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Kings vs. Bucks Preview: The Return of the King

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Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

After missing 10 games with viral meningitis, DeMarcus Cousins is set to see his first action since Thanksgiving tonight as long as everything goes alright at shootaround.  The Kings hope that his return will reverse their fortunes as they've gone just 2-8 without him. Tonight's action tips off at 7:00 pm on Comcast SportsNet California and on KHTK 1140.

3 THINGS TO LOOK FOR

1. Milwaukee has been a surprising team as Jason Kidd has them playing well with a record of 13-13.  They had won just 15 games all of last season.  Milwaukee's resurgence has largely been due to their improved defense (13th in the league) and improvement of their young players.  Unfortunately for the Bucks they're hampered by injury themselves.  Jabari Parker tore his ACL earlier this week and will now miss the rest of the season.  Giannis Antetokounmpo sprained his ankle yesterday against the Trail Blazers.  John Henson (sprained ankle) and Ersan Ilyasova (broken nose) have also been out for a while.

2. Thanks to Milwaukee's length, they're one of the best teams in the league at forcing turnovers, ranking 2nd in steals and 4th in opponent turnovers.  The Kings have been pretty bad at taking care of the ball themselves, ranking 25th in turnovers and last in the league in opponent turnovers.  Both of those have to be better for the Kings.

3. One area where the Kings can take advantage of Milwaukee is the Free Throw line.  Milwaukee is a very foul prone team, and should Cousins return, the Kings have their best foul drawer back.  Even with Cousins out so long, the Kings have remained the league leader in FTAs, while Milwaukee allows the 5th most FTAs in the league and fouls at the 4th highest rate.

MATCHUP OF THE GAME

Darren Collison vs. Brandon Knight

The Bucks don't have a whole bunch of scoring, but Brandon Knight has proven to be a guy who can fill it up.  He's averaging 17.8 points per game on a career best 44% from the field and 39.3% from three.  This is still a matchup that Collison should be able to win however thanks to his quickness and defensive instincts.  If Collison can shut Knight down, the Bucks' scoring options (especially with so many other players out) severely dwindle.

PREGAME LIMERICK

Is Boogie finally coming back???
Without him, we've taken quite a thwack.
But all is alright,
Gone is our plight,
and it's time to get back on track.

PREDICTION

Kings 109, Bucks 98 as Boogie manages a 20 point, 20 rebound game in 20 minutes.