Kings Blog and Q&A

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

March 28, 2012
Shootaround report: Thompson expected back tonight

Kings head coach Keith Smart said at the team's shootaround this morning that he thinks forward Jason Thompson, who has missed the Kings' last two games with a sprained left ankle, will be available tonight against the San Antonio Spurs.

"He practiced today, we had our normal shootaround, a little five-on-five work, and he did a good job today, so I think he'll be ready to go tonight," Smart said.

That potentially could change before game-time -- Thompson took part in team workouts before the Kings' loss to the Houston Rockets on Monday but sat out the game.

Smart said the Kings have missed Thompson's offensive presence on the low block and his rebounding. Thompson had recorded five consecutive double-doubles before spraining the ankle against the Utah Jazz, averaging 17.6 points and 13.6 rebounds in those five games.

* John Salmons (sore right hip) is not expected to play tonight, Smart said.

Salmons aggravated the hip in the Kings' loss to the Rockets. He missed two games earlier in the season with the same ailment.

"This is the second episode he's had and now it's a matter of getting the rest on it first, and then our training staff will evaluate him again today and see where he goes from here," Smart said. "He probably won't play tonight."

That means the Kings will be without one of their better perimeter defenders against the Spurs. Smart, though, said it would not have a great effect on how the Kings defend Spurs guard Tony Parker, who is averaging 19.6 points and eight assists per game.

"(Parker) has faced everyone in the NBA, so it's not one guy, it's a team concept," Smart said. "When we played (in San Antonio) it was more of a team concept trying to slow him down. One guy's not going to be able to do that, trying to defend him and keep him out of the paint, but our team concept was really good at San Antonio, which kept us in the game and then gave us a chance to win at the end."

Parker led all scorers when the Kings and Spurs played on Jan. 20 at the AT&T Center, finishing with 24 points on 8-of-18 shooting and six assists. The Kings won, however, 88-86, behind 23 points from Tyreke Evans and a couple of big late shots from Salmons.

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