Kings vs. Nuggets preview: A special night awaits

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Sacramento's 2013 home opener -- ! -- is here.

Sacramento Kings basketball in 2013: it's happening. When we last left the regular season Kings, their return was unresolved. Vivek happened, and we still have them.

It will be an emotional and awesome and emotional night at the ol' barn. The crowd's going to be nuts, the team is primed to go and the Nuggets, in all likelihood, will have no idea what hit them. Alas, the Nuggets are a talented team -- No. 3 in the West last season, with only Andre Iguodala gone -- so it's not by any means an easy match for Sacramento.

But we've seen how the Kings have responded to big crowds in recent years. And this crowd is going to be amped.

The game is commerical-free on News10 at 7 p.m. News10 will actually be doing the 6 p.m. newscast live from Sleep Train, so that'd be a good time to tune in.

MATCHUPS OF NOTE

The Nuggets are dealing with some injuries. Kenneth Faried won't start. Ty Lawson is dinged up. As of Tuesday, the projected starters were JaVale McGee, J.J. Hickson (!), Anthony Randolph (!!), Randy Foye and Lawson. The bench crew includes Faried, Andre Miller and more.

DeMarcus Cousins is the Kings' best scorer, and McGee is a good shotblocker, so it'll be interesting to see how Cousins deals with that. McGee is also, however, easily distracted. Cousins could have 10 assists in this one by goading McGee into biting on fakes.

It's been reported that Greivis Vasquez will start for Sacramento, even though Michael Malone hasn't yet announced anything. Lawson vs. Vasquez is fraught with peril for both guys defensively. The problem for Sacramento is that while Denver has a shotblocking backstop if Vasquez carves up the Nuggets, the Kings do not. Unless it's Hamady Time.

Anthony Randolph vs. John Salmons is just an incredible/hilarious small forward matchup in the year 2013.

PROGRAMMING NOTE

Don't forget that News10's Sean Cunningham is hosting our game thread. News10 will be promoting it. We may break SB Nation.

REVENGE OF PROGRAMMING NOTE

Greg Wissinger will be hosting the Sactown Royalty Show Live! right after the game. Tune in, call in, comment ... in.

REVENGE OF PROGRAMMING NOTE: THE SEQUEL

Prediction thread coming up at 10 a.m.

PREGAME HAIKU

Heavens bless this town,
and the Kings who still reign here.
Sacramento? YES.

PREDICTION

Kings 110, Nuggets 98.

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