Final Report Card Sacramento Kings 2009-10 Season - Part Two, the Near Core


82 games,  six months gone and it is time to discuss how the team makes the grade as seen from my eyes.  A full report card is too long so I will break this down into 4 parts. The Core, The Near Core, The Here Todays, The Coaching and Front Office. Today, the  Near Core.  What is a Near Core player? Someone who is not a significant part of a winning fabric. They may have emerging talent but are not consistent enough to be a reliable core player, yet. They may be a player that could easily been seen staying as leaving or as a trading chip packaged for an upgrade. On a team with few wins and a paucity of talent Near Cores may dominate the roster

Whereas the MidTerm Report Card had 4 members of the Near Core squad, the Final Report Card has 6 players. I have dropped Jason Thompson and Omri Casspi into the Near Core category.

Jason Thompson: Once the most durable King JT has had a very up and down season. He missed some games and his production went from double double threat in the first two months to some lows dominated by too much fouling, poor decision making and poor production. This second year player continues to bring heart and energy every game. JT seems aware of his faults and got out of his sulking mode and is back on track to end the year on a upswing. If Shock can add a post game and some agility training he can be an NBA starter as he learns how to defend. C+ (B-)

Omri Casspi: The 23rd pick started this year as one of the team’s and League’s surprises. Omri has had the added pressure of both a country’s pride and 41 Jewish Heritage nights to contend with. Appropriately, the kid burned out. Juggling a new country, a new life, a new level of play was just too much and his play suffered.  The new year brought Omri back to Earth and he played like a 23rd pick. Fortunately, 2009 showed a collection of skills – 3 point shooting, fast feet, and a knack for rebounding Oh, and that young courage, Casspi takes on all challenges. The last week has brought back the bright future that was clouded by fatigue. It is easy to project starter or 6th man status.  His D level play the second half of the season combined with his high level of play the first half  averages to a C (A-/B+)

Spencer Hawes: A long season for Mr. Hawes. So many skills, so many faults. Some very good games and then many games with low stats and an obligatory call for patience – he is only 21 years of age. To fully asses Spencer he needs another two seasons. Can PW wait? Will Spencer be better or always “almost”?  Spencer was asked to change his game during the year from high post passer and scorer to low post defensive presence. Is Spencer next years’ nominee for the John Salmons award? This year has him and my grading confused. His lack of improvement has dropped him from the MidTerm grade of just below average down a notch due to persistant stagnation. D+ (C-)

Beno Udrih: This season’s Mr. Consistency bears little in common with last season’s unfocused starting PG. Beno seems to understand what is expected of him and has delivered. Beno was the starting backcourt mate of Evans the second half of the season and showed he deserved to be there.  Never to be a great defender, this liability seems insignificant to the best mid range jump shooter in the League. Turnovers are down, and scoring is up, assists are up. Evans numbers were the story for the second half of the season but Beno had a good share of his own highlights this season including an impressive triple double. Bueno. B (B)

Donté Greene: The show. Always able to bring a smile to fans off the court, his on court time has fans grinning.  One can only applaud the hard work involved here. Paring down his ego to prove he deserves to play – the quick trigger is all but gone and Donté is showing pride for his defense. We fans see this year’s growth and can imagine lofty heights two seasons from now.  Potential is lurking below the surface and only bobs up to visibility on occasion. The mark of a true pro is learning to bring it every game. The improvement grades him higher than performance: C  (C+)

Francisco Garcia: Cisco was an incomplete the first half of this season due to injury. Since joining the Kings Garcia continues to be up and down. He appears to still be feeling the effects of his unfortunate injury. The losses diluted his numbers to some effect and his inconsistent playing time made his season forgettable. A shame. C  (INC)

(This is a FanPost from a member of the Sactown Royalty community. The views expressed come from the member, and not Sactown Royalty staff.)

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