Thomas discusses facing one of his longtime friends. Plus, Fredette reveals keys to finding success against Chicago’s defense.
– With the Bulls in town to take on the Kings on Wednesday, point guard Isaiah Thomas will have a chance to catch up with and tip-off against close friend Nate Robinson.
“It’s going to be fun to play against him, but hopefully we get the win so I get some bragging rights,” said a smiling No. 22, adding he has a distinct advantage in the matchup by standing taller than his 5-foot-9 counterpart.
Following Tuesday’s practice, Thomas said he expected to have several messages on his phone from the fellow University of Washington alumnus.
“He probably already called me a few times if he’s in town,” said the Tacoma native. “He’ll probably be over tonight chilling.”
– Kings players and coaches expect a hard-fought contest against Chicago, which ranks third in the League in opponent points per game (91.3) and fourth in defensive rating (101.8).
“They’re just overall a good team on offense and defense – I love the way they play defense,” said Thomas.
“We need good shots, we need good spacing, we need to play unselfishly and play together.”
Jimmer Fredette disclosed the team watched film and worked on key sets in practice in preparation for Wednesday’s contest.
“They’re very good defensively, loading up on the ball, so we have to make sure to move it from side to side, try to use each other and use screens well, get open and make shots,” said No. 7.
– One player Sacramento’s frontline will strive to limit is All-Star Joakim Noah, who plays with relentless energy and hustle.
“As you evaluate a player, you can (ask), ‘What kind of motor does he have – Is he an eight, nine, 10?’” said Kings Head Coach Keith Smart. “Noah is a 10 because he plays at a high level all the time and that’s a unique skill … but on top of that, he understands how to play the game, he’s prepared mentally (and he’s) a step ahead on all of his plays, defensively and offensively. That makes him a tough cover on both ends of the court.”
UC Davis Health System Injury Report
DeMarcus Cousins (bruised left thigh) did not participate in Tuesday’s practice. Coach Smart said the center is doubtful to play against Chicago, but didn’t reveal a potential starter to fill in for No. 15.