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Free Throws: Kings Plan for Pistons

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Filed under Big Post, From the Practice Facility, Hoops, Practice Coverage.

Free Throws: Kings Plan for Pistons

Cousins and Hayes discuss keys to success against Detroit. Plus, Coach Smart dishes on Brooks, Thomas and the impending return of Salmons.

– As Sacramento prepares to take on Detroit on Wednesday, veteran Chuck Hayes reveals, along with continuing to play hard-nosed defense, the Kings will need to push the tempo against the road-weary Pistons.

“I know they were just in L.A. a couple of nights ago, then they (went) to Denver and now they (came) back here to California,” said No. 42 following Tuesday’s practice. “If we can hurry up and put the pedal to the medal, jump on them early and create a cushion, a big lead where they have to play uphill the whole game, we should be able to win.”

Big man DeMarcus Cousins looks forward to the challenge of facing fellow 2010 draftee Greg Monroe, calling the Pistons’ 6-foot-11 center a tough matchup.

“We have a pretty similar game – we’re not the most athletic guys, not the fastest, not the highest jumpers, but we can get the job done,” said the Kentucky product. “It’s definitely a mutual respect.”

– While point guards Isaiah Thomas and Aaron Brooks have averaged 1.3 and 1.5 assists per game, respectively, through the first four games, Kings Head Coach Keith Smart isn’t concerned about statistics in the box score.

“Going back through the film, we looked and said, ‘That was a good pass you made (but) the guy didn’t make the shot or didn’t finish the play that probably would’ve been an assist for (you),’” said the Kings leader. “I’m not worrying about that part right now – it’s something that will come with time, as we start running more and get some easy baskets off the break.”

– Veteran John Salmons recently rejoined the team after a two-week absence following the birth of his newborn child, but Smart explained No. 5 needs to get several practices under his belt before he’s fully prepared for game action.

“He’s getting very close – he’s worked very well in the last couple of days,” said the Kings leader, adding Salmons’ playmaking and defense will be valuable to the team’s success.

“When a guy has been away that long, he just has to get into a rhythm, and we want to make sure he’s (ready) conditioning-wise. He’s been running at home or riding the bike at home, but now we have to get him to change direction and stuff like that.”

Smart reveals the final decision on No. 5’s return to the court will come down to Salmons and the team’s training staff.

“The one thing about veteran guys (is) they know when their bodies are ready,” said Smart. “So, it won’t be my call – whenever he says he’s ready to go and the training staff says it’s OK, then we’ll put him on the floor.”

And One

– Coming off a thrilling “Blackout” Home Opener, the Kings host their second home game of 2012-13 on Wednesday at 7 p.m. against Detroit. To get tickets, Click Here.

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