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

January 30, 2012
Monday practice: Hayes discusses 'irritating' shoulder

Head coach Keith Smart addresses the media following Monday's practice.

Kings forward-center Chuck Hayes said today that his left shoulder "slightly popped out" in the final seconds of the Kings' loss to the Utah Jazz on Saturday night.

The first thing Hayes said he thought: "Don't panic." Then: "Not again."

"Just breathe slowly, move your arm so it can pop back in," he recalled thinking. "And it did."

Hayes, who missed 11 games after dislocating the left shoulder on Jan. 5, said he expects to play Tuesday against the Golden State Warriors. He said he is aware that the shoulder might be a recurring issue while he continues to rehabilitate and strengthen it.

"It's more like a repeated ankle sprain," he said. "Once the dislocation happens, it's done. All you're going to do now is just treat it. If it pops out, just pop it right back in, as long as there's no -- knock on wood -- second dislocation."

Hayes said he will continue to wear a supportive brace in games, but that mentally he is not favoring the shoulder.

"My mindset going into the (Jazz) game was, 'Don't favor my shoulder. Play,'" he said.

"It was such a weird chain of events because in the minutes I played, I tried to stay physical like I normally am. I got in there, rebounded in traffic, bumping my guy, dove on the ground for the ball, got a jump ball, and none of that made my shoulder pop out. It took the slightest hit with eight seconds left. So that was just the irritating part."

* Tomorrow's game at Golden State marks Keith Smart's return to Oracle Arena, albeit as the opposing coach. The Kings' head coach held that same role with the Warriors last season after spending seven seasons as an assistant coach for the Warriors. The print story in Tuesday's paper will touch on this further.

* One interesting sight at the end of Monday's practice was a drill Smart set up for guard Tyreke Evans. Smart put a couple pieces of tape on the court near the right elbow and had Evans stand with a foot behind each, so that Evans had his feet squared facing the basket. Smart then told Evans to shoot while jumping straight up.

Evans has a "powerful right leg," Smart said, so that when he plants to shoot with the right foot out in front of his left, pushing off sometimes causes him to lean backward.

"That's why you see him shoot a lot of fallaway jump shots," Smart said. "The tape drill is to get in his mind that the weight is distributed evenly. So now when he pushes he can't push backwards. The weight has been centered. And now he can jump straight up and shoot it."

-- Matt Kawahara



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