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

April 25, 2012
The Morning After: Kings hope to not wait for technical decision again

OKLAHOMA CITY - DeMarcus Cousins took his pregame nap without official word as to whether his 13th technical foul would be rescinded.

When Cousins woke up about three hours before tip off, he had a text message letting him know he was cleared to play against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Without the technical being overturned Cousins would have been suspended.

"I was never really concerned about it," Cousins said. "I felt I was playing the whole time."

It worked out for the Kings Tuesday, but they'd prefer if going forward that Cousins not need the league to step in to prevent a suspension.

"You get one that doesn't mean a whole in February or December but then you start accumulating those things," said coach Keith Smart. "Hopefully he's growing to understand how important he is to our team - because you still have got to play this game with emotion. If you're worried about what could possibly happen (with technicals) you've got to have that cushion. So hopefully this is a learning stage for him and he grows out of this."

Road woes

The Kings' traveling days are over for the season.

The Kings will finish with a 6-27 road record in 2011-12. That is the second-worst road record in the NBA.

Only the Charlotte Bobcats will finish with a worse road record. The Bobcats are 3-29 on the road.

It's no shock the Kings would be so bad on the road this season. Winning on the road requires poise, discipline and crisp execution.

Those are areas the Kings have struggled with all season.

And they did again in the fourth quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder's backups in a 118-110 loss Tuesday.

Familiar problems (poor ball and player movement, bad shot selection, defensive breakdowns) became issues again.

The fourth quarter became a 12-minute reminder the Kings still have a ways to go to become a contender to make the playoffs.

And the Kings will continue to be a bad team (especially on the road) until they consistently fix those issues.

"People have got to learn their roles and that's our biggest issue," Cousins said. "People don't know their roles on this team."




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