Kings use Friday practice to fine-tune offense and transition defense

Off days are limited in this compressed, 66-game NBA season.  So, the Kings held practice today following last night’s 108-98 defeat at the hands of the Chicago Bulls.

The first hour of practice is closed to media.  But when the curtain was raised this afternoon, the scene on the court was no surprise, considering how the Kings lost last night’s game.

Head Coach Paul Westphal had the team running a fastbreak drill.

The Bulls outscored the Kings by 19 transition points yesterday evening, and with the high-octane New York Knicks coming to town, remedying the transition defense was a crucial part of today’s session.


  • Westphal was asked if he saw improvement offensively last night against one of the NBA’s premiere defenses.  He pointed out the turnover differential (14 to 18 in favor of Sacramento) and the Kings’ free throw attempts (34) in particular.  He added: “There were some times where we weren’t on the same page, but there were a lot of good things in that game.  That’s what makes it so frustrating.  If I didn’t think we had the ability to do some of the things I’m talking about better, I wouldn’t even waste my energy.  But we can get back on defense better, we can execute as a team better and read our second and third options better.  So, I have a lot of hope and confidence in this team.”
  • Westphal on what DeMarcus Cousins has done well so far: “He’s rebounding really well.  And I think that he’s reacting to what we’re running without making too many early decisions better than he has in the past.”
  • Chuck Hayes is likely to see some time defending Amar’e Stoudemire tomorrow night.  How does he approach the match-up? “I try to sniff the out the play before it even happens.  You could tell in their offense whether its a play for him or if its not.  Because if it’s not a play for him, they use him as a decoy.  If it is a play for him, you’ll see yourself moving around and getting screened a lot.”
  • I had to leave practice before Tyreke Evans addressed media, but News 10’s Sean Cunningham tweeted out this nugget of information the Kings guard shared today:

Tyreke Evans said he was so unhappy with his free throw shooting that he came back in gym after game to shoot over 400 FT’s until 2amFri Dec 30 22:53:10 via Twitter for Android


  • Regarding Cunningham’s tweet: I left Power Balance Pavilion yesterday evening, a little after midnight.  As I was walking to my car, I passed by a father and his young son, who were parked behind the player’s entrance at the practice facility.  I asked them if they were waiting to get an autograph from anyone in particular.  The father told me that Evans’ brother, Doc said that Tyreke was inside the facility.  Knowing that most players clear the premises within an hour or so after each game, I was slightly skeptical.  Turns it out, I was wrong.


Jonathan Santiago
Jonathan Santiago serves Cowbell Kingdom as senior editor specializing in writing, podcasting and video production. He also handles the majority of CK’s day-to-day beat coverage of the Kings.

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