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Kings vs. Nuggets Preview: Short-Handed Kings Look to Finish Strong in George Karl's Return to Denver

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With just three games left, the Kings look to finish the season strongly as they take on the Denver Nuggets in the Mile High City. In George Karl's first game back in Denver since he fired back in 2013, he looks to make them (further) regret their decision.

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With two teams playing for nothing but pride and ping pong balls, George Karl's return to Denver against the Denver Nuggets looks to be your typical late season lottery team match-up, complete with injuries, rest, and combinations of both. The Sacramento Kings will once again be without Rudy Gay, DeMarcus Cousins, and Darren Collison, (as they will be for the rest of the year, officially). With just two games left after today's game, will the Kings be up to the challenge of playing short-handed, or will they play with one foot already planted in Cancun?  Tonight's game tips off at 2 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet California and KHTK 1140.

3 KEYS TO THE GAME

1. The short-handed Kings have been at their best when they get a nice, balanced attack. Omri Casspi, Derrick Williams, Ray McCallum, Carl Landry, and Ben McLemore have all had their moments to shine (and fade) with more touches. The Kings should move the ball and get good shots versus a struggling Denver team.

2. Be. Aggressive. Be. Aggressive. Don't be afraid to take the open shot. Nik Stauskas Sauce Castillo especially needs to shoot the ball when given a shot. He has shown a lot of improvement under George Karl, but still has a ways to go. The kid has shown his ability to score in a wide variety of different ways, he just needs to assert himself more.

3. Feed the hot hand. I don't care who it is, whether it is Ben McLemore, or David Stockton, feed the hot hand. The team has a hard enough time doing this with it's stars, but it will be important to feed whoever has it going when the stars are out.

MATCHUP OF THE GAME

George Karl vs. Whoever is Coaching the Nuggets Right Now

George Karl's firing from the Nuggets made the Mike Malone firing seem like a great decision. Even if the game is, for all intents and purposes, worthless, I am sure George Karl would love to get a victory in his old stomping grounds.

PREGAME LIMERICK

There once was a coach named George Karl

Who made all the other teams snarl,

But Denver got dumb,

And hired a bum,

And Brian Shaw was Denver's new Jarl

PREDICTION

This