Following some sloppy play in the first quarter of the Kings‘ loss to the Hornets on Tuesday, Malik Monk was benched for the rest of the first half. When he returned to the game in the third quarter, Monk hit a pair of three-pointers, then turned and appeared to say something to head coach Mike Brown as he passed Sacramento’s bench (Twitter video link via Sean Cunningham of Fox 40 Sacramento).
At the next timeout, Brown and Monk engaged in a heated conversation on the sidelines, but they seemed to resolve their differences quickly, according to Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee, who notes that Brown shrugged off the incident when he spoke to reporters after the game.
“Heat of the moment,” Brown said. “Malik and I — I think everybody has seen it — but Malik and I have gotten into exchanges before. This was not the first time, and I would bet money it won’t be the last time, so that’s not a big deal.”
While Brown downplayed his exchange with Monk, he was disappointed in his team’s execution and sense of urgency down the stretch in an ugly loss that ended Charlotte’s 11-game losing streak, describing it as “alarming.”
“Our half-court defense, we’re literally just standing on the weak side of the floor, and we give up a stone-cold layup at a crucial part of the game,” Brown said. “So, to not have an awareness, a sense of urgency, it was not a good feeling being out there and being a part of it, and obviously I had a lot to do with it because I did not have our guys ready apparently.”
Here’s more on the Kings:
- Kings wing Chris Duarte got a second consecutive start on Tuesday in place of Kevin Huerter and played well, recording 12 points, seven rebounds, and four assists in nearly 30 minutes of action. As Anderson relays, Brown explained on Tuesday that he wants to get a longer look at the new starting lineup before deciding whether or not to stick with it. “It’s one of those things that we just kind of play out, wait and see and see how it goes, but it was not a one-time thing,” Brown said. “It’s a change that we made that, right now, we’re going to continue to take a look at going forward.”
- In addition to the starting lineup tweak, Brown has made another notable change to his rotation, playing Davion Mitchell over Keon Ellis in each of the past three games. Mitchell has averaged about 14 minutes per night during that time after being out of the rotation for nearly all of December, while Ellis had a pair of DNP-CDs for the first time since November. Mitchell earned the Kings’ defensive player of the game chain in Friday’s win over Atlanta, writes Chris Biderman of The Sacramento Bee. “Even if I’m not in the rotation, I’m still trying to help, still trying to help my team win,” Mitchell said after that game. “Keon’s a really good player in our league and I’m just trying to teach him the little things, things I experienced my rookie year, my sophomore year.”
- Former Stockton Kings center Chance Comanche, who is accused of killing a woman last month in Nevada, made an initial court appearance in Las Vegas on Tuesday. According to an Associated Press report, separate murder, kidnapping, and conspiracy cases will be combined so that Comanche and his ex-girlfriend (and alleged co-conspirator) Sakari Harnden can be tried together. Comanche, who intends to plead not guilty, will remain in jail without bail — his next court date is set for February 8.