Kings Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Sacramento Kings and the NBA.

November 11, 2013
Malone offers no hints to lineup changes

Kings coach Michael Malone would not divulge what lineup changes he has planned for Wednesday's game against the Brooklyn Nets.

For those wondering why I just don't tell you what I saw during practice, we only see the very end of practice for media availability, so we see a lot of free throws.

"We made a couple of tweaks but we're not going to talk about it right now," Malone said. "Guys understand when you lose five games in a row and you get down by 20 points it seems every game, we can't continue to do what we're doing."

DeMarcus Cousins, Isaiah Thomas and Greivis Vasquez have all publicly stated their support for Malone shaking things up.

"We need some change and we've got to have some change in some guys' attitudes," Thomas said.

No one is naming names of the "guys" but it's obvious the malcontent attitudes are negatively impacting play on the court.

More than one Kings has been guilty of this over recent seasons, but perhaps some Kings are maturing and growing out of their ways, but that needs to spread throughout the team.

DeMarcus Cousins said the days of making excuses for the Kings has to end.

The Kings are losing in the hustle areas - rebounding, loose balls and transition defense - and they have no one to blame but themselves.

"It's about the effort and the effort's not there," Cousins said. "It's clear it's not there. They've got to get their heads out their butts right now wand we've got to come out here and play."

The Kings can be so up-and-down with their play has puzzled Malone, but it's nothing new to the previous two coaches.

Paul Westphal and Keith Smart both bemoaned the erratic play of the team while taking shots from fans and media about their coaching abilities.

Malone is widely seen as one of the NBA's best young, but he's also finding it hard to manage the Kings' in-game effort swings.

"I've never been around team that goes through such long dry spells so often," Malone said. "We'll play well, and it'll be an 11-2 run. We'll play well and it'll be an 8-0 run."

So what might happen if the Kings could play hard for ... an entire game? That's hard to know.

"I can't wait for us to play 48 minutes because if we play 48 minutes we'll be a pretty good team," Malone said.

Malone said any changes he makes aren't a reflection on any one player, but change is going to come to the Kings.

"When you're 1-5 and lose five games in a row it's not one individual's fault, it's collective," Malone said. "We win together and we're not going to lose together. We're not playing the blame game, we're not pointing fingers."

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