Friday, March 9, 2012

Tonight: Dallas @ Sacramento

Tonight, Dirk Nowitzki and the defending NBA champs come into town on the second night of a back to back which saw them suffer a two point loss on the road to Phoenix last night. Surprisingly, the Mavericks are only 8-11 on the road this season and have not been playing their best basketball as they are 3-7 over their last 10 games. Dirk is a matchup nightmare for most teams, and I expect anyone the Kings put on him tonight to have their hands full.

Sacramento is coming off a less than impressive one point win over cellar-dwellers New Orleans Hornets. Isaiah Thomas stole an inbounds pass with under 10 seconds left in a game in which the Kings were trailing by one, leading to a John Salmons winning layup, in a game that for all intent and purpose the Kings has no business winning. But a win is a win, even if ugly, and the Kings improved to 9-6 at home. The key matchup tonight will be Dirk vs our PF's. JT will get the first look, but expect a combination of Chuck Hayes and Donte Greene to get their chance as well.

This will be a fun one, and if the Kings can limit turnovers and DeMarcus Cousins stays out of foul trouble, they'll have a chance to steal it late.

Tip off at 7:00pm.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Tonight: New Orleans @ Sacramento

Tonight Sacramento starts off its 9 game home streak as New Orleans comes to town. The Hornets are a team in transition after losing Chris Paul in a trade. Eric Gordon is still out with knee problems and center Chris Kaman has returned to the lineup after being mysteriously held out of games for an earlier stretch of the season as New Orleans tried to trade him. The Hornets come in riding a two game losing streak and are 5-13 on the road. This is a very winnable game for the Kings.

After the great new from last night the Kings will look to get their 9 game homestand off to a good start. The team is coming off a winless road trip and have lost four straight heading into tonight. DeMarcus Cousins hasn't played well for a few consecutive games and tonight would be a great time for him to turn that around. Kaman could present a few problems down low for DeMarcus, but if he plays as he's capable of playing he should leave a considerable imprint on the game tonight.

Tip off at 7:00pm.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Sacramento City Council Passes Arena Vote: 7-2

Big news in Sacramento tonight. The Sacramento City Council voted in approval of the financing plan to build a $391 million downtown Sports & Entertainment Complex. This will also open up the bidding process to lease out the downtown parking structures which is estimated to bring in $200 million to help fund the total cost of the new arena.

This truly was an historic evening for the city of Sacramento as more than 500 fans in attendance cheered as Mayor Kevin Johnson voted "yes" for the final vote of the night at City Hall. 

Council members Angelique Ashby, Steve Cohn, Rob Fong, Jay Schenirer, Darrel Fong and Bonnie Pannel joined Kevin Johnson as the seven who voted in favor of the financing plan. Council members Sandy Sheedy and Kevin McCarty voted against the plan.

Kings owner Gavin Maloof and starting point guard Isaiah Thomas were also in attendance.

Here is the official statement from the Maloofs:
"Tonight's vote was an important next step in the process to construct a new entertainment and sports and entertainment complex in Sacramento. On behalf of our entire family and the Kings organization, we want to thank everyone who has helped move this forward, especially the NBA, City Council, Mayor Kevin Johnson, the Think Big Sacramento Committee, and most importantly, our dedicated employees and loyal fans. We're all excited."

Keith Smart Post Game, 3/5/12

Monday, March 5, 2012

Tonight: Sacramento @ Denver

Tonight Sacramento strolls into Denver on the back-end of a four game in five night stretch. Playing in Denver is always tough given the altitude. The Kings will need to push through the tired legs they showed in last night's loss at Phoenix. We will have to wait and see if Donte Greene starting at the 4 was a single game match up decision or whether it is something Keith Smart wants to take a longer look at.

The Nuggets are an incredibly deep team which likes to get out and run, and they do it especially well at home. Transition defense will be as big a key tonight as it was last night. Danilo Gallinari is out for an extended period, and both Nene and Rudy Fernandez are listed as day-to-day and probably will not suit up tonight. The Kings are catching a break facing a shorthanded Nuggets team.

Tip off at 6:00pm.

Kings Exercise Option on Keith Smart for 2012-13 Season

"Keith has done a terrific job in taking control of the direction of the team," said Geoff Petrie. "He is active, engaged and working hard to develop our young players along with a complementary style of play."

Full story at the Sacramento Bee.

My initial reaction? Why not wait until the off season? In the midst of a 2-7 stretch, with little defense be playing and a few questionable rotations, wouldn't waiting until the summer to make a decision be the more prudent decision?

Keith Smart: Postgame Reaction 3/4/12