What is it about Keith Smart that makes teams so willing to trust him after the old coach torched the building? Paul Westphal dug his heels in the sand with DeMarcus Cousins, Cousins scored 26 points last night in a blowout loss, and hours later Westphal is getting a few months paid vacation while Smart comes in after seven games as an assistant.
Kings fans, get ready for KEITH SMART BASKETBALL. For those who need an introduction, your team will play pretty similarly to how they’re playing right now, only they’ll shoot earlier during possessions. However, their inbounds plays are going to kick ass. Also, Smart will talk a lot about running and playing hard. Sometimes when the Kings get a steal, they will run. And the reporters are going to enjoy chatting with the amiable Smart before and after games, so there’s that.
Another potential change the Kings might see is in the guard rotation, with a potential addition who Warriors fans know all too well. From BallinEurope.com:
According to a tweet from one Djordje Matic (“one of the 6 billion humans”): “Acie Law didn’t comeback to Partizan from 7 days holiday in USA. As I know New York Knicks [are] interested in him.”
In the midst of the NBA’s labor issues, Acie signed with Partizan Belgrade from the Golden State Warriors as a free agent to a contract containing no opt-out clause should the player lockout be lifted. Nevertheless, he informed coach Vladimir Jovanica that he wouldn’t continue with the Grobari into 2012. Partizan officials, as they say, accepted his resignation.
Law had a decent 2011-12 with Partizan, averaging 35.3 minutes, 12.7 points, 3.4 assists and 1.2 steal per EL game and 9.8 points in 24.8 minutes per in the Adriatic League. He twice went for 20 or more in matches against Belgacom Spirou.
Jimmer, there’s a man coming for your minutes! The Knicks probably aren’t interested in Law at all, but if they are there’s no way they’re as excited about the prospect of adding him as Smart has to be. After making 16% of his field goals through 11 games with the Grizzlies last year, Memphis released Law. The Warriors signed him and he would go on to play 15.8 mpg in 40 games with Smart’s Warriors. For comparison purposes, Andris Biedrins (the Warriors’ “starting center”) is averaging 13.8 mpg this season.
Under Smart, the locker room should be relatively harmonious, the Kings won’t be called out for nights filled with porous defense as long as the fast break points are flowing, and DeMarcus Cousins has carte blanche to do whatever he pleases … but you already knew that was inevitable once Westphal made that awkward statement about Cousins’ suspension.
With Law flying back to the states and ready to jack up a couple 3-pointers per game even though he’s made 23.5% of such shots in his career, Sacramento should get ready. Geoff Petrie may not be ready to lay down the law when it comes to Cousins, but if Smart has climbed the ranks this quickly he’ll probably lay down a prorated veteran’s minimum salary for Acie.