Kings to start Dalembert over Cousins

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According to James Ham of The Purple Pajandrum, Kings coach Paul Westphal plans to start veteran center Samuel Dalembert over rookie DeMarcus Cousins now that Dalembert is healthy:

“I am going to change the line.  Hopefully it will be the last time this year.  Now that Sammy’s healthy, I think he is the right fit to start with Carl, Beno, Omri  and Tyreke.  This is something that we always envisioned doing, we just haven’t been able to do it until now.”

“It’s good to have a defensive oriented player in the front court.  It’s good to have experience.  It’s good to mix up our post threats, meaning that our two best post players are Carl and DeMarcus.  When they start together, it’s like- which one do we throw it to.  Well, if we can bring DeMarcus off the bench, throw to him when he’s in there and then throw to Carl when he’s in there.”

Cousins, whose reputation as something as a head case followed him from college to the NBA, seems to be taking the news in stride and thinking team-first:

“I thought it was a great idea and I think it will really help the team.  I won’t have to start the game off and I’m still learning.  Coming in off the bench, I can see how aggressive the game is so I can know how aggressive to be and not be.  I’ll get the feel of the game a lot better.”

I think this is a good move for the Kings — it’s important for a player leading a second unit to be able to create scoring opportunities for himself, and that’s an area Cousins excels in and Dalembert most assuredly does not.

Cousins has averaged 13.4 points and 6.4 rebounds over his first five NBA games, but has only shot 43% from the field and picked up a foul every five minutes, both of which suggest Cousins is going through some to-be-expected growing pains. Hopefully the move to the bench will take some pressure off the ulta-talented Cousins and give him time to make the necessary adjustments in his game.

Hezonja throws down one-handed dunk in preseason debut

Orlando Magic Introduce 2015 NBA Draft Picks
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Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has never lacked for confidence. The Croatian guard made his pro debut in the Magic’s preseason game against the Hornets on Saturday and did this:

Between Hezonja, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have a nucleus of young players that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Even if they’re still a few years away from contending, they’re definitely going to be a League Pass favorite this year.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist suffers dislocated shoulder in preseason game

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Solomon Hill
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Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:

A few hours after the game, the Hornets announced that Kidd-Gilchrist has a dislocated shoulder:

Depending on the severity of the injury, he could miss a few weeks or a few months. Hopefully, it’s the shorter end of that timeline. We should know more on Sunday.