Kings Blog and Q&A

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

December 30, 2011
Friday practice: Westphal elaborates on post-game remarks

Coach Paul Westphal said the Kings had a "very spirited practice" today following a one-hour film session of last night's game in which there were "no feelings spared." Westphal was not happy Thursday night following his team's 108-98 loss to the Chicago Bulls because he felt the Kings gave away a game they could have won largely through poor transition defense and free-throw shooting.

After the game, he challenged the players to "go together" into the rest of the season. He elaborated today on what might show they are buying into doing so.

"I think when things get tough we need to execute together, offensively and defensively," Westphal said. "It's not that there's not a will to do it. Some of it is to understand what their responsibilities are. That's how a new team grows. But we don't want to use it, the fact that we're a new team, as an excuse.

"I felt like as great as the Bulls are, we at least eliminated giving ourselves a chance to win that game when in many ways we played well enough to do that. So we want to respond together, not have anybody decide to take things into their own hands, because it's not a selfish thing, it's a learned way of competing that we need to emphasize."

Westphal said he thought that "some of our guys decided to take things into their own hands a little bit and show their frustration by not getting back on defense properly, those kinds of things." Not getting back on defense allowed the Bulls to score 33 fast-break points.

* The entire team practiced today. After losing starters to various injuries and ailments during training camp, the Kings have stayed healthy through their first few games. How their legs hold up could be an issue soon -- starting with tomorrow's game at home against the New York Knicks, the Kings play five games in six days.

-- Matt Kawahara

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