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December 29, 2012
The Morning After: Smart explains not going to bench earlier in third quarter

If not for a DeMarcus Cousins steal and a James Johnson three pointer at the buzzer, the Kings likely lose Friday night's game to the New York Knicks.

Then Keith Smart's decision to take "a chance" and not go back to his hot second-unit of Jimmer Fredette, Francisco Garcia and Aaron Brooks would have been cited by many as the reason the Kings blew a 27-point lead.

Smart explained why he didn't go back to that unit earlier in the third quarter as the Knicks made their run:

"I had to look at the size they still had on the floor. I kind of rolled the dice a little bit, took a chance. We didn't need offense, we needed stops. We needed more stops than anything else. So we didn't need a trio of offense. That group got us off to a tremendous start offensively but we needed guys that could kind of hold down the fort a little bit."

*During the Kings' stagnant stretch, they went to DeMarcus Cousins in the post against Tyson Chandler and got nothing out of it.

Smart said he didn't call for those plays. He's tried to go away from asking Cousins to operate on the block against a set defense, especially against a defender the caliber of Chandler.

Cousins' strength is not his post game, and challenging Chandler wasn't going to work.

"As the point guard I thought I had something but coach kind of got on me," said Isaiah Thomas. "We need to keep the floor spaced and attack from there and then drop it off to the bigs when we do attack."

*Smart did not address why Thomas Robinson didn't play when asked Friday night. The rookie is shooting just 40.4 percent this season, so that might have something to do with it.

Also Johnson played the backup power forward spot Friday night and had 17 points.

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