Coach Dave Joerger has tried something different the last two games to shake the Kings out of their slow starts – especially against smaller lineups. Move starting center Willie Cauley-Stein to the bench, slide Zach Randolph to center and plug in rookie forward Justin Jackson. On Saturday against the Pistons, the result was a rally that would eventually fall short. Tuesday night at Golden 1 Center, a lot of Randolph at center, especially in the second half, helped the Kings climb out of a 17-point hole to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder, 94-86. The win ended a seven-game losing streak for the Kings (2-8) and sent the Thunder (4-6) to a third consecutive defeat. Many players chipped in, but late in the game Randolph continued his stretch of solid play at center, where he can operate with freedom and space. He scored 18 points, all in the second half, to go with eight rebounds and three assists. Jackson also played well with a season-high 16 points. So why not start that lineup? It’s not a given it will always go as well as it did Tuesday. And it has ripple effects. One is Cauley-Stein – the third-year center and first player drafted by general manager Vlade Divac – might play less.
Randolph makes big impact at center. So why is it Kings’ ‘emergency’ option?
Sacramento Bee | Nov 8