Live from the locker room: Kings vs. Suns

Isaiah Thomas watches the Kings take on the Thunder from the bench. (Photo: Jonathan Santiago)

Here is the latest news live from Sleep Train Arena:

  • The Sacramento Kings (12-16) look to improve to 2-0 against the Phoenix Suns (16-14) this season, but without the help of bigs DeMarcus Cousins (gastroenteritis) and Ryan Hollins (personal). Head coach Tyrone Corbin’s gameplan remains the same. “Well, we have to be making sure that we’re paying attention to detail,” Corbin told the media pregame. “We have to get the ball inside. I think Carl Landry should be able to get some points down in the paint for us. We have to do a good job executing halfcourt sets, sharing and moving the ball to move their defense that way. But we don’t want to get into a rat race pace that’s favorable to them because they play more at that pace right now. And making sure that we’re taking good shots and controlling their transition baskets.”
  • Another emphasis for Corbin is slowing the Suns’ offense in transition. The Kings will be without point guard Ramon Sessions (low back strain). “Well the first thing is we got to make sure we get back in transition,” Corbin stated. “We can’t have these guys, especially coast-to-coast drives, getting down there in our paint in halfcourt sets, collapsing the defense and they kick it out, letting those guys get wide open jump shots. We got to do a great job of containing the ball, first of all, tonight, and then recognizing who you’re closing out to.”
  • Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek excused Isaiah Thomas’ poor play against the Kings last time out. “Well he was just coming back from a funeral. So I think his head was probably elsewhere that game. And that’s why, losing a lot, we could tell he may not have been thinking about the game. Tonight I just told him, ‘Just go out there and play. Don’t try to do too much.’ Sometimes I think when guys come back to their city that they were just traded from, they try to do too much stuff, and then that puts you back. But sometimes guys come back and they light it up, so we’ll see.”
  • With Sessions out, Ray McCallum will get the chance to match up against his former teammate and mentor in Thomas. “He’s tough, man,” McCallum said. “With his size and speed and quickness, he knows how to score the ball and make plays. But I guarded him a lot last year, I know his game and I know he finds a lot of ways to score and make plays out there. It’s going to be fun. I like a challenge.”
  • Hornacek explained to reporters that his team can’t lose an edge with Cousins sitting. “It doesn’t. We got to worry about ours. Obviously he was a big part of our defensive strategy, so if he doesn’t play, we adjust. But our guys should know, when that happens we can’t really relax. You just (have to) go out there, and those other guys, they get opportunities, they step it up. If that’s the case, then our guys need to be ready.”



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