After another tough loss, Kings practice is encouraging
By Sam Amick - Bee Staff Writer
Last Updated 5:08 am PST Thursday, January 11, 2007
It did nothing to erase the latest loss, but the alternative clearly would have been worse.
Following their latest devastating defeat Tuesday, the Kings turned in a practice that pleased coach Eric Musselman and basketball president Geoff Petrie.
"I was impressed with the way our guys worked at practice this morning," Petrie said. "They went in there and worked at it."
Some spirit, in other words, remains.
"I thought we had another really good practice," Musselman said. "The guys worked hard ... . I think based on today's practice and the competitive nature of it, I think we'll be ready to play Friday night (at Portland)."
Forward Corliss Williamson hopes to be back Friday, having missed the loss to Cleveland because of back spasms. He spent much of the practice running on an elliptical machine, his condition improved from the pain that kept him at home Tuesday.
Webber contact -- Chris Webber's agent, Aaron Goodwin, said he discussed with Petrie the possibility of the former Kings star returning last week.
When a buyout of Webber's contract was being discussed with Philadelphia, Goodwin said he also talked about the possibility of a Webber return with Kings co-owners Joe and Gavin Maloof. Though Petrie said only that he had not talked to Goodwin on Wednesday, the chances of a Webber return seem slim to none.
Running hot -- Brad Miller was as frustrated by the Cleveland game as any of the Kings, but it still didn't feel as bad as the one before.
After missing the Los Angeles Lakers game Jan. 4 because of the flu, Miller played just nine minutes in Saturday's loss to Portland because of lingering effects from the illness. Miller said he went home at halftime, when his temperature was 100 degrees.
"I pulled in to hear that (the Trail Blazers) hit the shot, and I watched overtime," he said. "That was a disappointing loss when I'm healthy."
Miller has been running even hotter from the field, hitting 51 of 82 shots in the past nine games and scoring a season-high 24 points against Cleveland. He's among the many thrilled to see the old leather ball return Jan. 1.
"Obviously, shooting the ball is coming along fine," Miller said. "We got rid of that old funky ball and back to something that's worth a (darn)."
About the writer: The Bee's Sam Amick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org