(Not) The King of their Castle

    My last article featured a legendary but forgettable team, the Los Angeles Lakers. This time we continue our review of the 2013-14 NBA season with the Sacramento Kings. In case you were wondering, I am reviewing each team from their respective conference from the bottom up.    This Cali team does not have the accolades and glory that the Lakers possess but I think a much brighter future. First off, both teams are very close to each other in the top 15 (or bottom) in scoring at over 100 points a game, but bottom of the league giving up 103.5 points a game. The two teams (Lakers) and Kings may have the same record virtually and the same ppg and opponent ppg but the Kings play with much more heart and play teams close wether at home or against the road. It would take me some time to gather the data for how many close games they were in that they lost but the record does not recognize that, only wins and losses. I am not a huge advocate or fan of gathering unnecessary and petty stats such as that, only wins and losses count for me. The ability to close out the game is what matters, not if u were down 2 or up 10 the whole game and then suddenly lose. On another note, it comes down to defense. Sure the Kings may have 3 20 point a night scorers in Thomas, Cousins, and Gay, but defense is critical man, if u cannot defend even though if u keep up the score, you will lose and results will not be good. It kills me to see this team struggle as the diminishing franchise was almost moved several times from Sacramento, to places like Vegas or back to Seattle for a reprise of basketball in Washington. Kings were bottom 10 in opp FG % at 46 and second to last in 3pt fg % at 37 percent. The defensive players are not there, Gay played in a defensive style in Memphis for some time and DMC has grown up to be a good man, although that might be going to far as he still lacks discipline. Nevertheless the Kings need to tighten up defensively as Mike Malone can coach a hell of a basketball game, but fails defensively. I think Reggie Evans, Derrick Williams and DMC will load up to go off defensively next year as the Kings are third to last in blocks this year at 4 per game, may not mean a lot to people but having a defensive and animal mindset in the paint can input fear onto others. On another note, they need to shoot higher % from three point range only 33 %, pretty awful considering they have Gay and Thomas who can light it up, but Ben McLemore the rookie is pretty awful shooting 36 and 33 from the field and beyond the arc. He will only get better, I just do not understand the jump from the NBA from college, and how these rookies, most who left early, think they can come in a just ball. The John Wall’s and Lebrons of the world are far and scarce, there needs to be more decision making, raw talent does not just cut it. Discipline, and intangibles, most important a knowledge of the fast paced and constant changing game. Moving forward the staying put of the Kings in Sacramento and the three 20 ppg scorers are nice things to look at and be happy about, the good bench players such as Carl Landry, Reggie Evans, Jason Terry, Ray McCallum, and Travis  Outlaw, are good enough to maybe get this team into the playoffs. How many teams do you know have three twenty point a night scorers? Not many. Defense needs to tighten up, DMC needs to be a leader and McLemore needs to shoot more efficient and smarter shots. Thomas and Gay will continue to shine and Malone will need to toughen these guys up next year. It kills me to see no teams trying to emulate the Chicago Bulls system defensively. The Bulls have no 20 ppg scorers, but have so much heart and defensive authority on the game that results in positive victories. Best of luck to the Kings, keep Northern California basketball relevant!

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