Sports

January 14, 2014

Pregame notes: Making Roy Hibbert move a lot key to Kings’ chances

Hibbert anchors the NBA’s best defense for Indiana and the Kings have to pull him away from the basket tonight.

The Kings generate a lot of their offense through DeMarcus Cousins, but tonight is not the night to simply dump the ball into the post.

Indiana center Roy Hibbert makes that tough.

Hibbert might be the best rim protector in the NBA (I’m sure Dwight Howard would disagree). And at 7-foot-2, 290 pounds, Hibbert is hard to move from the rim.

The Kings will use different ways to move Hibbert away from the rim to create scoring chances for Cousins and the rest of Kings.

“We can’t come down and try to post up Roy Hibbert one-on-one because he’s just too good of a defender, he’s too long,” said Kings coach Michael Malone. “DeMarcus, we have to screen him into the post, pick-and-roll him into the post and move Roy around and then look to attack after we’ve moved him a little.”

*Malone had a message for the Kings this morning when it came to playing the Pacers. The Kings have won three in a row, a season-best winning streak:

“It’s right for our guys to feel good about that, but I told them at shootaround understand what you’re walking into tonight. This team doesn’t give a dam that we won three games in a row. This team has NBA Championship on their mind and they’re 17-1 at home for a reason.”

Prediction time: The Kings haven’t faced the level of defense they’ll see tonight. Indiana has held nine teams to their season low in scoring this season. This is also the rare frontcourt that has no problem playing physically with Cousins and has multiple big bodies to throw at him.

Pacers 97, Kings 90

My record: 19-16

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