News » Sacramento Kings Getting Inside 2009-10-30

Sacramento Kings Getting Inside 2009-10-30

Sacramento Kings Getting Inside 2009-10-30Paul Westphal has wasted no time thinking outside the box in his first season in Sacramento.

As the Kings' regular season tipped off Wednesday, the coach decided to start a frontcourt of Sean May and Jason Thompson while third-year center Spencer Hawes came off the bench. Westphal's rationale has been simple: Hawes and Thompson have a tendency to get into frequent foul trouble, leaving his team at a serious disadvantage when a badly undersized second unit would be relied upon.

Still, Hawes -- who came off the bench in the Kings' final two preseason games -- started in 51 of the 77 games he played last season and surely didn't anticipate being a reserve this season. He voiced his displeasure after the Kings' final preseason game, saying "when we (he and Thompson) really clicked last year, that chemistry was really obvious and something we built on and was going to be a cornerstone of this franchise."

Hawes' offensive skills are never in question, but he must defend consistently and score some in the post in order to get Westphal's attention and, perhaps, win his job back. He did none of that in the season opener, tallying just eight points and six rebounds in 35 minutes off the bench as the Kings lost 102-89 at Oklahoma City. May wasn't any better, going without a rebound in 18 minutes and scoring six points.

THUNDER 102, KINGS 89: New coach, new players, same Kings. They gave up 39 points in a first quarter that was a near replica of the defensive debacle they put on display last season, allowing the Thunder to hit 16 of 24 shots while dominating the glass. Same old story so far.

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: October 30, 2009


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