SACRAMENTO, Calif — The Wizards in just a bit will try to snap a five-game losing streak when they take on the Sacramento Kings, who are young but athletic, energetic and much improved over last season.
The Kings – after going 17-65 last season – already are more than halfway to that win total, entering tonights’ game with a 10-13 record. Simply having won 10 games thus far marks improvement for Sacramento, which last season didn’t get its 10th win until a January 14th 135-133 overtime victory over the Golden State Warriors.
“They’re improved, they’re 10-3 at home. And the reason why they’ve improved is because of Tyreke Evans,” Flip Saunders said. “He’s third in the league as far as points in the paint. He causes matchup problems and he can beat you off the dribble outside. With him being 6-6 and with their other players, they’re probably the biggest team in the league right now With Green at 6-11, Nocioni at 6-7 and [Thompson] 6-11 and [Hawes] 7-1, they’re huge. And they try to post up their mismatches and they have guys who can knock down 3-point shots out of their mismatches.”
Tyreke Evans worked out for the Wizards last summer, but was already snatched off the board at No. 4, and the Wizards, who had the fifth pick, already had traded for Mike Miller and Randy Foye before then anyway. But they were high on the 6-foot-6 Memphis point guard.
“We had him rated as the second-best player after Griffin,” Saudners said. “We loved him but knew if he worked out for other people like he worked out for us, he wouldn’t be there.”
You probably have seen that ESPN is running a contest to help the Wizards on an inbounds play, where a winning fan’s submission will be passed onto Flip and Co. But Saunders said today he isn’t quite that desperate.
“They talked, and we haven’t totally committed on that. It wasn’t an end of the game thing when we talked about it. It was a – if we do it – a how about a first-timeout play of the game. … It was designed to be an interactive thing with the fans, a first quarter you run a play and see what they have. … We’re still playing with the idea of where it really goes.”