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Preview: Nets at Kings

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STARTING LINEUP & INJURIES

We have a new starting lineup, y'all: Tyreke Evans, Luther Head, Donte Greene, Carl Landry, Samuel Dalembert. Everyone else is healthy.

Currently, the Nets roll with Devin Harris, Anthony Morrow, Travis Outlaw, Kris Humphries and Brook Lopez. Troy Murphy didn't play Wednesday in Utah, but could play tonight. The rest of the roster is healthy.

LAST TIME

The Nets beat the Kings 106-100 in the second game of the season. Lopez drew 13 fouls, including five charged to DeMarcus Cousins. The Kings fell apart at the end of the game, and blew a shot at a 3-0 road trip.

SCOUTING REPORT

Avery Johnson has the Nets playing well in that the Nets beat bad teams and compete against good teams. That's a lot better than what the Nets did last year, certainly. New Jersey lost to Orlando by just one point over the weekend before beating the Clippers and losing in Utah to start the current road trip, which ends tomorrow in Denver.

The Nets are 24th in offense and 18th in defense; the team's only offensive strength in a macro sense is few turnovers. On defense, the team rebounds well and has a top-10 shot defense. But no team forces fewer turnovers than the Nets; in the earlier game between these two teams, the Kings had just 12 turnovers. (The Nets had 26.) Sacramento must be careful not to gift turnovers to the Nets, considering they can't create their own.

The Nets shoot poorly at the rim, but are great from 5-10 feet (hello, Brook Lopez's post moves!) and from 10-15 feet. New Jersey isn't so good on long twos, but is above-average from behind the arc. The Nets don't have any susceptibility in shot defense in terms of distance -- they are pretty good across the board.

MATCHUP OF THE GAME

Dalembert vs. Lopez. Bro-pez killed the Kings last time, plain and simple. Dalembert was playing his first Kings game (exhibition or regular season), and couldn't handle too many minutes. With the perimeter hopefully defended a bit better with the new Head/Greene/Evans unit out there, it's imperative Dalembert make it tough for Lopez to get his points. The bigs in the game when Derrick Favors enters (likely to be some combination of Cousins, Landry, Darnell Jackson and Jason Thompson) need to watch the rookie on the offensive glass, especially if Sam does cool down Brook. You can't give bad offensive teams second chances.

PLAYER TO WATCH

Cousins had a bad game against New Jersey the first time around, but played really well against New York. Perfect storm of revenge!

COMMEMORATIVE HAIKU

Brooks-ie wooksie: hi.
Killed us at the line last time.
Dalembert laughs, waits.

(I am really bad at haiku.)

DETAILS

7 PM start at ARCO. Comcast SportsNet and KHTK 1140 AM have the call. Aykis will be in attendance and will have your recap. Game threads at 7 and 8:30. Let's go Kings.