A week ago, I put up a post suggesting that it may be time for the Kings to replace Beno in the starting lineup with someone that would be more focused on defense, leaving the Offense more fully in the hands of Tyreke Evans. I included a poll, in which most of you seemed to agree with that sentiment. Coach Westphal apparently read the post, voted "B" in the poll, and replaced Beno Udrih in the starting lineup with Luther Head that very night (as well as replacing Omri Casspi with Donte Greene). After three games with the new lineup, I think it's time to evaluate what exactly our tinkering hath wrought, and once again help the coach to decide what to do from here. After the jump, a deep statistical analysis of the Kings' performance on both sides of the court since the lineup change.
Just kidding. I don't really do numbers. It's not that I don't believe in "deep statistical analysis", just that I don't believe in "effort". So, I'll leave the empirical evidence to the various smartypantses. For starters, Ziller has produced a pretty picture that somehow shows what my eyes have seen: the Kings Defense has been much better since the lineup change. I'm sure more detailed analysis will follow from various corners of Sactown Royalty. What I did want to accomplish with this post is to get a general idea of what you all are thinking about the "new look" Kings. As obvious (to most) that the new lineup has brought more defensive focus, it is equally apparent that the latest combinations of players are having a heck of a time putting the biscuit in the bucket (scoring the ball, that is). I've been seeing scattered debate over the past week on whether or not the newfound Defense is worth the onset of a maddeningly anemic Offense. Once again, it's up to us to solve the latest riddle to beset our Kings.
Personally, I'm stoked about the Defense I've been seeing from these guys. Watching Luther Head aggressively pester and shadow some of the best Point Guards in the league, after years of watching Beno helplessly float around the court like a plastic bag caught in a breeze, has been good, good medicine for my soul. On the other hand, watching these guys play Elementary School street ball on the offensive end has been nearly as torturous as listening to Matt Harpring talk about it. It sucks. However, I am of the opinion that our new awesome Defense is worth our new blahsome Offense. I'm happy to watch these guys continue to solidify their chemistry and identity as an aggressive, focused defensive team and wait patiently for the various offensive skills of these players that we know are there find a way to break through, even if just enough to come out of many nights with an ugly, hard-fought 90-88 win. How's about you?