OAKLAND -- Isaiah Thomas’ leg injury kept him out for a sixth consecutive game Friday when the Kings played the Warriors at Oracle Arena.
Thomas is out with a right quad contusion.
“There’s no need to rush him back,” said Kings coach Michael Malone. “Isaiah’s had a great year for us, one of the best years he’s had in the NBA, so we don’t want to rush him back and risk any further damage.”
The Kings have been pleased with how rookie Ray McCallum has played in place of Thomas. While playing McCallum a lot is a priority to close the season, the Kings aren’t ready to shut Thomas down.
“We’ll get together with the medical staff, see where it’s at, and if there’s no chance of it really healing to where he can come back, we’ll make that decision at a later date,” Malone said. “As of right now I’m still holding out hope that he may be able to come back and play one of these last six games after (Friday).”
Measured excitement – McCallum entered Friday averaging 17.6 points and 6.6 assists in his five starts.
Malone, however, is more pleased that McCallum was averaging just two turnovers in his starts.
The Kings are impressed but realize five games at the end of the season isn’t enough to instantly proclaim McCallum the point guard of the future.
“You have to take into account short sample size and the fact that right now the reality is we’re not playing for anything,” Malone said. You get a much truer sense of a player when they’re playing pressure games, playoff games, when you’re in the playoff race. But that is to take nothing away from Ray McCallum, because this is the situation that he’s been put in, and he’s maximized the opportunity and done the best job that he can.”
More McCallum – Count Warriors coach Mark Jackson as a fan of McCallum’s play.
“He’s a good, young player with a bright future,” Jackson said. “I thought he played very well in the summer league. Give him credit because he’s worked his tail off and stayed ready and when given the opportunity he has certainly displayed the fact that he belongs in this league. He’s proven himself, and I’m happy for him.”
Feeling better – Kings center Aaron Gray was back in uniform after missing two games with a stomach illness.
Moving up – Friday was Jason Thompson’s 454th game as a King, tying him with Vlade Divac and Lionel Simmons for sixth most in Sacramento history.