National Basketball Association
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           === Nuggets, Kings clash in California's capital city ===
 ( - The Denver Nuggets and Sacramento Kings will begin their
 seasons  on Wednesday  night as stability became a major issue for both squads
 during the summer months.
 The  Nuggets  earned the  third seed  in the  Western Conference playoffs last
 season, but were bounced in the first round by the Golden State Warriors.
 After  the  early exit, reigning  Executive of the  Year Masai Ujiri bolted to
 run  the Toronto Raptors. Last season's Coach of the Year George Karl was sent
 packing, with ownership concerned his lame-duck status as the coach might be a
 On  the  court, the Nuggets  lost their best  player, versatile wing man Andre
 Iguodala,  who  signed as a free  agent with those same Warriors. Denver dealt
 starting  center  Kosta Koufos  to the  Memphis Grizzlies  for bench parts and
 Danilo  Gallinari, the  team's second-leading scorer, will be out indefinitely
 after knee surgery.
 Ownership  turned  to Tim  Connelly as  the new general  manager and he tabbed
 Brian Shaw, always a trendy name among assistants to be a good head man.
 The  team brought  in veterans Randy Foye  and J.J. Hickson to replace some of
 the missing punch Iguodala and Koufos brought.
 But  even  as the  team embarks on  a season removed  from a franchise-best 57
 wins, Shaw has questions that outreach the departures. Ty Lawson, the starting
 point  guard and now  the Nuggets best player, has a groin injury and was able
 to participate in non-contact drills on Tuesday.
 "I'm  feeling  good," he said.  "I've just been shooting,  putting up a lot of
 shots, running into shots. No contact, but we'll see."
 If  Lawson doesn't  play against the Kings, Denver will start five new players
 from  last season's  opening-night lineup.  Hickson and  Anthony Randolph  are
 expected  to start at the forwards along with JaVale McGee at center, Foye and
 either Andre Miller or Nate Robinson at the point.
 Kenneth  Faried won't  be starting. He tweaked his hamstring in the preseason,
 and while he's expected to play, Shaw won't start him.
 The Kings actually enjoyed a stable offseason, all things considered.
 The  first  hurdle was  to stay  in Sacramento. The  NBA rejected a relocation
 attempt  to  Seattle, and the Maloofs  are no longer the primary owners. Vivek
 Ranadive  is the  new owner.  (Shaquille O'Neal  is a  minority stake-holder.)
 Ranadive  hired Pete D'Allessandro to be the GM and he in turn brought in Mike
 Malone to coach the team.
 Tyreke  Evans went to the New Orleans Pelicans, but in exchange, the Kings got
 back  starting point  guard Greivis Vasquez. DeMarcus Cousins was signed to an
 extension  as yet  another coach  will  try to  get through  to the  supremely
 talented, but troubling young center.
 Carl  Landry  was a  nice free-agent  get for the  Kings, but  he'll be out of
 action for months after hip surgery.
 The  Nuggets have won nine straight over the Kings, including four in a row at
 Sleep Train Arena.
 10/30 10:46:35 ET