Isaiah Thomas sits out practice with thigh injury, questionable against New York Knicks
Thomas did not practice with the Kings on Tuesday because of a right quad contusion he suffered in Sunday’s win over the Milwaukee Bucks. He is questionable for Wednesday’s game at home versus the Knicks.
“Isaiah took a Zaza Pachulia knee to his thigh and so he did not practice today,” Kings head coach Michael Malone said on Tuesday. “He’s banged up. He’ll be questionable for tomorrow night.”
With Thomas’s availability on Wednesday up in the air, the Kings may turn to Ray McCallum. The 22-year-old point guard has earned steady playing time in the Kings’ rotation since the All-Star Break, appearing in 17 games and averaging 19.3 minutes a night.
“If he can’t play then obviously, we’ll have Ray McCallum and then we might to have some point forward with Rudy Gay or somebody else handling the ball at times,” Malone said.
Thomas has been playing hurt for the better part of the last two months. The Kings starting point guard has dealt with nagging pain and swelling in his left wrist due to an injury he suffered in San Antonio on Feb. 1. He’s admitted that it’s affected his shooting and dribbling abilities, but the injury hasn’t forced him to miss any games.
With the Kings lacking experience at point guard following the trade of veteran Greivis Vasquez, Thomas has been thrust into extensive minutes in his third NBA season. Through 70 games, he’s played a career-high 35 minutes a night.
Will Royce White see more time against the Knicks?
Royce White’s second 10-day contract with the Kings is almost coming to an end and he’s yet to play any significant minutes. That will change Wednesday against New York.
“Tomorrow night, we’re going to get Royce in the game prior to the last two minutes of the fourth quarter to give him a real look, to see what he can do,” Malone said on Tuesday afternoon. “He’s been terrific in practice. He’s been working hard, picking up everything we’re trying to do on offense and defense so it would be good to see him out there and see what he can do.”
Following a four-game stint with the Reno Bighorns, the Kings signed White to a second 10-day contract last Tuesday. He has appeared in two of the Kings’ three contests during their current four-game home-stand. However, he’s registered just two total minutes during that stretch.
In Sunday’s blowout win over the Bucks, Malone had a chance to play White extended minutes. However due to the Kings’ poor showing in the second half, where they allowed Milwaukee to shoot better than 60 percent from the field, Malone rode starters like Thomas and Gay instead.
“When I put you in the game, there’s a responsibility to not make every shot, not to not make a mistake, but to try to play the right way and play with effort,” Malone said. “And I don’t think our bench did a great job of that. But with that being said, I have to still give those guys (like White) minutes.”
Is it possible that the 22-year-old forward sees action before halftime of tomorrow’s contest? Malone won’t make any promises. However, the Kings head coach thinks that it’s important to give White an honest shot for the purposes of evaluating his talent.
“If you really want to get somebody a true look, putting them in the last three minutes of the fourth quarter, when you’re up 20 or down 20, is really not fair,” Malone said. “So I think he’s earned the right to get out there and play. So if we can get him in there in the first half, if the situation presents itself, great. If not, I’ll make a concerted effort to get him in prior to ‘garbage time’.”
Kings hopeful for Quincy Acy’s return
Quincy Acy has been out of action in the last week. He missed the Kings’ previous two games against the Spurs and Bucks due to a sprained right ankle.
Will he be back in the Kings’ rotation for tomorrow’s game against the Knicks? Malone is cautiously optimistic about the 23-year-old forward’s availability for Wednesday’s game.
“He went through parts of practice today,” the Kings head coach said of Acy. “He was supposed to be out today, so he wanted to get out here and give it a go and try to play and he was able to go through portions of practice. I think he’ll be able to play tomorrow night, I’m hoping.”