Given how the Kings have struggled on defense, coach George Karl is open to new ideas, even if it means disavowing some of his longtime beliefs, including his aversion to zone defenses.
The Kings rank near the bottom of the NBA in multiple defensive categories, so just about anything is an option.
“I’ve never been a zone guy, but I can’t deny we’ve talked about that,” Karl said. “I would not be surprised somewhere in the near future we’ll play some zone. But we don’t have that in our pocket right now.”
On Wednesday at Bradley Center, the Kings faced the Milwaukee Bucks without DeMarcus Cousins, who is counted on to anchor the interior defense.
Karl said there would be adjustments without Cousins defensively, but nothing was predetermined.
“A lot of times I think you make (adjustments) in game rather than strategize before the game,” Karl said. “You look at who is playing well and if you’re going to play small and how much you are going to play small.”
Karl started the game with a big lineup, replacing Cousins with Kosta Koufos to join Willie Cauley-Stein, Rudy Gay, Ben McLemore and Rajon Rondo.
The Kings used that starting lineup one other time this season. The Kings lost that game to Memphis on Nov. 3.
Kidd’s appreciation – If any coach can appreciate a triple double, it’s Milwaukee’s Jason Kidd.
A perennial All-Star point guard, Kidd recorded 107 triple doubles. Rondo leads the NBA with four triple doubles this season and is one from tying Chris Webber for the most in a season in Sacramento history.
Kidd praised Rondo, who was averaging a league-best 10.8 assists entering Wednesday.
“You talk about Rondo and the ability to think the game,” Kidd said. “Understand the game and understand the opponent he is playing defensively.”
Kidd said a passer like Rondo has a great impact on Sacramento’s offense.
“Offensively, he gets guys shots,” Kidd said. “They all know they are going to get the ball, so they run, and run for layups or threes. He knows how to find guys.”
Butler honored – Kings forward Caron Butler was recognized before the game for his charitable work in the Milwaukee area.
Butler is from nearby Racine, Wis., and has done a lot of work with youth in the area. He was recognized with Racine police Chief Art Howell, with whom Butler has worked. Butler and his wife, Andrea, donated computers for a community-oriented police housing facility in Racine.