The Sacramento Kings continue to trudge through their season-long eight-game road trip with a second stop this season in Philadelphia. The last time these two teams tried to face off at the Wells Fargo Center, the game was cancelled due to unsafe playing conditions. The 76ers are playing much better basketball than they were in November, but so are the Kings.
Following a big win in Charlotte on Saturday night, Sacramento is 3-3 on the trip and they easily could have had one or two more wins. DeMarcus Cousins is playing the role of distributor and his teammates are stepping up to the challenge. According to the All-Star big, isolation ball is "out of play now."
Joel Embiid has been a breath of fresh air this season, but he remains on a restricted 28 minute max. The talented 7-footer stayed home to rest when the Sixers traveled to Chicago on Sunday and lost to the Bulls. He should be ready to play although he has had a knee issue of late.
Kings by 1.5
MATCHUP TO WATCH
DeMarcus Cousins vs. Joel Embiid Part Deux -- It's too bad these two only play each other twice a year. Cousins is the best big man in the game, but if he can stay healthy, Embiid fully intends on challenging the Kings' All-Star center for that title. Cousins needs to do his work early against the rookie and try to get the Sixers big in foul trouble. You can see that Embiid has studied Cousins game. He is rarely out of position and his defensive instincts are off the charts. Cousins vs. Embiid, it's must see TV.
WHERE THEY STAND
Kings: 19-28, third place in Pacific
76ers: 17-29, fourth place in Atlantic
Kings: F Omri Casspi (right calf strain) out, F Rudy Gay (torn left Achilles) out for season.
76ers: C Jahlil Okafor (knee) questionable, F Ersan Ilyasova (shoulder) probable, G Jerryd Bayless (wrist) is out for the season, F Ben Simmons (foot) out.
This is the second of two matchups between these two teams this season with the Kings holding a 1-0 edge in the series. The Kings have a 31-30 lead during the Sacramento-era, but Philadelphia holds a 162-125 advantage all-time.
"I think we're understanding better, we're understanding that we can only win by playing together. Moving the ball, having a team oriented defense. The Iso ball and all of that is out of play now. The only way we win games is to play together." -Cousins following the Kings' win over the Hornets