Kings Blog and Q&A

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

December 21, 2011
Turnovers an early issue

Coach Paul Westphal quipped after the Kings' preseason win over Golden State on Tuesday night that his team's turnover total was "a coach's nightmare."

"I came into this game and I didn't even have any gray hair," Westphal said.

The Kings turned the ball over 27 times in a variety of ways, including 11 in the third quarter of their 95-91 win at Power Balance Pavilion. DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans combined for 16. In their first preseason game against the Warriors last Saturday, the Kings committed 20 turnovers.

Some sloppiness is to be expected with the rushed preseason. Several players said after Tuesday night's game that they are still learning new teammates' tendencies on the offensive end of the floor.

Asked what the Kings can do to cut down on the turnovers, Cousins answered: "Just stop being so careless with the ball."

"We had a lot of careless turnovers," Cousins said. "We've got to catch passes, we've also got to make better passes. I mean, that's going to come with time.

"This is a new group," he said. "Lot of new faces on the team. We do have to learn how each other play, and all that comes into play. As time goes on, we'll get better at it."

* Evans, who scored 15 points and had a team-high seven assists, went down hard on a fast-break in the third quarter and had ice on his left elbow after the game.

"It's pretty sore, but I'm good," Evans said.

* Westphal said the team will have one practice Wednesday followed by several days of two-a-days. They will take Sunday -- Christmas Day -- off before the regular-season opener against the Lakers on Dec. 26.

"We made plays together both defensively and offensively down the stretch (Tuesday) and I think that's a good sign for a young team," Westphal said.

"We need some more preseason games to be ready, but we don't get them," he said. "So, hopefully we'll get some time in and get some of these mistakes and rustiness out of our system in practice these next few days. I'm sure there'll be a lot of sloppy games with two weeks of training camp but that's what lies ahead."

-- Matt Kawahara

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