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James and Jonathan-
I love this site and appreciate your insights but I think you guys are way off base in your analysis of the Kings biggest problem and solution. It is not about who's shooting or how to delegate shots or role players vs starters getting touches. It is about defense.
Our number one problem we have is that we give up 103.4 point per game on 46.1% shooting and 38% from beyond the arc. That's it. That is where our focus must be. And I believe coach Malone would agree with me.
Isaiah Thomas does not play good defense. Ben McLemore does not play good defense. Rudy Gay does not play good defense. DeMarcus Cousins does not play good defense.
Every team in the league knows how to beat the Kings. Just drive to the basket. Nobody is going to stop you. If the Kings sink into the key (to double team help) just kick it out for a 38% 3 pointer.
What the Kings need is a different starting point guard who can play some semblance of defense. And for Ben McLemore to step up his D and get some tenacity (because he has the athletic ability).
I know you guys love IT and if you want to keep him a sixth man scoring spark that's great. But we will not win as long as he's in there allowing opposing point guards to do whatever they want.
The recipe to turn this team around is to get a shot blocking PF/C to team up with DMC and a defense/passing oriented PG. Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins can handle the bulk of the scoring. They are never going to be dominant defenders but the other 3 guys on the court damn well better be.
When you watch the playoffs you see the good teams have 2 or 3 key scorers and the rest of the guys scrap like hell. Gritty defending, swiping at the ball, hands in the passing lanes, rebounding, shot blocking, etc.
If the Kings could get their points allowed down to about 98-ish, we will be right there in the bottom of the payoff mix. The solution is get some defenders on the roster. Defense Defense Defense.
2 months, 4 weeks ago on Cowbell Kingdom Podcast Ep 142: James Herbert talks Toronto Raptors, Sacramento Kings and Rudy Gay
A couple of thoughts:
1) Petrie and the Maloofs put the organization in a very deep hole. This is not a 6 month quick fix. This is not a "throw money at it and get wins" situation. We've got a lot of bad players with a lot of bad contracts and it's going to take some time to clear the books.
2) No legitimate stars WANT to come to Sacramento. How do we change that? I believe that our best current option is to trade for a star with a large existing contract that their team wants to unload. I understand we will be overpaying for that player's services (that's the price you pay for sucking). But if you pair Cousins with another legitimate star along with McLemore and a 2014 draft pick… NOW you might be able to land a younger free agent who's looking for a team with upside.
3) I have to give the Kings front office some credit. At least they're trying to win. They're making offers to Andre Iguodala and Rajon Rondo. They're inquiring about Luoel Deng. They're trying to trade Isaiah Thomas and Jason Thompson. With the Maloofs there was absolutely zero hope of improving.
4) Looking at the Pacers and the Thunder and the Trailblazers should be our business model. We can achieve those type of teams/rosters/situations if we make good decisions going forward. I think the Pacers made a great trade by getting Turner for a guy they were losing anyway. If we don't extend Gay (and he exercises his 2014-15 player option) maybe we could pull something similar.
5) Please, Adam Silver, rig the lottery for us just ONE TIME. Anywhere in the top 3 picks is fine. After that we will stop our bitching. We promise. After all the Kings fans have been through we deserve it.
5 months ago on NBA trade deadline passes with no deal involving Jason Thompson
This is not a BIG move but it's a decent move. Here's why… You get two veterans who will hopefully have a positive effect on the the younger players.
Even though Terry's skills are fading, he's got a wealth of knowledge and tricks of the trade to impart to McLemore and McCallum, and Thomas (if we keep him) or a rookie (if we draft one). Terry has played on winning teams. And he's a better defender than Thorton IMO (although that's not saying much).
Evans will bring some toughness and defense and rebounding off the bench. That should help Cousins or at least help the team's attitude. A lot of times defense and rebounding are more attitude than skill level.
Also, I don't think our trades are done. If Jimmer and/or Thomas get traded, Terry provides some nice back up minutes while not inhibiting the long term growth of our young guards who will be getting a lot more burn.
5 months ago on Marcus Thornton traded to Brooklyn Nets for Jason Terry, Reggie Evans
@Jim Les for 3 @SSSDMC15 You own it. You're acting like "hater" is some vicious swear word. Don't be so sensitive.
The fact is there are many people on this board who incessantly argue that Jimmer is not an NBA caliber player. They have criticized and derided him all year long and have made incorrect pronouncements about his ability. Now when they are proven wrong they run and hide. I don't agree with THAT type of behavior.
If it makes you feel better we can call them "Kings fans who didn't believe in their own player and just got proved wrong"?
You seem like a nice polite guy so I apologize if I offended you. But there are other people who have posted extreme anti-Jimmer comments on this board all year. Perhaps you should turn your angst toward them.
5 months, 1 week ago on Road Reaction Postgame Show: Sacramento Kings 106, New York Knicks 101
I'm very curious to see what TABDOG posts?...
@Jim Les for 3 @SSSDMC15 There's the reaction I've been waiting for...
@layituplikeaman Props to you, LayItUp. I respect you for standing up "like a man" and recognizing Jimmers good game.
I'll be very interested to see what the Jimmer haters have to say now. I'm guessing it will be something like… "It was just one game."… "He just got hot because he was playing in front of friends in New York." … "He still didn't play great defense."… blah-blah-blah.
The fact is he scored a team high 24 points on 14 FGA. It was a great great performance. All that the Jimmer fans have been asking for is a chance. "Give the kid starters minutes and just see what he can do. JUST GIVE HIM A CHANCE. And if he doesn't outplay Thorton and McLemore then we'll shut our pie holes."
Well there will be no shutting of pie holes tonight. Jimmer just did exactly what his fans said he would do. Let's see how many Jimmer haters have the cojones to admit they were wrong???
@al asifyouknow @SSSDMC15 But it's NOT the whole story. Winning is the story. Winning against the best scoring team in the NBA is the story. Winning right after a players only team meeting is the story. Winning with Cousins taking the team on his shoulders is the story. If we won all of our games by the score of 123-119 there would be no complaints from anyone in Sacramento.
