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Kings vs. Bulls: UP OUTTA THERE

Sacramento Kings at Chicago Bulls
5 p.m. Pacific on Comcast SportsNet California

Another road trip begins.

When the Kings are done with this one, it'll be the end of February, and the team will have just 12 road games remaining all season, and 21 home games. That's a huge spread that can help -- if the team complies -- the Kings finish the season on a really strong note.

If the Kings have some success on this trip, all bets are off. I'm not talking about the playoffs: I'm talking about a confidence launching push toward .500 on the season. The playoffs are a brutal stretch in the West; you might need 36 or 37 wins to get there, which would require playing .667 ball from here on out. Simply not practical.

But this first match, assuming Derrick Rose sits again, is a potential win, despite how brilliant Chicago has been with or without Rose. With the MVP, this team is darn near unbeatable at home unless you're the Heat. Without Rose, there's a chance, however small. But the Kings need to play brilliantly -- attack the strong defense relentlessly, shoot well, prevent Chicago's weapons from coming alive. It's unlikely the Kings will be able to overcome all that Chicago has, but there's a chance.

Tyreke Evans was so bad on Saturday that you'd hope for a strong bounce-back, especially if C.J. Watson lines up across from him. The major matchup (assuming Rose sits) will be Joakim Noah vs. DeMarcus Cousins. Two pests, one a bull and the other a serpent. Should be fun to watch.

Game's at 5. Game threads at 5 and 6:30. Remember: the City Council meets at 6 and will be voting on taking another step in the parking plan process. Your attendance is needed!

Let's go Kings. Let's go Sacramento.