Washington Wizards (7-15 6-15-1 ATS) vs. Sacramento Kings (10-13 15-6-2 ATS) ARCO Arena, Sacramento, CA 10:30 PM EST Wednesday, December 15, 2009 on ESPN
by Jason Green at Predictem.com
Point Spread: Wizards +2 / Kings -2
Tonight the Sacramento Kings take on the struggling Washington Wizards. Many though the Wizards would be battling in the East for a playoff spot with a healthy Gilbert Arenas, but even though he is playing well it is the same old Wizards, as they have lost 5 in a row, are 4-6 in their last 10 games, and trail the Orlando Magic by 10 games in the Southeast Division. Even though the Wizards have dropped 5 in a row those losses were by a combined total of only 11 points.
Nobody expected anything from the Kings this season, but they have surprised a lot of teams with some solid wins and overall they are still in the playoff hunt being 3 games under .500. They are coming off a loss, are 5-5 in their last 10 games, and they trail the L.A. Lakers by 9 games in the Pacific Division. The Kings have not beat Washington since 2005 and in their last 3 games at home their D has not played well allowing over 100 points in each game.
This season the Kings are 9-3 at home and the Wizards are only 3-8 on the road.
The Wizards lost to the Portland Trailblazers last night 95-88. The high scorer for the Kings in that game was rookie Tyreke Evans going for 19 points on 7/9 shooting. For the game the Kings shot 34/76 for a FG% of 44.7%. On defense the Kings allowed the Blazers to shoot 36/76 from the floor for a FG% of 47.4%. The Kings were up 7 going into the 4th quarter, but were outscored 29-15 in the final period.
In their last loss on Tuesday night the Wizards lost to the L.A. Clippers 97-95. The high scorer for the Wizards in that game was Antawn Jamison going for 32 points on 13/24 shooting and he also grabbed 11 boards. For the game the Wizards shot poorly only going 33/85 for a paltry FG% of 38.8%. On defense the Wizards allowed the Clippers to shoot 35/82 for a FG% of 42.7%.
This season the Kings are not having any problems scoring ranking 5th in the league (104.3 ppg) while the Wizards rank 21st (97.6 ppg). Neither team has been solid on defense this season, as the Wizards rank 19th in points allowed (101 ppg) and the Kings rank 26th (105.3 ppg). The Kings have been a tad better on the boards this season with a rebounding differential of +1.9 rpg and the Wizards are at 0.4 rpg.
On the injury front PF Sean May is day-to-day and PG Kevin Martin is Out for the Kings while the Wizards are not reporting any significant injuries.
Tyreke Evans (20 ppg) is having a solid rookie season, well at least on offense, but he will struggle tonight. Evans is 6’6″ and taller than most points guards, but tonight he will be guarded by Gilbert Arenas, who is 6’4″ and very quick so Evans will have a hard time getting by him and shooting over him.
On the other hand Arenas (20.5 ppg) may also struggle facing the taller Evans even though he is not known for his D.
Antawn Jamison (21.5 ppg 8.7 rpg) has played great since coming back from injury and he will have a good scoring game even though the Kings do have a couple of trees on the inside.
C Brendan Haywood (10.2 ppg 10.7 rpg) is the big guy in the middle for the Wizards and he will have a good game, as Kings C Spencer Hawes is not known for his defense. Haywood will have a good game on the boards and he will give the Wizards some much-needed offense.
The Kings are a solid 3-pt shooting team hitting 37.9% of their downtown bombs and they will hit a few tonight, especially if Evan can get into the lane and dish out.
PF/C Jason Thompson is having a surprising season for the Kings (15 ppg 9.1 rpg) and he will have a good game, as Brandon Haywood will have to body up on Hawes, which should give the 6’11” Thomson some room to operate in the lane and grab some boards.
Jason’s Pick: This game will come down to if the Kings can play any defense. I think they will tonight, but just enough for them to win this game. Look for Thomson to have a big game, as the Kings will snap their losing streak to the Wizards, covering the spread, and sending Washington to their 6th straight loss.