6 months, 2 weeks ago on CK Press Box Report: Sacramento Kings 123, Portland Trail Blazers 119
What a great quote by Malone. Let everybody know that he still believes in Ben McLemore. He just wants to put him in better spots/situations/match ups to be successful.
Sometimes it takes a 20 year old rookie a little more than 30 games to dominate against veteran grown men. (Imagine that.)
And sometimes if you're not getting maximum results you have to make adjustments. Good job Malone on a successful line up change tonight. And good job PDA on your two successful trades.
On a side note, did you notice the difference in our players' intensity tonight? Playing harder? Trying to play more together? I bet that had nothing to do with the players only meeting?
@RN_506 It seems like a win/win. Although I've got to disagree with you slightly on your production recap though. Here are the scoring stats in Sacramento:
Salmons 24.7 min/game, 5.8 PPG on 35.0% shooting.
Vasquez 25.8 min/game, 9.8 PPG on 43.3% shooting.
Patterson 24.4 min/game, 6.9 PPG on 41% shooting.
Gay 36.7 min/game, 19.5 PPG on 49.7% shooting.
Here are the scoring stats in Toronto:
Salmons 25.5 min/game, 6.2 PPG on 35.6% shooting.
Vasquez 16.3 min/game, 7.1 PPG on 34.9% shooting.
Patterson 20.8 min/game, 7.8 PPG on 48.7% shooting.
Gay 35.5 min/game, 19.4 PPG on 38.8% shooting.
As you can see, Gay is playing about the same amount of minutes and scoring the same amount of points, but he's shooting the ball at a much higher FG% here in Sactown (49.7%). The 2nd highest FG% of any SF in the NBA (only LeBron is better). Now, is Gay worth $17.8 million? Maybe not? But his shooting % is better than Carmelo Anthony ($21.5 million), better than Joe Johnson ($21.5 million), better than Pau Gasol ($19.3 million), and comparable to Nowitzki ($22 million), so it's not as bad as some others.
On the other hand, Salmons is shooting the same FG% for you that he did for us. Patterson is shooting a little better. And Vasquez is shooting a little worse. Combined, those three guys averaged 22.5 PPG on 74.9 minutes for us. And 21.1 PPG on 62.6 minutes for you.
I don't think that your new Kings additions are responsible for your winning streak. But I do think getting rid of Gay's high usage rate has forced your other players to step up. And THAT is why you're winning. And I'm happy for you guys.
Meanwhile having a quality starter like Rudy has opened up scoring for Cousins and Thomas, helping us beat Miami, Dallas, Houston (2). If we could ever learn to play some defense, who knows, we might get a winning streak of our own?
6 months, 2 weeks ago on Sacramento Kings getting a more efficient Rudy Gay
Where is Asifyouknow now? Step up and be a man and admit you were wrong?
So often we talk about basketball IQ. I think a lot can be said for Rudy Gay's basketball smarts, coming in here with no practice time, not knowing the offense, not knowing his teammates tendencies, and still somehow managing to play within the system (19 PPG on 48% shooting).
6 months, 3 weeks ago on Practice time helps Sacramento Kings make small strides with new pieces
"The Kings coach would love to have a shot blocking big man and defensive guard to slow the elite perimeter players in the league."
I've posted this same thing a number of times. And I believe PDA will get it done eventually. But these big trades (to get elite talent) are not as easy as they may seem.
I would love to add John Henson (Bucks) but why would they give him up? He's young and talented and one of the key pieces to their rebuild. I'm sure they're looking at keeping their two twin towers and adding a scoring G or SF with a top 3 pick in the draft. It would cost us a ton.
I believe our best course of action is to let Isaiah Thomas shoot the hell out of the ball and rack up scoring stats to increase his trade value. There are TONS of teams that would love to add a scoring PG (either off the bench or as a starter).
I'm not so much worried about identity or cohesion right now. I'm more concerned about upgrading our starting talent and finding legitimate defenders to put around DMC and Gay.
6 months, 3 weeks ago on Sunday Musings: Who are the Sacramento Kings?
@al asifyouknow @SSSDMC15 I agree with the "no direction" and "pick up game" assessment. But I think the personel is getting pretty close. I think we keep Cousins/Gay/McLemore long term. And surround them with defenders/facilitators.
We need a shot blocking big man. Call him a flex PF/C or whatever.
I personally would trade IT for a better passing/defending PG, but I don't know if the front office feels the same way.
We are one trade and one high draft pick away from having our starters set.
I'm going to give Malone a tiny bit of slack because he hasn't had a lot of practice time with his new players, but we better start seeing more improvement quicker if he wants to stay long term. At least see us not repeating the same mistakes.
6 months, 3 weeks ago on CK Press Box Report: Sacramento Kings 108, Miami Heat 103
Let me be clear, I understand that the Heat were missing some key players, but this was still a fairly big win in our rebuilding process.
This year is not about wins/losses for the Kings, it's about changing a losing mentality. Part of that is bringing in more talented players. But part of that is also building confidence. Wins like these are an important step. Especially when your best players play well in crunch time.
@benbackstreet @SSSDMC15 What are you talking about? When did I ever say Phil Jackson encouraged "hand checking"? Read my post. I said Phil taught OFF THE BALL defense and HELP SIDE defense. That has nothing to with hand checking.
What I said was, in today's NBA the Kings need to SLIDE THEIR FEET and cut off the dribbler. Then SWIPE at the ball NOT THE ARM. And keep their HANDS IN THE PASSING LANES.
6 months, 4 weeks ago on Poll: What's to blame for the Sacramento Kings' struggles on defense?
To understand the Kings' struggles on defense, you have to start by looking at the good defensive teams in the NBA. What do they do that's so different?
It's not so much about shut down one on one defense. That is almost impossible in today's NBA. The best defensive teams work together as a unit to force the opposition into a lower percentage shot. They double team the best scorer and force the ball into the hands of the worst shooter whenever possible.
