CHICAGO - The regular season is back and optimism is at its highest.
Optimism can be done away with one a bad showing tonight (even though that would be a BIG overreaction). But here are five things to watch as the Kings try to open the season with a road win for the second time in three seasons.
1. Keep sharing - The ball has to move to find good shots. Even without Derrick Rose, the Bulls will be sound in their defensive philosophies so the Kings have to be sound in their offensive principles.
2. Johnson's impact - Look for former Bull James Johnson to set the tone defensively. He'll likely be defending Luol Deng, someone he knows from his time in Chicago.
3. The lucky 10-plus - Kings coach Keith Smart won't be relying on a tight rotation tonight. The Kings can't afford to have anyone come into the game and let the intensity fall off.
4. Rebounding - The biggest concern Smart had after the preseason was defensive rebounding. The Bulls will be aggressive at the glass so the Kings have to match that intensity.
5. Manage emotions - Everyone is happy right now, but how the team reacts when things go bad will say a lot about how much the Kings have really matured.