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

January 23, 2012
Kings at Trail Blazers: Five things to watch

PORTLAND, Ore. - The Kings will be without Marcus Thornton after he re-aggravated his bruised left thigh. John Salmons (stomach virus) will play.

How the Kings adjust without Thornton and Salmons' energy are among the things to watch tonight hen the Kings face the Portland Trail Blazers.

1. Jimmer Time
No Thornton means Jimmer Fredette will be counted on to provide offense. Fredette did that last Saturday in Memphis, scoring 15 of his 20 points in the second quarter against the Grizzlies. Fredette has to show he can do that again.

2. Salmons' contribution
Though he will play tonight, bouncing back from a stomach virus that forced him to stay in the hospital overnight in Memphis won't be easy. How much can the Kings expect from him, especially since he'll have to defend Gerald Wallace?

3. Make it tougher
The Kings are allowing opponents to shoot 47.4 percent this season, second worst in the NBA and allow a league-high 101.6 points. The Kings will be in trouble again if that keeps up.

4. Run, run, run
The Blazers played at Detroit yesterday, losing to the Pistons. The Kings need to see if they can tire out the Blazers with a fast pace.

5. Improved shooting
The Kings are still last in the NBA in shooting at 39.3 percent. The Kings are the only team in the NBA shooting below 40 percent for the season.



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