Game 12 Preview: Bulls at Kings


Game time: 7:30 p.m. PDT

Where: Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, Ca.

Broadcast Information: KHTK Sports 1140 (Radio), Comcast SportsNet California (Local Television), TNT

Sacramento Kings Probable Starters (6-5)

PG: Darren Collison
SG: Ben McLemore
SF: Rudy Gay
PF: Jason Thompson
C: DeMarcus Cousins

Chicago Bulls Probable Starters (8-3)

PG: Kirk Hinrich
SG: Jimmy Butler
SF: Mike Dunleavy
PF: Taj Gibson
C: Joakim Noah

Three things to ponder

1. No Rose, no Gasol, no excuses

Derrick Rose (hamstring) and Pau Gasol (calf) will be game-time decisions, but this should matter little to the Kings. The Bulls loaded up on weapons in the offseason which have helped the team rank fourth in the league in field goal percentage (46.9) and sixth in free throw attempts per game (26.6). Sacramento must recognize that if Rose and Gasol can’t go, instant offense can appear from many different sources.

2. Frontcourt faceoff

DeMarcus Cousins and Jason Thompson are set to duel Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson. Both Bulls are stellar defenders (Noah is the reigning Defensive Player of the Year) and can stretch their offense beyond what casual observers expect. The Chicago pair also like to get chippy, so Cousins and Thompson need to not let their emotions get the best of them in what will be physical matchups.

3. 48 minutes

Michael Malone’s message to the Kings since the day he joined the team has been playing defense for 48 minutes. Sacramento once again fell way short of the mark in their frustrating loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday. Effort has never been a question for the Tom Thibodeau-led Bulls, so it will be up to the Kings to match their tenacity.

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