For the Kings, new assistant coach Mario Elie has been given the responsibility of fixing one of the worst defenses in the league.
Elie has come in and immediately stressed the importance of perimeter defense, especially considering the Kings' lack of any true shot-blockers or intimidators down low.
"We really don't have shot blockers back there, so we have to depend on our guys up front to handle their business, keep their guys in front," Elie said. "That's something I was really good at so I'm going to try to relay that message come the season." (Sacramento Bee)
Elie knows that last season, far too many teams were able to break down the Kings on the perimeter, leaving the team scrambling on defense. This is an area the Kings simply have to improve in.
To go along with this, Elie mentioned that the team must also play with some “swagger.” He knows from experience what the team's reputation around the league is.
"Anytime I would play against Sac, whether I was a player or a coach, the label on them was 'soft,'" Elie said.
The Kings have taken steps toward changing that conception about them through personnel changes.
The draft brought tough-minded players Tyreke Evans, Omri Casspi, and Jon Brockman into the fold.
The Kings will attempt to teach these players from the get-go that their performances will be a big part of how the team is viewed in the future.