Tonight, the Golden State Warriors are set to take on the Sacramento Kings who sported a 28-54 record last season.
As you might expect from their records, the Dubs swept the season series 4-0 last year and this year may be no different.
Sacramento did not make major changes this offseason and they will be relying on player development over anything else. DeMarcus Cousins, the cornerstone of the franchise, has always had questions regarding his maturity level every year. Cousins is undoubtedly talented and The Starters even believe he will be named an NBA All-Star this season.
With that being said, this game will largely hinge on the Warriors ability to contain Cousins -- the DeMarcus Cousins vs. Andrew Bogut matchup will definitely be the one to look forward to on opening night.
Firstly, the two bigs have contrasting playing styles. Cousins attempts more jumpers and plays further from the rim whereas Bogut does most of his scoring in the low post (although the new offense has Bogut making plays from the high post). In previous matchups, Cousins was able to get his points but clearly, Bogut locked him down defensively at times. The ability of Cousins to play outside the paint creates a matchup problem where Bogut may have to leave the low post on defense to guard him. As a result, this will allow more space for cutters like Rudy Gay to work below the foul line extended.
Rusty Simmons reports that Golden State will likely start the year without power forward David Lee who is nursing a hamstring injury. With Draymond Green set to start in place of David Lee, the dynamics of the starting lineup could feature more spacing (4-out, 1-in offense) which would open up the lane for guys to operate off the ball. Additionally, we could see some small-ball lineups with Harrison Barnes at the 4. Barnes has looked more comfortable as a stretch-four and the injury to Lee could give him another opportunity to showcase himself.
For more on this game, check out our full preview.