HOUSTON -- The partnership between Michael Malone and Isaiah Thomas continues to develop as the coach consults the point guard on the best ways to improve the Kings.
Malone said fixing some of the Kings’ late-game problems comes down to him calling better plays, and that’s where his relationship with Thomas can help.
“Those things take time,” Malone said. “And one thing I like about Isaiah is we’ve had a lot of conversations, a lot of dialogue, and he’s open, wants to learn and he’s trying to figure it out. It’s not a lack of effort. It’s just a matter of going through it and picking the spots for when do I attack.”
Thomas has referenced Malone and himself more often when talking about plays the Kings should run and the best way to get the ball to players. He and Malone spend a lot of time talking about the Kings.
“On flights sitting together, before practice, after practice, we’ve had a lot of conversations,” Malone said. “Before games where we’ve sat and spent whether it’s been 20 minutes, 45 minutes just talking about the game, players, where guys are most effective, where he can pick his spots. We’ve had a number of conversations.”
Malone’s goal is to create synergy between himself and Thomas because he plays most of the minutes at point guard.
“Isaiah’s got to be an extension of me on the court,” Malone said. “He’s got to make sure he’s getting guys looks, know what plays to call, now what matchups he’s going to exploit and how to get those guys going where they’re most effective, and that’s part of his maturation of going from being a scoring guard off the bench to being a playmaking guard.”
After Sunday’s loss at San Antonio, Thomas said the Kings needed to be less predictable on offense. That was the case late in their 110-106 win over Houston on Tuesday.
“We just gave them different looks,” Thomas said. “We can’t go with the same thing each and every time. … (Tuesday) we got stops and gave them different looks.”
Malone said consulting with Thomas or any other player is part of his job and he wants his players’ input.
“I preach trust a lot, and if I don’t trust my players, it’s just a hollow word,’ Malone said.
Streaking – Thomas extended his streak of games with a 3-pointer to 24, fourth longest in franchise history, by sinking one with 2:39 to play.
Mitch Richmond holds the record at 39 games. Peja Stojakovic is second with two streaks of 36 games and third with a 35-game streak.