Paul Westphal Firing: Sacramento Kings Win First Game Under Keith Smart

The Sacramento Kings have had a tumultuous start to their 2011-12 season. Besides getting off to a bad start on the court, it was clear that tensions were running high behind the scenes. DeMarcus Cousins started talking loudly about a trade and lost his spot in the starting five. A clear shakeup was in order and head coach Paul Westphal was dismissed.

SB Nation's own Tom Ziller penned a great post on Wednesday about the shortcomings of Westphal. Notably, his failure to establish any sort of team identity or clear game plan after two years at the helm. If a team has nothing to stand for, they have no clear aim or direction.

Perhaps they have one now. After Keith Smart was named the new coach, the Kings hosted the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday night in their first game under the new regime. After trailing mightily at halftime, it seemed like it was going to be another of those games where Sacramento curled up and played out the string to its inevitable end and another defeat. Instead, they regrouped and rallied. They took a late lead and held on for a 103-100 victory in which Cousins notched a double-double.

It's only one game, but it's a start. The 1-0 record under Smart speaks volumes.

For all news and information regarding the Kings, please visit Sactown Royalty.

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