Kings Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Sacramento Kings and the NBA.

December 30, 2007
Artest says he won't play

Ron Artest said at shoot-a-round this morning that he doesn't expect to play tonight against Phoenix because of the bone chip in his right elbow.
That's not a good thing for the Kings in general, judging by what happened last time they faced the Suns without him. The immediate future remains unclear, too, as he said it tightened up on him and he's not sure when it will loosen up.
All of which isn't nearly as interesting as the other game I'm not sure Ron is ready to play: The small-ball game. Just one day after Kings coach Reggie Theus shared his views about a possible lineup that would include Beno Udrih at the point, Mike Bibby at the two, Kevin Martin at the three, Ron at the four and Mikki or Brad at the five, Artest was talking about how much he likes "big ball," in what was a not-so-subtle counter in philosophy.
Personally, I'm curious what the small lineup can do and know that Artest at the four is far more productive and dangerous than any other option Theus has at his disposal. It also gives him a way to minimize the disappearance factor of the Udrih, John Salmons, Francisco Garcia types by going unconventional. The victims, obviously, would likely be Moore and the other bigs in terms of minutes, but it's worth trying for a few games to see how it works.
Chances are,Theus started talking about this idea so long before his injured players actually return because he knows he has some convincing to do.
- Sam Amick

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