What are Sacramento's biggest strength and weakness?
On paper, the Kings' record should be better than it actually is. In reality, they are 6-12. This team is a hodgepodge of mercurial players whose assembly caused a lot of head scratching over the summer. What is Vlade Divac thinking? Is there a method to the madness? Sure, the roster is speckled with some superstar talent but do they really function cohesively? The early results aren't great but it's not all bad.
The Kings shoot the ball extremely well from downtown, connecting on 38 percent of their shots. The outside shooting is led by Marco Belinelli, Omri Casspi, Ben McLemore and surprisingly, DeMarcus Cousins. Rudy Gay and Rajon Rondo are even connecting on their outside shots at a good clip. However, their shooting from inside the arc leaves something to be desired. Despite having the most makes and attempts on 2s, they are only middle of the pack in terms of percentage.
As you might expect, the Kings are also a good rebounding team. Having Cousins certainly helps. But it's Rondo who actually leads the team in total rebounds. Cousins has missed eight games this season so that accounts for Rondo's team-leading numbers. Kosta Koufos has also cleaned the glass well.
While the Kings are a good offensive team, they rank near the bottom in almost every defensive category. They're last in opponents points per game, last in opponent field goal percentage, and they commit a lot of fouls. It's not a good look.
Which Kings player might be due for a big game?
Oh, you know who it's going to be. It's going to be Rondo. The former Mavericks point guard is experiencing a resurgence with the Kings. He's already notched four triple doubles this season and is averaging 12.4 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 11 assists. He's even shooting the ball well at 44.2 percent including 35.7 percent on 3-pointers. It's not out of the question that he logs another triple double against Dallas. These numbers are the reason the Mavs traded for him last season. He just didn't work out. We may never completely know why that is.
What do the Mavs need to do to be successful against the Kings?
It might be as easy as making their shots but as we've seen recently, the Mavs can struggle to do so especially early in the game. Cousins has missed the last three games with a lower back strain. If he doesn't suit up on Monday, it may behoove the Mavs to turn to Zaza Pachulia early to get their offense going.
The Mavs also need to force turnovers. The Kings give up just over 19 points per game off turnover. Dallas should also look to push the ball as Sacramento allows almost 16 points on fast breaks.
How to watch
On television, dummy! The game is on Fox Sports Southwest at 9 p.m. CT in Sacramento You can also watch on League Pass if it's not blacked out in your area.