They also have a plan going into the game. Like forcing certain players to their left, or forcing certain players to jump shoot, or double teaming certain players any time they get the ball in the post.
A lot of people will point to our lack of shot blockers. That is a problem but it is not the main problem. Our main problem is that we don't rotate well. When somebody on the opposing team drives toward the basket, we have one guy who gets beat and the other four guys stand watching until he is taking a shot. Then we lunge and foul. The best teams rotate immediately to stop the drive, and then when he picks up the ball to pass the other players have already rotated to the open men.
That's why I believe a lot of the problem lies with coach Malone. I'm not saying it's his fault. I'm saying whatever method he is using to teach help/rotate defense is not working. If our guys were getting into the right positions but didn't have the talent to make they play that's on the players. But they're rarely in the right spots.
Then there is the issue of teaching technique. A lot of young guys (DMC, McLemore, Williams, IT) have been scorers all their lives. They never had to learn defense. Malone has to teach them how to get low and slide their feet with their hands down low swiping at the dribble then swiping up into the passing lanes. That is a skill you have to work on in practice.
Phil Jackson always taught off the ball defense as his key to success with the Bulls. Hands in the passing lanes at ALL times. When a guy near you starts to dribble, come from the blind side and swipe at the ball (not the arm). It's much easier to block shots when you're coming on blind side help, rather than on your own man face up. I don't see any evidence of Malone teaching these concepts. If he is, then his teaching technique is not working.
Most of us fans can SEE the problems. The question is how do we FIX the problems? How do we improve our defense? How do we limit our turnovers?
1) We need to acquire a shot blocking big man to play along side Cousins. Whether you want to call that guy a PF or a C doesn't make much difference. Trade Jason Thompson + whoever else it takes to get someone resembling Greg Monroe or Andre Drummond. If you can't find the right guy in a trade, look ahead to the draft, at Joel Embiid (Kansas).
2) We need McLemore to step up his on the ball defense. He has all the tools. He just needs to get more aggressive. We don't need him to do a lot of slashing/scoring. Just spot up 3 pointers.
3) We've got to trade IT and get a point guard that can play some D. And also not turn it over so much. IT scores 19 PPG but he gives up 20+ points per game. Plus he lets his guy penetrate and draw fouls on our bigs. Now is the perfect time to trade him and get max value.
Below is an interesting link. DMC is the second best scorer in the league per 48 minutes (only LeBron is better). We need to give DeMarcus as many shots as humanly possible.
7 months ago on CK Press Box Report: New Orleans Pelicans 113, Sacramento Kings 100
@Zugnacca @SSSDMC15 @KennethBrody Are the Bucks looking to trade him? I thought they were rebuilding around him?
7 months ago on Sunday Musings: Sacramento Kings begin assembling the right pieces
@KennethBrody This is very similar to the trade I've been thinking about. Mine is a 4 team trade to accommodate Houston.
The Celtics really want Omar Asik but they don't have the trade pieces to make that happen. If they give up Rondo, they can keep IT and trade Mac for a draft pick (or other player) to sweeten the pot for Houston. The Celtics get a scoring PG and a scoring C. The Rockets get a high draft pick and/or player TBD. The fourth team gets a young cheap SG (Mac) with great potential.
The Kings trade two good players for one great player (again) and we fix our biggest current weakness, which is PG defense. But we aslo get a well rounded vet with playoff experience, who understands how to win, and how to make his teammates better.
And we keep our high 2014 draft pick in a draft full of SG's and PF's.
I think you nailed it when you said the Kings are lacking the understanding of how to play team defense. They don't anticipate well. They don't force teams to take certain shots. They don't know (as a team) what they're trying to do. They just watch and react. And you can't do that in the NBA.
We have some athletes with the skills to play defense. Quick hands, quick feet, etc. I even think some of our guys have the desire. We just don't know how/when to rotate. We don't know how to double and switch and get through screens. But most of all, our players don't look like they've done any scouting/studying of the other team's players offensive tendencies. Part of that is being young but part of that is just lazy preparation.
7 months ago on Road Reaction Postgame Show: Sacramento Kings 105, Orlando Magic 100
@Tombone Yeah I know that's what they "say", we might be able to get a third team involved though? Isaiah and Jimmer are both very capable/inexpensive scorers and may have more value than we think on the trade market?
I don't think Cousins can really defend around the hoop either so I'd like to see them try him at the 4. I honestly believe his post up moves/scoring will much more efficient against shorter lighter guys even if they are quicker.
7 months ago on Derrick Williams embracing new reserve role with Sacramento Kings
On a related side note, looking ahead to the draft…
I have heard some speculation that Cousins and the front office would both like to acquire a true shot blocking Center (like Embiid) and let DMC slide down to the #4 PF spot.
That would allow Williams to come off the bench as either a #3 or #4 (to relieve either Cousins or Gay) and take a lot of shots as well as focus more energy on defense.
That would also allow us to trade Thompson/Thorton/Jimmer/even Thomas for a PG who can play some defense. My dream scenario is somehow getting Rondo from Boston.
Can you imagine: Embiid (C) - Cousins (PF) - Gay (SF) - McLemore (SG) - Rondo (PG)
With: Gray (C) - Williams (PF/SF) - McCallum (PG) off the bench?
I agree with virtually everything you just wrote. It all boils down to two points, best summarized in the two quotes by Pete D:
“I read everything that everyone reads,” general manager Pete D’Alessandro said earlier this week. “We have our processes to and see things differently"
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But great trades happen when one GM sees something in a player that other GMs do not. And what is that "something"?...
“I feel like a lot of times with certain players, it’s where they’re getting the ball, it’s where they’re scoring, it’s the position they’re put in,” D’Alessandro said.
The Kings management feel like they can alter Gay's shot selection/usage with their new scheme/system. If they can, his stats will be just fine. I realize it's only been two games but... "so far so good."
