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Houston Rockets vs. Sacramento Kings game preview

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Sacramento Kings v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Full disclosure: I am writing this preview during the first quarter of the Rockets-Warriors game because it’s late. If something crazy happens in that game (unlikely), that’s why I am not making mention of that occurrence.

The Sacramento Kings blew it up. They traded Demarcus Cousins for Buddy Hield and a first-round pick and then ended the year by letting their young guys tank play.

It was a successful strategy. The Kings learned that Willie Cauley-Stein has a real place in the NBA. They discovered that Skal Labissiere had potential. Then they drafted De’Aaron Fox, Justin Jackson, Frank Mason III, and Harry Giles. They also brought over Serbian stud forward Bogdan Bogdanovic (not to be confused with Bojan Bogdanovic, a Bosnian forward for the Pacers who shares no relation), though he will not be available for tonight’s game.

The Kings surrounded their young players with veterans they signed in the offseason. Zach Randolph, Vince Carter, and George Hill all received big bucks to come be veteran influences in Sacramento.

For the first time in years, the strategy against the Kings isn’t “Get Boogie unfocused and we’ll be fine.” They have some real talent, and young teams don’t know they’re underdogs most of the time. Expect the Kings to come out swinging tonight.

Tip-off is at 9pm CT.