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October 20, 2013
Postgame notes: Competition for playing time at guard will be hard to sort out

PORTLAND, Ore. - Quick thoughts from Sunday's preseason loss at Portland:

*Good luck, Michael Malone, figuring out which guards should/shouldn't play.

Isaiah Thomas was a spark (in spite shooting 5-for-17) with 15 points and 10 assists. Jimmer Fredette looked good (nine points, two assists) again. Ben McLemore lit up the Blazers for 23 points. And all three of them came off the bench.

Greivis Vasquez shot 1-for-8 but managed to have six assists and two steals in 20 minutes. Marcus Thornton score 10 points.

Figuring out shooting guard will be the toughest job between Thornton, Fredette and McLemore. Malone said after the game it's not feasible to give three shooting guards consistent minutes, but I expect to see some different lineups that have at least three guards on the floor.

Thornton hasn't had a big scoring game in the preseason like Fredette or McLemore, but he's the only one that's proven he can be a big-time scorer.

You also have to wonder if Fredette has done enough to warrant time, forcing Thornton or McLemore to play some spot duty at small forward.

Fredette has not looked bad whenever he's played in the preseason.

*DeMarcus Cousins had the night off and Jason Thompson had an off night starting in Cousins' place.

Thompson missed all five of his shots and had just two rebounds and four fouls in 15 minutes.

*Malone was not pleased with how the Kings defended to start both halves.

"We were nowhere near ready to play to start the first quarter ad to start the third quarter," Malone said. "You look at the fact that they shot roughly 95 percent in the first six minutes of the first quarter and the third quarter. After that, they shot in the low thirties."

One of the changes Malone made to fix the defensive problems in the second half was to go with more Chuck Hayes and Travis Outlaw. Hayes had 11 rebounds.

The game story going online in a couple of hours will focus on Patrick Patterson (27 points, eight rebounds). The notebook focuses on McLemore (23 points) and his role off the bench.

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