PHOTO CREDIT: The Sacramento Kings' J.J. Hickson, (31), Marcus Thornton, (23) and Tyreke Evans, (13) walk off the court during a timeout in the final seconds of the 95-91 victory against the Golden State Warriors in their preseason game at Power Balance Pavilion on Dec. 20, 2011. Hector Amezcua, Sacramento Bee.
We're here to feed your need for Sacramento Kings news. Each day, we'll highlight news, features and analysis from around the Web.
The 2011-12 season (Jerry) Reynolds and most Kings fans thought they'd never see in Sacramento will begin Monday against the Los Angeles Lakers at Power Balance Pavilion. It's a shortened 66-game schedule because of the 149-day lockout, but Sacramento will take it.
"I think we were all hoping that wouldn't be the last time, but we all knew it might be," said Kings coach Paul Westphal of the 2010-11 season finale. " ... With the lockout and all the uncertainty, it will be very special to be out there."
The Kings played improved basketball to end last season, giving hope the team is ready to move up from its last-place finish in the Pacific Division the past three seasons.
More Bee coverage:
- Chuck Hayes is looking forward to taking on Pau Gasol and LaMarcus Aldridge on Monday and Tuesday, Jones reports in today's newspaper.
- Ailene Voisin (@ailene_voisin) poses 10 questions to ponder for the 2011-12 season in today's newspaper.
- "(Paul) Westphal's upbeat attitude has provided a boost for the entire community," Voisin writes in a column in today's newspaper.
- "Being in the starting lineup will be the gift beyond words for (Hayes) and his team and a community ready to take him into their hearts," Marcos Breton (@MarcosBreton) writes in a column in today's newspaper.
- Tom Couzens (@tomcouzens) writes the Kings will "a long shot to make the playoffs this season" in today's Leading Off column.
- Scott Lebar (@slebar) ushers in the season with a parody of that Clement Clarke Moore classic in today's newspaper.
- Jones, Voisin, Couzens and Vic Contreras offer their predictions for the upcoming season in today's newspaper.
- Jones, a blog post today, breaks down all 30 team teams in the first installment of his weekly NBA Power Rankings.
- Matt Kawahara (@matthewkawahara), in a blog post yesterday, reported from the final full practice of camp.
More season preview coverage:
- "A number of factors point to the Kings being quasi-respectable this season, the most important of which is that Tyreke Evans should have recovered from his foot problems and resume attacking the basket at will," writes John Hollinger (@johnhollinger) in his Western Conference projected standings for ESPN.
- Kevin Pelton (@kpelton) and Bradford Doolittle (@bbdoolittle), in a column for ESPN, project another lottery appearance for the Kings.
- "(The Sacramento Kings) may well have another year of 'train wreck' status before it finds itself, but the wreck will be entertaining," writes Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_SI) in his break down of the 2011-12 contenders for Sports Illustrated.
- Ian Thomsen (@SI_IanThomsen) identified the Kings as the biggest flop and Sam Amick (@sam_amick) picked Westphal as the coach on the hottest seat in the NBA writers preview for Sports Illustrated.
- "The Kings won't be good this year, but they'll produce a lot of fun games," writes Kelly Dwyer (@KDonhoops) in his season preview on the Ball Don't Lie blog on Yahoo! Sports.
- "On paper alone, the Kings look like one of those killer rec league teams," writes Sean Sweeney (@SEANesweeney) in his Pacific Division preview for Dime magazine.
- Mike Prada (@MikePradaSBN) writes that the Kings "form a team that has absolutely no cohesion and is led by a coach who can't get them to play together" in his NBA Watchability Scale for SB Nation.
- "There is still a lot of work to be done, but a lot of great progress has been made already," writes Greg Wissinger (@gwiss) in his season preview on SB Nation affiliate Sactown Royalty.
- Akis Yerocostas (@Aykis16) reminds us of "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" in his season preview on SB Nation affiliate Sactown Royalty.
- "The Sacramento Kings may or may not fail this season. They most certainly will involve quite a bit of dysfunction. But one thing if for sure - you won't be lamenting a lack of talent," Noam Schiller (@noamschiller) writes in his season preview on TrueHoop Network affiliate Hardwood Paroxysm.
- Jonathan Tjarks (@GetBucketsFT) ranks the Kings No. 24 in the Post-Free Agency Power Rankings on RealGM.
- "Considering the condensed time frame of training camp, the Kings are about as ready for the regular season as they can be," Jonathan Santiago (@itsJONsantiago) writes in a blog post for TrueHoop Network affiliate Cowbell Kingdom.
• Jones recorded this unedited video from the Hayes press conference yesterday.
Tweets of the day:
Want to wish everybody out there a Merry Christmas and hope everybody got what they wanted and most of all be safe.— Tyler Honeycutt (@thoneycutt23) December 25, 2011
Merry christmas to my fam all of yall to many names yall know who u r love yall— Marcus Thornton (@OfficialMT23) December 25, 2011
Merry Christmas 2 ALL my followers, cherish these moments and have a blessed day!— Isaiah Thomas (@Isaiah_Thomas2) December 25, 2011
Online coverage from The Bee this season:
• LIVE CHATS: Join The Bee's Matt Kawahara for in-game chats during every Kings home game, just before tipoff right through the final buzzer.
• VIDEOS: Find out what some Kings players and coach Paul Westphal have to say about the upcoming season - and much more.
• BLOG: Stay up to date on the team's happenings with Jason Jones, Ailene Voisin and Matt Kawahara on The Bee's Kings blog.
• FACEBOOK: "Like" the Sacramento Kings Corner page and join Bee staffers and fans in discussions about the team and players.
• TWITTER: Follow The Bee's Jason Jones for up-to-the-minute developments, in-game updates and much more about the Kings.