Wizards vs. Kings preview: Time to start the West Coast trip off with a win

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Washington begins their four-game West Coast trip in Sacramento as they face off against the lowly Kings. But with the surging Nets right on their tails, the Wizards can't afford to let up tonight.

Let's start off with the bad news first: the Brooklyn Nets continue to win. They defeated the Suns in convincing fashion last night, winning 108-95 as Deron Williams and Joe Johnson combine for 47 points on 18-24 shooting.

The good news, however, is that the Wizards are road warriors. They're the only team in the league with a better record on the road than at home and are just one win behind Indiana and Miami for the most road wins in the Eastern Conference.

Tonight, they go up against Sacramento, and more importantly, Isaiah Thomas, who is averaging 18 points and six assists in four career games against Washington. I wouldn't even call this a trap game at this point.

Where and when? Tip off is at 10 p.m. at the Sleep Train Arena. It'll be on CSN.

Who's out? Nene is out for Washington again. The Kings have ruled both Carl Landry and Jason Terry out for the season. DeMarcus Cousins didn't play Sunday and could also miss tonight's game with a sore knee.

What are they good at? They can score and rebound, and that about sums it up for the Kings. They have three players in their starting lineup averaging at least 20 points per game -- Cousins, Thomas and Rudy Gay -- and all three are generally minuses on defense. But for all his flaws, Cousins is a phenomenal offensive talent that has at least silenced some of the criticism over his four-year max extension this past offseason. His PER is up to 25.5 and he's cleaning up the glass like a mad man. If he plays, this won't be an easy night for Marcin Gortat, who struggled to hold his ground against a similar offensive force in Al Jefferson.

What are they bad at? Defense, passing the ball, taking care of the ball, spacing the floor and DEFENSE. They're rotations are almost always out of whack, and as a result, they are one of the worst teams defending spot-up shooters. Teams are shooting a healthy 41 percent on threes in those situations and 38 percent overall from downtown. And to make matters worse, they consistently get burned in transition, which makes you wonder if they're hunting for offensive rebounds a little too excessively. Either way, that's Washington's bread and butter, which doesn't bode well for the Kings tonight.

Who's going to win? I have to take the Wiz here. John Wall's play has been electric, which should be enough to offset the big night Thomas will inevitably have against him. You can't help but to be worried over Gortat's tough matchup, so now may be the game to set #kslife free and allow him to bang down low against Boogie should he play.

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