Kings notes: Individual play almost costs team two wins

Published: Friday, Nov. 9, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 2C
Last Modified: Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012 - 12:09 am

Old habits are hard to break.

The Kings like to play individually, and it almost cost them two games this week.

"In both cases that we've been up with a chance to close a team out, we came one guy against everyone," Kings coach Keith Smart said. "(We weren't) making the extra pass."

The Kings held off Golden State and Detroit, but their next two opponents – San Antonio tonight and the Lakers on Sunday – are veteran teams.

"When you're in that moment (late in games), it requires patience and ball movement," Smart said.

Poor spacing and bad decision-making also have contributed to the Kings' late-game problems on offense.

And the Kings have been too slow getting into their offense, Smart said. He'd like the ball across the midcourt line and the players ready to run the offense with 20 seconds still on the 24-second shot clock. But the Kings haven't been getting into their offense until about 16 seconds are left on the clock.

If a good look hasn't been available immediately, the Kings have been forced to take contested shots as the clock runs down.

Smart said he will continue to try to change the players' thinking to help get the offense on track.

"Every guy has to take it upon (himself) that I'm going to make a play for a teammate," Smart said. "If you go with that mind-set, you'll do the right thing."

Role models – Smart isn't shy about his admiration for San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich and the Spurs organization, referring to Popovich as a "huge mentor."

"As a coach in the NBA, you still pay attention to all the really good coaches," Smart said.

Smart would love to see the Kings emulate the Spurs.

"They just play great as a team," Kings forward Jason Thompson said. "It starts with defense, and guys make the extra pass (on offense), and it's successful for them. So if you wanted to take a blueprint of a team, that would be the team to do it with."

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