Sacramento Kings Verse Brooklyn Nets Preview


The Brooklyn Nets(13-16) will look to get back on the winning track as they host the Sacramento Kings(13-17) on Monday night at Barclays Center. The Kings are coming off of a 135-129 win in overtime against the lowly New York Knicks while the Nets are coming off of a 110-85 thumping against the Indiana Pacers. Both teams have aspirations to make the postseason and expect this to be a good one on Monday at Barclays Center.

Key Matchup: Demarcus Cousins Verse Mason Plumlee

Aug 1, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; USA Team Blue forward Mason Plumlee (35) reacts to his wrist being held by USA Team White center DeMarcus Cousins (36) during the USA Basketball Showcase at Thomas & Mack Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Mason Plumlee has been playing tremendous basketball for the Nets as of late. In his last 10 games, Plumlee is averaging 15.8 points per game and 10.2 rebounds per game, to go along with more than a block per game. Demarcus Cousins as we all already know is an absolute beast. Cousins is averaging 24.7 points per game and 12.3 rebounds this season. Cousins is 270 pounds and he lets the player who is guarding him feel every pound and he has emerged as one of the best centers in the NBA.

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Plumlee and Cousins were both on Team USA during the summer and they both have a gold medal to show for it. Recent reports have gone out that the Kings wanted to acquire Plumlee from the Nets, but Brooklyn had no interest in losing one of their key elements in the future. The Kings were interested in Plumlee during the summer when he and Cousins were teammates on the United States national team and Cousins even invited Plumlee to dinner one night. Regardless of how much the Kings want Plumlee, the Nets aren’t budging and Plumlee will look to show Sacramento why the Nets are so reluctant to give him away.

Who Needs To Step Up

Brooklyn Nets: Deron Williams

Nov 22, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; Brooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams (8) reacts to a call against the San Antonio Spurs during the first half at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Deron Williams is a three time NBA All Star and he needs to play like it for the Nets. Brooklyn signed Williams to a 5 year $98 Million dollar deal and they were hoping that Williams would be the franchise player and carry the Nets to great success. Williams has been labored by a variety of injuries and his tenure in Brooklyn hasn’t gone as planned. After getting surgery on his ankles during the offseason, Williams felt refreshed and healthy entering this season giving Nets fans reason to be glamorous.

Williams started the season off strong, his play was recognized as he was honored with the accolade of being named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week. Williams numbers started to regress as the season wore on and things got even worse when Williams was forced to miss two games with a right calf strain. In Williams absence, the Nets won both games and Jarrett Jack played extraordinarily well in his place. With Jack’s strong play and Williams struggles coach Hollins decided to put Williams on the bench and start Jack at point guard.

Williams had a rough showing on Saturday against the Pacers scoring 7 points on 2-7 from the field, 3 turnovers and a +/- ratio of -20. FanSided has recently found out from sources within the organization that Nets coach Lionel Hollins is fed up with Williams. Williams has to step up and provide quality minutes off of the bench to regain Hollins trust and to help his team get a much needed win.

Sacramento Kings: Darren Collison

Dec 27, 2014; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings guard Darren Collison (7) reacts after scoring against the New York Knicks in overtime at Sleep Train Arena. The Kings won 135-129 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Darren Collison has been a huge reason for the Kings success this season. Collison is averaging 16.3 points and 6 assists per game this season and the Kings will need him to create plays and expose the Nets defense. Collison is a lighting quick point guard who can get it going in a hurry and severely impact a game.

Adrian Wojnarowski reported not too long ago saying that the Nets and Kings might make a trade swapping Deron Williams and Collison with the Kings also throwing in Derrick Williams and Jason Thompson. Those talks deadened because the Kings wanted the Nets to throw in Mason Plumlee but Brooklyn wouldn’t give him up. Collison has a chance to show the Nets what they could’ve gotten in a trade and the Kings will need him to be a difference maker if they want to go to Brooklyn and get a win.

Prediction: Sacramento Kings 99 Brooklyn Nets 108

The Nets were just embarrassed in their home building by the Pacers so I see them coming out with fire. The Nets have always been a relatively good home team so I can’t see them losing two home games in a row. Williams and Lopez will redeem themselves after receiving a hefty amount of criticism from the media and they will respond in a big way. It will be tight but the Nets will pull away in the end and get a much needed win at home.

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