The Sacramento Kings came into the season with playoff aspirations. After finishing ninth in the Western Conference last season, they brought in a lot of pieces that were intriguing. Richaun Holmes, Trevor Ariza, and Cory Joseph would be the veterans that would come in and add to the core of De’Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley III to push the Kings into the upper half of the West.
It hasn’t worked out that way, mostly because Fox and Bagley have been injured. Bagley hasn’t played since October 23, but he’s due back imminently. Fox is still a few weeks out from getting re-evaluated for his ankle injury.
The Rockets have bounced back beautifully after the collapse against the San Antonio Spurs, and even Russell Westbrook had a good game against the Kings. In order to give Rockets fans more help, Russ will need to step up more often than once a month. Ben McLemore has been great, and if he solidifies himself in the Houston rotation, the Rockets will have a great amount of depth at the wing when Eric Gordon returns from injury in a few weeks. Obviously the center position is still an area of concern, but at this point Clint Capela and P.J. Tucker have held down that position well.
It’s tempting to start looking at the standings and figure out how the Rockets stack up, but Houston still has a lot of room to grow (as do most teams), so that’s a fruitless exercise. I am excited to watch the Kings tonight, as I still think they’ll be playing meaningful games in April and possibly into May. Once their young stars return from injury, they will be a tough team to handle.
Tip-off is at 7pm CT