Nov 19, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings shooting guard Ben McLemore (16) holds up three fingers after scoring a three point basket against the Phoenix Suns during the first quarter at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Grading Ben McLemore As A Sacramento Kings Starter

Now through 10 games of the NBA season, it looks like Sacramento King coach Michael Malone has officially changed the starting shooting guard, from Marcus Thornton to Ben McLemore. It was just a matter of time for this swap to happen, so for many it wasn’t much of a surprise. McLemore has now started the last four games for Sacramento and now I believe it is time for a quick grade of his production.

The first thing I will say is McLemore is the best of all the Kings players at moving without the ball. He has makes the floor his playground the way he moves from one end to the other, but I am not going to look just at the visual aspect of McLemore in his new role, but also the numbers and still developing potential. Visually he looks all right, nothing too spectacular. He at times seems to find himself disappearing on the court, not being aggressive on the offensive end and right now that is where the team needs him. As we have seen (like Tuesday night against the Suns, for example) when he is on, he is on. McLemore can catch fire just as quick as he can go cold, so consistency is something he will need to work on for the future.

From visual to statistics. B-Mac has had a bit of a slow start offensively before last night, scoring just seven points in the last two and in his first start going 1-for-8 from the field to score just two points. His scoring has also come with a very low shooting percentage, shooting just a little better than 30 percent from the field. He has, however, been grabbing rebounds at a consistent rate. After not grabbing a single board in his first start, McLemore has found a way to get five, six and five in the last three games. His plus-minus numbers also are not where they should be as through four game he has ended with a zero, two negatives and one positive (plus-minus) performance.

When looking at the potential for this 20-year-old kid, you see such a high ceiling. He has the quickness and length to be a good defender, a beautiful shooting touch and the ability to grab rebounds. He has shown that his athletic ability as well here and there with a few attempted tomahawk jams. He also is only averaging twenty-one minutes a game so his production has the ability to still come way up, if he can start getting an average of thirty minutes a game.

It is still VERY early, in this NBA season and with McLemore improving every week, all you can expect is for things to go up. As a starter and for what McLemore has shown through these four games; I give B-Mac the grade of a C+. He still has plenty more to learn and still needs to develop his raw talent, but with many more starts coming his way, I am expecting better numbers on a more consistent basis by late December or early January.

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Tags: Ben McLemore Marcus Thornton Michael Malone Sacramento Kings

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