The beginning is here. The Sacramento Kings open their 2016-17 campaign Wednesday night in Phoenix when they battle the young, but talented Suns.
Opening night marks the official start of the Dave Joerger era of Kings basketball. Joerger ran a 147-99 record with the Memphis Grizzlies over three seasons, including back-to-back-to-back playoff appearances. He’s taxed with ending the Kings decade long playoff drought, which has slayed the previous eight head coaches in Sacramento.
Eight new faces don the Kings’ purple and black, including two starters and five rotational players. A new coach. A new roster. A new offense. A new defense. None of that matters when the ball gets tipped. The NBA schedule waits for no one.
The Suns have made subtle tweaks to a roster that won just 23 games last season. But they come into the season mostly healthy and ready to prove that 2015-16 was the beginning of a build in Phoenix.
Suns by 2.5
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Ty Lawson vs. Eric Bledsoe -- Lawson is getting a career re-boot in Sacramento and a golden opportunity to shine during the team’s first eight games as a starter. He’ll face the high-scoring, but injury-prone Bledsoe that suited up in just 31 games last season. Bledsoe is an explosive and powerful athlete. Lawson is quick and will look to set up others.
Kings: G Darren Collison (league suspension) out.
Suns: F P.J. Tucker (back) questionable.
The Kings won the season series 3-1 last year, including the final three contests. Phoenix leads the all-time series 130-88 and they hold an 83-49 advantage during the Sacramento-era.
“I have one goal, that’s playoffs. That’s success for me right now.” -- DeMarcus Cousins