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December 27, 2012
The Morning After: Smart still in charge

PORTLAND - DeMarcus Cousins' pockets won with reinstatement, but Keith Smart apparently still has final say over who plays.

I wondered how Smart and the Kings would deal with Cousins sitting on the bench if he were healthy and not playing.

Smart answered that by not bringing Cousins to Portland.

By not being suspended, Cousins didn't lose a game check, but Smart also didn't lose the authority with his team it appeared he'd lost when Cousins was reinstated.

Smart said all along reinstatement didn't mean Cousins would play last night and it turns out he was right.

The reason for bringing Cousins back was to get him back around his teammates and for conditioning, Smart said. But until Cousins plays in a game again, he's essentially still serving a suspension.

But at least he's still getting paid.

*The Kings had 28 assists on 35 made shots. That's a rate they would take any night.

But the Kings might have had another 30-plus assist night Wednesday had they shot better. The Kings shot 40.7 percent in their 109-91 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers at Rose Garden.

If assists are a gauge for unselfishness, the Kings have been that their last two games. The Kings have 59 assists in their last two games.

But the Kings still aren't a good shooting team and that cost them Wednesday night.



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