Kings Blog and Q&A

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

October 3, 2010
Kings open scrimmage highlights

Notes from Sunday's open scrimmage

*Pooh Jeter does a good job of pushing the tempo and weaving his way through traffic. He also has some flash to his game.

The prettiest of his six assists was a no-look, behind-the-back pass in the lane to Connor Atchley for a layup.

Jeter said coach Paul Westphal stresses making the right decision. And if that right decision can be made with some style, that's fine.

"If it's there, it's there," Jeter said. "If it's not, it's not. But that's me."

Said Westphal: "Pooh makes good decisions. He moves the ball when it's appropriate, he can shoot the ball and he really helped his team function when he's out there."

Westphal said Jeter injured his groin late in the scrimmage. I didn't know that when I spoke to Jeter, but he wasn't walking with a limp.

*Francisco Garcia said he's feeling comfortable in Westphal's system. He had 16 points. Garcia said he liked the chemistry the Kings showed.

As for his own game, Garcia is finally getting a chance to work with the Kings while healthy. He wasn't 100 percent when he returned last February from his wrist injury.

"I feel very good just moving without the ball and when the shot's there, take it," Garcia said. "I'm going to get shots so if it's there, just make it."

If Garcia doesn't start as small forward, he'll be the glue of the second unit. So if he's comfortable, that's good for the Kings.

*I wrote more about this for tomorrow's paper, but Tyreke Evans' jump shot does look a lot better. There's no hesitation from the perimeter and he appears comfortable taking a mid-range jumper rather than forcing his way to the basket at all cost.

*DeMarcus Cousins officially had two assists in the scrimmage, but he had several good passes that set up teammates. Court vision might be Cousins' best attribute. He also grabbed 12 rebounds.

*Omri Casspi doesn't lack for confidence with his shot. He made two of his five threes and five of 10 overall.

*The philosophy was obvious with both squads. Try to get the ball inside. Samuel Dalembert, Jason Thomspon, Carl Landry and Cousins all had the ball given to them when they posted up. Expect the Kings to feed the post a lot more than last season.

*Marcus Landry and Darnell Jackson continue to make strong cases that they should be kept around for the regular season.

Marcus Landry made both of his threes, looked good on defense and played with good energy. Jackson was physical around the basket, grabbing seven rebounds to go with 10 points.

The Kings were inclined to keep 13 or 14 players, leaving the likes of Jackson, Landry and Luther Head competing for two spots. Head returned from a quad strain that kept him out of Saturday's practice, but made just one of seven from the floor.

Head should get strong consideration because of his history as a good perimeter shooter.

*Hassan Whiteside (strained left patellar tendon) was the only player that didn't suit up for the scrimmage.

*The commitment to getting the ball into the post was a good sign. But the Kings are going to have to capitalize since they figure to create open looks and shoot a lot of free throws.

The Kings made 20 of 36 free throws total. The squads combined to shoot five of 19 on threes.

It's hard to put too much into the stats because these players have been facing each other for a while. They know each other's moves and know the plays, so they probably know where to step in to take away threes.

Phoenix will be at Arco on Tuesday for a preseason game. That will be a good test of the Kings discipline in gettng the ball into the paint.

*Here are some stats from the scrimmage and how the roster was split up:

Team Black

Tyreke Evans (7-16, 17 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists)
Beno Udrih (3-6, 8 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists)
Carl Landry (2-5, 5 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists)
Marcus Landry (4-6, 10 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist)
Samuel Dalembert (2-2, 6 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist)

Omri Casspi (5-10, 14 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist)
Joe Crawford (3-5, 7 points)
Luther Head (1-7, 2 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists)
Darnell Jackson (5-8, 10 points, 7 rebounds)

Jackson and Casspi each blocked two shots. Evans had two steals.

Team White

Francisco Garcia (8-12, 16 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist)
Pooh Jeter (4-7, 8 points, 1 rebound, 6 assists)
Donte' Greene (3-8, 7 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist)
Jason Thompson (4-12, 12 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists)
DeMarcus Cousins (5-10, 13 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists)

Conor Atchley (2-4, 2 rebounds, 1 assist)
J.R. Giddens (2-5, 4 points, 4 rebounds)
Donald Sloan (2-6, 4 points, 1 rebound)
Antoine Wright (2-3, 6 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists)

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