Live from the locker room: Kings vs Warriors

Nik_Staukas_Game_1

Here is the latest news live from Sleep Train Arena:

  • Nik Stauskas is about to embark on an experience of a lifetime.  The 21-year-old rookie will make his NBA debut tonight and it just happens to be against two players that he has modeled his game after in Steph Curry and Klay Thompson.  “It’s kind of ironic just because those are two guys that I really looked up to and enjoyed watching, especially last year,” Stauskas said from his locker stall.  “It will definitely be a lot of fun to go up against them and kind of measure up against them tonight.”
  • Coach Michael Malone understands what is in front of his rookie shooting guard tonight.  The Warriors backcourt touts two of the game’s greatest shooters, and Thompson has developed into a very good defender as well.  “He’s going to learn what Ben McLemore learned last year,” Malone said of Stauskas.  “At the two-guard position in the NBA, you can’t hide.  He’ll have a challenge.  The one thing I know about Nik is he’s going to embrace it.  He may take some lumps, but he’s going to learn from those experiences and it’s only going to make him better as the year goes on.”
  • Stauskas isn’t the only one making a debut tonight.  Steve Kerr is coaching his first game as an NBA head coach tonight for the Golden State Warriors.  He’s played in the league, called plenty of games as a color analyst and even tried his hand in an NBA front office, but coaching is a different beast.  “We’ll be tested tonight,” Kerr said.  “This is a talented team and a great home crowd.  There will be a lot of energy out there, so it will be a good test.”
  • Both David Lee and Brandon Rush are inactive tonight for the Warriors and according to Kerr, there is a good chance that Andrew Bogut is a no-go as well.  The Australian-born center is struggling with a stomach ailment, possibly food poisoning and is a game-time decision.  The Kings have 14 healthy bodies, so rookie Eric Moreland will sit as a healthy scratch.
  • In a surprise move, Malone confirmed his starting lineup for tonight’s game.  Darren Collison and Ben McLemore will start in the backcourt, with Rudy Gay, Jason Thompson and DeMarcus Cousins rounding out the frontcourt.  Kerr was non-committal on his lineup with Bogut still a big question mark.

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About: James Ham

James Ham is co-owner and senior editor of Cowbell Kingdom, providing extensive Kings coverage through news analysis, in-depth interviews with players and staff and daily coverage of breaking news. Along with providing original content for the site, including the Cowbell Kingdom Podcast and his weekly Sunday Musings column, James also is one of the producers behind the award-winning, independent documentary film "Small Market, Big Heart".