Kings Blog and Q&A

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

February 17, 2012
Kings at Pistons: Five things to watch

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - With DeMarcus Cousins (mid back spasms) out the Kings will be without their most consistent player this season.

How will the Kings replace Couins' production (16.3 points, 11.3 rebounds)?

Here are five things the Kings can do to still be productive without Cousins against the Detroit Pistons:

1. More opportunities for J.T.
Jason Thompson is averaging 8.7 points and 7.9 rebounds in 15 starts this season. Now that Thompson has shown an improved post game the Kings could look to Thompson to pick up the scoring slack.

2. Hickson steps up
The Kings had high hopes for J.J. Hickson before the season, but he's averaging just 5.4 points and 5.6 rebounds. Hickson's scoring is at its lowest since his rookie season.

3. Wings on the glass
Without their leading rebounder the Kings need players like Tyreke Evans, John Salmons and Donte' Greene to rebound well.

4. Chuckwagon time
Chuck Hayes will be needed to harass Pistons second-year center Greg Monroe. It's a task Hayes would have had at some point, but he'll be needed more tonight.

5. Make some shots
The Kings are the NBA's worst shooting team and Cousins, who is shooting 44.6 percent, has the second-best percentage among Kings regulars. So the rest of the Kings need to shoot better than 40 percent (or play really good defense) to have a chance tonight. The Pistons have played well of late.

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