Programming note: Coverage of Warriors-Kings starts tonight at 6:30 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet California with Kings Pregame Live (territorial restrictions apply)
SACRAMENTO -- If the Kings hope to secure a win over the Golden State Warriors in the season opener for both teams at Sleep Train Arena Wednesday night, several objectives must be met.
1) Defend The Three Point Line
In four wins over the Kings last season, Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry shot 56 and 52 percent from three-point range, respectively.
“Those guys literally destroyed us," Kings head coach Michael Malone lamented on Tuesday.
Sacramento was 29th in the NBA last season defending the three-point line and Curry and Thompson need to be guarded when they get off the bus.
2) Cool Cousins
DeMarcus Cousins has a confrontational history with Andrew Bogut, but Malone says the Australian’s tactic isn’t original.
“You talk to any coach in the league, their only chance of defending DeMarcus Cousins is getting him to lose his cool," Malone said.
While it’s not the only factor, an opening night victory and ultimately a Sacramento turnaround is impossible unless this occurs:
Cousins must be on the floor.
The former Kentucky Wildcat, who tied Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin last year for the league lead in technical fouls (16) needs to prove he has matured and can maintain his composure in the heat of battle.
Improving upon his most productive season yet in the NBA, 23 points and 12 rebounds per game is possible given a full season with Rudy Gay, better play from the two guard spot in Ben McLemore and rookie Nik Stauskas and better cohesion via new distributors, Darren Collison and Ramon Sessions, both free agent acquisitions with playoff experience.
[RELATED: Kings outlook: Collison expected to facilitate offense]
3) Limit Turnovers
Sacramento has turned the ball over at an alarming rate in the preseason -- 19.86 times per game -- and cannot afford to give the Warriors' explosive offense additional possessions.
Malone has often said, “You cannot beat yourself and your opponent in the same night.”
The last hurdle for Sacramento will be executing, something that eluded the Kings last season which included 16 losses by six points or less.
However, veteran point guards Collison and Sessions will be looked upon to improve the quality of Sacramento’s offensive possessions especially in crunch time.
Spoiling Steve Kerr’s coaching debut against the Warriors, who Malone says are “poised for a deep postseason run,” won't be easy but would provide a prodigious start to Sacramento’s season.