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GAME 38 at Indiana, Preview & Game Thread

One more time, with feeling.

SACRAMENTO KINGS (16-22)   106.7 ORtg (#16), 110.2 DRtg (#26), 92.1 Pacer (#10)
INDIANA PACERS   (18-22)   105.8 ORtg (#18), 107.1 DRtg (#13), 97.2 Pacer (# 2)

Last Saturday's home loss to the Pacers can be explained in one word, and everyone who saw the game knows the answer: Turnovers. Sacramento outshot Indiana from two, three and the line. The offensive and defensive rebounding situation was near dead even. The Pacers didn't protect the ball particularly well -- 17 turnovers in 97 estimated possessions is a bit terrible... but not as terrible as Sacramento's 23 turnovers in 97 possessions.

The specific culprits? Brad Miller's timing was awful; every fifth game this year (and perhaps two of three last season), it almost seems Brad's loaded at tip-off. I'm (almost) sure he doesn't hit the bottle before hitting the court, but it sometimes seems like it. His reflexes in getting the ball back door might be off a second, he might pump fake no one in particular before taking a jumper, he might switch his approach to the rim at the worst possible angle. At least he rebounds and defends well no matter how bad his offensive motor skills seem... but the Kings need that offense. (He's all that kept them in the game during last night's first quarter.)

If Sacramento can protect the ball -- and they did a marvelous job in Detroit; only Bibby had more than 2 turnovers (4 in 30 min) and he was getting mauled on the perimeter -- this is beyond a winnable game. Jermaine O'Neal looks to be out; Danny Granger and Mike Dunleavy are hot... but so are Kevin Martin, Mike Bibby, Beno Udrih and (until last night) John Salmons. And this Artest guy can score too, no matter how frightful his possessions become.

Game's at 4 on -- TiVo alert -- News10. A win would put the Kings six games out of playoff contention! (Sorry.)

Go Kings.