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GAME 14/82: vs. Charlotte, Open Game Thread

"He's going to fight! Peja Stojakovic is going to fight!"

It's offical - Peja is going to play tonight, come hell or high water or both. So long as he doesn't, like, injure his big toe or something escpaing said high water.

He may or may not wear The Glove (which I totally pray is black and covered in glitter). Aren't there NBA rules against gloves, anyways? I mean, he might actually be able to palm and dunk the ball with a glove. THAT can't happen.

Given recent events, trade buzz surrounding Peja is astronomical. Kind of the final straw, of sorts, this whole "slightly sprained pinky keeping you out for three games" business. Understandable, as a fan of athletes who at least try to present on aura of toughness.

Also of note, as the Bee has graciously brought attention to, is Gerald Wallace's triumphant return to Sacramento as a player with some level of star-quality. You'll never hear us speak poorly of G-Dub, except that he could never shoot, he was a poor defender while with Sacramento and he's pretty much Joe Johnson Lite, who is pretty much Dwyane Wade Lite.

Jason Hart gets to battle the team that sold him for 35 cents on the dollar a couple months ago. The Hitman was totally worth at least a first-rounder, but Petrie sensed a bargaining advantage and sent a second-rounder for him. Hart might feel spurned, which would be awesome.

Let's go ahead and get you your projected starting lineups (hell and high water pending):

CHARLOTTE
PG - Brevin Knight
SG - Kareem Rush
SF - Gerald Wallace
PF - Emeka Okafor
C  - Primoz Brezec

SACTOWN
PG - King Michael III
SG - Peja's Daddy
SF - Peja LaRusso
PF - King Shareef The Cursed
C  - Brrrad.

The line: -8. I feel comfortable taking the Kings with this one. The pressure to get to .500 is mounting, and this is the best opportunity to do so.

Fun bet o' the night: Peja winces. +/- 47 is not a unreasonable prop.

Sideshow most likely to be entertaining: Gerald Wallace's makeout sessions with the collective fanbase in Sacramento. I understood the relationship with Bobby, but the all-out adoration of G-Dub is somewhat mysterious to me. Yeah, he's one of the best dunkers in the world. Yeah, he's flashy and exciting and endearing. But he wasn't very good on this team, and that's sort of important. Imagine the explosion, though, the first time G-Dub dunks over Peja tonight. That'll be tremendous, on several levels.

Best matchup: Hitman vs. Raymond Felton. Felton, who possibly has the oldest sounding name in the league (besides George Lynch and Fred Jones), is quick as lightning, but Hart is the best defender in Sacramento. Expect some spirited gamesmanship in the waning moments of the first quarter.

Grant Napear, in brief and in advance: "No one except Peja knows what his hand feels like, alright? No one, not his teammates, not the media, not the fans, can tell me when he needs to play. Only he knows if he's okay to go. He's a trooper. Blah blah blah. Barf."

Pregame haiku: Since we know you loved our Mike Bibby haiku this morning, we decided to make this a recurring feature (until an English professor puts a hit out on us). Enjoy:

The Bobcats are young,
May move too fast for the Kings.
Still, they are the suck.

Thank you, thank you. Enjoy the game, and feel free to comment on Peja's glove during and after the proceedings. Let's go Kings - .500 awaits!