Sacramento Kings: How is Michael Malone Faring as Coach?


Jan 4, 2014; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings head coach Michael Malone watches action against the Charlotte Bobcats in the fourth quarter at Sleep Train Arena. The Bobcats defeated the Kings 113-103. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Malone is a man on a mission. He is on  a mission to restore a franchise to its former glory.  When he took the job as head coach of the Sacramento Kings, Malone knew what kind of a mess he was walking into and welcomed it with open arms.  The challenge has been to get the most out of a team that had a lot of young talent and a center that could not keep his temper under control and stay out of foul trouble.

In short, Malone inherited an undisciplined basketball team. That was not going to sit well with his “My way or the highway” mentality. Coming in as a defensive-minded coach, Malone wanted to whip the defense into shape. The rotation of his players is also giving him some problems. Overall, Michael Malone could be the man to bring the Kings back to relevancy.

Getting Off to a Rough Start
When Malone took the job as the Head Coach of the Sacramento Kings, the entire franchise was in flux. Nothing was going to be the same, except for the city. With a new ownership group and a promise to stay in Sacramento, Malone only had himself and his hand chosen staff to start with. He also had a very young and undisciplined team to work with. During the first few games of the season, The Kings looked good in flashes, then just as quick as it happened, the team fell apart. This led to many angry press-conferences by Malone, resulting in him calling out his own team on their lack of discipline and just poor play. As Malone and The Kings started to meld, they started to pull off some upset victories and surprise the media and the opposing teams. They currently sit at 15-27, which is one game behind their rivals the Los Angeles Lakers. They have been able to string together some wins, but then there is always the team to come in and end it. Overall, Malone can be attributed with the growth of this young franchise.

Using His Personnel Correctly
A big challenge that Malone has had to face has been finding the correct rotation of players to put the best product he can on the floor. With the recent acquisitions of Rudy Gay, Derrick Williams, Quincy Acy and Aaron Gray, Malone has a list of players that can be potentially lethal on the floor. Add these names to those like DeMarcus Cousins, Isaiah Thomas and Marcus Thornton, and there are many combinations to put scorers on the court.  Malone has had two players score 40+ points in the last week. First it was Rudy Gay with 41, then Marcus Thornton went off against Indiana for 42.  Finding a way to put his players together in a way to be successful has been a challenge for Malone, but it seems that he could be running up on a winning combination the way things are starting to shape up.

Final Thoughts
In summation, Michael Malone has done a good job stepping into a mess of a franchise and starting to get it put back on course. With the use of Sacramento’s “Big 3” consisting of Isaiah Thomas, Rudy Gay, and Demarcus Cousins, The Sacramento Kings could be seeing a resurgence in relevancy quite soon. Possibly a playoff push in the next year or so? The key is to keep some consistency on the roster, and the coaching staff. Basically, it boils down to this: Let Malone do his job, you will make playoffs.

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