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October 2, 2012
Defense and conditioning are Smart's priorities for Kings

The first practice of training camp wasn't in Colorado Springs, Colo.

The Kings had their first workout Tuesday morning before heading to Colorado to train in the altitude through Sunday.

Coach Keith Smart put the team through his conditioning test and said the team was "close to 100 percent" to passing it.

Smart did not reveal who did not pass it or exactly what the test consist of.

"We're ahead of the schedule form a conditioning standpoint," Smart said. "Now it's a matter of I can focus on the basketball part and not so much on trying to get guys in shape and all that stuff."

For Smart, that means a lot of work on defense. After the conditioning test, the Kings began going over some of their defensive principles for this season.

A poorly conditioned team can't defend well, so Smart began emphasizing both heading into the offseason.

He said the Kings had their own 30-for-30 last season, their ranks in points allowed and field goal percentage allowed.

"My focus is not even offense," Smart said. "We were No. 6 in the league in scoring so whatever offense we put out there we're still going to be able to score. The focus is on us trying to be a better defensive team. And if that happens it's going to help what we can already do very well."

But there was still some talk of offense after practice.

Tyreke Evans mentioned during Monday's media day the team might use the triangle offense this season.

Smart is looking for a way to not rely on one-on-one play while still taking advantage of some of the creativity his players have shown on the court.

"I want to give them all something they can function with," Smart said. "It will be a variation of different things so I don't have to rely totally on the pick-and-roll."



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