Kings Blog and Q&A

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

December 17, 2011
Westphal calls out 'sluggish' Tyreke Evans

OAKLAND - Tyreke Evans said he needs to be a leader for the Kings. Maybe that's why Kings coach Paul Westphal is demanding more from the third-year guard.

Evans had 17 points and seven assists in the Kings' 107-96 loss to the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena.

But Evans also had five turnovers and Westphal wasn't pleased with how Evans looked against the Warriors.

It wasn't the style of play Westphal wants this season.

"I thought Tyreke looked sluggish and not ready to show how he can play," Westphal said. "I think he needs to pick up his pace play and he did a little bit in the second half. He needs to keep getting in better shape and play at a little faster speed and make better decisions with the ball. He killed the clock a few times and that's not the way we're going to play this year."

Evans said he didn't feel sluggish.

"Not really," Evans said. "Just couldn't get the flow of it. That first couple of minutes was kind of difficult. Me and Steph (Curry) talked about it but I got going after that really."

*Westphal said he was "very impressed" with rookies Jimmer Fredette and Isaiah Thomas.

Fredette made 7-of-11 shots (4-of-6 from three-point range) for 21 points. He also had four assists and just one turnover.

Thomas has 13 points and three assists off the bench.

Fredette is expected to make an impact. Thomas, however, is showing he might force his way into playing time during the regular season.

"I think he's going to be a nice guard in this league for a long time," Westphal said of Thomas. "He's a very impressive second-round pick."

*The game was sloppy as expected. The Kings committed 20 turnovers. The Warriros had 19 turnovers.

*Without their starting frontcourt the Kings were outrebounded 47-32. J.J. Hickson missed six of seven shots but had seven rebounds. Jason Thompson grabbed two rebounds before fouling out.

The plan is to use DeMarcus Cousins and Chuck Hayes as passers in the offense and without them the offense did not look fluid. Westphal added the guards did not do a good job at getting the ball to the bigs.

"Obviously Plan A isn't to have our starting frontline out and go play a game after one week so I do understand we got a little bit of cavalry coming," Westphal said.

*Former Kings assistant coach Otis Hughley now works for the Warriors as an intern in the video department.

Hughley was on staff last season. He coached DeMarcus Cousins in high school, too. Hughley did a lot of video work for the Kings last season.

Hughley joined the Warriors this week.

*Westphal on the addition of Travis Outlaw:

"I'm excited about that. Certainly things didn't workout for him in New Jersey for whatever reason. He's had some injury problems and chronologically (27 years old) he's just entering his prime. When you look at the years he had in Portland coming off the bench at either the three or the four spot he was very productive for them. And he was a guy they'd go to in the fourth quarter a lot of times and he delivered. So that's what got him the five years, $35 million contract. We think that if he can be healthy and revert to that form we've got somebody who can really help us at two positions."

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