The Kings are above .500 with a healthy DeMarcus Cousins but they have yet to win on the road either way. After starting this five-game road trip 0-2, the Kings desperately need a win. Today's action tips off at 2:00 pm on CSN California and on KHTK 1140.
1. Who will step up in Rudy Gay's absence? Gay left Thursday's game with a shoulder strain and that's a big part of Sacramento's offense gone. Last time Gay was out, Karl chose to start Caron Butler. Omri Casspi is a far better player at this point in his career, but I think Karl likes Casspi's energy off the bench. Regardless, the Kings will need someone else to step up their scoring with Gay out.
2. Will we see the turnovers cut down? The Kings are one of the worst in the league at turning the ball over and turnovers were perhaps the biggest factor in their loss to the Miami Heat. Sacramento can't afford to give other teams so many extra opportunities, especially on their home court. Hopefully they look to rectify this by making simpler and smarter passes.
3. Can the Kings take advantage of Orlando's porous interior defense? The Magic have quite a few solid perimeter defenders, they don't have much in the way of shot blocking. They're 30th in the league in blocks and also allow a lot of free throw attempts. The Kings should look to attack the paint as much as possible, and having DeMarcus Cousins will help a ton in this regard.
MATCHUP OF THE GAME
DeMarcus Cousins vs. Nikola Vucevic
The Magic have a lot of talented young players, but perhaps none are more important than their starting center, Nikola Vucevic. Vucevic isn't Orlando's leading scorer, but he's proven to be one of the better big men in the league on both ends of the court. That being said, DeMarcus Cousins should be able to get what he wants against Vucevic. Cousins had a day off to rest due to his suspension, so he should be fresh and ready to go this game.
Kings 99, Magic 94 as Orlando is shown the movie Kazaam at halftime and loses all hope for humanity and their season.