Kings Blog and Q&A

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

December 24, 2011
Saturday practice: Team healthy for season opener

The Kings made it through their final full practice of camp today healthy and will rest tomorrow before the season begins Monday against the Lakers.

Forward-center Chuck Hayes returned to practice and looked "rusty," coach Paul Westphal said. "But it was good to have him back," Westphal added. Hayes will be the team captain this season.

Tyreke Evans banged his left shoulder during a team drill and sat out part of practice with ice on the shoulder. But he returned later and scrimmaged. Evans said the shoulder "was stinging for a minute," but that he felt good after practice.

* Westphal on preparing for the Lakers under new head coach Mike Brown: "We got to see a couple preseason games where they played the Clippers and get an idea for what their basic sets are, and then you're going to have to defend the people."

* Jimmer Fredette will be the first guard off the bench to substitute for starters Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton. Westphal added that, "we'll see (rookie Isaiah Thomas) from time to time."

* Forward J.J. Hickson believes the Kings have "two of the best three-point shooters in the league on this team in Marcus (Thornton) and Jimmer."

Asked if it might be too early to refer to Fredette as such, Hickson said: "You guys'll see what I see. The game's a little different, but he's showed he can shoot the ball."

-- Matt Kawahara

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