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Donte Greene to Start for 'Forseeable Future'

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The Bee's Jason Jones reports that, at practice today, Kings coach Paul Westphal announced Donte Greene will be the starting small forward for the "forseeable future."

Greene started the season opener at Minnesota, then played a total of seven minutes off the bench over the next eight games, a span that included five DNP-CDs and one two-second stint. Westphal said it had not been anything Greene did wrong, but that he had better players to feature at the small forward slot. That included Omri Casspi (who started eight games), Jason Thompson (who, at 6'11 and 250 lbs. had almost exclusively played power forward and center in his career), Antoine Wright, Francisco Garcia and at times guard Tyreke Evans. Thompson was pushed to small forward as Darnell Jackson received minutes at power forward.

Westphal was quoted by Jones Tuesday as saying the team had more pressing matters than finding minutes for Greene. Yet against the Knicks, Westphal inserted Greene for Thompson with eight minutes left in the third quarter. Greene played the remainder of the game. Casspi, who had been Thompson's sub in the first half, didn't come back in until desperation time late in the fourth.

In his eight starts, Casspi averaged 11.1 points in 28.6 minutes a game, shooting 42% from the floor and 39% from three. Greene is a career 33% three-point shooter, but is considered to be a potential impact defender. The Kings are 30th in the league in defensive efficiency.

Jones reports Westphal also said Luther Head will start in the backcourt with Tyreke Evans against New Jersey on Friday.