The New Year is now upon us and the Kings are due for another Vince Miracle progress report, but this time I think I will focus on the rising big three that the Sacramento Kings are starting to form. If you are not fully familiar with the big three I am talking about, here they are: Rudy Gay, Isaiah Thomas and DeMarcus Cousins.
Before you can grade a big three you first have to look at the players in that three individually and see how they are contributing for the team. So let’s take a close look at Rudy Gay first shall we?
Gay has been playing more efficiently since joining this Kings team in that seven-man swap with the Toronto Raptors. In the 10 games he has played in for Sacramento, Rudy has only been held to single digits once. He has also had an incredible improvement in his field goal percentage. After shooting just 38 percent earlier this season in Toronto, Rudy Gay has turned it around in Sacramento and has shot 10 percent better, hitting 48 percent since the trade.
The success of Rudy Gay has been great to see for Kings fans and it seems Gay is really finding his way with his new teammates on the Kings roster. A big reason for his success has to come from the other two that are in this up-and-coming big three. Having the best years of his career in Memphis with a roster that had a strong big man and an rising point guard; this Kings roster seems to be forming in that same way. Isaiah Thomas has been playing great all season long and as a starter he has really picked up his game even more, making a strong case to win the league’s Most Improved Player award.
Thomas is averaging more than 21 points a game to go along with 7.8 assists in 12 games as a starter. Thomas has shown to be a leader of this team since his rookie season; his fire on the court has shown to really motivate his teammates. Thomas seems to really be making a name for himself in the league. Isaiah has already gotten praise from “The Logo,” Jerry West, played great in the rookie-sophomore game during All-Star Weekend and in the last two years has beat out everyone for the starting job on this Kings roster. Coach Michael Malone has shown to really trust Thomas and has already spoken about Thomas as one of the leaders of that Kings team.
With two down there is only one left and that is the franchise center piece DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins was given a max contract during the offseason and was handed over the keys to the team. DeMarcus has earned every penny this season and has been playing at an all star level, since opening night. He has really showed progress with his attitude that everyone seems to have worried about, but yet still has the fire and intensity on the court. Cousins has definitely elevated his game this year and has been making his presence known all season and is now in the conversation as one of the best centers in the NBA.
For the Kings to have these three players on their roster, the franchise’s future is looking bright. The team is still not winning games, but has shown that they can keep up with the top echelon teams in the NBA. Let no one forget that this team has only had maybe a handful of practices to really come together and build the chemistry that is needed to be built to have a strong unit on the floor. To also start winning games these three are going to need help, the Kings bench has not been playing up to par since Thomas has taken over the starting job and that will have to change going into the second half of the season.
Through 10 games of this newly formed big three in Sacramento the grade I give is a B-. The team had to overcome a road trip as soon as the traded was able to be processed through and for the team to still find a way to be in most of those games you have to give this team a bit of break. The three have shown that they can play with one another and that sharing the ball between the three will not be a problem. Going forward the chemistry is going to need to build; learning where each of them like the ball on the court, when to throw down to the big man, and basically a complete all around feel for where one will be while on the court.
If the chemistry can build and each can continue to work to make themselves better, this Kings team will really start making some noise.