Dec 3, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings point guard Isaiah Thomas (22) goes up for a basket above Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Kevin Durant (35) during the fourth quarter at Sleep Train Arena. The Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the Sacramento Kings 97-95. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Sacramento Kings: 3 Keys On How To Finish Games

I have said repeatedly that the Sacramento Kings have had a certain problem each game, where they seem to always find a way to go into a shooting drought for minutes at a time. This problem has been showing up again and again. This losing streak is no different, but something has changed–something about this Kings team has changed. It’s great to see the progression of this rebuilding Kings squad, but its seems that when it comes to crunch time the team just can’t pull out the win.

Here are the three keys on how they can finally get over the hump; how this Sacramento Kings team can start winning games.

First off the team needs to stop getting in the habit of getting in to a jump shot battle with the opposing teams. This issue is how their biggest flaw always starts. The Kings love taking jump shots, even when the shots are not falling. A most recent example would be when the Thunder went on a 18-0 run on the Kings and the main reason for this is because the team fell in love with the jumper.

It shows the IQ of the team. in the third quarter of last night’s devastating loss, they had the Thunder in the penalty with five minutes left in the quarter, but yet did not feel the need to attack the rim. You can point out that the team’s No. 1 player in DeMarcus Cousins was out with a rolled ankle, but is that really an excuse for not having a player like Jason Thompson or Patrick Patterson down low attacking the paint? The answer to that question is NO.

Moving on to the next tip for the team: Do not get tunnel vision. What I mean by this is Isaiah Thomas has been great in the fourth quarter, as has the entire bench and the Kings in general. The sad part is, they always have to play from behind because of the problem listed above and they are fighting to come back the rest of the way.

What does this have to do with tunnel vision? It’s true the team has showed fire and the desire to win during the final quarters of games, but when the time starts to get to the 60 second mark, the team starts to settle and as soon as a player feels they have something open, they just take it instead of looking for the right/better shot. I’m not in their minds to tell you what they are thinking but from an outsider looking in, it just seems in the final minutes when the game is on the line, everyone wants to be the hero that wins the game.

Now that goes back to the remark of the IQ of the team. The team needs to continue learning the ins and outs of each other, while also buying 100 percent into the new mindset and schemes of head coach Michael Malone. Until this young team really starts playing for one another and not themselves, these problems will continue to happen.

There is one last thing that will make them finally get over there the fourth quarter woes they just came seem to shake. Plain and simple. Make your shots. This team gets looks and really does have something going as of late; they just really can’t pull it together in the crunch. They get the looks at times, but the pressure gets to them and the shots just will not fall. Sooner rather than later the Kings fans in Sacramento are hoping the slump this team has been in offensively–basically all season–will finally shake off.

The good news is the season is still early. Only six weeks in and plenty of games to play that this team can really turn it around and start finding themselves. I am not hinting playoff bound, but my prediction all offseason was 32 wins and I honestly think this team can still get there.

Each game it seems the Kings are getting closer and closer to victory. How they view that will dictate each game, but have one of the hardest schedules of the season and the Kings having to go up against playoff caliber teams, they can’t be too disappointed because the taking of the game is right there.

As the season continues I expect them to use these three keys. This team will keep progressing each game. Patience is the key for everyone in Sacramento. Step by step they are getting better and the only thing this team can do is go up.

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Tags: DeMarcus Cousins Isaiah Thomas Michael Malone NBA NBA Schedule Sacramento Kings

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