The new-look Sacramento Kings practiced with its new weapons Thursday morning and were more than ready for action. Rudy Gay, Quincy Acy and Aaron Gray joined the team for their first practice since coming over in the trade with the Toronto Raptors. Their debut was pushed back because the Raptors had not completed physicals on Greivis Vasquez, Patrick Patterson, John Salmons and Chuck Hayes. Hayes was not cleared as of Thursday, but that will not have any impact on the trade. With all the loose ends tied it was time for the new Kings to get down to business.
“They were chomping at the bit to get out here and work.” – Coach Malone on new additions #ForeverPurple
— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) December 12, 2013
Well the time has come and those new Kings get their chance Friday night against the Phoenix Suns. Coach Malone stressed that the roster changes would take time to manifest into wins, and he’s probably right. However, it’s not like the Kings had a cohesive chemistry to disrupt in the first place. Rudy Gay’s impact may be smaller than many expected — at least initially — but it will come. And it should come Friday in a game against one of the other lowly teams in the Western Conference.
This is a tough stretch for the Kings as five of their next six games will come on the road. Maybe that’s a good thing as Sacramento is an awful 4-9 at Sleep Train Arena. But the Kings need to take care of business against the Suns and most definitely need to show more effort than what was presented in the last game, a blowout against the Utah Jazz. Isaiah Thomas and DeMarcus Cousins will likely be the offensive focal points Sacramento relies on as those two have the most 20 point games for the Kings this season. If Sacramento is willing to play defense and are able to come out hot, they could possibly improve on their 2-4 road record.
Predictions: Sacramento has new weapons but may not need them with the way Cousins is playing. However, they will need to come out hot and stay that way in order to win. The Kings are 4-1 when leading at the half and just 2-13 when trailing.