7 months, 1 week ago on Sunday Musings: Looking deeper at the Rudy Gay trade
@tpistoia @ChrisDoster Seriously Chris. Why don't you go root for the Heat? You can post on their blog site instead? You'll be happier and we'll be happier?
7 months, 1 week ago on Road Reaction Postgame Show: Phoenix Suns 116, Sacramento Kings 107
I'm going to give Pete D and Malone a little bit of slack here. They have pulled off 2 very nice trades already and I suspect they are looking at more trade options as we speak. Just give them a chance. I bet they will have our guard situation improved by the deadline.
Also, looking ahead to the draft… It sure makes Marcus Smart or Dante Exum a couple of interesting possibilities?
I completely agree. I am baffled at how some people see this as a BAD move. We just traded a Buick, a Mazda, a Jeep, and a Honda... for a Corvette. And some people are complaining because it doesn't get very good gas mileage. Who cares about MPGs its a Corvette.
We are getting a potential all star. All we have to do is tweak his shot selection. It's not like he forgot how to dribble/pass/rebound/shoot/defend. He will take pressure off DMC. And gives us a better shooter than any SF we had (which was killing us).
Looking long term. If he does well, and we keep him. We just got our future starter at SF in his prime. He's younger than Andre Iguodala, and he's a better scorer IMO. If he leaves we just saved a ton of cap space.
7 months, 1 week ago on Cowbell Kingdom Podcast Ep 123: Sacramento Kings assistant coach Micah Nori on Rudy Gay trade
7 months, 2 weeks ago on Report: Sacramento Kings acquire small forward Rudy Gay
@al asifyouknow @SSSDMC15 Do you ever listen when other people post? Do you ever try to have a productive discussion and learn something new? Or are you just here to argue? Because if it's argue I'll just leave you alone to argue with yourself?
YOU brought up past stats as the reason you think Rudy will not be successful in Sacramento. YOU brought up his high usage as the reason you think he will not be successful in Sacramento. Read what I said dude…
"As far as not playing well with others neither does Kobe, or Carmelo, or James Harden, etc. Some players are just wired differently." - http://cowbellkingdom.com/2013/12/08/report-sacramento-kings-acquire-small-forward-rudy-gay/#comments
Where did I say "Rudy Gay WAS Kobe Bryant"?
As far as the stats go. Here are the career stats on those 3 guys:
K. Bryant 19.6 FGA, 45.4 FG %, 33.5 3pt%, 5.3 RB, 25.5 pts
C. Anthony 19.6 FGA 45.5 FG%, 33.2 3pt%, 6.5 RB, 25.0 pt
Rudy Gay 15.5 FGA, 44.7 FG%, 34.4 3pt%, 5.9 RB, 18.0 pts
Do you notice any similarities as far as STATS go? My whole point is stats don't tell the whole story or predict wins or championships or even future success. Some high usage scorers work out but others do not. WE'LL JUST HAVE TO SEE WON'T WE?
@al asifyouknow @SSSDMC15 Again, I'm not arguing what he did before. I am hopeful that he will be better here in Sacramento than he was in Toronto. If we can get "Memphis Rudy" in a trade for Vasquez and Salmons, I'll take that every day (despite his weaknesses).
As far as "not playing well with others" neither does Kobe, or Carmelo, or James Harden, etc. Some players are just wired differently.
I'm going to wait and watch Rudy play here for a while before delivering a verdict. And I don't mean 3 games. I'm going to give him a good solid chance to show what he can do. Then I'll be glad to discuss the topic again if you'd like.
@al asifyouknow @SSSDMC15 Neither of us know what we're getting. This is a discussion board. We're both just fans giving our opinions.
1) A lot of people KNEW Monta Ellis would be a terrible fit in Dallas with Dirk. They were wrong. Both players have adapted. A lot of people KNEW Lebron and D Wade would not be able to co-exist on the same team with only one ball. They were wrong. Both players adapted. We don't know but we HOPE Gay will adapt as well (at least I do).
2) I have a hard time believing a player of Rudy Gay's caliber loses all of his skills just because he moves from one city to another. Perhaps there is a chance that the roster change and system change and coaching change had something to do with his diminished stats and less than optimistic attitude?
3) I guess I just don't understand how a true Kings fan could be so quick to trash our players or pronounce them as failures. Even before they've played one game for us. I'm not trying to insult you, but seriously, if it's that hard for you to root for this team perhaps you should pick a different team to cheer for?
I would love to hear D'Alessando and/or Malone discuss how they fit positionally? At the PF or SF? And their planes on rotations?
7 months, 2 weeks ago on Trade analysis: Why the Rudy Gay trade makes sense for the Sacramento Kings
@TABDOG @SSSDMC15 It's a fair point but you're taking extreme cases to use as the basis of your argument.
1) Football is not basketball. They're completely different sports with completely different skill sets. That would be like comparing a baseball catcher to a point guard.
2) Go ahead and list how many unathletic guys currently dominate the NBA. And I'll list how many athletic guys currently dominate the NBA. And we'll see whose list is longer.
3) I'm not claiming DMC, Williams, Gay, McLemore have patience. In fact quite the opposite. They definitely have to learn to play together. On both ends.
4) Statistics change greatly when the shooter is wide open. You give Jimmer a wide open look with nobody on him and his stats are wayyyyy better then pulling up off a pick and roll with a 6'8" SF hand in his face. The same thing goes for Williams, Gay, etc.
5) So you want proven guys with no weaknesses huh? No problem. Just give Kevin Durant's agent a call and work out a trade. I'm sure he'll want to come here.
(Sometimes you gotta take what you can get. And if you don't think Rudy Gay is an upgrade over John Salmons or Patrick Patterson then I can't help you.)
One thing the analysts are forgetting here…
Today's NBA is all about marketing. Fans come to watch STARS play. Our new front office is slowly but surely attracting potential stars.
But how do we (the Kings) do that since nobody wants to come here?
