Kings Blog and Q&A

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

December 1, 2008
Theus changes lineup in hopes of changing outcome

BLOG UPDATE: I hadn't been on hand for Kevin Martin's update interview, but it sounds as if the shooting guard is a gametime decision for tomorrow as opposed to a lock to return.

***

It's still the Jazz coming into Arco Arena tomorrow night, and possibly a highly-motivated Utah team at that.

A day after their Kings drubbing, they were on the other end of a blowout against New Jersey on Saturday. So with six straight losses overall, six straight at home and nine of the last 10 ending in defeat, a Kings lineup change doesn't necessarily change that.

Nonetheless, Kings coach Reggie Theus will roll out his eighth starting lineup tomorrow night. The most notable difference will be the absence of forward Mikki Moore, who will come off the bench and be replaced by Spencer Hawes. And while Kings shooting guard Kevin Martin will make his official return after his left ankle injury, he will not start. The lineup will be Beno Udrih at the point, Bobby Jackson at shooting guard, Francisco Garcia at small forward, Hawes and center Brad Miller. Swingman John Salmons (thigh strain) will be a gametime decision.

Theus went out of his way to make it clear that the decision had nothing to do with what Moore was not doing and everything to do with what he expects him to do coming off the bench. He highlighted all the little things he values in Moore's game. What's more, he discussed the reality that so many fans - and perhaps even the team's own front office - have nights when they would much rather see the team's young talent than the veteran big man. Ironically, Hawes will get the start after playing a combined 41 minutes the last two games (and nine through three quarters of the Jazz game).

"Anytime there's a charge being taken, 90 percent of the time it's Mikki Moore taking it," Theus said after today's practice. "He does all the little things, and those things matter. People talk about defense. The fans talk about defense, but then they want the guy who's a defensive guy to be out of the game.
"I look at several different things. I look at not only who's starting, but which combinations are best coming off the bench. I look at the fact that Spence has a tendency to get into early foul trouble. Is he better off getting those fouls late in the first half or early in the first half?...He's also got to learn how to not get those fouls." - Sam Amick



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