Live from the locker room: Kings vs. Jazz

By James Ham and Rui Thomas

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Here is the latest news live from Sleep Train Arena:

  • The Sacramento Kings (10-10) play their sixth straight without DeMarcus Cousins this evening at Sleep Train Arena.  The 24-year-old center is out with viral meningitis that will keep him away for the foreseeable future. Rather than worry about his star’s return, Michael Malone has fixed his attention on getting the most out of his available players, and using Cousins’ freed minutes as an audition for frontcourt playing time. “He’s out indefinitely,” Malone shared in the pregame scrum. “We have no idea when he’ll be back. You hope the frustruation may be, some guys wait for this opportunity and now they’re given this opportunity. So you want guys to go out and max out and play as hard as they can. Take advantage of it.”
  • Cousins’ absence has thrown the Kings into a tailspin. Sacramento has lost four of the last five and confidence on both sides of the ball have suffered as a result. Malone has replaced Ryan Hollins with Reggie Evans in the starting lineup tonight and is looking into new rotations in the meantime. “We may mix things up. The fact of the matter is we’re struggling a little bit. We’re 1-4 in our last five games, so you’re always looking to see what you can do better, what can we change to get us over the hump. So you may see a couple different lineups , different guys playing but we (have) to take that on a game-by-game basis.”
  • Assistant coach Tyrone Corbin, who’s been away from the team after rupturing his Achilles last week working out with players, was back in the arena with crutches and a soft cast. Corbin won’t be able to sit on the bench during the next few games, but Malone couldn’t emphasize enough the value of his presence around the Kings. “His experience as a player, 16 years, playing for some great coaches and then working for, playing under Jerry Sloan. I thought he did a hell of a job in his four years as a Jazz head coach taking a team that got into the playoffs and almost made the playoffs another year. But just another guy that going to challenge me. He’s been in my seat before. He knows the trials and tribulations of being a head coach and he can kind of help me out and see things coming.”
  • Alec Burks was at shoot around today and will start for the Jazz after being listed as questionable with a shoulder injury.  Burks was expected to sit out until the weekend, but the 23-year-old guard appears to be a quick healer.  “As a matter of routine practice, we want to make sure all our guys are healthy all the time and protect their health,” said coach Quin Snyder earlier in the day. “Obviously, he’s doing well.”
  • The Kings once again have 13 healthy bodies, with rookie Eric Moreland suiting up in place of Cousins (virus).

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