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Kings vs. Jazz Preview: Sacramento must soldier on without Boogie

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Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

It looks like the Kings are going to be without DeMarcus Cousins for a while but fortunately the December schedule has some winnable games on the table even without the big fella.  However we saw on Saturday that even a team like Orlando can beat the Kings if they aren't on the top of their game.  Tonight's action tips off at 7:00 pm  on Comcast SportsNet California and on KHTK 1140.

3 THINGS TO LOOK FOR

1.  The Jazz have lost 8 in a row and thus are very hungry for a win.  The Kings without DeMarcus Cousins presents a juicy target for Utah and as such the Kings can't underestimate them.  The Jazz have a lot of young talent, led by the very good Gordon Hayward.  This is a team that can fill it up if you let them.  Fortunately, they'll also let you fill it up on them, as they have the second worst defense in the NBA.

2. Utah doesn't excel at much but one thing they are pretty good at is Offensive Rebounding.  They're 4th in terms of offensive rebound rate thanks to their big men rotation of Rudy Gobert, Enes Kanter, Derrick Favors and Trevor Booker.  The Kings are pretty good at keeping teams off the offensive glass, but without DeMarcus Cousins we've seen them be more susceptible to giving up second chance points.

3. Sacramento's bench was pretty horrific against the Magic on Saturday.  Ramon Sessions continues to have the worst season of his career, Nik Stauskas can't hit the broad side of a barn, and even Omri Casspi hasn't been scoring at the same rate he was earlier this season.  Derrick Williams has come on a little bit lately, but the Kings will need the bench to step up and have a good game.

MATCHUP OF THE GAME

Gordon Hayward vs. Rudy Gay

When the Jazz matched Charlotte's max offer sheet for Gordon Hayward this past summer, I was pretty surprised.  To me, Hayward doesn't strike me as a "max guy".  Then I took a look at his statistics.  Hayward has essentially become what a lot of us wanted Tyreke Evans to be.  He's a guard-forward who can do a little bit of everything, from score to run the offense, and he's also a pretty good outside shooter.  Rudy will need to make him work on both ends of the court and take advantage of the fact that Hayward isn't yet a great defender.

PREGAME LIMERICK

So Boogie has viral meningitis
at least it's better than plantar fasciitis.
Need the bench to step up,
take it to the cup,
and not allow DMC's absence to bite us.

PREDICTION

Kings 109, Jazz 101 as the Looney Tunes finally defeat the Monstars and Ramon Sessions gets his basketball ability back.