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Preview: Kings at Jazz

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THE OPPONENT

It's difficult to toss out a scouting report on the Utah Jazz when the Utah Jazz will be missing its best player and possibly also its second best player. Deron Williams is so vital to the attack Utah's certainly a different entity without him, even more different than the Kings would be without Tyreke Evans. The Jazz have played -- and decently, I might add -- without Williams before. But it requires much higher play from everyone else, and it deserves to be noted that Eric Maynor was around the last time Williams missed games. He's been replaced by Sundiata Gaines, who isn't nearly as distributory in nature. Together, Ronnie Price and Gaines could make Evans look like Nash.

Carlos Boozer, for a few reasons, is much more easily replaced. Paul Millsap, you'll remember, could very well deserve that starting spot already, and Andrei Kirilenko is a power forward masquerading as a small forward many of us would love to see in Sacramento. While Boozer and Williams together provide so many of Utah's points, and while Boozer is a solid rebounder, his presence alone should not make or break the Kings' chances. All told, you would prefer him to sit, though.

LAST TIME

Fresh off losing Kevin Martin for two months and with a 1-4 record, the Kings took something like a 20-point lead into the fourth quarter. Utah came surging back, but the Kings held on down the stretch, winning the game and going forward to have an excellent little November. Good times. Tyreke Evans claimed Salt Lake City as "his town."

KEY BATTLE

Kevin Martin vs. Ronnie Brewer. Brewer's an ace defender, but Martin has average 24+ points in his last 10 games against the Jazz, including a memorable 37 last season in Sacramento. Jerry Sloan's frequent fouling strategy helps -- Martin gets a shade less than 10 FTAs against the Jazz. This is where I remind you Evans had 19 FTAs in his Salt Lake debut.

But of course, expecting the old Martin right now is a crap shoot. We'll see where he's at tonight. Think happy thoughts.

BOLD PROCLAMATION

The Jazz announcers will jab at the Kings for passing up Wesley Matthews with the No. 4 pick.

BOLD BROCKLAMATION

LOS ANGELES--The director of the next 007 movie announced today that Sacramento Kings forward Jon Brockman has been hired to fill every villain role in the film. "It's an honor to work with a great American actor like Michael Cera," Brockman said in a prepared statement. "I think Mike will make a great Bond, and I look forward to accidently cracking his skull a few times during the shoot."

DETAILS

Game begins at 6 PM PST. Game thread at 6, post-gamer at 8:45.