December 7, 2012

Kings notes: Rookie facing reality in the NBA

The Kings' only rookie continues to be reminded that his NBA education is an ongoing process.

The Kings' only rookie continues to be reminded that his NBA education is an ongoing process.

After some early struggles, Thomas Robinson – selected fifth in the NBA draft after being projected to go as high as No. 2 – realized he needed to re-evaluate his approach.

"My rookie season's not going exactly as I envisioned it, but I'm just trying to work my way out of it," Robinson said. "Trying to get back to where I want to be."

When studying film, coach Keith Smart showed Robinson instances where he wasn't running the court as hard as he could, a must for a player who might be the most athletic on the roster.

Smart also showed him film of other NBA players he could model his play after.

"Once I got to the league, I figured I don't need to watch tape of guys in the league " Robinson said. "Now I realize I still need to; I still need to study other people. There's nothing wrong with studying film of guys (who are) better than you because there's a lot of bigs that are obviously better than me in this league."

Robinson said the main player he has studied is Utah forward Paul Millsap.

Though listed at 6-foot-10, Robinson is closer in height to Millsap, who is 6-8.

Robinson was able to overpower players in college, but to be an effective NBA scorer, he will need to adopt some of Millsap's savvy moves.

"He's an undersized big," Robinson said of Millsap. "He's got a lot of up-and-unders and can finish around the rim."

Among rookies, Robinson was 19th in scoring (5.1 points) and ninth in rebounds (3.8) entering Thursday's games.

Smart wants Robinson to focus on defense and running the floor and not force trying to make plays.

At this stage in Robinson's career, setting a good screen for a teammate is just as valuable as scoring.

No assumed advantage – With 25 points and 13 rebounds, Kings center DeMarcus Cousins had one of his best games of the season in Wednesday's win over Toronto.

Cousins, who was effective near the rim against the Raptors, will have a different challenge tonight against Orlando's Glen Davis, who is listed at 289 pounds, 19 more than Cousins' listed weight, and 6-9, two inches shorter than Cousins.

Smart said Cousins might not be able to bully his way past Davis.

"(Davis) has a low center of gravity and knows how to get underneath you," Smart said.

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