Lately, most Kings-related news has been pretty dismal. There’s the whole Anaheim Royals trademarking story going on, not to mention the Kings can’t even beat the Cavaliers at home with two of their best players out. Have no fear. Tyreke Evans will be making a few more appearances as a Sacramento King this year.
His shock treatments are done and he has been cleared to practice. Paul Westphal predicted it would take him 7 to 10 days to get back up to speed and make a game appearance. It’s very important that Evans can play as much as possible, even with the Kings season long lost.
The Kings need to figure out how to use Marcus Thornton and Tyreke Evans together. We all know how the Kevin Martin-Tyreke Evans experiment ended, so let’s hope all goes well. One interesting thing Westphal mentioned was playing Beno Udrih, Thronton, and Evans together. With Evans’ strength and size, he can guard most small forwards.
The key to that lineup working is Beno Udrih. The offense always seems to work better with him on the floor. He may be a liability defensively, but he provides great stability on offense. Even though I know the offense would run better with Udrih on the floor, I’d like to see Evans weaned off of Udrih. The two work well together, but it’s pretty obvious that a Udrih-Evans starting backcourt is not going to cut it in the NBA.
One lineup I’d like to see explored is Evans-Thornton-Garcia at the 1,2, and 3 spots. This gives the Kings two accomplished three point shooters to team with Evans. The better the floor spacing, the more effective Evans can be. It also upgrades the perimeter defense for the team with Udrih not being on the floor.Between those three players, switching on defense becomes less of a mismatch for the Kings.
It also helps Evans learn how to run an offense without having Udrih there to help him out. Evans would have more responsibility to make sure the offense runs smoothly than ever before, and I think a trial by fire is the best thing for him at this point. It may be painful at first, but the upside is superior to the alternative.