Kings players dish on aspirations for 2013 and reflect on favorite highlights from 2012. Plus, Salmons reveals keys to Sacramento’s improved offensive efficiency.
After closing out 2012 with two consecutive wins and victories in six of the last seven home games, Kings players unanimously anticipate a strong 2013, focused on continuing to move up in the Western Conference standings.
In addition to staying optimistic and diligently working to succeed on-court, the group strives for all-around improvement in its New Year’s resolutions.
“(I want) build on what I did the year before and try to cut down on my mistakes. Overall, I want to be a better basketball player and a better person – a better father, a better brother, a better son.” – Isaiah Thomas, whose favorite moments of 2012 are his child’s birth on Jan. 29 and graduating college over the summer.
“I’m going to try to average a double-double and (help us) end the season with a winning record. Off the court, (I hope to) be able to stay blessed and successful, and provide for my family and friends, as well as my foundation.” – Jason Thompson, who treasures signing his new contract with the team and buying his first house in Sacramento in 2012.
“(My resolutions are) for us to win and get better as a team, and also be a better player, a better brother and be a better all-around person.” – Marcus Thornton
“My New Year’s resolution every year is calling or texting people back – I’m terrible at it. That’s usually what it is every year, but I haven’t mastered it this year. Other than that, just improving all-around as a person, father player and friend.” – John Salmons, whose highlights of the past year include the birth of his third child, attending the Olympics and celebrating his birthday on Dec. 12, 2012.
“I just want to be healthy and for us to win more games than in 2012. Winning cures everything.” – Chuck Hayes, adding his son’s fifth birthday was his highpoint of the year.
“Make more jumpers … it’s a new year, a new percentage and (I’ll) start everything all over.” – James Johnson, whose standout memory of 2012 was his July wedding.
“I never did (New Year’s resolutions) – I never wanted to be disappointed. But (I hope to) help the team make the Playoffs. ” – Aaron Brooks, who happily recollects returning to the U.S. and signing with the Kings.
– After averaging 18.4 assists and 95.4 points over the first 26 games of the season, Sacramento has dished out 28.8 assists and scored an average of 105.8 points over the last four contests. Salmons attributes the increased efficiency to better spacing and ball movement.
“We’ve been doing a good job executing the offense,” No. 5 said. “For the most part, our defense has been pretty good all year, and I think it’s just clicking with everybody we have to move the ball to win games.”
– After scoring a season-high 27 points, to go along with five assists, four rebounds and one steal, guard Isaiah Thomas drew praise from Celtics All-Star Rajon Rondo.
“He played great,” said Rondo. “It’s my second time matching up against him – he’s a good player.”
Injury Update Presented by UC Davis Health System
Tyreke Evans, who did not travel with the team on its current four-game road trip, is set to get a second opinion on his sore left knee on Wednesday.
Marcus Thornton, who left Sunday’s game in the third quarter with a sprained left ankle, is listed as day-to-day.
Watch: Kings Top Moments of 2012