1) The Draft
2) Trade. And sometimes you can't trade for a star in one step. It takes multiple trades.
You have to acquire guys like Mbah a Moute in order to trade for guys like Derrick Williams. You have to acquire guys like Vasquez and Patterson in order to trade for guys like Gay. Then hopefully one day you can trade for a guy like Kevin Love.
7 months, 2 weeks ago on What to make of Rudy Gay?
I think a lot of analysts are looking so heavily at the numbers they are missing the real point here.
The reason why the Kings have been so bad recently is because they've had such BAD PLAYERS. I know that may sound like over-simplying but hear me out...
The Kings roster was filled with players who didn't have the SKILL SETS to compete on the NBA level. They couldn't dribble, they couldn't pass, they couldn't move, they couldn't rebound, they couldn't shoot. And they couldn't prevent other teams from doing those things.
So it didn't matter what coach came in, what system we used, or how fired up our players were. It was like putting you or me on the court. We don't have the talent athletically to beat NBA players.
Now we do. In Cousins, Williams, Gay, McLemore, we finally have some elite talent. As D'alessandro said "We need to get more athletic." All three of these guys have the ability to beat their own defender one on one. Now it's up to the coaching staff to design plays that will let them produce solid statistics by playing together.
We'll see if Cousins shooting % goes up once his double teams start going back out to cover Williams and Gay? We'll see if Gay and Williams can hit their jump shots a little easier with their defenders sagging in to cover Cousins?
That's what the "analysts" are missing here. Basketball is all about CREATING high percentage shots. When your players are able to beat their man one on one it CREATES better shots for themselves and their teammates.
DeMarcus Cousins - Derrick Williams - Rudy Gay - Ben McLemore - Isaiah Thomas
Merry Christmas Kings!
@Ken S I kind of feel the same way. I don't care about wins this year (at all). I care about DMC becoming a star. So far in the first 15 games, DMC is averaging 22 points, 10 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.5 steals, 1 block, in only 30 min/game. And that is with defenses doubling him often.
In today's NBA you need a big 3. DMC is Big 1. If we land a top 3 pick this year we will have Big 2. And both of them will be very young, still entering their primes, with Big 2 being relatively inexpensive for the first 5 years. That just leaves a veteran star to complete the puzzle. Isaiah Thomas for Luol Deng? Anybody?
7 months, 3 weeks ago on CK Press Box Report: Golden State Warriors 115, Sacramento Kings 113
Probably one of the best sports articles I've read this year. In any sport. Thank you James.
I am guilty of giving Petrie a hard time with some of his trades/signings the past few years. I think he set the bar so high in the Kings "Golden Age" that when he started missing (like most GMs do) it made it seem like he had lost his mind to a much greater degree.
I still think he made some very foolish decisions though. Both drafting and FAs. Even I (an amateur fan) knew the welcome back John Salmons signing was a horrific idea from day one.
I like about 50% Pete's moves so far. Love DMC's extension. Love the McLemore draft pick. Like that we didn't extend Tyreke, although I wish we would've traded him back when his value/potential was higher. I think I like the Williams signing, I just wish we traded a different player(s) to get him. I really do not like the Carl Landry signing. If you want to test him out for a year with a team option for a second year, great. But 4 years at $7 million per? Are you f-ing kidding me?
7 months, 3 weeks ago on Sunday Musings: Pete D'Alessandro begins writing his Sacramento Kings story
@al asifyouknow @SSSDMC15 Agree to disagree. I think he's improving (although he obviously still has a ways to go).
I'm seeing more hustle. Less technicals and whining. At least so far.
7 months, 3 weeks ago on Sacramento Kings looking two steps ahead with trade for Derrick Williams
Excellent article Jonathan. Thank you.
I think the key point to glean from this trade is…
The Kings new management are not trying to dictate Williams' long term future based on what they've seen in his first two seasons (in a slightly dysfunctional franchise). They're going to give him a chance to grow and develop and IMPROVE. They are not looking at what he IS but what he can possibly BECOME.
Remember Chris Webber in Washington? He was a terrible free throw shooter (55%) and didn't have a good mid range jump shot, right? Then he moved to Sacramento and somehow shoots 75% from the stripe and magically develops into an elite jump shooter. How did that happen? He worked hard and IMPROVED.
Look at DeMarcus Cousins. Terrible defender? Lazy? Attitude problem? Yet in only 6 short months, this new management has helped him display major strides in personal effort and team leadership, and he's even showing signs of good defense.
The Timberwolves say "Williams can't play the 3". Who cares what the Timberwolves think? They are the ones who drafted him #2 overall then traded him away, so obviously they were wrong once? Maybe with a little support and a better offensive system he returns to his 59% FG that he shot his last 2 years at Arizona?
I'm not proclaiming whether Williams will be a star or a bust. But I am saying he has very clear upside. Something that cannot be said about Salmons or Mbah a Moute. I like this trade because it at least gives us a chance to acquire better talent. Just like drafting Ben McLemore. Keep bringing in upside players and sooner or later you're going to strike gold. (ex. Paul George).
7 months, 4 weeks ago on Sacramento Kings looking two steps ahead with trade for Derrick Williams
I am willing to give Derrick Williams a chance before I judge. I believe he will be able to score around the basket better than Thompson or Patterson. And that alone creates more shots for our perimeter guys. I believe he has great upside on defense. And if his jump shot improves he will offer solid value.
I just feel like the better trade is to ship one of our PG's to Chicago (along with whatever else it takes) to get Luol Deng. Deng is very similar to Iguodala. Great defender. Savvy veteran. Even keeled emotionally. And can score when called upon but doesn't need a ton of touches.
The Bulls are in an awkward situation right now. Deng's contract extension is coming due and I don't know that they are willing to pay what it takes to keep him (especially if Rose is going to be a different player once he returns). They may be intrigued by IT who can at least score some points?
7 months, 4 weeks ago on Sacramento Kings acquire Derrick Williams from Minnesota Timberwolves for Luc Mbah a Moute
By next year DMC will be the best all around big man in the game.
