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Kings vs. Nets Preview: Reason for hope?

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Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Sacramento Kings return to the friendly confines of Sleep Train Arena to host the Brooklyn Nets. The Kings lost their last matchup against the Nets back in December, losing what should have been a winnable game. Having just completed yet another late collapse, can the Kings bounce back and earn a home victory over a beatable opponent? Today's action tips off at 7:00 pm on Comcast SportsNet California and on KHTK 1140.

3 THINGS TO LOOK FOR

1. Can the bench contain...anyone? The Kings bench has caused a lot of issues lately. When the starters are out, who will cover Joe Johnson? Can a bench guard slow down Deron Williams? Can a bench big defend Brook Lopez? This will likely be a key to winning the game.

2. Will Nik Stauskas get in the game? Stauskas got his second DNP-CD in a row on Monday. On Tuesday Tyrone Corbin said it just had to do with matchups. With rumors swirling that the Kings have made Stauskas available in trade talks, all eyes will be on what minutes, if any, the Kings rookie receives. Corbin said Stauskas would not be sent to the Reno Bighorns. Corbin also had a reputation with the Utah Jazz of not playing and developing younger players.

3. Can the Kings hold onto the ball? The Kings currently rank 27th in turnover percentage, turning over the ball on 15% of all possessions. This number has been trending in the wrong direction over the past several weeks. Can the Kings stop beating themselves? Please?

MATCHUP OF THE GAME

Mason Plumlee vs DeMarcus Cousins

Plumlee has turned into a legitimate NBA big man by focusing on his strengths. He's not going to stop Boogie, but can Boogie stop him? In their last meeting Plumlee dropped a Nets-leading 22 points. Boogie should win the battle, but his effort on the defensive end could swing the game.

PREGAME LIMERICK

The Kings keep falling apart late
The games just haven't been great
The fans are mad
The team is bad
And I fear this game will only aggravate

PREDICTION

Kings 108, Nets 99. Boogie and Rudy Gay go off and the Kings hold everything together. Because optimism is more fun than pessimism.