Kings rookie Nik Stauskas will have the opportunity to see Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson live and up close on Wednesday night when the Kings host Golden State in the season opener for both northern California squads.
However, Stauskas has kept a keen eye on both players. He's seen plenty of Curry's college footage, admiring the movement without the ball and dribble game that the scion of former NBA player Dell Curry demonstrated and that the Canadian tried to emulate facing similar defensive schemes at Michigan.
Think the Kings rookie is excited about starting his NBA career against Curry and Thompson?
"Definitely," Stauskas said after practice on Saturday. "Especially because coming into the NBA those were the two guys that I tried to model my game after and I love watching them play."
Stauskas has been solid in the exhibition season for Sacramento (3-4) averaging 9.7 points per game while shooting 44 percent from the floor and 39 percent from 3-point range.
The Kings offense made progress through training camp, ranking 10th in points per game, third in field-goal percentage and second in 3-point field-goal percentage in the NBA exhibition season.
The fly in the ointment has been turnovers; Sacramento ranks 27th with 19.86 miscues per preseason game.
Notwithstanding the foibles, Stauskas feels confident about Sacramento’s offense and recognizes defensive work is necessary.
“If we can limit our turnovers, offensively I think we’re going to be just fine," Stauskas said. "I think it’s going to be defensively where we’re gonna have to really step it up and make some improvements.”
Stauskas and the Kings defense will have a huge test on Wednesday night with the "Splash Brothers" of Curry and Thompson -- arguably the toughest backcourt in the league -- visiting Sleep Train Arena.
At the very least, Stauskas will recognize No. 30 and No. 11. Except this time, instead of emulating them, the eighth pick in this year’s NBA draft has to try and shut them down.