Keith Smart Wants Lineup Versatility

Cary Emondson-US PRESSWIRE

After Monday's loss against Phoenix, Sacramento Kings Head Coach Keith Smart was asked about when we would see his starting lineup. He responded that he'd be debuting the lineup in the final preseason game against the Lakers.

However, that may not be the case, as he told Jason Jones and Jonathan Santiago after practice today. Santiago was the first to report on Smart's backtracking, but Jones tweeted out a nice conversation on the subject with Coach Smart.

“Take with a grain of salt what I say right after a game,” Smart said. “Because that was in the moment and the question was asked then. And we have five days before we have to make a decision to get ready for Chicago. We just want to make sure the guys that are playing do the right thing every single time they are on the floor."

Smart said Monday in Phoenix the starting lineup tomorrow against the Lakers in San Diego would start the season opener at Chicago.

That's not the case now. Or maybe it will be. Only Smart knows.

One thing Smart is certain he wants is more diversity on the floor at one time.

"I don’t want to have this year too many guys that can score on the floor at the same time," Smart said. "Granted I’m going to need it at times but I don’t want to have it too much. I want to have the role guys in the lineup at any given time to be able to defend certain spots at certain times of the game."

This makes sense. While the Kings have plenty of scorers, it'd be unwise to play too many together at once. Keeping some on the bench will balance both and allow for more options depending on the situation. Last season, the Kings were really forced to go with lineups that featured a lot of scoring (think Isaiah, Thornton, Reke lineups) simply because the other options were even worse. This year with the additions of James Johnson, Aaron Brooks and Thomas Robinson and a seeming return to form for Chuck Hayes, there are options.

With 908 votes tallied on yesterday's Starting Lineup Poll, 50% of you voted for a starting lineup of Thomas, Evans, Johnson, Thompson, and Cousins. To me, this is a good mix to start with as Thomas, Evans, Johnson, Thompson and Cousins all bring a good mix of offense and defense. Marcus Thornton and Aaron Brooks are more one-dimensional, as is Chuck Hayes. Thomas Robinson is raw, but 16% of you wanted him in the above starting lineup over Jason Thompson.

Whatever our starting lineup is this year, it's nice that for once our lineup will be dictated by the fact we have options instead of not having enough.

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