Sacramento Kings: 3 Steps to Recover an Already Lost 2011-2012 Season
Only six games into the 2011-2012 NBA season, and already the Sacramento Kings are looking like a team that has completely lost the will to work and compete for one another. The front office needs to do something quick to recover what seems to be an already lost season.
DeMarcus Cousins' infantile trade demands have dominated the airwaves and the Kings' locker room, and his behavior since rejoining the team shows he is far from adopting an attitude of repentance.
Tyreke Evans has significantly regressed to start the season, something that shouldn't shock anyone. After all, the lockout was a perfect excuse to take some more time off for personal endeavors.
Geoff Petrie has put together a hodgepodge of talent, none of whom work well together as a group, and Paul Westphal seems to have already lost the pulse of his locker room.
So, what can be done to fix this mess?
Get Rid of the Cancer
DeMarcus Cousins wants out of Sacramento, so I say get rid of the cancer as soon as humanly possible. Find a trade partner that will give fair value in return.
Fans must understand that fair value at this point will be less than what seems fair, because Cousins' immature and flighty demands will cause other teams to be far from eager to take on a player know for being a diva.
Ideally, the Kings could receive a true point guard in return. In fact, I wouldn't be upset if Tyreke Evans was used to package with Cousins to score a legitimate floor general.
The likelihood of this dream becoming a reality is clearly slim, but it would sure solve a lot of problems if they could work it out without causing any significant drop-off in talent.
Defense, Defense, Defense
The Sacramento Kings seem to be allergic to anything resembling good defense. This has always been the case with Geoff Petrie picked teams, but this year's squad is particularly devoid of any semblance of defense.
If this trend doesn't change soon, there will be absolutely no hope of recovering this lost season.
The Kings are the second-worst team in the NBA at allowing points, and they give up over 101 points a game. They are the fourth-worst team in the league, allowing opponents to score .467 percent of the time a shot is fired. Finally, the Kings are the third-worst team in the NBA at allowing opponents to make assisted baskets, giving up 23.5 assists per game.
These numbers are atrocious, and if the team doesn't take defense seriously, then there is no hope of success.
More Jimmer Fredette
Through six games, Jimmer Fredette has been nothing more than a role player for the Sacramento Kings, playing just 25 minutes a game. If the Kings want to turn this season around, they will give Fredette more playing time and make him a focal point of their offense.
Last week, I wrote a column in which I outlined my argument for making Fredette the Kings' starting point guard. This move would allow the team to utilize Tyreke Evans' unique talents at his more natural position as a slashing shooting guard.
More Fredette means more ball movement, which the Kings desperately need. Evans isn't a natural passer, except when he drives in the hole and dishes out to open men on the perimeter.
Paul Westphal needs to allow Fredette to make the rookie mistakes he's bound to make, while teaching him how to run the offense as a true point guard, much in the same way Mike Bibby used to run things for the team.
Jimmer's deadly shooting will force opposing guards to play the perimeter more, giving the forwards and center more room to operate down low. Better spacing will lead to better ball movement, which in turn will lead to better shooting percentages for the Kings.