Kings coach Michael Malone often talks about calling plays for players who aren’t primary options on offense to highlight where his team might have an advantage.
Malone would like his players to do that on their own more. That’s where the development of point guards Isaiah Thomas and Ray McCallum becomes essential. Their improved ability to understand matchups and situations will allow Malone to trust them more to put the offense in the right position.
“I think that’s part of the process for Isaiah, going from a scoring guard to a starting point guard,” Malone said. “That’s part of the process for Ray McCallum as a rookie point guard trying to learn the league and his teammates coming in the game.”
Malone regularly mentions guard Ben McLemore and forward Derrick Williams as players who need to have more plays called for them. The coach wants his point guards to continue making strides in setting them up while having a better overall awareness of what works for their teammates.
“Understand who has the hot hand and how you can get them the ball where they are most effective – that’s what being a point guard is,” Malone said. “Understanding your teammates, where they’re most effective, who’s got the matchup, whose player is in foul trouble, all the things that go into running your team as a point guard. I think Ray and Isaiah are continuing to get better in those areas.”
Still out – Forward Carl Landry missed his second consecutive game Saturday when the Kings faced the Minnesota Timberwolves at Sleep Train Arena.
Landry is dealing with a sore right knee that began bothering him after the morning shootaround Friday in Los Angeles. He missed the game against the Lakers and is listed as day-to-day.
Latin celebration – The Kings and Timberwolves wore specially designed shooting shirts as part of the NBA’s “Latin Nights” program.
The Kings’ shirts read “Los Kings,” while Minnesota had “Los Wolves” shirts. All 30 NBA teams will have the commemorative shooting shirts.
The program recognizes support of the NBA from Latin America and Latino communities in the United States.