Kings Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Sacramento Kings and the NBA.

February 22, 2012
Kings at Wizards: Five things to watch

WASHINGTON - Tonight ends the Kings' longest road trip of the season. The Kings are 0-5 on the trip and have lost six in a row overall.

The Washington Wizards are the worst team the Kings will have played on the trip. Like the Kings they have already had a coaching change and had their fair share of turmoil to start the season.

Can the Kings finally win a game? Here are five things the Kings need to do to end their losing streak.

1. Protect the ball
The Kings allowed 25 points off turnovers in losing at Miami Wednesday night. The Wizards aren't as good as the Heat, but have the athletes to make plays in the open court off turnovers.

2. Stay on point
Isaiah Thomas' first three starts have led to better ball movement and 20-plus assists in three consecutive games. In the last game Thomas didn't start - last Wednesday at New York - the Kings had 15 assists. That was two more than Knicks guard Jeremy Lin had through three quarters.

3. Bounce back from Boogie
DeMarcus Cousins had nine points and seven rebounds on 3-of-13 shooting against the Heat. If Cousins gets back on track, expect at least 20 points and 10-plus rebounds from Cousins.

4. Build a wall against Wall
The Kings have to keep Wizards guard John Wall out of the paint as much as possible. If Wall is able to breakdown the Kings defense repeatedly that means the Kings could find themselves in foul trouble.

5. The 45-and-over Club
To make up their bad defense of late, the Kings have to shoot above their league-worst 40.2 percent from the field. If the Kings shoot 45 percent or better they'll be in a good place.

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