With this new system he will average 25 points and 10 rebounds per game. But he is also playing some defense now, blocking shots (without fouling) and using his quick hands to deflect passes and get steals.
He has improved his low post moves this off season and he's now beating legitimate shot blockers with quickness and angles. That opens up his 15 foot jumper which also looks smooth. He moves and dribbles like a power forward which makes him a very difficult match up. And he's got awareness in the passing game, willing to dish the assist when he's open.
Our main problem is not DMC's emotions. It's finding talent to put around him.
8 months, 3 weeks ago on Sunday Musings: The evolving DeMarcus Cousins
@DrJ22 A fair post. I would suggest an alternate view on this issue though...
"To insinuate Jimmer has not seen time on the court for any reason other than ability is ridiculous"
Many times, coaches or teammates dislike a certain player for personal reasons. I have a friend (who was roommates with Jimmer at BYU) who told me of a direct conversation he had with Jimmer in which he described specific instances of jealously among teammates. They hated the hype and fan love Jimmer was receiving, and the fact he has a (rightfully) clean image, and intentionally excluded him from designed "Jimmer plays" during actual games. He also told me about discussions other players had with Coach Smart that revealed his deep personal disdain for Jimmer.
Also, I think it became obvious fairly quickly that IT was a better all around point guard than Jimmer. The question to me has always been why not play Jimmer more at shooting guard? If overall ability is the sole reason to start Thorton over Jimmer, then I believe that argument is flawed. In my opinion Thorton is an equally poor defender. JImmer has a better cross over and short area quickness. Jimmer is a better 3 point shooter than Thorton. And Jimmer is a better free throw shooter than Thorton. So what "ability" does Thorton have that makes him a clear starter over Jimmer?
I believe salary has a lot to do with it . When you're paying somebody $8 million per year for the next 3 years (guaranteed), you're not going to sit him on the bench unless he's clearly detrimental to the team. That would crush his stats and reduces his trade value. (I believe the same type of thinking is what has kept Salmons on the court).
Finally, I think veteran experience is the main reason Jimmer has not seen action over Thorton. Coach Smart had to try and win now to save his job. He could not afford to wait for Jimmer to develop. With every mistake Jimmer made, other people around the league would question Smart's decision making. You make the safe bet. Play the higher salary veteran guy. And then in your next job interview you can explain yourself easier.
Those are some of the other reasons I believe Jimmer did not get a chance here. Besides ability.
8 months, 3 weeks ago on Sacramento Kings general manager Pete D'Alessandro explains Jimmer Fredette decision
@Dima2k @SSSDMC15 @silverdog Okay. That makes more sense. Good post.
@Dima2k @silverdog I'm just curious as to why you want so badly to get rid of a guy who shoots 42% from the 3 point line?
Is it because he's a poor defender? Because there are a lot of guys on this roster who are poor defenders and I don't see you calling for them to be cut/traded?
Are you rooting for him to fail just to say you were right? I don't get that type of thinking or attitude?
Even our Kings management agonized over this decision. The people who own and run the team say the sample size on Jimmer is too small to really know if this is a good decision. And yet you seem to know more than them when it comes to Jimmer's future.
I agree there is an argument to be made to start Jimmer over Thorton at SG. I am in no way excusing Jimmer's weaknesses. I admit he is turnover prone and a defensive liability. Here is my point...
We know what we have in Thorton. A decent shooter. A decent scorer. A decent passer. A below average defender. We don't know what we have in Jimmer yet. The pro-Jimmer fans don't know. The anti-Jimmer fans don't know. It is all speculation.
If we start Jimmer and he sucks... Fine... He's gone. Worst case scenarion, maybe we lose an extra game or two because of him and get a better draft pick. There's not really a negative.
If we start Jimmer and he lights it up... Even better. Now we have options. Keep him at a reasonable price? Or trade him when his value is up?
And, you're right, Jimmer's defense is not that much worse than Thorton's defense.
8 months, 3 weeks ago on Cowbell Kingdom Podcast Ep 117: Deuce Mason on Sacramento Kings season opener, Jimmer Fredette
@MichaelEveringham @braineater000 @silverdog But we give $3 million to the great Travis Outlaw. And $5 million to the great Chuck Hayes.
8 months, 3 weeks ago on Sacramento Kings decide not to pick up the fourth year option on Jimmer Fredette
I really hope the front office is able to swing a trade for Jimmer where we can dump a big contract along with him. Petrie really screwed us the last few years. $8 million for Thorton? $7.5 million for Salmons? $6 million for Hayes? $3 million for Outlaw? Wasted draft picks on Jimmer and Robinson? Trading a future 1st for Hickson? I mean seriously. I know high school teenage fantasy basketball geeks who could make better transactions than that.
Once we shed the bad weight, we're really not that far away from the playoffs. DMC is an elite center. Thompson is a nice back up 4/5 flex guy. Vasquez and Thomas combine to make a very solid point guard tandem. McLemore will develop into a nice SG. We have some decent back up/depth in Landry and Patterson and Mbah a Moute. That just leaves a starting SF and a starting PF as our major needs.
One of those should be filled in the 2014 draft. The other (hopefully) in free agency.
Interesting that other GMs would vote us as "fun" to watch. Maybe they misread the question and thought it said "funny"?
9 months ago on Sacramento Kings acknowledged in several categories of NBA's annual GM survey
Good article, James. Here's how I see it...
1) The Kings should pick up Jimmer's option simply because it is a solid "business move". The Kings are looking to build a new stadium, sell expensive box seats, increase national/international exposure. Jimmer helps on all 3 fronts. The $3 million will be gained back in revenue (easily).
2) The Kings should worry more about how to dump Thorton's $8 million/yr, and Salmon's $7.5 million/yr, and Hayes' $6 million/yr, than whether or not to pay Jimmer an extra $3 million. I'd be willing to take on a massive albatros contract like Joe Johnson's $22 million/yr just to get rid of those 3.
