The Sacramento Kings have finished their three-game road trip and are now heading home for another matchup with a potential new rival in the L.A. Clippers. Although they have now lost two in row there are still many positives to look at from this trip and going forward they will have to continue progressing–on those positives–to start winning on a more consistent basis.
During the two games in the City of Angels, the Kings were able to show both their strengths and weaknesses during each game. Even in Phoenix where the team got a win, the Kings showed that while they are undoubtedly getting better, they still have a ways to go until they can be looked at as a serious team.
The Kings have been playing much better as of late and with players like DeMarcus Cousins and Isaiah Thomas playing at such a high clip, it looks like the team is really finding their offense. There is still a big problem that this Kings team just can’t seem to get away from in every game. The Kings always seem to find themselves in a shooting drought.
This problem–you would think–could be found out and fixed quickly. If you are shooting too many jump shots, attack the basket. If getting double teamed, kick it out. Just writing it down seems simple enough, but the team just can’t find a way to avoid this issue. An example would be during Sunday night’s game against the Lakers, with roughly four minutes left in the third, it seemed the game turned into a jump shot battle until the end and the Kings lost.
Another great example of this problem would be against the Clippers. The Kings put on an overall great game, even though they sadly came away with a loss, but before the Kings found themselves with a potential game winner, the Kings were trailing by 20 points during most of the first half.
The Kings offense is the definition of streaky. I will say this though, when the Kings offense gets hot, the team can keep up with the best of them. Its still a process for this team and step by step they are getting better, but until the Kings can gain some consistency on the offensive end and have their shots start falling, they will keep seeing “L” next to their name.
The defense has definitely stepped up at times, but like coach Michael Malone has said countless times this season, it has not been setting the tone. If the Kings offense is not flowing and shots don’t start dropping, their defense starts to fade away. Changing the mindset of a young team is never going to be easy, but it’s nice to see that the players are buying into this change and with such a young team, this Kings team can potentially build on being a defense-first team as the season progresses.
The Kings are off until Friday and hopefully they can bounce back and make up on the losses they suffered in Staples.