MINNEAPOLIS - The Kings practiced Thursday with an emphasis on cleaning up the problems they had on offense in losing their season opener at Chicago on Wednesday.
"We didn't have a lot of mistakes other than what our offense did," said Kings coach Keith Smart. "We turned the ball over, spacing was atrocious last night. Guys kind of forgot where they were and needed to be on the offensive end. And I knew we were going to be a little bit behind because I wanted to get them a great base of how we wanted to defend. We'll catch up."
Added Tyreke Evans: "We were so worried about our defense we forgot how to run our offense."
When the ball movement stopped, players that wanted the ball moved closer to it, Smart said. That contributed to the poor spacing. And when players weren't sure what was going to happen with the ball, they were out of position.
"We had point guards looking for a bailout guy," Smart said. "Looking for a player who needed to be in a particular spot and he wasn't there last night. So we tried to clean those things up."
The ball movement issue is a sign of a bad habit being hard to break. Guard Aaron Brooks said the Kings were "stagnant" on offense at times and that cost them against the Bulls.
"The defense was pretty good but on offense we've got to move the ball," Brooks said.
*The question from Jimmer Nation: Why didn't Jimmer Fredette play more than six seconds?
Here's your answer:
"They kept size on the floor so you could never have Jimmer and Isaiah (Thomas) on the floor or Jimmer and Aaron," Smart said. "I needed to have the right defensive team on the floor. And even then they tried to take advantage of some post up situations."
Smart said he wants to avoid trapping opponents in the post this season to prevent wide-open jumpers off double teams.
*John Salmons returned to the team today. He'd been in Philadelphia with his wife, who gave birth to the couple's third child.
"I thought I would only be there for a couple days," Salmons said after practice at Target Center. "I went home early to induce and ended up being five days overdue. So, there's going to be some rust, getting back in game shape. I only played in one preseason game."
Smart said Salmons would not play Friday against Minnesota. Salmons left the team shortly after the Oct. 10 preseason game.