Coming in a little late are the notes and quotes from the Kings loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday. There are some good tidbits mixed in from Coach Westphal on the Donté Greene situation, to Tyreke Evans on the loss as well as birthday wishes for one of the Kings big men.
Coaches Notes and Quotes:
- Coach Westphal on losing to Memphis: “I’m not discouraged by our performance. We have to get better, you can see that we have to get better, but that’s a good team that beat us. They won 40 games last year and we won 25. They have their players back now and they have five starters that any one of them can score 30 in a night. They’re good and they played well. I never bought in to that stuff that, well they played last night and they lost in double overtime, therefore they’ll be tired. We won’t use that as an excuse when it happens to us and it doesn’t mean that we were supposed to win just because they played last night. This is the NBA.”
- On the turnover issue: “We turned the ball over too much. It’s the thing that we haven’t been doing this year that has been really good for us. We can’t turn the ball over 20 times and have your offense be productive. Memphis is a good team at forcing turnovers and we’re a good team at protecting the ball and tonight their tendency trumped our tendency.”
- On the new line-up including Dalembert: “I think that’s a good line-up for us. It gives us a good chance to defend in the first quarter and we have plenty of offense in that line-up. We just turned the ball over too much in the first and third quarters.”
- On Francisco Garcia: “He’s done that quite often this year, come off the bench, shooting the ball, providing a spark for us. He was wanting to guard everyone out there too. He’s really a competitor.”
- On Darnell Jackson: “I thought Darnell gave us a big lift. Players like to play with him. He’s so enthusiastic and so aggressive and a very smart player too. He really came in and accepted the challenge tonight.”
- On why he didn’t go to Donté Greene to slow Rudy Gay: “No, I thought that Omri and Jason did a decent job on and also our zone was real effective. Rudy Gay made shots. He is one of the premiere athletes and I don’t know of anybody who can stop him from getting a shot, and sometimes it’s whether he makes it or not. I thought that the guys made him work for his points tonight and he earned them.”
- On Jason Thompson as a small forward: “I liked him a lot. I don’t have the stats in front of me, but I thought the lead went in our favor when he was in there both times. I think it was a real good move for us.”
Perhaps the most talked about statement will be Coach Westphal’s answer to The Purple Panjandrum’s Donté Greene question. From my dealings with Coach, there will be a time and a place for him to open up and share about the Donté Greene situation. There is a lot of speculation that continues to follow this issue and a lot of fans are struggling so far with Westphal’s answers, but we here at TPP are buying what he is selling. Right now, whether fans are in agreement or not, the Kings best ten players, regardless of position, are playing the majority of the minutes.
Here are some player quotes from the locker room:
- Omri Casspi on the loss: “We played a good team tonight and we didn’t execute as well as Coach wanted us to. We should have tightened our defense a little bit better.”
- Omri on guarding Rudy Gay: “He made a lot of tough shots tonight. We forced him to take jumpers and we kept hm out of the paint and off of the line. He made a lot of jumpers and there are nights where you can’t do a lot about it.”
- Tyreke on the turnovers: “We were just playing too fast. They were forcing us off of our spots and pressuring our wings so we weren’t getting into our offense good enough. We were rushing instead of taking our time.”
- Tyreke on the development of Rudy Gay: “I agree, I think he takes his time out there and he’s making good shots. He just gets to his spot, pump fakes and shoots over his defender. He was confident out there and had patience.”
- Tyreke on whether they felt like they missed an opportunity at a win: “Yeah, definitely, that was the one we were supposed to get, especially at home. We know they’re a good team, they’ve been together for while and they won 40 games last year, but I definitely thought we should have got this.”
- Darnell Jackson on carving his niche: “Coach is just giving me an opportunity to go out there and help the team. I’m just trying to do my best out there- offense, defense, I’m just trying to develop as a player and definitely as a man as the season goes on.”
- D-Block on Zach Randolph: “Zach Randolph is a load down there. The coaches told me to try and not let him duck in, so every time he tried to duck in, I would just stay real low and stay into his legs so he couldn’t get any easy baskets.”
November 7th is Darnell Jackson’s 25th birthday, so happy birthday D-Block and congratulations on making a difference both on and off the court with this young Kings team.
The team had Sunday off and they don’t play again until Wednesday at home against Minnesota. I’m pretty sure Coach Westphal is going to use the next two days to work on integrating Dalembert further into both the offensive and defensive sets as well as Cousins into the second unit. Hopefully Luther Head will be back at practice early this week and ready for Wednesday’s game against the T-Wolves. Look for practice recaps on both Monday and Tuesday.