Kings' Cauley-Stein thriving in increased role: 'I can feel the change'

Kings' Cauley-Stein thriving in increased role: 'I can feel the change'

SACRAMENTO -- If there is one major knock on Willie Cauley-Stein, it is his rebounding. The 7-footer out of the University of Kentucky is gifted with incredible athleticism and length. He can jump out of the building, but through his first two seasons in the league, the rebounding numbers have been less than stellar.

Coming into Friday night’s game against Washington, Cauley-Stein was averaging just 3.1 rebounds in a little over 15 minutes a night. He is seeing a major increase in minutes since the trade and his rebounding numbers have begun to slowly improve.

“It’s important for him as part of his growth,” head coach Dave Joerger said of his starting big. “Especially in the first half, he was really focused on rebounding outside his area, going to get balls that are up in the air.”

The aggressive approach by Cauley-Stein led to a season-high 13 rebounds on the night, to go with 20 points in 42 minutes of action. He was active and made a huge impact in the game as the Kings attempted to upset the Wizards.

“Today I played like it was going to be my last game and that’s it, that’s how it’s got to be every game,” Cauley-Stein told CSN California. “I’ve just got to play like it’s my last and be aggressive and be willing to make mistakes and learn from them.”

Cauley-Stein is building momentum. Since the All-Star break he’s averaging 13.4 points, 6.6 rebounds and nearly a block in 32.3 minutes a night.

“Each game, I’m telling you, I get a little more comfortable, it slows down a little more, I get a little more aggressive,” Cauley-Stein added. “I’m excited for what’s happening. I can feel the change. I can feel all the work paying off.”

Like the rest of the team, Cauley-Stein is trying to adjust to life without Cousins. The early returns are solid for the sixth overall selection in the 2015 NBA Draft, but there is still plenty of room for growth with the 23-year-old big.

 

Kings PG Lawson entered denial of alleged probation violations

Kings PG Lawson entered denial of alleged probation violations

Sacramento Kings point guard Ty Lawson spent time in a Colorado courtroom Thursday to face allegations of potential probation violations. Lawson was granted a six-week stay in case and will reappear in court on May 4, CSN California has learned through a league source.

According to Jesse Paul of the Denver Post, Lawson, through his attorney Harvey Steinberg, entered a denial of probation violations. Lawson tested positive for alcohol three times in the past year, according to published reports. If true, it would be a violation of his probation. 

Lawson’s legal troubles stem from a 2015 DUI arrest in Denver. The eight-year NBA veteran signed a one-year deal with the Kings on Aug. 31, 2016. Through 63 games, including 21 starts, the 29-year-old guard has posted averages of 9.2 points and 4.7 assists in 25.1 minutes per game. 

He sat out Wednesday’s loss to the Milwaukee Bucks for “planned rest.” Lawson is expected back in a Kings uniform Friday night when they take on the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena.

Report: If Joerger not available, Kings likely would have hired Ewing

Report: If Joerger not available, Kings likely would have hired Ewing

On May 7, 2016, the Grizzlies fired Dave Joerger.

Two days later, the Kings hired Joerger.

If he had not become available, Sacramento likely would have tabbed Patrick Ewing as their head coach, according to The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Ewing is currently the associate head coach of the Hornets.

He has been on Charlotte's staff since 2013.

Before that, he was an assistant coach with the Magic for six seasons.

After retiring from the NBA following the 2001-02 season, he was an assistant with Washington for one season before joining the Houston Rockets.

Ewing was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008.