Programming note: Celtics-Kings coverage starts tonight at 6:30 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet California (territory restrictions apply) and streaming live right here
The George Karl era begins with the Kings hosting the Celtics at Sleep Train Arena as the season resumes Friday night after an extended All-Star break.
Karl will have had all of two practices and a shootaround before Sacramento (18-34) battles Boston (20-31).
Small ball could be a big part of this matchup as Karl implements an uptempo system and Boston’s roster features a depleted frontcourt due to injuries.
Celtics by 1.5
MATCHUP TO WATCH:
Brandon Bass vs DeMarcus Cousins -- Despite the importance of the guards in this game, will Bass at 6-foot-8 be able to contain the Kings 6-foot-11 All-Star center in Cousins?
1. Energy –- Gotta bring it all the time and it’s got to be there in Karl’s inaugural game.
2. Guard play –- With Darren Collison doubtful due to injury and Miller now on the roster instead of Sessions after the trade with the Wizards, the Kings guards are in flux.
However, they must meet the challenge of facing Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart and former King, Isaiah Thomas.
3. Cousins and Gay –- Look for the Kings best players to step up in Karl’s debut.
Kings -- G Darren Collison (right hip flexor strain), F Reggie Evans (right knee contusion) and F Eric Moreland (left shoulder labral tear) are out.
Celts -- C Kelly Olynyk (right ankle sprain) is doubtful and F/C Jared Sullinger (left forefoot injury) is out.
The Kings and Celtics meet for the second and final time this season after Sacramento was defeated in Boston 106-84 on New Year’s Eve at TD Garden.
The team’s split last season’s series (1-1) by protecting home court and the Celtics lead the overall series 178-114, including 33-24 in the Sacramento era.
New Kings coach George Karl
“Boston doesn't know what we're putting in because I don't know what I'm putting in. So I guess they can't scout us.”
Watch Insider Bill Herenda tonight offer up “Herenda’s Agenda” on Kings Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet California.