Kings Looking to End Skid

By Rob Small, SacMidtown.com

Before battling the Los Angeles Lakers in a nationally televised game at home, the Sacramento Kings had a 3-1 record, winning two road games and their home opener.

After a promising start, it’s been all downhill. The Kings have lost five games in a row, which is the second-longest active losing streak early in the NBA season. They’ve lost by an average of 10 points per game.

Part of the problem is that the Kings have let their opponents out shoot them from the floor. The Kings have become one of the worst defensive teams, despite a renowned defensive center in Samuel Dalembert.

He’s done his job so far this season, averaging 8.3 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game coming off of an injury that kept him out of the preseason. It’s the defense of the team as a whole which is a problem.

The Kings opponents are shooting a league-high 48.9 percent from the field. Their opponents also shoot the fourth-highest three-point field goal percentage at 39.4 percent.

Letting your opponent shoot the lights out will not win you games.

Still it’s early in the season and there’s no reason to expect their current troubles to be the trend for the entire season. The Kings are still very young.

Their five starting players have an average of 3.8 years of experience, despite having a ninth-year veteran in Dalembert and a seventh-year veteran in Beno Udrih.

Rookie Performance

DeMarcus Cousins isn’t making much of a case for Rookie of the Year right now, but he is playing well right now. In only  20 minutes per game in the past three games, the rookie center is averaging 7.3 points and seven rebounds per game.

The only reason why he’s being kept off the floor is his foul trouble. Both Cousins and  Dwight Howard, who is considered to be the best center in the NBA, lead the league with 4.4 fouls per game.

Cousins has fouled out twice in nine games and draws fouls at the second highest rate in the league.

IF he cuts down on the fouls, he could be an even more effective player.

Hassan Whiteside and Eugene “Pooh” Jeter, the Kings’ two other rookies, have not seen any playing time since the  season opener and have been on the inactive list for much of that time.

What’s Next?

The Kings have probably have one of the most interesting three-game stretches this season, just because of the names of the next three teams they play.

The Kings will host the New York Knicks tonight, the New Jersey Nets on Friday and the New Orleans Hornets on Sunday, finishing a four-game homestand.

Surprisingly, the toughest opponent on their schedule will be the Hornets, led by Chris Paul. The Hornets started off with a season-best eight-game winning streak before losing to the Dallas Mavericks last night.

With the Hornets coming in, Peja Stojakovic, one of the best shooters in Kings franchise history, will be coming to play in the arena where he made a name for himself.

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Posted by on Nov 17 2010. Filed under Kings/NBA. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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