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Gamethread: Kings going small against the Suns

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

I'll be live tweeting from the arena so give me a follow @KellanOlson

Pregame notes:

  • Quite the different lineup from the Kings tonight. They will start Rajon Rondo and Darren Collison together in the backcourt to match the Suns' two point guards. That means no Ben McLemore to start, who George Karl said is in a bit of a slump. Reports on twitter suggest this is just a matchup thing, but it's not a good sign for the former top 10 pick.
  • James Anderson gets the start at the 3. Anderson was a first-round pick of the Spurs in 2010 who hasn't panned out. A shooter out of Oklahoma State, Anderson has shot only 33% from three in his career. He's played for the Spurs, Rockets, and Sixers.
  • Rudy Gay is playing small ball 4. Gay has almost always struggled with shooting up to last year, when he shot league average from three. Despite the problems a small forward playing the 4 usually presents, Markieff Morris is a very good on-ball defender and Gay's arsenal of moves with the ball match up much better with Keef as opposed to your normal power forward. Once again, Gay struggled against the Suns last season.
  • Willie Trill Cauley-Stein will be starting at the 5. Trill is an extreme version of the athlete Tyson Chandler is, which will allow him to keep up with and even outrun Chandler at times. Chandler is still the veteran though and will be able to bully him around. Early in the game, keep an eye on if the Suns go after the rookie and how he keeps up with Chandler's dives to the rim. There's also the possibility of him switching onto the guards, who he is actually capable of guarding at times.
  • I asked Hornacek about how comfortable Bledsoe and Knight are getting with Chandler and he said the last thing missing from that (the pick and roll) is hitting the open shots. They've got Chandler's dives down, the shots from Bledsoe and Knight down, and now it's about the likes of Tucker, Morris, Weems, Teletovic, and Leuer hitting those open looks.