Paul Westphal will play who he wants to play

February, 24, 2010
2/24/10
10:57
AM ET
Abbott By Henry Abbott
ESPN.com
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Yesterday, Tom Ziller of Sactown Royalty made a nice little chart showing that the Kings have had the least consistent playing rotations in the NBA this season.

On the same day, Sam Amick of the Sacramento Bee quoted three Kings: Sean May, Spencer Hawes, and Tyreke Evans, talking about how the strange minutes distribution (pity Donte Greene, who started a game, sat after four minutes, and never got back in) has been difficult for players.

To my reading, the most pointed quotes of all came from Evans, who was clear that he thinks the coach's decisions are hurting performance:

"Guys never know when they'll be having their time to play or they might be (starting)," Evans said.

"They're going into the game confused, and when they get into the game they want to impress the coach and (try) to play well. … It's probably hard for a player to keep that focus when they know that if they're playing bad they might not go in again."



Hawes, meanwhile, was mushier, mostly just saying that it was tough, which is fairly obvious:

"All year we've kind of been dealing with that," he said. "When you think you have kind of gotten over that hump, it comes back up again. That's the philosophy, so you've just got to deal with it.

"Everyone up and down the roster has had a taste of that, so everyone can relate. I think it's kind of tough, the not-knowing part on a game-to-game basis, to get in that rhythm. But that's the way it's going and there's not a whole lot you can do about it."



In any case, rather than reacting to all that feedback with some ode to improved consistency, Westphal instead decided to try another new roster manuever. He made Hawes (and only Hawes) inactive last night against Detroit. That was specifically in response to those kinds of comments. Hawes has started the majority of the games this season. Westphal explained the move to the Bee's Jason Jones:

"I saw where he's having a hard time understanding his role," said Kings coach Paul Westphal. "He should understand it (after) tonight."



I know what you're thinking. What a lot of drama! I wonder what the next conversation between Hawes and Westphal will be like?

They could make a reality show out of that locker room scene!

Well, in a hilarious, imagined, animated robotic way, they did. I insist you watch that. Honestly.

UPDATE: Similar insight into Daryl Morey's negotiations with Donnie Walsh.

Henry Abbott | email

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