Tyreke Evans attacks the basket against the Chicago Bulls. (Photo: Steven Chea)

Gametime: 7:00 pm PT

Where: Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, CA.

Broadcast Information: TV – Comcast SportsNet California, Radio – CBS Sports 1140

For Bulls perspective, visit TrueHoop Network Affiliate By The Horns.

The book on the Bulls:  Chicago has had success this season without Derrick Rose, whose status for the remainder of the year is still up in the air.  Since suffering a debilitating knee injury in the first round of last year’s playoffs against the Philadelphia 76ers, Rose has missed all of the 2012-2013 NBA season to date.  He’s been cleared by doctors to return, but he’s not yet confident mentally to take the next step.

Did you know?  Marcus Thornton is averaging 21.5 points per game over his last eight outings.  That’s eight points better than his 13 PPG season average.

Kings Speech: Isaiah Thomas on the match-up against Nate Robinson. “All he’s gonna do is foul me the whole game,” Thomas said jokingly with a smile.  ”That’s all he does.  And everybody thinks we play little buddy ball, so I’m not excited about it.”

Sacramento Kings Probable Starters (22-43)

PG: Isaiah Thomas
SG: Tyreke Evans
SF: John Salmons
PF: Jason Thompson
C: DeMarcus Cousins

Chicago Bulls Probable Starters (35-28)

PG: Nate Robinson
SG: Marco Belinelli
SF: Luol Deng
PF: Carlos Boozer

C: Joakim Noah

Stats

Kings

  • Points Per Game: 99.1
  • Offensive Rating: 105.2
  • Opponents Points Per Game: 105.1
  • Defensive Rating: 111.6
  • Pace: 93.3

Bulls

  • Points Per Game: 92.3
  • Offensive Rating: 102.9
  • Opponents Points Per Game: 91.3
  • Defensive Rating: 101.8
  • Pace: 89.1

Three questions to ponder

1.  Who wins the point guard battle between Nate Robinson and Isaiah Thomas?

There is no brotherly love when these two meet on the court against one another.  Head-to-head, Robinson has bested his fellow Washington protege four times and lost just once.  Thomas does have recent history in his favor though.  The Kings starting point guard has played some of the best basketball of his young career since the All-Star Break.

2.  Will the Kings let Joakim Noah dominate the glass?

Noah was a first-time All-Star this year not because of what he can do offensively.  Rather the six-year veteran earned a trip to Houston because of his strengths in other areas like rebounding.  In Chicago’s last eight games, he’s led the Bulls in rebounding and recorded 10 or more boards in his last six outings.  He could have a field day in Sleep Train Arena especially if DeMarcus Cousins is suspended.

3.  Will the Kings’ offense continue to roar against a stifling Bulls’ defense?

Since the All-Star break, the Kings’ offense has rolled.  Sacramento has averaged 110 points per game while shooting 42.5 percent from 3-point distance.  Their ball movement has been strong as well, recording 25.4 assists per game in the 11 contests following All-Star Weekend.  Since Tom Thibodeau’s arrival, Chicago has been one of the best defensive teams in the league.  This year, they’re allowing opponents to score just 91.3 points per game, which ranks them third in the NBA.

Statistical support provided by NBA.com.