NBA Late Pick Pistons at Kings
- Updated: December 14, 2014
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We have a nice play tonight as the Sacramento Kings host the Detroit Pistions tonight, here is a preview from AP News Service
The Sacramento Kings are taking care of the basketball worse than anyone in the Western Conference during their recent struggles.
The Detroit Pistons are coming off a rare win but aren’t exactly the kind of team that takes advantage of extra possessions.
The Kings welcome the Pistons Saturday night with hopes of correcting a nine-game rough patch in their second date on a five-game homestand, but it’ll have to happen without DeMarcus Cousins.
Sacramento (11-12) fell 113-109 to Houston on Thursday and turned the ball over 22 times, which led to 27 points. Over a 2-7 stretch, it’s averaged a conference-high 17.3 turnovers with a minus-7.4 margin.
“These losses are tough. We have to find ways to finish,” said Jason Thompson after a 13-point, 15-rebound effort. “We really have to know how to get leads and not worry about the scoreboard.”
The good news is Detroit (4-19) is shooting a league-low 40.7 percent and scoring 14.6 points per game off turnovers, which is also among the worst in the league.
That said, the Pistons scored a season-high 28 points off turnovers in Friday’s 105-103 win in Phoenix to open a three-game road trip. The victory ended a 13-game losing streak.
“This is just one, but at least you can breathe a little bit and then get ready for another one tomorrow night,” coach Stan Van Gundy told the team’s official website.
Andre Drummond had a game-high 23 points and 14 rebounds, but Brandon Jennings’ struggles continued with eight points on 4-of-13 shooting. In seven games since returning from a sprained thumb, the point guard has averaged 8.0 points on 23.0 percent from the field.
He could have some pressure off his shoulders with Jodie Meeks, who was out all season with a lower back injury, making his season debut Friday and finishing with 12 points in 22 minutes. Meeks had a breakout season with the Los Angeles Lakers a season ago, averaging a career-best 15.7 points while shooting 40.1 percent from 3-point range.
The Pistons are shooting 27.5 percent from long range in six games this month, and they expect Meeks to give them a boost from more than just the perimeter.
“He’s not just a shooter,” Van Gundy said. “That’s one of the things when we signed him, people saw him as just a 3-point shooter. But he’s a guy who can play on the move and make plays off the dribble. He certainly adds something and you can see we’re going to have more options offensively with him.”
Sacramento will remain without Cousins (viral meningitis), without whom the Kings have gone 2-6, but Omri Casspi could return after missing the last three games with a left knee contusion.
“After watching him in practice (Friday), there should be no reason for him not to go tomorrow,” coach Michael Malone told the team’s official website.
With Cousins out, Rudy Gay has remained fairly consistent with his season scoring and averaged 21.4 points, though he was just 4 of 18 for 13 points against the Rockets.
Darren Collison has upped his scoring to 21.6 points on 49.4 percent over five games. He scored 24 against the Rockets but committed six turnovers.
While Reggie Evans and Ryan Hollins have filled Cousins’ starting role, much of the offensive production has been filled by reserve forward Derrick Williams. He scored 17 against the Rockets and is averaging 12.4 points in the last five games he’s received more than a few seconds of playing time.
“I’m just staying ready,” Williams said. “No matter the number of minutes I play, I’m just going to be ready to play basketball. I’m not looking into it any further than that.”