Sacramento Kings Status Check:
Road Record: 8-24
Last 10 Games: 2-8
Streak: Won 1
Last game: Won 127-95 over Timberwolves
PPG: 98.8 (18th)
Opponents PPG: 104.2 (24th)
Offensive Rating: 103.3 (25th)
Defensive Rating: 108.9 (19th)
Pace: 95.0 (4th)
Effective Field Goal Percentage: .478 (26th)
Turnover Percentage: .144 (27th)
Defensive Rebound Percentage: .741 (14th)
Offensive Rebound Percentage: .301 (2nd)
Free Throws Per Field Goal Attempt: .208 (27th)
Opp. eFG%: .513 (27th)
Opp. TO%: .136 (12th)
Opp. FT/FGA: .234 (17th)
Leading scorer: Marcus Thornton (21.2)
Stats from Basketball-Reference.com.
Sacramento Injury Report:
Marquis Daniels: bruised spinal cord (is out indefinitely)
Tyreke Evans: plantar fasciitis in left foot (expected to miss one month)
Hassan Whiteside: left knee surgery (will miss remainder of the season)
If a team wants to get back on track after a disappointing loss, there aren’t many better options than to play than the Sacramento Kings. The Kings only have 17 wins this season. And they are are playing on the second night of a back-to-back. And the Bulls haven’t lost at home since January 18. Things are looking pretty good for Chicago after what happened in their last game.
Chicago had a tough loss against the Pacers on Friday night. They’ve had the whole weekend off to think about that loss, and to correct their mistakes from that game. It also gave them some time to remember their embarrassing loss to the Kings from December 21, 2009, which they apparently have not forgotten about.
The Bulls have gotten some revenge for that game already this season, beating the Kings by 11 all the way back in November. Rose had a great game, scoring 30 points (10-23 from the field, 9-9 from the line), grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out seven assists. Joakim Noah added 17 points and 8 rebounds, but also tore his thumb ligament. This injury caused him to miss a bunch of games leading into the All Star break.
This win was during their early season stretch without Carlos Boozer. They have gotten used to playing without their new PF. Boozer has missed 23 games this season, and the Bulls played their last five games without him. But according to Nick Friedell of the ESPNChicago.com, Boozington is expected to play tonight. Deng missed practice yesterday, but will play as well.
That is even better news when Friedell also reports that Taj Gibson is a game-time decision. Gibson was seen wearing a walking boot because of a toe injury. It seems the Bulls might have needed more than a weekend off to rest and get healthy.
The Bulls will need all their bigs ready for this game. Sacramento isn’t high on many of the stat lists, but they are good at offensive rebounding. They are second in offensive rebounds per game at 13.2; just half a rebound per game behind first place Minnesota.
One of the Bulls strengths is rebounding. They force their opponents to take low percentage shots and then grab the boards. The Bulls lead the league in opponent effective field goal percentage (.460) and are third in the league in defensive rebound percentage (.759). Protecting their glass and limiting second chance points will be key. But the Bulls also go after offensive rebounds hard.
The Bulls are fifth in offensive rebounds per game, bringing down 12.0 per contest. And they have been even better lately. In their last three games, the Bulls have averaged 17.7 offensive rebounds.
The biggest thing that the Bulls need to rebound from is their poor defense from last game. They allowed 62 points in the first half and 13 points in overtime. In the November game against the Kings, Chicago allowed just 85 points and only 28 points in the second half (9 in the fourth quarter). Expect Tom Thibodeau to have the Bulls ready after the Pacers found a lot of holes in his normally great defense.
Some numbers to chew on:
According to Stats LLC, the Bulls are 3-13 when allowing their opponent to score more than 100 points. They are 42-2 when holding their opponent to under 96 points. It’s a good thing the Bulls are allowing just 91.2 points per game (second in the league), or this could have been a really long season.
About the Author:
Braedan Ritter was born and raised in Pennsylvania but was swayed by gifts from his aunt to follow the Chicago sports teams. It didn’t hurt that the Bulls had a guy named Michael Jordan playing for them, and the Sixers had…Derrick Coleman. Braedan has stuck with Chicago through thick and thin, and really thin (see: Chicago Cubs). And speaking of Coleman, Braedan is currently a student at Syracuse University.