Kings get better, plan to get physical

One of the glaring issues the Sacramento Kings addressed after

last season loomed large during the team’s first official meeting

with the media on Monday.

The Kings unveiled an arsenal of hulking post players they plan

to use to avoid getting knocked around in the paint this upcoming

season.

The King added rookies DeMarcus Cousins (6-foot-11) and Hassan

Whiteside (7-0), and Samuel Dalembert (6-11) whom they got from the

Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Spencer Hawes and Andres

Nocioni.

”I think we have a nice squad,” said second-year guard and

Rookie of the Year winner Tyreke Evans. ”We also have guys who can

come off the bench to score. That was one of the things we had to

work on getting and I think they did a good of job getting it. It’s

going to help us a lot.”

The Kings also traded fan-favorite Jon Brockman to the Milwaukee

Bucks to get 6-9 Darnell Jackson. Jackson and the others will join

6-9, 230-pound Carl Landry and 6-11, 250-pound Jason Thompson, the

Kings’ lone big men extracted from what was considered a small team

by NBA standards.

The Kings struggled last season with teams that were larger and

skillful under the basket. This year, the players expect to match

big teams pound for pound.

”Hopefully, we won’t get pushed around,” said sixth-year guard

Beno Udrih. ”They definitely can help us rebound, blocking shots,

and stuff like that. That’s where we were struggling. We have a lot

of options down there and I’m really happy we have those

options.”

The Kings are also still trying to solve their long-ball

shooting. The coaches invited free agent swingmen Antoine Wright

and Luther Head to training camp in hopes of building a threat

beyond the 3-point line.

”If you are going to have a team that has an inside attack,

your inside attack is not going to work if you don’t have players

to protect those inside players with some outside shooting,” said

Kings coach Paul Westphal. ”So it’s very important that the more

players you have who can knock down the outside shot, the better

chance you have of getting to the basket when you are trying to go

inside.”

Westphal also said the Kings are indeed trying to have a

”balance of inside and outside” players on the roster. But the

man who coached a 25-57 team last season is especially happy to

field a squad full of ”bigs.”

”I think we have more depth this year, we have more size and we

have more experience in a lot of ways,” Westphal said. ”I think

that you’ll notice that we have some good size out there. For teams

in the West that’s an important ingredient.”

The Kings start training camp on Tuesday, and will play their

first preseason game against the Phoenix Suns at Arco Arena on Oct.

5.