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Game 54 - at New Jersey

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After the most entertaining loss I've ever seen, the Kings get no breathers: It's New Jersey tonight.

The Kings beat the Nets at ARCO last month in a thriller - oddly, that was the last time before last night Mike Bibby had endeared himself to the Sactown faithful.

Anyways, Jason Kidd and his cracked rib are still stomping the suburbs, so let's get right to business:

STARTERS:

SACRAMENTO
PG - Mike Bibby, back from the dead? Or just giving a nice F.U. to the front office?
SG - Kevin Martin got nine shots last night in a pretty up-tempo game.
SF - Ron Artest likes to duel the best opposing player, usually by taking lots of shots. It didn't work last night.
PF - Kenny Thomas. Sigh.
C  - Brad Miller reportedly played Tuesday only because it could've been Bibby's last game as a King. I knew they were friends, but hmph. Adds a bit of color to the locker room picture.

NEW JERSEY
PG - Jason Kidd, thankfully not a Laker. (Yet. I smell an offseason deal.)
SG - Vince Carter is also still a Net. I know everyone thinks he'll opt out... but is he really going to make more money than he's due by hitting the open market? Or is he just tired of Jersey? He's 30 and relies on his athleticism to score. Not the safest bet.
SF - Since the Richard Jefferson injury has thrust Antoine Wright (pffft) into the starting lineup, I'm starting to believe John Salmons would've been the perfect fit for New Jersey - not Toronto or Phoenix, the two non-Sacramento teams which pursued him heavily last summer. He'd be a huge upgrade for them right now.
PF - Mikki Moore will rock you.
C  - Jason Collins will not.


THE LINE:
Numerous books don't have this game for some reason, and the lines on the books who do list it are between -2.5 and -4 for the Nets. As I've said all too often this year, you're crazy to bet on the Kings or against the Kings most nights.

PLAYOFFS/LOTTO WATCH:
This item will now displace the ill-fated "Incredibly Important Note." The Kings are two games out of the eight spot in the West with three teams ahead of them. The Kings have the 9th worst record in the league.

PREGAME HAIKU:
Kidd with a cracked rib?
If Ron-Ron smells blood - oh boy...
It could get brutal.

4:30 Pacific, 1:30 Honolulu. Enjoy.