Last night, Geoff Petrie told longtime season ticket holders, our heroic section214 among them, that offense is the real struggle for the Kings right now.
Offense is a bit of a struggle for the Kings: the team is No. 16 in the league in offense, with a just-above-the-mean 106.8 points scored every 100 possessions. The team isn't shooting particularly well, currently at 25th in the NBA in effective field goal percentage, but has been fantastic overall in limiting turnovers and rebounding on offense. The offense could certainly be better if the big men were more efficient (read: fewer long jumpers) and the wings and guards took better shots (read: fewer contested jumpers off the dribble). This could be a top-10 offense, if everything clicks.
But, uh, Geoff? Bossman? The Kings have the league's worst defense, playing against the league's softest schedule. No team -- NO TEAM -- allows more points per possessions than the Kings. No team -- NO TEAM -- allows teams to shoot better from the floor. The Kings are worse than average at creating turnovers, limiting opponent free throws and even defensive rebounding.
Other than that, which is literally EVERYTHING, the Kings are great on defense.
On the season, Minnesota is averaging 100 points per 100 possessions. In two games against the Kings, the Wolves have produced 113 and 102 points per 100 possessions. The Cavs produced 114 points per 100 possessions against the Kings, and just 104 against eight other teams. The Raptors: 105 against the NBA, 120 against the Kings. Memphis: 103 against the league, 108 against the Kings.
And the real coup de grace, the magnificent capper in what felt like a huge game for the immediate future of the Sacramento Kings: the team managed to hold the Detroit Pistons, they of the 104 points per 100 possessions average on the season, to a completely understandable ... 116 points per 100 possessions. The Pistons shot 54% from the floor, by the way. On the season, they have shot 44%.
But defense isn't the problem for the Kings? #RUKIDDINME?
This matters, dammit. The team is failing, and perhaps the most important non-player in the organization does not know why. Unless, of course, Geoff Petrie is so brilliant he sees that which actual on-the-floor performance can't even measure. Are the actual games irrelevant in determining what the problems are?
I don't mean to demean; this is just unbearably frustrating, as someone who spends far too much time worrying about the team. We all spend too much time worrying about this team, yet the president of basketball operations -- the Big Cheese of decision-making -- is either not paying attention or is willfully ignoring the glaring, lights-flashing reality that this team can't stop anybody? We would all love to see our offense as smooth as the top of Bobby Jackson's head. But it won't mean a thing until this team stops somebody, or gets players who can stop somebody, or plays players who can stop somebody.