The one thing most Sacramento Kings fans remember from Saturday’s loss to the the Portland Trail Blazers was nothing on the court, but what was said in the press conference afterwards with coach Michael Malone.
“Changes will be made.”
Those four words have drawn quite a buzz from the Kings fan base and what has most people talking is the potential of seeing Jimmer Fredette step on the hardwood.
Earlier in the season Malone was quoted in saying that Jimmer was out of the rotation, but to be ready because anything can happen in a long NBA season.
Well, something has happened–or not happened–from starting shooting guard Marcus Thornton. Thornton has been terrible for Sacramento and saying that is a bit of an understatement. Through six games this season Thornton is averaging 8.7 points, 0.7 assists and only 2.5 rebounds per game in 28 minutes.
It seems Malone has seen enough and the one player that could benefit from that is Jimmer. Jimmer was good in preseason and his player efficiency rating numbers are phenomenal when you take a good look at them, so will the shooter from BYU finally see the court?
In my opinion it will be yes. Against Portland on Saturday Jimmer saw the most minutes in a game this season and I don’t think that was because of the score. Coach Malone looked frustrated with his team after five minutes through the third quarter and while the Kings made a late game push, it was apparent these “changes” were coming sooner than later.
Jimmer brings a bit of a different repertoire than Marcus Thornton. Jimmer is as much of the scoring threat that Thornton is, but the big difference between the two of these players is Jimmer’s ability and desire to pass the ball. The Kings offense seems to be the same as last year, as they still play more one-on-one than as a team. Adding Jimmer to the rotation gives one more willing passer that will look to pass before finding his own shot.
However, the knock in Jimmer has never on his offense, but rather his defense. It’s no secret that Jimmer is someone opposing teams try to target while on offense, but Jimmer would be the same liability Thornton has been through six games.
Now is that right to say, that the Kings have liabilities on their team? Probably not, but it’s the truth. Neither Thornton nor Jimmer can play D. What you have to look at then is who will provide the effort and it is apparent that Thornton has not shown the effort on both ends of the court. Marcus Thornton has shown this side of his game time and time again; if his offense isn’t going, then his defense isn’t showing.
I’m not trying to single out Thornton as the only player that has been struggling for the Kings, as others (John Salmons and Patrick Patterson, most notably) have not shown up to play this season either. This just happens to be the position that, unlike the forward positions, has depth and a player that can potentially step in and provide a bit more of what the team needs.
Only time will tell what Malone will do and what he ment by changes. Tonight is the first time fans will see the team since the comments were made and this will be the first look into the “changes” Malone has been said to make.
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