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)
Chicago Bulls Probable Starters (8-3)
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.