Gametime: 7:00 pm PT
Where: Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, CA
Broadcast Information: KHTK Sports 1140 (Radio), News10 (Local Television)
Sacramento Kings Projected Starters (15-26)
Indiana Pacers Projected Starters (33-8)
What to watch
1. The health of Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins
The Kings’ two best players both suffered injuries in Wednesday night’s loss to the Houston Rockets. Gay went down with a left achilles injury while Cousins sprained his left ankle. Both players are listed as day-to-day and there’s no word yet if they’ll both be available to play. Gay has missed significant time in his career due to injury before while Cousins has proven to be incredibly durable throughout his first four seasons. It’s hard to imagine the Kings bouncing back from Wednesday’s loss against one of the best teams in the league minus Cousins and Gay.
2. Who steps up for the Kings?
Even if Gay and Cousins play, they probably won’t be 100 percent. That means that one, two, three or more players will have to step up to pick up the slack. Derrick Williams did a nice job against Houston filling in for Gay. The third-year forward out of Arizona recorded his first double-double of the season with 22 points and 11 rebounds. Jimmer Fredette also chipped in an efficient 14-point night on 4-of-6 shooting. The Kings will need to put together a collective effort against the Pacers regardless of whether Gay or Cousins play tonight.
3. Points off turnovers
The Kings were reckless with the ball in last week’s meeting with the Pacers. They committed 15 turnovers to the Pacers in a 116-92 defeat in Indianapolis. More troubling was the fact that they allowed the Pacers to score 22 points off those turnovers. Against the best defensive team in the NBA, the Kings will need to take good care of the basketball and limit the opposition’s opportunities to convert miscues into points.