3) It is not a given that Jimmer gets traded. Just as the new front office has mended the damage with Cousins, they could do the same with Jimmer. (I'm not saying they WILL I'm saying they COULD). If we extend him now we could potentially get him at significant discount.
4) Jimmer's stats could potentially go way up this year. DMC will be getting doubled much much more, leaving our shooters open. If Jimmer were to shoot eight 3-pointers per game (two per quarter). That's 10 points per game on 3 pointers alone. Throw in a couple free throws or a back door lay up and that's 12 PPG off the bench. That is worth $3 million easily.
5) You don't let young 1st round sharp shooters get away just because they have weaknesses. You train them and develop them to fit your system. That's why we brought in Malone right? To teach a defensive system. DMC already looks like a decent defender and its only been a few pre-season games.
9 months ago on Sunday Musings: The Jimmer Fredette Dilemma
This is a fair contract for both sides. About $16 million per year (during Cousins' 4 most prime years).
More than Andrew Bogut / Roy Hibbard ($14 mil) but less than Dwight Howard / Chris Bosh ($19 mil).
It is a gamble, but a reasonable gamble. DMC's stats will likely be going up under the new regime. I'm projecting a 22 point / 11 rebound average. That would be well worth the money IMO. But what's more important is that we have secured a franchise big man. And one who WANTS to be in Sacramento. That's not easy to come by. A lot of rich teams can't even do that. (Dallas, Chicago, Boston)
The hope here is that DMC will become the type of star who will attract other stars. If Vivek can make a trade for another solid player (by the time the new arena is built) I believe we will be able to convince an elite FA to join on. (Just like the warriors did.) That will give us our own "Big Two" and we will be playoff contenders.
Combine that with the cheap rookie contracts of Ben McLemore and our 2014 top pick and we should be able to field a team very similar to the Thunder and Warriors (cap-wise). The plan is now in place. And the Kings' future is FINALLY looking brighter.
9 months, 4 weeks ago on DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings agree to contract extension
10 months ago on Report: Sacramento Kings and DeMarcus Cousins moving towards max extension
@Mad Dam @SSSDMC15 I think Keith Smart just decided that Jimmer had too many flaws for his system. And that Jimmer's weaknesses over-rode his strengths. Which, in fairness, is probably accurate.
A good coach however would've realized that you have to design your offense around the talents of your players and not vice versa. If you have a guy who shoots 42% from the 3 pt line you need to FIND A WAY to get him shots.
10 months, 4 weeks ago on What to do about Jimmer Fredette?
@benbackstreet @Mad Dam @SSSDMC15 I'm not familiar with the mathematics you just explained but it seems like (from a common sense standpoint) you want to give the guy with the best shooting percentage the most amount of shots.
Keith Smart never got that. He was trying to create certain shots in certain areas of the court which were more open. But if then (when the players couldn't execute his plans) it lead to forced shots and turnovers.
This team needs to simplify. Clear out the low block for DMC. If he's one on one, let him shoot. And I mean every single time down the court. If/when they double him, have Jimmer be waiting at the 3 point line. It's not that complicated.
And it works in reverse too. Give Jimmer the ball early on the wing. If he's open, let him shoot it now, in rhythm. If he shoots 42% from 3 pt land, I'd give him 12 shots per game. Seriously. That's 15 points in the bag. Plus it opens the floor. Plus it gives your bigs a chance to get in better rebound position. Plus it reduces turnovers.
Last year Steph Curry "the greatest 3 pt shooter in all the land" shot 45% from 3 pt land. Jimmer shot 42%. The difference is attempts.
Let's imagine for hypothetical purposes that we gave Jimmer the 8 attempts from behind the arc (like Curry gets) instead of the 2 attempts per game (like we currently give him). Do you think Jimmer would get in a better rhythm? Do you think his confidence would improve? Do you think Jimmer's percentage would creep up slightly? Do you think he would force other teams to come out and defend him? Do you think that that may open up the court more for others? Do you think other teams/coaches would notice that? Do you think his trade value would increase?
I do. On all counts.
Nobody is saying Jimmer is Steph Curry. Jimmer is a 6th man. A spot up sharp shooter off the bench. But that is still an extremely valuable weapon when used properly. When Jimmer comes into the game everybody in the stadium should know what's about to happen. 3 minutes of Jimmer rain. Light it up. Then get him off the court (before his flaws begin to cost you). His PPM average will sky rocket. Then we can keep him for cheap. Or trade him for high value. That's what I would do.
11 months ago on What to do about Jimmer Fredette?
I actually like the Vasquez pick up more than most people. When your PG is looking solely to create (rather than to get his own points) it becomes contagious. Other guys start passing more. And suddenly our shots are more open.
If Malone can establish some team discipline in our offense (meaning shot selection) I think Greivis has the potential for 11 assists per game. And hopefully he'll get DMC above the 20 ppg average.
11 months, 4 weeks ago on Poll: Grading the Sacramento Kings offseason to this point
Wait a minute. There's a future all star big man who actually WANTS to sign with Sacramento? And we're questioning IF we should sign him? Wake up people. We can't even get a guy like Iguodala to sign here. We offered to overpay him by $8 million and he still said NO. Sure Cousins has some issues. But so does our city. Beggars can't be choosers. Right now we take what we can get. And Cousins is a huge "get".
Our new management is doing exactly what they should. Bonding with DMC. Supporting DMC. Gathering input from DMC. Building around DMC. Molding him into the franchise player that we all hope he could be.
In today's NBA, great players CHOOSE to sign with other great players. We need to build Cousins into a great player. Make him a 25/10/5 type star. THEN we can attract FA's to come play with him.
We should have one more year with getting a top draft pick in 2014. Maybe even get lucky into the top 3 for once. Focus on Cousins. Bring the rookie along. Let McLemore shoot from distance. Let Vasquez feed them all the ball. Trade for one more star player. And by next season we're contenders again. In a new arena.
