Friday, February 1, 7:30 PM (EST) at Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
17-30 (4th Pacific, 13th West)
19-26 (4th Atlantic, 9th East)
TV: The Comcast Network Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic FM | Live Stats
THE ENEMY: I. THOMAS | T. EVANS | F. GARCIA | J. THOMPSON | D. COUSINS
Don't Get Defensive
For the second-consecutive season, the Sacramento Kings feature the league's worst defense in terms of points allowed. Allowing 103.2 points per game (46.1 FG%) on the year, they have held an opponent to under 90 points just three times this season (through 47 games). Conversely, they have allowed over 120 points four times.
Hitting The DeMark
Forgive, if you will, that pun and check out this impressive statistic. DeMarcus Cousins, despite the benchings, the suspensions, and the questions about his maturity thus far in his NBA career, is one of just 10 players in the last twenty years to average at least 16.0 points and 9.0 rebounds over the first three years of their career, joining Blake Griffin, Elton Brand, Shawn Marion, Tim Duncan, Antoine Walker, Vin Baker, Chris Webber, Shaquille O'Neal, and Alonzo Mourning.
After being suspended for two games in late December for conduct detrimental to his team, 6-11, 270-pound big man DeMarcus Cousins strung together a 16-game stretch in which he averaged 19.9 points (47.3 FG%), 12.1 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 1.7 steals. However, over his last three games, he's averaged just 9.3 points (38.5 FG%) and 4.0 rebounds – his 3.0 assists, 2.3 steals, and 1.0 blocks per game did not take a dip.
Luckily for the Sixers, the Kings have struggled in games where they do not get efficient output from Cousins on the glass and around the basket. In Kings wins, Cousins has averaged 18.9 points on 47.0 percent shooting, adding 11.8 rebounds, as well. In their losses, those numbers fall to 16.4 points (41.7 FG%) and 9.0 rebounds.
Chester native Tyreke Evans will make his annual return to Philadelphia, when his Kings face the Sixers at Wells Fargo Center Friday night. Despite seeing his minutes per game decrease for a fourth-straight season, the 6-6 combo guard is enjoying perhaps his most efficient offensive campaign to date. The fourth-year man is averaging 14.9 points on career highs from the floor (47.1%) and from long range (37.8); he's also adding 5.8 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.6 steals per game. Last time Evans played in Philly, on January 10 of last year, he notched 15 points (6-13 FG) and five rebounds in an 85-112 blowout loss.