, 98-95), Jan. 4 (L, 116-104), Feb. 29 (131-116)|
|Rajon Rondo||PG||Russell Westbrook|
|Seth Curry||SG||Andre Roberson|
|Rudy Gay||SF||Kevin Durant|
|Willie Cauley-Stein||PF||Serge Ibaka|
|DeMarcus Cousins||C||Steven Adams|