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February 8, 2012
The Morning After: Jimmer uses defense to spark offense

MINNEAPOLIS - When Jimmer Fredette gets into a rhythm on offense, it's fun to watch.

But what also stood out besides Fredette's fourth-quarter scoring (13 points) was his defensive activity in the Kings' 86-84 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves Tuesday night at Target Center.

Fredette had two steals that led to baskets in the fourth quarter.

Defense was a concern about Fredette before the draft and that ill be something that keeps Fredette out the lineup on days he's not making shots.

"Just going out and giving an effort," Fredette said. "Just trying to be in the right spot at the right time. I think our defense as a team has been a lot better lately. We just tried to be in the right spots and see where I can be active and get in those passing lanes. It's jut all about activity."

Defense was a reason Fredette wasn't in the game late, though.

Coach Keith Smart went with a bigger lineup that could rebound and switch defensively and maintain size on the court. That's why Donte' Greene was defending Ricky Rubio on Minnesota's final possession.

Some wondered why a hot-shooting Fredette wouldn't be on the floor knowing the Kings had a chance to win if they got a stop (which they did when Greene forced Rubio into a miss).

Smart felt if the Kings could go big, secure a rebound and run they'd have a chance to score better than stopping play with a timeout to set up a play and get Fredette back in.

It almost worked but Greene missed a three pointer with a second to play.

"(Smart) felt like the guys coming in could help us win and we had a chance," Fredette said when asked about not being in the game late. "Whether I stayed in or not doesn't really matter too much at this point, it's just the fact that's what coach thought was best at that point."

Tuesday's effort was a step toward Fredette earning the right to stay on the floor late.



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