KINGS AT CELTICS, 7:30 P.M. ET

TV: League Pass

  • The Kings have fared surprisingly well against the Celtics and  the Eastern Conference as a whole this year. Sacramento throttled the Celtics 118-96 in their first matchup this season on December 30th and have posted a 11-9 record against all East opponents this season, compared to just 6-20 against the West.
  • John Salmons is expected to play and start for the Kings, despite being slowed by a stomach flu over the past couple days.
  • It was announced before the game, rookies Thomas Robinson and Jared Sullinger were not selected to compete in the Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star Weekend. Doc Rivers expressed disappointment in Sullinger being passed over, while praising his rookie power forward “”He’ll make it eventually. He’ll be in the league a long time,” Rivers said.
  • Sullinger and Courtney Lee will remain in the starting lineup for Boston for the second straight game since losing All-Star guard Rajon Rondo for the season to a torn ACL. Rivers was pleased particularly with Sullinger’s effort against Miami after making the move.  “He didn’t play a lot. It was the wrong game to really start him, because it ended up being a small ball game. I was happy though. I thought he got a terrible technical that he had nothing to do with, but I liked that he was an instigator, I’m all for that,” Rivers said.
  • With Rondo out now, Boston will look toward to a quartet of guards to pick up the slack on the offensive end and help make up the production for Boston’s dynamic playmaker. Additional playing time for offensive guards like Leandro Barbosa and Jason Terry is expected to help. “Yeah, I think consistency always helps,” Rivers explained. “I think it will help Jet in some ways, just because he’ll have the ball at times…probably more. You know, it may hurt some guys, you just don’t know. That’s the unanswered question. I’m hoping it helps some guys but you never know.”

– Brian Robb

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