I haven’t posted on SR before. I have been waiting until after the lottery. Reading everyone’s posts over the last few months has been fun. The Griffin/Rubio debate has been really interesting.
I have been a Kings fan long enough to have survived the 14 year “Veil of Tears” and am old enough that in the year I was born, the three major sports in the US were baseball, boxing and horse racing. This qualifies me for nothing other than to be heard.
The choice of coach is a much bigger issue than who our consolation prize will be from this draft. We haven’t had a coach who has stressed defense in as long as I can remember. That’s a long time. Let me also be bold enough to say that we also need to hire two defensive assistant coaches, one for the backcourt and one for the bigs. Maybe they could talk to a recently retired defensive specialist like Doug Christie or (God help us) Gary Payton.. Never mind, I take that last thought back. That’s demented.
It’s all about defense. We all talk a lot about The Princeton Offense or whatever. But really, the offense wasn’t the problem. The guys we had last year, as pathetic a team as it was, scored enough points to beat most of the NBA. Didn’t we average 100 pts a game? There are ways to get much better quickly without a superstar. Get used to it. We will probably never get a superstar here. The league will never let us have a #1 pick, and this is Sacramento. Someone like LeBron wouldn’t come here for less than a billion. Remember how Webber at first refused to come here when traded? So we need to make do with what we’ve got. The first way, obviously, is defense. There are only two reasons why a player doesn’t play defense, either he can’t or he won’t. If a player just won’t play defense, trade him to the Lakers. Immediately. If he can’t, it is only because he hasn’t developed the skills. These guys are all professionals and are all young enough to take coaching. They need to learn. And if we hire a defensively oriented head coach who can set up defensive schemes and responsibilities, I would predict 25 more wins next year.
The second way is assists. We don’t just need a point guard, we need a point guard who doesn’t care much about scoring. We need one that will give us double digit assists night in and night out. The only times the Kings showed any entertainment value at all last year was when they passed the ball. I can’t tell you how infuriated I would get watching them slide back into one-on-one basketball. As a team, they are just not good at one-on-one.
One last thing. If each of the Kings starters had made one extra free-throw per game, the Kings would have won maybe 15 more games last year. Championship teams make free throws.
I don’t want to be a ball hog, so I’ll pass the ball. Thanks for listening.
By the way, I think the Kings should do whatever is necessary to get Rubio. He has more than the extrinsic value of expert play. His play is exciting, like Maravich or JWill. He will put butts in the seats, helping to fill the arena and thwart the Maloof’s plan to move to Vegas.