Either DeMarcus Cousins is hearing his coach's words loud and clear, or he's just really good at playing follow the leader.
"The team has a problem with just being consistent,” Cousins said, via CowbellKingdom.com's Jonathan Santiago. “Once we find something that works, we have a tendency to go away from it or we get bored with it. But the thing is, if we just stick to that boring basketball, we’ll be a better team."
The only consistencies of this team are its growing loss column (8-19) and uncontrollable defensive leaks (106.6 points allowed per 100 possessions, 28th overall). There are only so many ways to describe the same problem, and Sacramento's inability to find a fix is weighing heavily on its face of the franchise.
“It’s the same (expletive) every night,” Cousins said, via Santiago. “We break down defensively, we don’t talk. Same (expletive). When you keep up with the same (expletive), you’re gonna get the same results and that’s what we’ve been getting.”
Those same results haven't been pretty. The Kings have dropped six of their last eight games, yielding triple-digit outbursts to all but two of those opponents. Over this stretch, Sacramento is 1-1 when holding teams under the century mark, and just 1-5 when it doesn't.
Malone's frustrations should have been expected. He's a defensive-minded coach who inherited an offensive-slanted roster. The few stoppers that he had (Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Chuck Hayes) were sent packing in deals that brought back more volume scorers (Derrick Williams, Rudy Gay).
But Cousins' verbal jabs are a better indication of just how bad this problem really is. A blossoming talent on the offensive post, the 23-year-old hasn't always remembered that there are two ends to a basketball court.
Then again, he may have just seen enough of his offensive outbursts go to waste:
Charlotte bucked down and showed why they are a good defensive team. Had no answer for DeMarcus Cousins, but didn't have to. #NBAKings— Sean Cunningham (@News10Sean) December 18, 2013
The front office might have to work overtime to put these fires out. If you want to know why the Kings are hurting defensively, a scan through their roster will give you that answer really quick.
On some teams, there might be some hope for some positive reactions stemming from all of this frustration. I'm not sure Sacramento falls under that umbrella.
League officials don't like "Boogie" when he's mad.