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Kings come to Kings County to play Nets

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Utah Jazz v Sacramento Kings Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Surprise, surprise. Fresh off getting washed at home by the Indiana Pacers on Monday night, the Brooklyn Nets came in to Wednesday's game against the Charlotte Hornets with something to prove. Fortunately for them and the fans at Barclays Center, the home team proved their worth and came away with a ten point win. Another ugly loss would’ve made things uncomfortable for the team.

The opponent tonight will be the Sacramento Kings. After a horrible start, things are starting to look up for the team. They’ve been off since Tuesday after beating the Phoenix Suns at home. It was their fourth win in the last five games. This is the first night of a four game road trip that will take them to Washington, DC, Boston, and Philadelphia after tonight.

Where to follow the game

YES Network on TV. WFAN 101.9 FM on radio. Tip off after 7:30.

Injuries

No Caris Levert or Wilson Chandler. Kyrie Irving's out too. KD is putting up shots, but not in games.

De'Aaron Fox is out a few more weeks with an ankle injury. Trevor Ariza is out due to a groin injury. Marvin Bagley’s out due to a thumb injury. Cory Joseph is questionable while Bogdan Bogdanovic is day-to-day.

The game ... and life

Over the summer, Kings coach Luke Walton was investigated by the league for allegations of sexual assault against a reporter, Laura Tennant, based out of Southern California. The league and team conducted an internal investigation and have closed the matter for now, although the issue is far from settled.

Over the summer, Nets forward Rodinis Kurucs was arrested for an alleged incident of domestic violence against his girlfriend. Kurucs is due back in court in early January. In both instances, the league will have to decide what to do once the court system completes its process. I remember reading a great story by Katie Heindl of Uproxx over the summer, and this part really stood out to me:

Assault and abuse allegations within the NBA have a similar shelf life to your breath on a cold day — visible when they first hit, startling even if a place in your gut has, by now, understood that things like this can happen to anyone, and then fading, for every second out and floating in the world. These kinds of allegations struggle for a shelf life anywhere, with victims reluctant to come forward given the inherent doubt and questioning placed squarely, most often, on its survivors.

Add to that the accelerated ecosystem of the NBA when it comes to the pace of its news, encouraged by the media covering it and the way that, as fans of the league, we all seek the next bigger, funnier, more shocking thing to share, then the shelf life of a violent assault accusation, or domestic abuse, only lives as long as people are talking about it. And that’s assuming those talking about it know how to, if you assume people are talking at all.

Generally speaking, as a society we’re pretty awful when it comes to addressing violence against women. For the NBA, they have a recent track record of failure when it comes to these issues. The league has work to do on this front and we'll see what Adam Silver and the league office does once it ends.

On the court, the Kings have something good cooking at center. Richaun Holmes has been a welcome addition to the starting lineup and his rebounding and screen setting have been valuable to the Kings’ attack. The tag team of Jarrett Allen and DeAndre Jordan will look to keep Holmes and the other Kings big men off the boards. Allen pulled down a season high 17 rebounds on Wednesday while Jordan was perfect from the field. If the duo play at that level on a consistent basis, the Nets will climb out of the early hole they’ve dug for themselves.

Assuming Joseph is out or limited, an old friend of ours will have to man the point for Sacramento. Yogi Ferrell’s been the backup PG since last year and he’s started to carve out a decent career for himself after starting off in Brooklyn. On the other side, Spencer Dinwiddie will continue being the lead man while Irving recovers. The good thing about Dinwiddie getting his season turned around is that when Irving and Levert return, the Nets will have one more player that can create their own shot and heat up at a moment’s notice. Can never have enough of those.

Player to watch: Buddy Hield

There's never an easy way to ask for your money. You think you deserve more than what you’re getting while the bosses think what you currently have is just enough. From there, things tend to get awkward and eventually contentious. That was the situation Buddy Hield found himself in earlier this fall with (Hall of Famer!) Vlade Divac and Kings management. Fortunately for all of them, cooler heads prevailed and Hield got his money before things got messy.

After a slow start, he’s gotten it back into gear. In his last eight games, Hield is averaging 21.4 points a night on a .453/.387/.842 shooting split. With Fox out for the time being, Luke Walton is going to need Hield to be their top scoring reliable option. That’s the life when you’re the $100 million man.

Garrett Temple will be chasing Hield around. The Nets defense has been shaky all year so having a defense first player like Temple should help stabilize things for the first unit. Temple can also knock down some threes so he’ll keep defenders honest, too.

From the Vault

Why yes, I DO want to start my morning with a Jason Williams mix.

More reading: Sactown Royalty