Kings Blog and Q&A

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

December 23, 2011
Friday practice: Rounding out the lineup

Kings coach Paul Westphal addresses the media following practice.

Coach Paul Westphal said he expects forward-center Chuck Hayes will start against the Lakers on Monday. He was less definitive when asked about swingman John Salmons, but answered that the Kings are "going to start our starters."

"When these guys are healthy, they'll start," Westphal said. "It'll be DeMarcus (Cousins) and Chuck and John, Marcus (Thornton) and Tyreke (Evans). If they're all healthy they'll go. If not, we'll make adjustments then."

Salmons (right quad contusion) participated in a full practice today for the first time in a week, and Hayes is expected back in Sacramento tonight after agreeing in principle to a new four-year contract with the Kings on Thursday.

Westphal said Salmons practiced at about 80 percent Friday. Salmons agreed with the estimate and said he "felt pretty good today. Was able to move up and down. So, I mean, long as it's at the point where I can actually move, I'm good."

Cousins also participated in the full practice after he banged his knee during yesterday's scrimmage.

Hayes is expected to suit up for practice tomorrow. The Kings have tomorrow's practice and Monday's shoot-around remaining before they play the Lakers.

"Sure there'll be catch-up," Westphal said. "Very important practice tomorrow and very important that we get something out of the shoot-around. But the honest truth is nobody's ready to play this game on Monday. The Lakers aren't ready, we're not ready, but they're going to play it. So we'll put the best group we can out there and hope for improvement along the way."

-- Matt Kawahara

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