Kings Blog and Q&A

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

January 30, 2013
Kings at Celtics: Five things to watch

BOSTON - Game 3 of the six-game road trip is tonight. The Kings were off Tuesday so fatigue should not be a factor, but who plays small forward might be.

1. Salmons' status: Starting small forward John Salmons (stomach flu) skipped morning shootaround to rest up for tonight's game. He will be a game-time decision. Francisco Garcia would likely start. Garcia filled in Monday at Washington when Salmons could not continue after the first quarter. Keith Smart said during his pregame media availability he did not expect Salmons to play.

2. Ball pressure: The Celtics are third in the NBA with 8.73 steals per game. Boston also forces the fourth-most turnovers (15.8 per game). Turnovers were a big part of the recent four-game losing streak.

3. Physical play: Look for the Celtics to try to rough up DeMarcus Cousins in the post to make him become a jump shooter.

4. Moving the ball along: With Rajon Rondo out for the season, the Celtics are like the Kings in that they lack a dynamic playmaker to setup teammates. That had Celtics coach Doc Rivers stressing the importance of ball movement tonight. The team that succeeds in that area will be in a good position to win.

5. Kings activated: Rivers said the Celtics have found out in their last two trips to Sacramento the Kings are a good team when "activated." That means sharing the ball and being active on defense.

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