The chance of qualifying for the postseason may have already gone out the window for the Sacramento Kings, but that doesn't mean the season's over. Far from it, actually. The stretch run will provide plenty of opportunities for players to distinguish themselves.
For some, it's pretty obvious. Inexperienced youngsters like Ben McLemore and Ray McCallum can use it as an opportunity for increased playing time, a chance to hone their games. For others like Carl Landry, who's coming back from injury, and Derrick Williams, the stretch run will allow them to get a basis for what needs to improve going forward.
In fact, head coach Mike Malone recently summed it up pretty well as far as how the team will utilize its final slate of games.
"Moving forward, we need to see Ray McCallum," Malone said. "We need to see Ben McLemore. We need to see Derrick Williams, Carl Landry, see what those guys bring to the table. Obviously we can look at what they need to work on moving forward and into the offseason."
As a team, the Kings can also use it as a chance to improve, a way to build some momentum going into next season.
"Obviously we can be that team that just goes out there and plays hard," Rudy Gay said. "Our backs are against the wall. We don’t really have too much to prove. We just have to go out there and play basketball, try and get as many wins as possible. We want to show progress with Coach Malone and with the new guys that are coming in. We just want to show progress."
That's the key for the Kings. They just need to use this as as chance to show progress, both as individual players, and more importantly, as a team.
Unless noted otherwise, all quotes obtained firsthand.
All stats via Basketball-Reference, unless indicated otherwise.