Sacramento–Lester Conner’s pregame board has a different look tonight. The offensive and defensive keys are each labeled with “good teams.” As in . . .
Defensively, good teams: box out, defend one-on-one, defend in transition and play hard. Offensively, good teams: take good shots, make the extra pass, execute the offense, put away bad teams.
At the bottom of the keys: “REALIZE We are a good team.”
The Kings, who own the worst record in the league, qualify as a bad team. Sacto has won two of its last three, though, and the Hawks haven’t truly crushed a “bad” team on the road since Nov. 28 at Toronto.
“We don’t even look at the record,” L.D. said. “You have got to respect all opponents. Anybody can be beaten on any given night. They are a team that’s capable. I watched their game against Phoenix, and if you would have stopped the tape at the five-minute mark you would have thought that Phoenix was going to come away easily with a win. Sac kept playing, they made some shots and they ended up winning the game.
“In this league, anything can happen. We have got to play with that consistent effort that we have been searching for for a few games now.”
L.D., influenced by Kings rookie DeMarcus Cousins, is using the big lineup again.
“He is a load,” Drew said. “I didn’t want to put Al on him at the very beginning. At some point Al will be at the five but I didn’t want to start with Al banging with him because he is a presence in the low post. He’s a big body. He’s been playing pretty well.”
Cousins is averaging 21.7 points in his last three games. . . .
It doesn’t appear JC2 is joining Pape Sy in the D-League anytime soon.
“His name came up even before Pape went,” L.D. said. “That hasn’t been anything solid as far as that is concerned. We brought his name up weeks and weeks ago. We are just going to leave our options open with that.”