Top 5 things to watch in Kings' season opener
George Karl was 11-19 as head coach of the Kings after taking over last year. But with a re-tooled roster, optimism abounds in California's capital...
Does Rudy Gay play?
Does Rudy Gay play? The 29-year-old forward has been away from the team for the last few days attending to his wife who just gave birth to the couple’s second child. It’s hard to imagine him missing the season opener, but he missed shootaround Wednesday morning and hasn’t practiced with the team since Saturday.
The battle at the point
The battle at the point. Rajon Rondo is the Kings new floor general and he gets a tremendous test on opening night against all-world point guard Chris Paul. Rondo gets the first crack at guarding one of the game’s best, but it will likely take a team effort to slow Paul.
Who starts at the two?
George Karl has tip toed around this subject for the better part of two weeks. Ben McLemore started 82 games for Sacramento at the shooting guard spot last season, but veteran James Anderson has impressed with his defensive skills and understanding of the offense. Darren Collison and Marco Belinelli will play plenty of minutes at the wing as well while Karl tests early season combinations.
Koufos, Cousins & Cauley-Stein
The Kings have size, skill and versatility in the post this season. George Karl has gone back and forth on who would start next to Cousins and seemingly centered in on Cauley-Stein last week. But the veteran coach switched courses at Tuesday’s practice, saying that Koufos would likely get the nod. Either way, this group of three will play the bulk of the minutes on the Kings big frontline.
Kings fans have been through the ringer with this club over the last five years. Relocation attempts, ownership changes and instability have ruled the day. The one constant has always been the building formally known as Arco Arena. But after 27-years on the job, the ‘old barn’ is hosting its final season and there are likely to be more than a few tears shed.