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Open Game Thread #41: Pacers vs. Kings

Here's Bruno's Scouting Report which takes a look at the the suddenly healthy and deep Sacramento Kings. Last night the Kings were able to grind out a hard-earned win in the Palace over the Detroit Pistons. Mike Bibby and Ron Artest have returned and you have to assume they will be in the starting lineup tonight.

Against the Pistons, Bibby, Artest, and Kevin Martin came off the bench. I watched the fourth quarter of this game and all three were on the floor in the fourth quarter, so even if they don't start they'll play big minutes.

The Kings looked real good handling the Pistons' pressure down the stretch. Ronnie had a couple of dicey possessions late, but he also made his share of plays including a huge three late in the fourth. As usual he looked real strong and even blew some kisses to the Palace crowd. Hopefully, the Kings left a little too much on the court against Detroit and come out flat against the Pacers on the back half of the back-to-back.

Jermaine O'Neal is listed as doubtful, although O'B didn't confirm reports that J.O. was shutting it down for a few games. Unless J.O. is ready to give the kind of effort he did at Golden State, I'd prefer they let him rest.

J.O.'s problems have made Jeff Foster's playing time day-to-day. With the emphasis on a smaller lineup, minutes are tight for Foster when everyone is available. But, when J.O. is down Foster can still make a big impact, despite the smaller lineup. Mike Wells offers the plaudits to Foster for staying ready instead of sulking, like a true pro.

Keep an eye on Sactown Royalty for outstanding coverage of the Kings.

Here's what the efficiency numbers say:

Team Pace Off.Eff. Def.Eff.
IND 97.2(2nd) 105.8(18th) 107.1(112h)
SAC 92.2(10th) 106.5(16th) 110.2(26th)


Projected Starters
PACERS pos. KINGS
Mike Dunleavy F Mikki Moore
Danny Granger F Ron Artest
Jermaine O'Neal C Brad Miller
Kareem Rush G Kevin Martin
Jamaal Tinsley G Mike Bibby

Feel free to leave your thoughts on the game in the comments.