Coaches Notes and Quotes:
- Coach Westphal’s opening statement: “When I watch the Pistons play, when I look at there talent and the way they play, I think they’re a playoff team in the east. I don’t think there is any doubt about it. They played really well. They shot the ball incredibly well and they hit big shots. I thought that we played well. We didn’t shoot the ball incredibly well, especially from the line and three point shots. We had open threes for really good shooters and went 2-18. Sometimes that’s the difference in a game in the NBA. You like to think that the difference is always how well you take care of the ball, how well you rebound, getting to the line more than the other team, drawing charges, rotating on defense- all that stuff, the tough things. We did all those things tonight. We didn’t make shots and they made shots. It was discouraging for us and at the same time encouraging because I thought we played well but you have to hit some of those shots to get over the hump.”
- On whether the Kings took too many three point shots: “If they don’t go in! I mean, I understand the question, you know, it’s always easy to look at the stat sheet after the game and say oh, we took too many threes if they don’t go in. But we tell our shooters, guys like Cisco, guys like Omri, Luther Head, if you are a good three point shooter and you are open, you have to shoot it with confidence. When Omri made five out of six that one night, nobody said six threes is too many and tonight he’s taking the same shots and makes one out of five, I’m not one of those guys who are going to look at the stat sheet and say too many after the fact. You take your best shot and if it’s not good enough, you move onto the next game.”
- On Jason Thompson: “I thought Thompson really showed why we like him so much. He got a DNP last game and he was ready tonight. He’s been ready all the time, he’s always ready, I thought he played very well, he’s very professional. I was real happy for him.”
- On the teams play tonight: “I like the way we played. We ran our stuff, we moved the ball, we worked on defense, hit the boards. It was a nice effort by us. Sometimes you don’t get a win when you have a nice effort. If you get that effort, you can’t be upset with the players. They were working and they did a good job.”
- On whether the team is working to improve at the free throw line: “That’s all we can do. (laughing) When we have practice, we don’t sit around playing soccer. We have free throw drills, shooting drills, and the guys work on their own. We have guys coming in late at night working on their free throws, working on their shot.”
This was an optimistically frustrated Paul Westphal tonight. The team is working extremely hard on both free throw and perimeter shooting every day in practice, I can show you the pictures. Some games the shots just don’t find the bottom of the net.
Players Notes and Quotes:
- Tyreke Evans on his health right now: “I think my ankle, I have a bone spur. I just have to play through it, that’s part of the NBA.”
- On whether the guys are sticking together through the losing streak: “We’re out there trying to fight and play together as a team. I think everybody knows their roles. We’re just not getting enough at the end to win the games.”
- Jason Thompson on his play tonight: “Every time I come on the court, I try to bring a different presence with energy. I try to block shots and just take what the defense gives me.”
- JT on going from a DNP to playing and trying to control his energy on the court: “I’m always excited, you just may not see it as much as you used to. But I control as much as I can control. I try to do as much as I can as long as I’m healthy and not in foul trouble, I think I can be productive for the team.”
- JT on playing the power forward position tonight instead of the small forward position: “I played what I think is my natural position at the four. I felt good. I felt comfortable. I’m trying to do all the little things. I’m trying to hit jumpers, some moves to the basket- just play aggressive.”
- JT on the DNP-CD against Phoenix and whether it was on his mind tonight: “I think it is. It’s something I’ve never experienced before, not even as a rookie. I just didn’t put my head down, I was like, what’s next. For me, I’m a different type of player. Even if I go through a little adversity, I’m always going to have my head up. It makes me work harder. I think I contributed to the team but I can do even more.”
Jason Thompson looked relieved tonight following the game. He is one of the most positive players I have met, and for him, sitting on the bench and not getting into the Phoenix game was a fate worse than death. Only time will tell how Coach Westphal and the Kings brass will handle the glut at the power forward and center position going forward. For tonight, Jason Thompson got to play and boy was he happy.
In case you missed it, here is a link to tonight’s game recap.