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Malone says he’s considered starting Isaiah Thomas; no change to be made

Published: Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013 - 11:05 pm
Last Modified: Friday, Dec. 6, 2013 - 1:17 pm

This was an an ongoing debate from Day 1.

Do the Kings start the new, pass-first point guard Greivis Vasquez who is a natural leader? Or should they start the popular, scoring point guard Isaiah Thomas that assumed a leadership role since his rookie season?

The Kings have gone with Vasquez, but Thomas has made a strong case that he should be starting, but coach Michael Malone has no plans on benching Vasquez.

Vasquez is admittedly is still working his way back after offseason ankle surgery. He’s averaging 10.4 points (third on the team) and leading the Kings with 5.3 assists per game in 26.3 minutes. Vasquez is shooting 44.3 percent.

Thomas is the Kings’ second-leading scorer at 17.6 points while shooting 45 percent. Thomas is averaging 4.5 assists, second on the the team in 27.5 minutes.

“I’ve thought about that at times during the season,” Malone said. “If you looked at just from the preseason alone, no disrespect to anybody, but Isaiah had played the best of anybody at the point guard position. But what I felt was best for the team at that time was to continue to bring him off the bench, allow Greivis to start and let (Thomas) to be that spark plug off the bench. And he’s shown that he can do that and do that at a high level.”

The Kings acquired Vasquez as part of the Tyreke Evans sign-and-trade hoping he’d be a contrast to Thomas’ style. Vasquez would get games started by getting everyone involved and Thomas would be free to be a scorer on the floor and not make playmaking is primary concern.

Part of the idea with starting Vasquez was also to get him going while he was completely warmed up because of his ankle.

Most, however, would not have predicted Thomas would be this good to start the season.

“I go back and forth sometimes but I still feel the best thing for us is to start Greivis, give him an opportunity and then bring Isaiah in,” Malone said. “And more times than not Isaiah is going to be on the floor when we close games, when we finish games. And there are times where he and Greivis will play together.”

Follow The Bee’s Jason Jones on Twitter @mr_jasonjones and read more about the team at

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