Kings Blog and Q&A

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

April 10, 2012
Kings at Mavericks: Five things to watch

DALLAS - The Kings return to the place of one of their worst offensive showings in franchise history tonight, when they play the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center.

In case you forgot about how terrible the Jan. 14 loss was, here's a reminder of how bad the 99-60 loss was:

*The Kings shot 25.6 percent (22-of-86), the lowest in a game for the Sacramento era, worst than the 27.9 percent the Kings shot Dec. 28, 2008 against Boston.

*The Kings' point total was the second-lowest in the Sacramento era. The Kings scored 59 Jan. 10, 1991 at Charlotte.

*The Kings matched the franchise low for points in a half with 23. The Kings made eight of their 46 shots (17.4 percent) in the first half.

Here are a few things the Kings to look for as the Kings look not to repeat January's game:

1. Speed it up
The Kings have fallen back into playing too slow. They haven't scored 100 points in their last three games, that's the longest streak since January. The Kings' chances of winning are greatly diminished when the Kings have to play a slow game.

2. Find some energy
The Kings came out slow in Sunday's loss to Houston. If they do that on the road against the Mavs, they'll find themselves down big early.

3. Going Greene?
Will injuries mean Keith Smart does not start Donte Greene against Dirk Nowitzki? That strategy helped the Kings get off to a good start when they beat the Mavs in Sacramento last month.

4. Thornton's status
It sounded as if Marcus Thornton has a chance to return after missing the last four games with a bruised left calf. The Kings are 1-10 in games without Thornton.

5. Work through the post efficiently
DeMarcus Cousins was playing some the best basketball of his career up until the last three games. Cousins has been held to single-digits scoring two of his last three games, attempting only eight shots in both of those games.

If Cousins stays out of foul trouble, he needs to be the focus of the halfcourt offense. If the Kings settle for contested jump shots, they'll likely lose.

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