Kings Blog and Q&A

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

January 18, 2012
Kings vs. Pacers: Five things to watch

Kings coach Keith Smart gave no indication Tuesday the Kings starting lineup would be different tonight when the Kings host the Indiana Pacers.

But here are five reserves that could impact the game and what to they might bring to the court.

1. Cisco's leadership
The Kings traded for John Salmons to replace Francisco Garcia in the starting lineup even though the Kings played some of their best basketball last season with Garcia in the starting lineup where he help steady a young lineup. If Garcia can start to knock down three pointers (shooting 25 percent this season) it will be even harder to pull Garcia off the court.

2. J.T.'s hustle
The Kings pulled within one in the fourth quarter Monday thanks to two dunks by Jason Thompson. The Kings didn't run plays for him, but Thompson scored by running the floor hard and hustling. The Kings need more of that.

3. Greene's enthusiasm
When Donte' Greene is playing well, he has a big smile on his face and he's gladly doing the little things - going for loose balls, rebounding and defending. The Kings need everyone to play like this.

4. Isaiah's playmaking
For a team that's been in search of a pure point guard, they need to look at Thomas, who was a DNP-CD Monday at Minnesota. If the Kings starters continue to play with no ball movement, expect to see Thomas inserted to run the team and set up his teammates.

5. Jimmer's shooting
Jimmer Fredette hasn't shot the ball well this season (34.5 percent) but he remains a threat to score at all times. Playing Fredette with Thomas makes the Kings small in the backcourt, but would also relieve Fredette from running the team and free him up to focus on scoring.

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