Tonight, the 4-11 Sacramento Kings will host the Indiana Pacers.
The season has not gone as hoped on many levels. Entering the season, this was a team and a city filled with hope. Hope that this would be another season of moving forward for the Kings. After starting 3-1, things have gone down the toilet for the team, leaving them as one of the worst in the league.
Here are five reasons things are bad in Sacramento:
Last year saw Tyreke Evans win the rookie of the year.
This year has seen him regress. He has been handed too much responsibility. He is expected to carry the team. He is an amazing talent, but he is not old enough or experienced enough to handle this.
Expectations have grown too great. The kid needs time.
As for DeMarcus Cousins...
Coming out of college it was said he had problems off the court. We are a month into the season and DMC has reportedly been kicked out of practice twice for arguing with coaches. Not completely unexpected, but not good.
The side of Sacramento's Arco Arena is now donned with a gigantic poster of DMC that can be seen from blocks away. This is a player that has played all of 15 games as a pro. He is not ready for these kinds of expectations. He is being asked to carry (along with Evans) the fate of the team and he is just not ready. On top of that, if you are 20 years old and you see a 50-foot poster of yourself on the building, that's gonna make you a little overconfident right?
Expectations for these two players are way too high.
The Kings are one of the youngest teams in the league. What they need more than anything right now is a true point guard to run the show. Someone that will move the ball, find open teammates in places they are comfortable with the ball, and bring poise and calm to a young team.
Tyreke Evans plays the point most of the time, but he isn't really a point guard. He is really a two guard or a small forward. His success at the point in college led to a belief that he could play the position. He can't.
Beno Udrih plays the point guard but he is more of a scoring point or third guard.
Fransisco Garcia can't stay healthy enough to find out if he can play the position and lacks point guard passing skills anyway.
Pooh Jeter is too young (and not good enough) to make an impact.
All this adds up to a team with no direction on offense.
Far too many possessions don't even get started until there is less than 10 seconds on the shot clock. Way too much one-on-one play is happening. No ball movement, just four guys standing around watching the person with the ball (usually Evans) dribble and eventually force up a bad shot.
The Kings will not improve until a real point guard is added to the mix. This will not happen mid-season. So, the Kings offense figures to be terrible for the foreseeable future.
While the Kings don't move the ball at all, something that would help a lot is a couple of elite shooters around the arc to keep defenses honest.
No such shooter is here.
Long gone are the days of Peja and Bibby as legitimate deep threats.
The best shooters now are Garcia, Greene and Casspi, who are all inconsistent shooters at best. If these guys are your best shooters, you are in trouble.
There is no shooting on the roster and no hope of this changing anytime soon.
All the best players on the team are under 21 years old.
No matter how talented they are, none of them has even entered the prime of their careers, not by a long shot. Most of these players will be at their peaks in three-to-five years. That sucks for the team right now.
Too young as individuals. Not enough time on the court together, as a roster or even in smaller groups and different lineups. There is no chemistry between any two players on the roster, much less the whole lineup.
Veteran teams that come together have enough trouble developing chemistry, much less a bunch of kids that don't know what they are doing.
This is bad for the present and great for the future. Maybe the future can get here sooner.
The Kings arena situation is the elephant in the room.
The city won't even know for sure until March that they will be in Sacramento next year, much less beyond next year.
It would be hard for any employee to do their best work knowing that the company they work for might fold or move out of state at any time.
For a bunch of 20-something athletes, it has to be on their minds.