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GAME 25/82: at Charlotte, Open Game Thread

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Believe it or not, but a lot rides on the game tonight.

To wit:

  • A win gives the Kings a 2-2 road trip, with the losses coming in Detroit and in San Antonio.
  • A win gives the Kings wins in four out of the past six games - not a bad mark considering it follows a 5-game losing streak.
  • A win will give the Kings a season sweep of the Bobcats. A good team hopeful of making a deep playoff run should probably get a number of season sweeps against the lower-tier teams in the league.
  • Three losses in a row is three losses in a row, no matter who the opponents are.
  • Getting to .500 before the season is halfway through is highly advisable. Tonight is game 25 of 82. The Kings are currently four games under; with a loss, the Kings would have to win 11 of their next 16 to be .500 at the midway mark. Get those wins sooner rather than later, please.
  • Last place sucks.
So, yeah. Go Kings. Here are the projected lineups:

CHARLATANS OF CAROLINA
PG - Brevin Knight, former Stanford Cardinal
SG - Kareem Rush, former Laker
SF - Gerald Wallace, former star of Sacramento-area McDonald's commercials
PF - Emeka Okafor, former national champ
C  - Primoz Brezec, purveryor of several Z's.

SACRAMENTO'S IN THE HOUSE
PG - Mike Bibby, who needs peach fuzz on the scalp like Martha Stewart needs cooking tips.
SG - Bonzi Wells, who is the one Kings starter not on the All-Star ballot.
SF - Peja Stojakovic, who really needs a change of scenery, please.
PF - Shareef Abdur-Rahim, who needs some jersey love. He's a mild star, he's got guts, he's going to be in town for a while.
C  - Brad Miller, who needs the headband back. And needs a Team USA invite. And needs an intervention, apparently.

The line: -3.5. The Kings should be able to pull away from Los Gatos del Roberto. This is a solid wager, given a) Charlotte is unhealthy, and b) Charlotte sucks.

Fun bet o' the night: Another real bet from Bodog - Shareef's points plus rebounds at 24.5. I like the over a lot. Wish I was a betting man.

Sideshow most likely to be entertaining: Will Bonzi try to defend GDub the same way he did in Sactown, by playing real physical and punking the kid into submission? I hope so. Even if Bonzo gets into foul trouble, it'll give us some more time to look at Kevin Martin, potentially. KMart has gotten real short shrift thus far. (I'm almost ready to break out a "Free Speed Racer" campaign.)

Best matchup: Peja vs. his bruised and fragile psyche. A thrilling battle every night so far this season.

Pregame haiku:

Off to the east coast
To battle the young Bobcats.
A win would be nice.

As the great Luigi would say, "Here we go!" 4:30 Pacific start on Comcast SportsNet. Let's go KINGS!