12 months ago on Poll: What should the Sacramento Kings do about DeMarcus Cousins?
@bryan12 I don't know that he's our best PG "by far" but I believe he will be within 2 years. The only reason he was not selected in the mid first round was his choice of school. If he had played against a higher level of competition, not only would he have gotten more recognition, but he would've improved his skill-set even faster. As it is, he is probably a year away. But the only way to get that elite experience is to be on the court with the elite players.
I think McCallum makes the team this year and sees a few minutes the first half of the season, subbing for Vasquez. If he plays well, that will clarify our contract position on Vasquez. No reason we couldn't keep them both.
I do believe our new owner/GM/coach squad are looking to replace IT, Jimmer, Thorton. You don't pay $550 million for a team without evaluating the current talent. As soon as the acquisition was made their first move was to draft a SG and PG. And trade Evans for another PG. Doesn't bode well for IT or Jimmer.
1 year ago on Poll: Ray McCallum shines in Las Vegas, but what does that mean?
When you watch McCallum on the court, he actually looks a lot like a young Deron Williams. I mean the way he moves. Quick first step. Quick cross over. The way he bends over at the waist to protect the ball when he dribbles. Good court vision. Active on defense. Not afraid of contact.
I definitely see him as an NBA starter. If we get a top 7 pick this year (which is loaded at the SF/PF position) we will have 4 of our starting 5 for the next few years:
PG - McCallum
SG - McLemore
SF/PF - (2014 draft)
C - Cousins
@Kingtut1 @SSSDMC15 I can see you put a lot of thought and insight into your comments. I bet the Kings are thrilled to have you as a fan.
1 year ago on Sluggish shooting stifles Sacramento Kings in 2013 NBA Summer League debut
I also think McLemore's knee was bothering him a bit more than he let on. He was trying to tough it out but it definitely affected his shot. From the 2nd quarter on, he just didn't look sharp at all.
On the bright side, McLemore really does look like a young Ray Allen. Very smooth stroke. Jumps well. Moves well. Good awareness. Athletic but not overly physical. Probably will never be an elite on ball defender but may develop into a crafty defender. He looks very natural along the perimeter. But he also crashes the boards well from the weak side. Gets great elevation. I could actually see him scoring some points from ally oops or follow dunks. And definitely contribute in transition.
This is the kind of kid where a stable organization will really help because you have to build a long term offense around him that will maximize his skill set. He doesn't need the ball in hands constantly (like Kobe). He's a spot up shooter. With the ability to slash. Which should fit very nicely with DMC (who is a better passer than he gets credit for). He could score 16-18 PPG without a ton of touches.
One thing that is becoming more and more clear, we need some elite shooters to clear the paint for DMC. Hopefully McLemore develops some chemistry with him. Because the two could make a nice tandem.
Very honest and encouraging article. I agree that this year the wins/losses don't matter. Our focus needs to be establishing a system. The Kings are (and always have been a scoring team). We can't and shouldn't lose that. But we must must must develop a team defense concept. We don't need to become a top a 3 defense. But we do need to limit the easy buckets that we give away, game after game after game. Malone will help in this regard. But it won't come on day one. It will take time. And mistakes. And learning from mistakes.
We need to build our offense around DMC. Give him as many shots as we possibly can, and make him a 25/10 star. If he becomes recognized as the best scoring big man in the game, his name (and the Kings name) will begin to permeate through NBA circles. We will get publicity and ratings and marketing. Even if we brand him as a "bad boy" I'm actually okay with that. As long as he's a "dominant scoring bad boy".
Once you have a dominant post scorer the game gets much easier. You surround him with perimeter shooters to take away the strong side guard double team. (Enter McLemore). I have high hopes for this kid. He has a very smooth shooting stroke and excellent athleticism. I believe he has the potential to be significantly better than Tyreke. Especially if Malone can coach some defense into him. But once again it will take some patience and commitment. We have to give him shots, even if he has a bad shooting game (or a bad shooting week). We need to develop him into an 18 PPG guy.
Once we have that 1-2 scoring punch, and a team defense, with a good coach, and a re-juvenized fan base, and a new stadium, we WILL get a top free agent to sign here. (Maybe it will be a trade) But we will somehow get another legitimate star to complete our own "Big 3". And then we will be able to compete with the best.
Look at Golden State. Draft Curry. Give him as many shots as possible. Make him into a star. Then they trade for David Lee. Then a guy like Iguodala chooses to sign there. Look at L.A. Clippers. Draft Griffin. Give him the ball and let him showcase his talents. Make him into a star. Then they trade for DeAndre Jordan. Then a guy like Chris Paul chooses to sign there. We need to follow the same recipe.
1 year ago on Sunday Musings: Managing expectations for the 2013-14 Sacramento Kings
@Cowbb Agreed. Only the Kings could have a 42% 3-pt shooter and have fans chomping at the bit to trade him away. Jimmer is a valuable bench scorer. Sure he has weaknesses. But so do: Thompson, Patterson, Hayes, Thorton, Salmons, Landry, IT, Grievis, and yes, even DMC.
If I were Malone I'd experiment with a "quick hit" double SG package. Grievis at PG, Jimmer on the right wing SG, McLemore on the left wing SG, DMC on the right low block, and Thompson roaming the high elbow.
Thompson screens for Grievis, who looks for DMC on the low block. If DMC gets it one-on-one, great, take it to the rack every single time. If they double DMC from the right wing, kick it to Jimmer for the 3. If they double DMC from the left wing, kick it to McLemore for the 3 or slashing to the rim. If they double DMC from the PF elbow, ally oop to a crashing Thompson.
Obviously this package would have to go to a zone-ish perimeter defense (to mask Jimmer's on ball defense deficiency) but that's okay. Give Jimmer 6 attempts per game from the arc, and he's going to make 2.5 shots. That's 7.5 points per game on 6 shots and it spaces the floor.
1 year ago on Monta Ellis chooses to sign with the Dallas Mavericks