In watching the Kings on offense, coach Keith Smart says he has noticed too many shots coming "under duress."
A main reason, Smart said, is poor spacing. By positioning themselves too close to each other, the Kings are sometimes closing off driving lanes and allowing defenders to be in good position to challenge their shots.
That may help explain why the Kings are shooting 39.4 percent from the floor as a team, an average that ranked 29th in the league as of Saturday.
Running his first practice as the team's head coach Saturday, Smart said he emphasized spacing the floor and movement without the ball on offense to create open looks.
"The concept I'm saying is, your best friend now has to become space offensively, and then hard cuts," Smart said. "You make hard cuts after you get rid of the basketball, it's going to open something up either for you or your teammates.
"These are things you normally would do over the course of a training camp," Smart said, "but I've got to do it on the fly right now while still trying to keep them free enough to play."
Smart was named the Kings' head coach after Paul Westphal was fired Thursday. He said he is introducing concepts of his offensive scheme in practice but will keep things simple in games for the time being.
"The main thing he preached today was freedom," guard Marcus Thornton said. "Don't get too crazy with it, but we have freedom to do our thing and have fun with it. We're running and getting the ball to open guys."
Smart already has said he intends to have the Kings run more, which ideally would combine with better spacing to create scoring opportunities.
Smart said the Kings did a good job of pushing the tempo in the fourth quarter against Milwaukee, when they scored 35 points, including 18 in the paint.
"If you're running the floor it makes a half-court defense that much more open," said forward John Salmons. "Teams are worrying about transition, and if you get up the floor fast and spread the court, you can get easier lanes to the basket."
Power forward With forward-center Chuck Hayes out three to four weeks with a dislocated left shoulder, Smart said he will likely start either J.J. Hickson or Jason Thompson at power forward depending on the matchup on a given night.
Smart did not officially name a starter for the team's game today against the Orlando Magic. He did say he might ordinarily be less inclined to start Thompson in order to keep him from getting into early foul trouble since Thompson also will be asked to back up DeMarcus Cousins at center.
Greene returning Kings forward Donté Greene is expected to be with the team for today's game. Before the Kings played Milwaukee on Thursday, Greene went to Baltimore to be with family following the death of his grandmother.