It was a rough February for the Wizards, but thanks to some nice breaks in the schedule, things have been looking up so far this March. They're 3-2 so far this month and have a chance to improve to 4-2 tonight as John Wall's college buddy DeMarcus Cousins comes to town.
Where and when: The Wizards and Kings will battle at 7 p.m. at the Verizon Center. You can watch the game on CSN Washington & NBA TV or join the #radioparty on 99.1 WNEW.
Who's out? Kris Humphries and Garrett Temple are both still out for the Wizards. Darren Collison and Eric Moreland are both out for the Kings with season-ending injuries. UPDATE: Rudy Gay is doubtful tonight, Ryan Hollins is questionable and DeMarcus Cousins is probable.
What happened the last time these two teams played? Believe it or not, this is the first time they've faced off this year. This is last time they'll face a team for the first time this season. They'll meet again next Sunday, as part of the Wizards' four game trip out West.
Are the Kings good? They're not a playoff contender, but you should still take them seriously. Of course, they've got DeMarcus Cousins holding it down in the middle, and they've got Rudy Gay and Ben McLemore on the wing, who can get shots off on almost anyone. Sure, they're not the most efficient guys in the world, but they can be lethal if they're not taken seriously.
With Darren Collison out, their point guard play has taken quite a hit, with Ray McCallum taking on starting duties, but they have gotten a bit of boost as of late from a guy you may remember: Andre Miller.
Key to victory: Once again, the Wizards are fortunate enough to get a Western Conference team on the final stop on long road trip. The Kings are playing their eighth road game in 12 nights. There's going to be lots of tired legs all around for the Kings. Here's what Sactown Royalty had to say after the Kings fell to the 76ers last night:
The Sacramento Kings are finally nearing the end of this marathon road trip, and judging by the effort tonight they look ready to go home. Because they flat out did not bring the needed intensity to win tonight's game. It doesn't matter if the opponent is the Philadelphia 76ers, the Kings simply are not talented enough to coast and consistently win. The Sixers took advantage of a sleepwalking Kings defense to scrap out a 114-107 win.
With that in mind, the best thing the Wizards can do is push the pace at every opportunity, like they did against the Grizzlies on Thursday. Force the Kings to play an up-tempo game they probably don't feel like playing this evening.
Plus, a faster game keeps the game out of DeMarcus Cousins' hands more, which is certainly a good thing to do if you're the Wizards. In the loss last night, Cousins had 39 points and 24 rebounds. So just as a general rule, they should probably try to keep him from getting involved as much as possible.