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Kings vs. Spurs Preview: Help us DeMarcus Cousins, you're our only hope

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Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Who's next on the docket?  Oh, just the San Antonio Spurs.  No biggie.  Nice to have a little challenge after the cakewalk of a schedule we've had so far.  Maybe we'll even play DeMarcus Cousins today.  That'd be neat. Today's action tips off at 7:00 pm on CSN California and on KHTK 1140.

3 Questions

1. Will DeMarcus Cousins make his return?  The Kings big man has been out the past four games and his presence on both ends of the court has been sorely missed.  We had hoped this team could survive without him, but they looked like a completely different team without him, which isn't all that surprising given how little these guys have played with each other (and most of that practice time involved Cousins).  With Darren Collison out for tonight, getting Cousins back would be huge.

2. Will Willie Cauley-Stein see more playing time?  Willie has been fantastic so far this season even though he's not filling up the stat sheet.  His presence on the floor helps the team on both ends, where he's a disruptor on defense and an excellent finisher on offense.  The team has a net-positive rating of 31.1 points per 100 possessions when he's on the floor.  Karl has been very conservative with his minutes so far, and I'd like to see that change.

3. Can Seth Curry run the offense?  Curry might not even play tonight as he suffered a sprained ankle on Friday, but if he does, he'll be tasked with running the offense from the bench (likely sharing duties with Marco Belinelli).  Karl has played Curry as more of a two-guard in the offense so far, entrusting the ballhandling and playmaking duties to Rondo and Collison.  I think Curry has the ability to run a team at times so Collison's absence could be a good test for the young guard.

MATCHUP OF THE GAME

Rudy Gay vs. Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard is a Finals MVP that has never been an All-Star. He's a defensive monster that is quickly blossoming into a versatile offensive weapon.  This is a nightmare matchup for the struggling Rudy Gay.  Rudy has been off his game for most of the early part of this season, and having to go up against Kawhi isn't going to help matters.  The Kings would do well to run as little isolation for Rudy as possible, and instead get him shots on the move and off screens.

DANCING LESSONS WITH COACH POP

PREDICTION

Kings 107, Spurs 100 after Boban Marjanovic accidentally steps on Tim Duncan, LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard.