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News, observations and reader questions about the Sacramento Kings and the NBA.

December 29, 2011
Kings-Bulls: Five things to watch

The Kings will try to rebound from their first loss of the season tonight against the Chicago Bulls, who also suffered their first loss on Tuesday. Here are a few things to keep an eye when they play tonight at Power Balance Pavilion.

1. How will the Kings respond to another tough defense? The Kings' offense broke down Tuesday night when the Trail Blazers applied pressure. Admittedly, players are still absorbing the new offensive system. The Bulls present another hard-working team that is one of the NBA's best on the defensive end.

2. Bench production. Jason Thompson, J.J. Hickson and Jimmer Fredette all scored in double figures off the bench against the Trail Blazers. Depth is considered one of this team's strengths, and with coach Paul Westphal hoping to take advantage of that depth this season to manage his players' minutes, bench players will have to contribute.

3. Can the Kings contain Derrick Rose? Rose is one of the league's quickest, most dangerous point guards and the Kings want to keep him out of the paint as much as possible. Shooting guard Richard Hamilton, an offseason acquisition, represents another scoring option who can help spread the floor.

4. Turnovers. The Kings committed 20 turnovers at Portland, leading to 25 points for the Trail Blazers. They likely can't afford to give away that many possessions.

5. Is Jimmer Fredette loosening up? After attempting no three-point shots against the Lakers, Fredette was 1-for-5 from three-point range at Portland. Coach Paul Westphal wants to see Fredette take advantage when he gets an open look.

-- Matt Kawahara



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