Kings vs. Bobcats preview: Finally, some Eastern relief

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Sacramento Kings embark on their first real road trip of the season. Will it help their record?

Oh man, the Kings are finally on a road trip. Like, a real road trip. Not a road trip to Oakland or Los Angeles or Phoenix or Salt Lake or Portland. Like, a real road trip. The good news is that the real road trip is to the East Coast, where most teams are hideous.

This particular trip is four games long and visits two of the three East teams with winning records (Miami, Atlanta). So even by East standards it's on the tougher edge. Luckily, that doesn't necessarily apply to Tuesday. Hello Bobcats!

MATCHUP OF THE GAME

Kemba Walker vs. Isaiah Thomas.

Quick on quick. Kemba is the Bobcats' top scorer, but he's been really inefficient this season (shooting below 40 percent) and is a true combo guard: he's below 5 assists per game. But he's dangerous, and the Kings' defense has been totally mediocre all season.

On the other end, the Bobcats defense is really good, so Isaiah will need to help DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay find good shots and attack responsibly. Should be fun.

3 THINGS

1. Holy Charlotte defense! They rank No. 4 despite an Al Jefferson-Josh McRoberts frontline. I don't understand either. You know how we all hoped a new defensive-minded coach would will the team to a better defense? It actually happened in Charlotte. I can't wait to get a look at how they do it. (I am admitting I haven't League Passed in the Bobcats yet this season.)

2. DeMarcus Cousins and Al Jefferson tangling. Cousins has hung some points on Al in the past, but A.J. has done the same to DeMarcus. Can the Kings accept offsetting big games from these two?

3. Isaiah Thomas' minutes. Michael Malone was talking about getting Isaiah like 40 minutes a game the other day. The Kings have a back-to-back and four in five this week. Jeff Teague is due on Wednesday. Will Malone give Isaiah some rest and play Jimmer Fredette or Ray McCallum more than five minutes?

START FOUR

I can't believe how bad I am at this game.

PREGAME HAIKU

Where all the wins at?
Oh, here they are in the East.
Can we have them please?

PREDICTION

Kings 90, Bobcats 86.

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