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Game Preview: No Boogie for the Kings against the Suns

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

The Sacramento Kings come to Phoenix following a loss to the Memphis Grizzlies the night before. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Arizona time, with game coverage on Fox Sports Arizona and Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.

DeMarcus Cousins will not be playing tonight and that's good news for Suns fans. Cousins has an achilles injury and is missing two games.

The Kings

The big headline here is no Boogie. If you're not familiar, he's basically Godzilla and is a humongous loss for the Kings.

With a completely revamped roster and a new head coach in George Karl, the Kings appear to be trying to win now. Rajon Rondo will command the offense and will never be the player he was in Boston, but he's still a threat and has two 20+ point efforts already this season.

Rudy Gay is an odd fit on this roster and he struggled against the Suns last season, shooting only 33% in the three games he played. He is a bucket getter though, which is something this team desperately needs and he's had a pretty good stint in Sacramento. Gay shooting league average from three was a big step last season (36%).

Despite Karl playing either Kousta Koufos or Willie Trill Cauley-Stein next to Cousins to star t the season and both starting last night, I'd be surprised to see both starting unless Karl likes the energy and defensive prowess Trill can have on Markieff Morris. Koufos is an underrated player and Trill moves like he's 6'7" and can guard five positions. Both will have an impact on the game and ti will most likely be positive.

Beyond that, it's a plethora of jump shooters and however you decide you feel about Darren Collison. Marco Belinelli is the only true sharpshooter on this roster, but Ben McLemore improved as a shooter last season, continues to get better as a defender and his athleticism is perfectly suited for Karl's tempo. We will even see some Omri Casspi and Caron Butler, who have both given their share of decent minutes this season.

The Kings project as a worse team than the Suns and that is absolutely the case with no Cousins, but they went down to the wire twice with the Los Angeles Clippers. They've already played some good basketball this season and should be taken seriously.

The Suns

You have to love what you saw from the Suns on Monday night. Suns fans now must understand why all the basketball nerds were touting Tyson Chandler so much on the offensive end. It's abundantly clear the positive effect he has for both himself and whoever he is setting screens for. It's been a fascinating process to watch Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight get more comfortable with Chandler's presence and understanding the truly ridiculous amount of space he creates for them on ball screens. Bledsoe looks very comfortable shooting from the midrange and also how to manipulate the defense in transition with Chandler coming back as a trailer screen setter.

The Kings don't really have a power forward, so is this the game where Markieff Morris finally figures it out? The increased energy and batter looking three-point shot from Keef has been good, but it will always come down to him being efficient enough on offense. A 20-62 start from the field in four games leaves a lot to be desired.

There's also whatever the hell is going on with the bench right now. Sonny Weems has a -3.22 PER, Mirza Teletovic is shooting 17%, and Ronnie Price is playing more than 10 minutes a game and looks good doing it.

Alex Len is the guy that needs to get it going. He's shooting only 32% and doesn't look comfortable finishing with contact. He looks so close to becoming a force on both ends, but it's been a struggle to start this season. A lot of us at Bright Side had high expectations for his contributions off the bench and it's a contribution that the team needs.

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