Live from the locker room: Kings vs. Thunder
Here is the latest news live from Sleep Train Arena:
- The Sacramento Kings have double-duty tonight. Not only must they compete against the fully stocked Oklahoma City Thunder without DeMarcus Cousins for a tenth straight contest, but they must also juggle heavy emotions after head coach Michael Malone was fired on Sunday. “It’s a tough balance, man,” said interim head coach Tyrone Corbin. “Just trying to get them on the same page. We have to move forward. We love coach Malone. He did a great job with these guys, and I think these guys knew that he cared about them and they cared about him. But we are where we are. Like I said before, OKC is not going to feel sorry for us.”
- Corbin is expected to implement a more up-tempo offense than was used by Malone, but the interim coach stressed the slow-moving process to morph the identity of the team. “We have to do a gradual change,” Corbin noted. “The guys are comfortable with what we’ve been running. We can tweak some things as we go forward. You can’t throw a bunch of stuff with not a lot of practice time. We have to acclimate to it on the floor.”
- The Kings will go with a new starting lineup tonight. Reggie Evans takes the place of Ryan Hollins and will start at power forward, with Jason Thompson at center.
- Omri Casspi (knee) is officially out for tonight’s contest. The sixth-year forward will miss his fifth straight match.
- Thunder head coach Scott Brooks, who served as an assistant and interim head coach with the Kings during the 2006-07 season, had this to say about Malone: “He’ll bounce back. He’s an excellent coach. He’ll be back in the mix fairly quickly.”
- The Kings recalled Eric Moreland from the Reno Bighorns this afternoon. The rookie power forward will be available for tonight’s game.
- Tonight is Peja Stojakovic’s jersey retirement ceremony. Vlade Divac, Brad Miller, Doug Christie, Bobby Jackson and Scot Pollard will all be in attendance.