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Kings vs. Trail Blazers Preview: KINGS BASKETBALL IS BACK!

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Craig Mitchelldyer, Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

Oh man has it been a long offseason.  It's been almost 6 months since we've seen the Sacramento Kings on the court and there have been a hell of a lot of changes since then.  Tonight, the Kings head up to Portland to face the Trail Blazers for the first of five preseason games.  Unfortunately the game isn't being televised, but you can listen to it on KHTK 1140 as well as view it on NBA League Pass Broadband.  Tip-off is at 7:00 PM Pacific Time.

Three Questions:

1.  Who starts?  It's just preseason so I'm sure we're going to see several starting lineups as the month progresses before Coach Karl decides on a final starting lineup, but this will give us some indication of what he's thinking.  The Kings have quite a few options when it comes to the starting lineup with the only players seemingly set in stone being DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay.  I'm particularly interested to see who Coach Karl decides to start at PF and at PG.  The decision between Rajon Rondo and Darren Collison might be more difficult than we'd think.

2.  Can the Kings play quickly and still have a good defense?  The Kings have been concentrating on making quick decisions and playing fast with practice shot clocks being set to just 18 seconds.  George Karl has also mentioned a need to concentrate on playing defense and making offense from the opportunities the defense creates.  This team added some solid pieces on the defensive end, but we'll see how that translates when they expend a lot of energy running up and down on offense.

3.  Which of the fringe rotation players will stand out?  Coach Karl has said many times recently that he feels this team has a lot of depth and there's almost certainly not going to be enough minutes to go around even if some players feel deserving.  The biggest thing those guys can do to help their cause is have a good preseason.  I'm talking about guys like Quincy Acy, Seth Curry, and James Anderson.  Who steps up and solidifies their spot on this team?

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For the opponent's perspective, check out the always excellent Blazer's Edge.