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

January 31, 2012
Kings at Warriors: Five things to watch

OAKLAND - The NBA's two Northern California teams are at the bottom of the Pacific Division.

So this isn't the marquee game for the league, but it's important for both squads. My focus (of course) is the Kings, so here are five things to look for when the Kings play the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena.

1. Team defense
The Kings allow the most points on average (102.3) but the Warriors aren't far behind. Golden State allows and average 99.7 points. Who will be able to get stops?

2. Rebounds
This is the kind of game DeMarcus Cousins should dominate on the glass. Though mocked as a bust, Kwame Brown would have been the Warriors best chance at keeping Cousins off the glass. Brown is out with a pectoral injury that required surgery.

3. Speed game
There aren't many players in the league as fast as Warriors guard Monta Ellis with the ball. The Kings need to be solid with their transition defense to limit Ellis from easy basket.

4. Almost in the 40-and-over club
The Kings are shooting 39.9 percent this season, the only team still shooting below 40 percent this season. Teams are shooting 45 percent against the Warriors this season. Shooting 45 percent would qualify as a breakout game on offense for the Kings.

5. Reke's advantage
Neither Ellis or Stephen Curry is big enough to keep Tyreke Evans from getting to his spots on the floor. Evans, however, still must be patient and move the ball to open teammates carefully. The Warriors average 8.94 steals, seventh-best in the NBA.



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