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February 11, 2013
The Morning After: Hayes shows versatility on defense

Chuck Hayes would like you to know he is more than a post defender.

Hayes was able to showcase that during Sunday night's 117-111 win over the Houston Rockets at Sleep Train Arena.

Hayes is usually called on to deal with burly post players like Utah's Al Jefferson. But with DeMarcus Cousins on the bench with foul trouble, Hayes was on the court late against the Rockets and their wide-open attack.

So if that meant leaving the paint to challenge a shot, Hayes was up to the challenge.

"I can guard," Hayes said. "Sometimes a perimeter player has the edge on me but it's no different if he tries to drive on somebody else. I kind of sensed coach was going to rock with me the rest of the fourth quarter and they do a spread pick-and-roll and it was more about timing. You've got to time the tag to help out the big man and when they throw the ball you've go to be on a jet to close out on them on the three-point line."

After the Rockets made 13-of-20 shots in the third quarter, they shot 11-or-26 in the fourth quarter.

Hayes ended up being a key to slowing down the Rockets, even though they weren't throwing the ball into the post.

"(Sunday) I just felt he had the right posture to be able to switch out on some of their guards or rotate out to a shooter," said Kings coach Keith Smart.

Even though the Rockets scored a lot, Hayes was pleased with how the Kings played defense late.

"Sometimes you don't have to be a great defensive team, you just have to get stops when they're needed.," Hayes said. "...They gave us their best shot but when it was needed we made plays on offense and got stops on defense."



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