Kings

Kings out to capitalize on Rose-less Bulls

671464.jpg

Kings out to capitalize on Rose-less Bulls

KINGS (10-17) vs.CHICAGO (23-7)5:00 p.m. on CSN CaliforniaPlus
Despite having just concluded a 6-3 road trip, the injury-plagued Chicago Bulls return home a bit disappointed after letting a potential seventh win slip away.A matchup with the last-place club in the Pacific Division could help put them in better spirits.With reigning NBA MVP Derrick Rose once again unlikely to be available Tuesday night, the Eastern Conference-leading Bulls try for a for a seventh win in their last eight meetings with the Kings.
Rose has missed seven games this season due to multiple injuries, including the last two with lower back spasms. He saw a specialist Monday and while no structural damage was found, his status remains day-to-day.
NEWS: Bulls without Rose vs. Kings
"Anytime there's not something structurally wrong that's good news," general manager Gar Forman told the Bulls' official website. "He'll have rest and therapy and hopefully be back soon. I know everyone makes fun of (coach) Tom (Thibodeau) about him saying 'day to day.' But it really is day to day. He's been telling you just what it is every day."
"He didn't practice, but he's feeling better," Thibodeau said.

CSNChicago:com: No structural damage for Rose
With Rose sidelined, Chicago (23-7) saw its five-game winning streak come to an end Sunday with a 95-91 loss at Boston. C.J. Watson and Carlos Boozer each scored 22 points but the Bulls shot just 38.6 percent from the field."There's no excuses," said Joakim Noah, who's averaging 13.8 points and 10.8 rebounds over his last five contests. "We're 6-3 on this road trip. We want to be a championship team: 6-3 is OK, not great. Obviously, we're not playing with our MVP. But definitely we had enough in this (locker) room to win this game. I feel like we got outcompeted. I think we could definitely have played better."While the Bulls went 0-3 versus clubs with winning records on their trip, they had little problem winning all six matchups versus teams under .500 - outscoring those opponents by an average of 18.5 points.Chicago has also experienced its share of lopsided victories in this series of late. The Bulls have outscored Sacramento (10-17) by an average of 13.8 points while taking six of the last seven matchups, including a 132-92 victory March 21 in the Kings' last visit to the United Center.Chicago also prevailed 108-98 at Sacramento on Dec. 29 behind 16 points and a season-high 15 boards from Boozer. Rose and Richard Hamilton (right thigh), who also remains sidelined for Chicago, combined for 35 points in that game.The Kings, who won a season-best three straight Feb. 2-6, have since dropped two of three including Saturday's 98-84 home loss to Phoenix.DeMarcus Cousins continued his impressive play with 26 points and nine rebounds while Marcus Thornton scored 21. The rest of the team, however, largely failed to produce.Tyreke Evans - averaging 16.9 points on the season - scored just four while shooting 1 of 9. Isaiah Thomas was only slightly better, making 2 of 9 shots and finishing with five points."We just couldn't make shots and we didn't play as a team," Thomas said. "That kind of starts with me and Tyreke - as point guards we've got to get guys more involved, get them in the rights spots and make the offense flow."Cousins is averaging 20.8 points and 13.6 rebounds over his last five games. He had 15 points and 12 boards in the last meeting with the Bulls.The Kings, who open a six-game road trip Tuesday, have averaged just 87.7 points while going 3-12 away from home. Their 39.9 field-goal percentage in opposing arenas ranks last in the league.
The Associated Press contributed to this report

Gameday: Kings visit imploding Suns

bledsoe-watson-brooker.jpg
USATI

Gameday: Kings visit imploding Suns

The Sacramento Kings finish their three game road trip Monday in Phoenix. Waiting for them is a team in complete disarray. After dropping the first three games of the season, Phoenix dumped head coach Earl Watson Sunday afternoon and are reportedly in trade talks to deal starting point guard Eric Bledsoe. Jay Triano will act as the interim head coach, but he’s taking over a runaway train.

Sacramento lost to the Denver Nuggets on Saturday evening to drop to 1-2 on the season. De’Aaron Fox and Skal Labissiere came to play, but the rest of the roster struggled with their shot as the Kings finished with just 79 points on 36.5 percent shooting.

The Suns have been outscored by more than 30 points per game in their three contests this season. They have lost games by 48 and 42 points already and almost every player on the roster has underperformed.

BETTING LINE

Kings by 2

WHERE THEY STAND

Kings: 1-2

Suns: 0-3

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Skal Labissiere vs. Marquese Chriss -- Labissiere has been a breath of fresh air early in the season, posting solid numbers across the board as Zach Randolph’s backup. He posted a career-high 32-point, 11-rebound game against Chriss last season, which left a lasting impression. Chriss is off to a slow start, but he has plenty of potential. The Sacramento-native gets up and down the floor and loves the over the top block.

INJURY REPORT

Kings:  SG Bogdan Bogdanovic (right ankle sprain) probable, PF Harry Giles (bi-lateral knee rehab) out.

Suns:  PG Eric Bledsoe (team decision) out, SF Jared Dudley (toe) questionable, PG Brandon Knight (ACL tear) out for the season, G Davon Reed (knee) out, PF Alan Williams (knee) out.

SERIES HISTORY

Sacramento dominated the season-series 3-1 last season, including a 129-104 win over the Suns in the finale. Phoenix leads the all-time series 131-90 and they hold an 84-51 advantage during the Sacramento-era.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

BOGDAN’S DEBUT -- The Kings have used the cautious approach to Bogdan Bogdanovic’s ankle injury. He’s played a ton of basketball between league play and EuroBasket overseas and there is no reason to rush him into action. He’ll likely suit up to play Monday against the team that drafted him in the 2014 NBA Draft. Expect to see lots of the 25-year-old Serbian over the next few months. Word around the team is that he is one of the best players on the squad.

MORE FOX -- Sacramento hit a homerun with the addition of De’Aaron Fox on draft night. The rookie has put on a show in his first three games and is pushing coach Dave Joerger for more playing time. The Kings have plenty of guards and wings, but there hasn’t been a player that can stay in front of Fox.

REBOUND FROM A STINKER -- The Kings couldn’t hit water if they fell out of a boat against the Nuggets. Playing at elevation is tough, but scoring 79 points is unacceptable. Sacramento has a chance to improve to 2-2 on the season in Phoenix before returning home to face DeMarcus Cousins. A 2-1 road trip would go a long ways towards building the confidence of a young squad.

QUOTABLE

“Whatever coach wants me to do, that’s what I’m going to do out there. I’m just going to go out there and play hard and help this team get a win.” --Skal Labissiere

Report: After starting 0-3, Suns fire head coach Watson on eve of Kings game

earl-us.jpg
USATSI

Report: After starting 0-3, Suns fire head coach Watson on eve of Kings game

Drama. The Sacramento Kings have done their best to avoid the non-basketball related issues that often come with the NBA game, but they’ll walk into someone else’s firestorm Monday night in Phoenix.

The Suns have fired head coach Earl Watson just three games into the 2017-18 season, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Phoenix has dropped all three contests, including a 48-point loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on opening night and a 42-point defeat at the hands of the Clippers on Saturday.

Before the firing, veteran point guard tweeted out a message that has since gone viral.

Whether Bledsoe was referring to Watson or his impending release is unknown at this time. 

Watson leaves with a 33-85 record in parts of three seasons with the Suns. He took over for Jeff Hornacek midway through the 2015-16 season. According to Wojnarowski, Suns ownership and management is currently meeting with the team’s assistant coaches and Jay Triano is likely to be named interim head coach.