INDIANAPOLIS -- Derrick Williams is not pretending tonight’s game at Minnesota won’t be different from any of the other 22 games he’s played as a King.
Minnesota drafted Williams with the second overall pick in 2011. And after never finding a consistent role with the Timberwolves, he was traded to Sacramento on Nov. 26.
Williams said tonight’s game does mean more to him.
“I think it does for anybody that gets traded and they play the team that traded them,” Williams said. “I wouldn’t say it’s any extra pressure or anything like that. I think when you try to do a little bit too much, that’s when you don’t play well. I’m just going to keep doing what I’ve been doing and keep playing hard. That’s what coach is asking me to do and I’ve been playing pretty well.”
Williams is averaging 7.5 points on 49.3 percent shooting over his last 13 games.
Williams said he keeps in contact with five or six of his former teammates, including guards Ricky Rubio, A.J. Price and J.J. Barea. And although he didn’t have the start to his career he would have liked in Minnesota under coach Rick Adelman, Williams said the time was beneficial.
“I really feel like I learned a lot, especially from the coaches,” Williams said. “The coaches are great over there. They’re all veteran-type coaches. It’s a lot different from what we have here. I think we’re all on the same boat as far as young players and young coaches, so you learn from every single experience you have.”
Team honor – DeMarcus Cousins’ honor as Western Conference Player of the Week had as much to do with his play as it did with the Kings’ play.
“Him winning that award is a testament to us winning games,” coach Michael Malone said. “He would not have not won that award if we didn’t go 3-0. We won those games as a team, and it’s a team honor is how I look at it. Everybody gets a piece of that award.”
Malone added the award was also an acknowledgment of how well Cousins has played all season.
“DeMarcus has played at a very high level,” Malone said. “When you win games, that’s when you’re going to be acknowledged in the NBA. That’s the reality of it.”
Cousins is the first King to win the award since Brad Miller in February 2008.
“It’s an honor, but at the same time I wouldn’t have gotten that honor without my teammates because they came and helped us win,” Cousins said. “And with us winning, there could be a lot more of that for me and other players as well. We’ve just got to get on track.”
30 Club – Isaiah Thomas become the third King to make a 3-pointer in at least 30 consecutive games by making 1 of 2 attempts in Monday’s loss to Indiana.
Thomas still has the fourth-longest streak in team history. Mitch Richmond holds the record at 39 games, followed by Peja Stojakovic at 36 (twice) and Stojakovic at 35.