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Kings practice notes and quotes: December 17

News and observations from the practice facility on Dec. 17.

Tyrone Corbin coaching the Kings up from the sidelines. (Photo: Jonathan Santiago)

Sacramento Kings interim head coach Tyrone Corbin made his long, slow limp to the media huddle. Nursing his surgically repaired Achilles tendon in a walking boot, Kings personnel left an office chair out for him.

Corbin addressed DeMarcus Cousins, who practiced today and has a decent shot to play against the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday. Jason Thompson also spoke to reporters.

Coaches Notes and Quotes

  • Tyrone Corbin on making Rudy Gay’s burden on offense easier: “Well we got to get spacing for him. We got to create some diversion to when he catches it, and everybody’s not looking at where he’s catching it at. And as we change and try to speed some things up, giving him some room to operate both on the perimeter, and actually he can post up, so try to get him looks on the post.”
  • Tyrone Corbin on DeMarcus Cousins at practice: “He got through most of the practice. He did everything. He looked good. I’ll see how he feels later on today and tomorrow at shoot around. But he was excited to be back on the floor for the full practice.”
  • Tyrone Corbin on Cousins’ limitations: “Well, minutes will be. He’s been out so long, and the game is different from practice. His wind is probably short. We’ll probably have to play him in short spurts for a little while till we see how he responds. But it’ll be a pleasure just to get him back on the floor, and we look forward to whenever he can get back.”
  • Tyrone Corbin on how Cousins fits in the up-tempo offense: “We’ll have to look at it going forward. It’ll be a delicate balance. He’s such an effect in the post, you want to take advantage of that. He draws double-teams and makes it easy for guys on the weak side. So he’ll be an asset that you use both speeding the game up for the guys that can run more. We’ll have to wait for him at times and make sure he gets the ball inside and control the game. But he can run also, and we’ll look for opportunities for him to get down the floor early, to get him a run. For those opportunities against anybody, we feel good about those opportunities.”
  • Tyrone Corbin on the Kings’ bench performance versus the Thunder: “I thought it was really encouraging, and the pace that they played at, I thought they were able to pick it up. The ball moved a lot better with that group. The changes that we talked about the day before, I thought they executed a lot better than the starting group. So I thought their energy and the pace and they way they played, they moved the ball was good for us.”
  • Tyrone Corbin on Omri Casspi’s health: “He didn’t go through much in practice today. And we’ll see again tomorrow how he feels. He says he’s getting better. He didn’t do any contact in practice today.”
  • Tyrone Corbin on he expects from the up-tempo offense: “I think getting the ball across halfcourt quickly, and then quick movements in your sets to take advantage of quick opportunities. Not just playing fast just to play fast. Playing fast with a purpose that makes you effective, and using the assets you have on the floor. We can play fast, but if we don’t take advantage of a guy like DeMarcus, then we’re hurting ourselves. So, we want to make sure we get it across quickly, get through your progressions, and then the ball will end up in the right guy’s hands to make the right play.”

Players Notes and Quotes

  • Jason Thompson on focusing to basketball: “We can’t worry about what’s being said, what you guys say, and all that type of stuff. The only thing we can do is read about the speculation and stuff. But like we said, for us to be in the winning ways, the stuff that we got to do, so the stuff we can control. So we got to get back to our defensive ways. The offense is going to come, stuff that we can’t worry about. If we can stop the teams from shooting a high percentage, then we’re top 10 in the field goal percentage defense, that’s something that I could never say when I first got here.”
  • Jason Thompson on reading media speculation: “Well it’s kind of tough to not to read if you’re tagged in some stuff. I mean, if it pops up, you really see it. But you don’t really know until it happens, you know. Like I said, I didn’t think when I got drafted in 2008 that I’d have six different coaches, you know what I mean. And since then, and having a 120-something different teammates, you can’t really read that, those types of stuff. You don’t know what’s going to happen. Some days, things are going to be good, and then there can be a trade or something like that. So you just never know. Just as players, you got to be locked in, and just control what we can control.”
  • Jason Thompson on adjusting to an up-tempo offense: “If we are going to run, you can’t take the ball out the basket, to run. So we got to be back to our defensive ways and defensive principles. We got to get stops and finish with rebounds, and that what leads to transition. I mean you could still run by taking the ball out but a little quicker, but it doesn’t really help the cause. So we definitely got to get back to our ways of being top 10, top five field goal percentage, and still be one of the top teams in rebounding.”
  • Jason Thompson on Peja Stojakovic’s jersey retirement ceremony: “I can’t say as a Kings fan, but I just know as a fan, I grew up a Sixers fan, but my second-favorite team was the Kings, obviously. The game they played, they shared the ball and had so much emotion. So to see that team blossoming and being successful, having a lot of veteran guys that all on paper who could score a lot but they just made the extra pass and it was an exciting team to watch. So for him to get the credit that was due, I still was able to play against him on other teams and stuff. But you know obviously, as Kings fans, his heart and soul was here. He definitely made his mark while he was here. So it was definitely great to see a guy like that get the recognition that he deserves.”

The Kings will test Cousins in the morning shoot around and pregame shoot around before making the final call to go against the Bucks at 7 p.m.

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